When a client is done with their breathing exercises, I can hear their nervous system submitting; "Okay, I’m ready to learn."
This response is quite an improvement from the initial, "I have no idea what I’m doing here, I’m just trying to survive!" that I hear from their nervous systems when clients first arrive.
I feel a connection with the nervous system, like it’s my job to calm it down. I want to make it feel safe and receptive to learning. At J&M, we also focus extensively on setting our clients up for successful training by starting them off with a solid foundation.
What I need from my clients is concentration. There are two different types of attention, purposeful attention and reactive. If I’m trying to change the way my clients move, it’s important that they’re giving me their purposeful attention. Purposeful attention only occurs when the body feels calm and safe. This is when the body is able to access learning.
Reactive attention, on the other hand, is reached through fight-or-flight. When our clients walk in it is their reactive attention that is most active, this why I hear their nervous systems yelling, "Get me the duck out of here!"
The only thing the client’s brain is concerned about in this state is surviving.
So what do we do? How do we get people out of Fight or Flight?