Sophrology : what is it ?


    Sophrology is the practice of relaxation that promotes well-being. It allows to reach a harmony between the body and the spirit to produce a feeling of global balance.It was conceived by the neuropsychiatrist Alfonso Caycedo and is inspired by ancestral techniques from the East (with meditation, yoga and Zen) and the West (with hypnosis, relaxation techniques and positive suggestion).From all these inspirations, the neuropsychiatrist Alfonso Caycedo created a unique method and codified a set of exercises in a very clear and precise way. He defined dynamic relaxation exercises which are gentle movements associated with breathing and developed sophronizations which are visualizations guided by the voice of the sophrologist.

    Thus, sophrology relies exclusively on verbal exchange by using a set of techniques that will act on both the body and the mind. It combines exercises that work on breathing, muscular relaxation and mental image. All these techniques allow to find a state of well-being and to activate all one's potential. Sophrology allows you to acquire a better knowledge of yourself and to face the challenges of everyday life with serenity.

    How does a sophrology session take place ?

    A session lasts about an hour, no clothing or equipment is required. Sophrology is generally practiced sitting and standing.

    There are group or individual sessions which differ on the accompaniment. If the session is individual, the therapist adapts a tailor-made protocol to reach the objective previously defined together.

    In an individual session, the sophrologist first talks with the person to hear his or her needs and to adapt the session, before presenting its course. The sophrology session takes place in several stages with :

    • breathing exercises to somatize the positive;
    • psycho-corporal exercises based on relaxation and movements to facilitate the awareness of physical sensations;
    • Visualization exercises that correspond to the activation stage;
    • meditation exercises.

    Each exercise is followed by a time of observation of the body, on the perceptions and sensations felt. The session ends with a sharing or a wording of the phenomena perceived during the session.

    In order to work on the session in the best conditions, it is advisable to settle down in a calm and peaceful place, away from outside eyes and your cell phone. Loose-fitting clothes are preferable as they do not interfere with movement. It will be possible to add background music to the session in order to promote sophronization.

    What is sophronization ?

    Sophronization is the primordial stage of sophrology which allows the person to enter a state between wakefulness and sleep, it is the sophrolimal level. This state allows the relaxation of the muscles and the letting go of the body.

    To enter the sophrolimal level, you must :

    • close or half-open your eyes
    • relax the muscles of the body to decrease the muscular tone thanks to a deeper and slower breathing
    • relax the mind by decreasing the state of wakefulness and vigilance.

    Initially, it will be recommended to remain in a lying position throughout the sophrology session. This position facilitates sophronization. You should not hesitate to install cushions and a floor mat to relax your body in the most comfortable conditions possible. Once the session is mastered, it will be possible to try the sitting position on the floor or on a chair for example.

    A relaxing exercise for each objective

    In sophrology, there are a certain number of relaxation techniques which allow to answer a specific need. These techniques are static, that is to say that they do not require any movement. We find :

    • positive sophro-acceptance which allows to positively anticipate the future by putting forward the success and the confidence, it is what one calls visualization. This technique is very much used by athletes.
    • the sensory sophro-substitution which allows to relieve the pain. The pain will be replaced by a sensation of coolness or warmth thanks to the entry in a state of deep relaxation.
    • serial sophro-correction which allows to de-dramatize the fear by associating a positive memory in order to fight the source of the anguish. The situation can be an OCD with the repetition of an inappropriate gesture, thoughts or attitudes that one finds absurd.
    • the reflex gesture which allows to associate a state with a gesture in order to record the appeasement.

    What are the benefits of sophrology ?

    Sophrology acts on the body and the spirit by acting on our negative emotions which have an impact on our body :

    • when we have plenty of it;
    • when we are disgusted by a situation;
    • when we have trouble digesting bad news.

    On sleep

    We all know that emotions have a direct impact on our body. Sophrology allows us to probe the mind in search of an answer. This virtuous approach allows you to feel renewed, revitalized with more energy during the day and a more restful sleep at night.

    On stress

    Sophrology is a philosophy of life, to be able to extract oneself from stress and daily worries through different techniques (visualization, ...), to find one's inner peace to be able to grow and move forward but especially to find one's self confidence.

    On the skin

    Our skin is the first victim of our excessive stress. Fighting stress also allows us to act on other disorders :

    • pimples ;
    • eczema
    • redness ;
    • hives.

    On the pains

    Sophrology allows to find a balance between the body and the spirit to better live with its pains. The pains are very often the manifestation of a disturbance of our organization and sophrology thus makes it possible to attenuate :

    • the backache ;
    • the pain in the belly;
    • headache.

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