Liberated Body is a podcast for all the body nerds out there.
What's a body nerd?
A body nerd is someone who is fascinated by the human body in a way that is outside of the standard cultural story that tells us, essentially, that the body is a fleshy machine made of separate parts which we can reduce enough in order to fully pin it down, manipulate it, and control it.
While the dominant culture talks about the body as an object that can do our bidding (or that fails to do our bidding and therefore sucks), body nerds get excited about the body as a whole, living, unfolding experience which contains endless avenues for potential insight and exploration.
Because of this, listeners of the show are frequently practitioners and teachers of a variety of manual and movement therapies. Some however are people who don't have a career in holistic health, and instead are simply inquisitive embodied folks. Whichever you are, if the phrase "body nerd" resonates you are our people- welcome! And thank you for making the world a more embodied place.
What types of people have been interviewed?
Anatomists, surgeons, manual therapists, researchers, psychologists, spiritual teachers, neuroscientists, biomechanists, embryologists, movement educators, fitness innnovators, and yoga teachers make up the diversity of people who have been on the show.
how did the show start?
Brooke Thomas started interviewing somatic thought leaders in June 2014. Hi I'm Brooke- so I'll stop talking in the third person now...
I honestly started the show thinking that I would talk to all the smartest body people out there so that I could point to the most important "maps", or combine all of their "maps" and get to the one perfect "map" so that everyone could prevent or resolve pain and dysfunction.
Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Phew. Hahahahahahahaaaaaaaa!
Ahem. Sorry. Okay I'm back.
My intentions were good but... what actually happened with this project was that I realized that the idea of any perfect, 100% correct, no more need to evolve "map" or ideology of the body is full-on crazy town. In truth, conducting these interviews was less like I popped open the glove box of the car to find an impeccable owner's manual and more like I accidentally got into a rocket ship and blasted off into exploring the cosmos having never done more than stargaze from my backyard. Call me a drama queen if you must, but that's what it was like for me.
I didn't work on this project so much as it worked on me. It essentially took on its own life and completely led me around by the nose until, bizarre as it may sound, the way I see not just the body but the way I see everything changed. And even though I started out with a very heaping helping of love and respect for the human body, I find myself now in overwhelming awe of this exquisite thing we get to call home. I know that I will never fully know it, and that the gifts it has to offer are endless and oh so beautiful.
I did not come to work with the body because I had always had a love affair with it. I grew up with physical and neurological challenges as a result of a birth injury and trauma, and therefore had thoroughly numbed all but the most irritating input from the burden that I considered my body to be. My childhood, adolescence and early adulthood involved hiding from movement because of how embarrassed I was by my body's limitations (doctor's notes to get out of gym class were a specialty of mine) . By the time I was in my early twenties I was in debilitating chronic pain and was unable to use my jaw much of the time. Thus began one of those long healing journeys that involved things like doctor visits 3 to 4 times per week and generally feeling like an 80-year-old who was in college.
Fortunately this landed me on the doorstep of a very good doctor who told me that if I wanted to truly get well and stay well I was going to have to 1) learn how to meditate and 2) get some really good bodywork. These days those two things are the foundations of my career. Back then I had only heard the word "bodywork" used in relationship to cars. After educating myself that there was an entire field of bodywork I found my way to Rolfing which, in my case, rapidly healed my body. To be pain free for the first time at age 22 was, to say the least, shocking and liberating. That kind of discovery tends to disrupt a whole life and mine was no different. Two years later off I went to The Rolf Institute to train.
I have now been in practice in the manual and movement therapy fields (primarily as a Rolfer) since 2000. The wild ride that this podcast has been gifted me another benevolent disrupt, and I now also work in the realm of embodied spirituality, which includes another podcast called Bliss+Grit. The word "spiritual" conjures up certain images and annoys me, but for now that language is the best I've got. Think somatic meditation that gives you access to your most genuine internal compass and let's your life unfold in accordance with your own true North.
If you want to hear the story of me in my body and the story of Liberated Body in more detail you can listen to the interview Bo Forbes did of me at the end of season 3. And the farewell episode I did with my co-host over at Bliss + Grit, Vanessa Scotto.
If you want to follow all of my work and projects, you can do that at my personal website.