Since I officially work thirty-six hours a week, every two weeks I get a day off, the so-called ADV day which is short for Arbeidsduurverkorting.
This morning at nine-thirty I had my first appointment with the haptonomist. I already had my speech prepared. After I introduced myself and sat down, I told her that my mind and body had gotten out of sync resulting in a number of physical problems, namely stiffness, tenseness, a sore back and a lack of energy.
She stared back at me for almost a minute without saying anything. I thought that she was going to tell me to go see a shrink, but instead she asked me what kind of work I had and how many hours a week I am in the office. Officially thirty-six hours a week according to my contract, but actually more like fifty hours a week it turned out when we added up all the times through the week.
She asked me a number of additional questions and after thinking a bit and bobbing her head side to side, she came up with a simple exercise that I could perform while sitting in my chair.
Basically, the idea is to get more in touch with your body, which is the receptacle in which your mind resides. Starting with your right foot, you feel it touching the ground, your five toes reaching into the earth's soul with deep roots, then you feel your leg, thigh, hands and fingers, shoulders, back across to the other shoulder (skipping the head), down the left arm to the hand and fingers, thigh, left leg and foot, back down into the earth's soul with deep roots, and then back around again to the roots going up to the right foot, until the circuit is complete.
After practising this with her, it became easier as my body learned to feel the flow. I especially liked the part where all unhealthy feelings and negative thoughts get flushed down the roots way down deep into the Earth, replenished by the sunlight and fresh air around me. Kind of like a plant but backwards.
I can do this at work, while sitting behind my desk, at the table during a meeting, or in another quiet room with a nice view of Rembrandt's Park and the blue sky. I will give it a good try for the next two weeks and see if it helps.