Holistic Sensory Movement

What is Holistic Sensory Movement?

Holistic sensory movement (HSM) is a combination of body awareness, functional movement, free-form movement, sensory movement, Yoga, Pilates and modern dance.  Human movement is a behavior that is categorized, not simply measured.  We all have limitations and weaknesses that keep us from thriving physically.  Learning to sense how you move helps you develop a resistance to injury, especially when asking the body to do something it hasn’t done for many years.  So, you can think of holistic sensory movement as a prerequisite to any physical activity you choose to do such as martial arts, dance, weight lifting, sports and every other form of exercise.

How is holistic movement different than other movement forms?

Remember when you were young?  You climbed trees, rolled down hills, skipped, jumped, swung, hopped, performed cartwheels and spun around until you fell to the ground laughing.  So what happened?  Why did you allow adulthood to stop you from continuing to do those things?  I’m not talking about taking you on a journey to climbing trees again.   But I do want you to explore movement in a new way and for new reasons.

HSM is non-impact, graceful, and gentle on the joints and bones. Many other movement forms are either high-impact, faster paced, repetitive, routine-based, or you need various equipment.  Sensory movement is all about exploration and listening to the body.  Yoga, Tia Chi and dance are movement forms that are incorporated into HSM.  We treat the body as an integrated whole as you explore individual pain points, sense how far your muscles and tendons can twist, stretch, bend, tighten and flex while exploring balance and form.

A new way to relax

Our modern lifestyle is costing us to lessen our desire and ability to move freely and comfortably.  People are gaining weight from eating the Standard American Diet.  They are experiencing acute and chronic stress  and they’re constantly bombarded with information.  Most people today are our of balance as they engage in complicated, inefficient and ineffective repetitive exercises that isolate certain body parts while they neglect other parts.  They simply don’t mobilize their body enough.  My intention for holistic movement is to help you become more aware of your body, what it can do and how it moves.  In my movement programs, you will:

  • learn how to create balance, flexibility and agility
  • improve circulation and strength
  • reduce stress
  • open up blocked emotional channels
  • move comfortably, authentically and freely
  • and do it all in an enjoyable manner so you feel great

Exploring Sensory Movement freely

When you explore movement, I want you to consider how your skeletal structure connects with everything else–muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and connective tissue.  You can explore balance and speed as you move.  Your connecting to your body mentally and spiritually, sensing and listening to what your body is telling you.  At the same time you’re feeling and describing sensations as you open up channels within your body that have been asleep for a long time.  You will explore stability and slow motion as you sense and listen to your body while focusing on breath and flow.

Learning to Listen

You can’t isolate the mind from the body–but you can embrace it.  As you become more aware of what your body needs to get and stay healthy, it will signal you.  Your job is to slow down and listen.  Stop the running!  Stop the need to do more!  Stop focusing on everything and everyone else!  And stop worrying and holding in anger and loneliness!  These things cause stress and inflammation in the body.

A holistic sensory approach teaches you how to listen to your body as it provides you with signals for what it needs.  Your body will tell you what foods it needs, where it needs to be stretched, when it needs to rest, when it needs to move and how it feels.  To find balance and harmony, you must be aware of the signals your body it sending you.  That new awareness provides the foundation for true healing.  Once you practice this, you will know when to get up and honor your body by moving it according to its signals.

Your body is designed to move…and heal.

When you train the mind, body, emotions and spirit to work together, you begin to make connections that satisfy the heart and soul.  So few people truly understand how powerful this is.  Movement should be conscious, not habitual.  It should heighten awareness of both body and mind.  This can only be achieved when you turn off your automatic pilot that governs your movements and thoughts.  Then you can begin to notice physical sensations.  Next, you can begin to target painful areas and get to the underlying core reason for the pain you may be experiencing.  Awareness is the beginning of the healing process.  This holistic sensory approach is only one of five elements that improves overall health.

Holistic sensory movement is safe and non-impact

Holistic sensory movement can be done in so many wonderful ways.  The trick is to use it often.  For instance, if I find that I’ve stood too long in the kitchen, I put a few choice songs on and I get lost in sensing which joints are tired and achy.  I then move them, slowly, while stretching, wishing and turning them gently.  I can feel the warmth enter my muscles while I allow the music to guide my movements.  Ahhh…

Most people today tend to move their body in the same way every day, and as little as possible.  Consider this–you just dropped something.   Did you lunge to pick it up off the floor or did you just bend both knees while reaching?  Or how far can you reach down our leg without bending your knees to scratch your ankle?  How many times last week did you attempt to test your balance, or stretch as far as your arm would stretch to test your flexibility?  You haven’t done any of these?  You are not alone!

Would you like more information on HSM?  Come join us in one of our classes.  We hold workshops and classes on and off throughout the year.  Contact us for more information.


Cathy lives in Roanoke, Virginia and specializes in supporting families who desire to change their relationship with health–the way they eat, feel and live.  She is a certified Health Coach & Educator with a strong passion for supporting each client in their journey to feel stronger, healthier, and more energetic.  Cathy presents workshops online and locally and regularly talks about real food, fitness, natural living, and all things ADHD.  

Cathy is the creator of the Holistic Wellness Academy, an online training platform that will soon provide other wellness advocates a place to share their expertise with their clients so they too can learn how to eat smart, move more, feel better and live longer.

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