… these are three key questions I get asked all the time. Sophrology is not as developed in the UK as it is in France, but awareness is growing as news of its effectiveness spreads. This article explains what sophrology is, who sophrology is for and how Step Into Sophrology could specifically help you.
What is sophrology?
Usually when I mention I’m a sophrologist people ask me to repeat.
It’s a bit of a mouthful, but behind the fancy word is a simple yet powerful body-mind technique which helps to achieve a clear and positive mindset into a relaxed and balanced body.
The methods used in Sophrology are, in themselves, nothing new because it’s inspired by Western relaxation techniques and Eastern meditative practices. What makes sophrology unique is the way its founder, neuropsychiatrist Alfonso Caycedo, structured the method.
In sophrology, everything starts with the body, harnessing our capacities to concentrate, release tensions and be in the present moment. Then we move onto mastering our minds, learning to contemplate, accept things that cannot be changed and taking positive action to address what can be changed. Ultimately, the regular practice of sophrology helps uncover our inner resources, who we are, and what is important to us so that we can live a life more aligned with our needs and our values. In other words sophrology helps you develop a new way of living and being, with the outcome of being healthier and happier person.
In that respect, I can’t think of another therapy that is as comprehensive as sophrology is. Or a method that is structured in such way as to take participants on this powerful transformative journey.
All of this is achieved through a combination of gentle body movements, breathing exercises, concentration and visualisation techniques, practiced in a safe environment with the principles of listening to the self in a non-judgmental attitude.
Basically, a session starts with the practitioner explaining and demonstrating the exercises before guiding them. At the end of the session, participants are invited to share their experiences if they wish to do so.
Sophrology is usually practiced sitting or standing, with eyes closed; however, the posture is adaptable and it’s possible to also practice lying down.
One of the great advantages of sophrology is how accessible and flexible it is. It’s very easy to use and implement in daily life – and most importantly, it is suitable to practice with most medical conditions.
Which leads me onto the next question.
Who is sophrology for?
Sophrology is so versatile that it can be used to help you in a variety of ways. The most common issues that it is used for are: stress, sleep, energy, confidence, concentration, as well as focus, performance, and personal development.
Sophrology doesn’t require any particular clothing, music or candles. It can literally be used anywhere, anytime.
I would say sophrology is for almost anyone, no matter the physical, mental or emotional conditions. The exercises can be learnt progressively and adapted to personal circumstances.
More specifically if you’re living with a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia, MS, long COVID, anxiety, pain or fatigue here is how sophrology can help:
- Reduces stress and anxiety which are often triggers for flare ups
- Establishes a routine to promote self-care to feel more in control of your body and health
- Helps to managing fatigue and improving sleep quality
- Enables you to cope better with treatment side effects
- Helps to manage and relieve pain – and can reduce need for pain medication
- Improves preparation for hospital appointments and surgical intervention
- Empowers you to build a positive mindset and emotional resilience
- Reduces ‘brain fog’
- Provides a path to becoming happier in yourself and in life.
- Allows you to feel more confident and positive about the future
I think the most important thing is to be willing to give it a try and really wanting something to change.
So why would you want to work with Step Into Sophrology?
How can Step Into Sophrology help you?
Let me briefly share with you how I came to sophrology.
It was recommended to me by a neurologist when I started the treatment for MS. I had a vague notion of what sophrology was and was very skeptical about its capacity to help me. However, I was so desperate that I was ready to try anything and since the neurologist recommended it, I gave it a try.
I remember the first consultation I had with the sophrologist; I came in and brought a diagram connecting MS, my relapses and the circumstances around them. It was a very intellectual representation of what it meant to me, and why I was there – as a way to learn to reduce my stress and anxiety to help manage MS and my treatment.
She gave me space. She let me explain my diagram and say all I had to say. Then she looked me in the eyes, remained silent for what seemed like an eternity (but probably only a few seconds in real life) and asked:
“Do you want to feel better?”
Reflecting back on this, I could have been offended by that question but I wasn’t. It was the right question at the right time. I was ready to hear it. I responded positively, saying that it was a good question and that I was going to mull it over.
That question made me look at my situation differently. I asked myself “do I want to get better?”, “why wouldn’t I want to get better?” And this time I listed all the advantages I had about having MS.
After reflection, the conclusion was YES, I wanted to get better and I was ready to do what it takes. I was going to take action and be responsible for myself and for my health.
I started practicing sophrology, and within a very short time, I really noticed a difference. It helped me with treatment side effects but also improved my whole being. I was more confident, happier, ready to take on anything that life would throw at me. From five relapses in four years I went down to four in fifteen years.
Are YOU ready to feel better?
So now I’m dedicated to sharing the tools and strategies I’ve learnt with other women living with chronic conditions, fatigue or pain. What you get from working with me is a patient and empathetic practitioner but I also take no nonsense! I’m called Step Into Sophrology because that’s exactly what sophrology is, a way to step into a better life; a path to wellbeing. But no-one can take the steps for you. If you are ready to feel better, ready to commit to practice on a regular basis, then you’ll discover simple and powerful strategies to restore your emotional and mental wellbeing and become a better version of yourself.
I take much pride when my clients integrate and appropriate the exercises for themselves and carry on with their journey without needing me anymore. I’ll teach you the ‘how to’ and the ‘what’ so that you can feel empowered, independent and in control of your life again.
– I look forward to seeing you soon!