“Beyond relaxation and breathing, sophrology is a psychocorporal technique that allows for the management of emotions and stress. It is based on methods of tonic and static relaxation that are easy to apply. When used properly, it can help you cope with significant events in your life. It is even recommended for combating pathological behaviors. Specialists also use it to accompany medical treatments.”
A combination of Eastern meditation methods such as yoga and Western relaxation, sophrology allows for the balance of the body and mind. This harmonization of the physical and mental aspects helps to dispel fears and anxieties. More details on this practice and its benefits.
Harmonizing the Body and Mind through Sophrology
Sophrology is a synthesis of Eastern methods like yoga, Buddhist meditation, and Western relaxation techniques (such as the Vittoz method). This practice was developed by Alfonso Caycedo, a psychiatrist from Colombia. Etymologically, the term ‘Sophrology’ comes from the Greek words ‘SOS PHREN LOGOS,’ which means ‘harmony, consciousness, and study.’ It involves achieving harmony between the mind and body through simple exercises.
Sophrology is a personal technique that allows individuals to tap into their own resources. These resources can then be developed and adapted to each person’s needs and goals. Sophrology is an effective way to maintain confidence and hope!
Sophrology: Acting on the Body and Mind
Used to help individuals connect their external world with their inner universe, sophrology has two main objectives: developing one’s personal potential and increasing self-awareness.
Development of Personal Potential
Through sophrology, the body can reach an altered state of consciousness, allowing the organism to develop its potential and improve its condition in times of suffering or illness. It becomes easier for a person to enhance their well-being.
To improve one’s personal condition, it is necessary to first become aware of one’s internal state – in other words, to know what is beneficial for oneself. Then, use all means to achieve it.
Increasing Positive Perception
Sophrology facilitates self-awareness by reconnecting you to your feelings. Regular practice of this technique helps develop a positive perception of personal values, mental state, emotional states, and the body.
It has been proven that the ability to ‘stimulate’ the positive has significant psychological and physiological effects. Developing a positive self-image is, therefore, essential for complete fulfillment. Moreover, sophrology is entirely based on a positive view of human beings. Favorable social, professional, or family conditions ensure a person’s well-being. However, being in harmony with one’s feelings, body, etc., allows for a good adaptation to one’s life circumstances.
The 4 Techniques Used in a Sophrology Session
A sophrology session can be adapted to any type of person. It can be performed in a seated, standing, or lying-down position, although the latter position is rarely used. In order to cater to everyone, sophrology offers four distinct techniques:
Inspired by Yoga, this practice improves the oxygenation of the body and facilitates the mastery of emotions. When used correctly, breathing can become a highly effective natural anti-stress technique accessible to everyone.
Relaxation and Muscle Relaxation
To relax effectively, one must learn to release muscle tension. This helps raise awareness of tension and enables its reduction. Muscle relaxation tones the parasympathetic system of a person overwhelmed by the rhythms and anxieties of life. Additionally, relaxation is a training method for achieving physical and mental well-being.
Visualization or Mental Activation
This method allows a person to highlight positive visions of the past and project themselves into positive images of the distant future. Mental activations can program positive outcomes and activate human resources. Sophrology offers individuals the possibility to work on the present, past, and future.
Offered in the third stage, this approach helps patients control intrusive or negative thoughts. Through meditation, a person can concentrate through focused breathing. Meditation is highly recommended for countering depression, anxiety, and stress.
Did you know? Sophrology – a technique with multiple applications?
Sophrology has various applications and can be applied in different domains to solve numerous issues. It covers four major areas of intervention.
Managing daily life
Sophrology helps manage daily stress and anxieties, promoting well-being and vitality by regulating sleep patterns.
Preparation for events
For significant life events such as childbirth, exams, or sports competitions, sophrology can assist in managing apprehension and raising awareness of one’s abilities to face these events in the best possible way.
Dealing with pathological behaviors
Sophrology is also effective in therapeutic settings, particularly in treating phobias and addictions.
Accompanying medical treatment
During medical treatments, sophrology does not cure but serves as a complementary approach to care. For instance, in the case of cancer patients, this method helps them better cope with treatments. For fibromyalgia patients, it can reduce the intensity of pain. Sophrology also assists patients in mobilizing maximum energy to face the challenges of their healthcare journey.