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Shin Somatics contact unwinding: Developing mindfulness through interpersonal relationship

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The Shin Somatics practice, contact unwinding, is a mindful improvisation practice aimed at clearing the chakras and promoting self-healing through physical and energetic connection of a primary mover and supportive guide. Developed by Sondra Fraleigh, contact unwinding encourages a primary mover to respond to internal cues, as well as a supportive guide’s energetic and tactile guidance. The practice is unique in encouraging partners to be present-centred, communicate clearly and honestly through touch, and reflect verbally in a manner allowing both parties to increase self-awareness without judgement or projection. This article explores contact unwinding’s potential to develop both mindfulness and interpersonal skills through holding presence and matching through touch. Using mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy as an exemplar, I suggest the practice’s potential benefit to individuals seeking relief from psychosomatic disorders.
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Keywords: Shin Somatics; anxiety; contact unwinding; improvisation; interpersonal relationship; mindfulness

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Texas Woman’s University

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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  • This journal focuses on the relationship between dance and somatic practices, and the influence of this body of practice on the wider performing arts. The journal will be aimed at scholars and artists, providing a space for practitioners and theorists to debate the work, to consider the impact and influence of the work on performance, the interventions that somatic practices can have on other disciplines and the implications for research and teaching.
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