What is Sophrology?
Sophrology is a study of conscious harmony. It is a relaxation method that is also referred to as hypnosis, complementary therapy, and psychotherapy. The method was developed by a neuropsychiatrist, Alfonso Caycedo from Colombia. Sophrology is known to improve sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase the energy and focus of mind and general health. It can be referred to anyone including expectant mothers, those in stressful jobs, the student taking exams and those suffering from insomnia.
Sophrology uses techniques such as:
Sophrology is actually a structured method to produce optimum health and well being.
How To Practice Sophrology?
Sophrology can be done by self or under the guidance of a qualified sophrologist. There are simple exercises and techniques that makeup 12 levels of sophrology.
The first one is similar to the body scan. The person is asked to breathe down the body and breathe into the area where there is maximum tension. The second level involves a mental approach, calling in for some elements of visualization. On reaching the third level there is more awareness of body and mind and the fourth is about identifying the personal values.
The sophrologist then tailors the further levels depending on your expectations from this practice. He gives advice on how to bring in improvement in specific areas of life.
Through this practice, a person learns to relax and connect to the body.
There are breathwork, muscular relaxations and visualization techniques that can be done by using gentle movements. The exercises involve:
- Bringing in awareness to different parts of the body
- Tensing muscles and releasing them
- Bringing awareness to sensations experienced
Practicing it on a daily basis will make you notice the changes in the energy levels.
Few sophrology techniques are as follows:
- A Technique To Peacefully Drift To Sleep: Sophrology can be used to sleep better. While lying on the bed to fall asleep, get aware of:
- The position of the body
- The points of the meeting of the body and the mattress
- The place where the skin touches the clothing and sheet
- Sensations arising in the body
- A Technique To Release Tension: To release tension via sophrology:
- Scan your body and notice the places which are holding on to tension
- Let go any tightness
- Tense the entire body by tightening all the muscles
- Exhale and release tension
- Visualize, how tension is moving out of the body
- A Technique To Feel Peace, Love, And Joy: For a feeling of peace, love, and joy:
- Remember a time when you would have felt complete joy
- Cultivate feelings of peace and happiness and make it wash off the entire feelings
- If the mind wanders bring it back to the feeling of love, joy, and pleasure
- A Technique To Control Breath: Sophrology technique to control the breath is as follows:
- Follow each breath moving through the body by placing the hands on the belly
- Notice the breath as it enters and leaves through then nostrils. Feel the belly rising as you inhale and move towards the spine as you exhale.
- Maintain the count of breath
- Start adding on the count to exhale when it’s a maximum of twice the length of inhale
Benefits of Sophrology
Those practicing sophrology, report a feeling more peacefulness, confidence, and happiness.
Sophrology is used for:
- Managing pain
- Better concentration
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Improving sleep
- To combat overthinking
Benefits of sophrology are as follows:
- Help Cope With Pain And Anxiety
Sophrology can be helpful for the medical procedure that leads to pain and anxiety.
A study found that people who were taking cancer treatment when engaged in relaxing techniques found a significant reduction in anxiety and pain levels. (1)
These patients were guided to focus more on breath and positive memories to achieve a state of hypnosis.
- Wellness During Pregnancy
Sophrology is known to benefit pregnant females and newborn when practiced by expecting mothers.
A study found that sophrology childbirth training that included Kegel and Lamaze techniques has a good effect on: (2)
- Maternal health
- Pelvic floor function
- Quality of life
It was found that these females had better vaginal delivery rate and low levels of urinary incontinence and hemorrhages after delivery.
The newborns of these mothers had higher Apgar scores and weight compared to the control groups.
Sophrology can be done for 15 minutes every day. Make it a regular part of the routine if you find it fulfilling the quest for inner self. Any self growth practise depends on dedication and perseverance. If you need assistance reach out for a qualified mental health professional.