Bodymind Repatterning: A Deeper Look at the Body-Mind Connection

Practitioner Spotlight

Alison Shaw

Everything that happens in our physiology and body is connected to our psychology; to thoughts, feelings and emotions, both in the present and throughout the history of our lives,” says Alison Shaw, nurse practitioner, certified holistic nurse, licensed massage therapist, certified energy healer and owner of Bodymind Repatterning, in Lexington. At the core of Shaw’s practice is the idea that every thought and feeling people have, whether conscious or unconscious, creates chemical, structural and physiological changes in the body.

“Depression and anxiety have a physiological posture or component to them,” says Shaw. “Over time we all form body-mind patterns, which are adaptations and defense mechanisms that build up unconsciously as ways of coping with stress.” She explains that the defense mechanisms people build can end up causing pain, restriction or illness, and that people cannot heal fully until they look at both the body and mind at the same time.

Bodymind Repatterning does just that. During the one-on-one sessions, Shaw uses three different approaches to help her patients observe how the body participates in emotional issues and holds emotional energy. The first approach is by working with conscious awareness through talking, guiding body dialogues and leading guided imagery. This allows people to tune in to what is happening in their body and connect it to what is happening emotionally.

The second approach is movement, through which patients understand how they are living energetically in the body. They then learn to adopt a more open, grounded and centered posture through expressive movement work. The third approach is geared towards using touch as an awareness tool. Shaw uses bodywork and Brennan Healing Science techniques to continue the process of awareness and release of restrictive patterns in the body and energy field. She designs each session based on what she thinks is useful and what the client is interested in doing. Some people may not want to talk at all and work directly with movement and touch, while others might not be comfortable with touch therapy—perhaps because of past trauma—and prefer to talk through the issues. Each session is personalized to the needs of the patient.

“It’s a collaborative and fluid process, like multidimensional surfing,” says Shaw, who has been working with the body-mind connection for more than 30 years. “I knew I wanted to go into holistic healing since I was a teenager. I became a nurse practitioner with the overarching passion to help bring integrative ideas into conventional medicine.”

Bodymind Repatterning, formerly known as Bodymind Resourcing, came from the idea that people can become free of restrictive, unconscious patterns, and then live from the source of who they truly are. This is the core of Shaw’s model, with Bodymind Repatterning titling the therapy more descriptively and precisely.

Individuals with both emotional and physical issues have found deep healing through Shaw’s sessions. “People come for long-term emotional struggles like depression and anxiety, while others come with physical illnesses from muscular tension and structural issues to chronic fatigue syndrome and cancer,” Shaw says. By breaking through destructive patterns and restrictive defense mechanisms, individuals can uncover the vibrancy and well-being that is the essence of who they are.

Location: The Center for Body Mind Integration, 109 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington. For more information, call 781-646-0686 or visit

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