The Non-Linear Movement Method®
Move. Release. Feel. Respond.
The Non-Linear Movement Method® (NLMM) is a powerful somatic method developed by Michaela Boehm over the past 2 decades of instruction and practice.
The method is rooted in her early training in a Kashmiri Shakta Tradition and fused with her extensive expertise in working with trauma, emotional closures, and physical contractions in her clients and students; as well as in implementing this technique in her own practice.
In recent years Steve James refined and clarified the method, added original material, and contributed significantly to formatting it for educational delivery.
This method has many deep, powerful applications:
1. Smooths out the nervous system
The demands of modern life create stress and tension in the body and an overactive mind. The NLMM encourages an identifying and unwinding of the patterns of contraction and through gentle, non-force movements relieves the bodily tension and underlying mental loops. The result is a systematic, self-guided unburdening of the nervous system.
2. Processes and identifies emotions
As the body unwinds and the mind relaxes its pressured pace the emotions associated with these patterns become apparent and are being let go of. You can note recurring emotional loops for further processing and at the same time allow emotions to simply rise and release.
3. Awakens erotic energy and sensual sensation
As tension, contraction and emotion are being released the body becomes sensitized and we are able to feel deeper. One of the marked results of this sensitization is an ability to feel increased pleasure and well being. Participants report an increased ability to connect through their body, both with themselves and others.
4. Releases trauma patterns into flow
One of the results of traumatic experience (fresh and old alike) is “freeze”, a state in which body, mind and emotions are stuck in a state of numbness. Often “freeze” is falsely perceived as a feeling of “calm/nothing”, which results in an inability to release the experience and ease the bodily patterns. The NLMM facilitates a continued movement, which gently opens the freeze pattern and allows for recognition and release of the underlying bodily and emotional patterns.
5. Unites mind and body in intimacy with physical sensation
Through continued engagement with the release of contraction and facilitation of emotional awareness the ingrained patterns become apparent and less pronounced. Over time physical sensation can be engaged with and the acceptance and tolerance of all sensation increases. Intimacy with whatever is present is possible.
6. Creates high bodily responsiveness
NLMM educates the body how to release and process contractions, stress and emotional tension. The body becomes highly attuned to all sensations and can note, react or release fluidly and without having to attend to traumatic or suppressed backlog.
7. Opens access to bodily wisdom
By putting emphasis on movement and circumventing the analytical mind and loops of tense thinking the natural intelligence of our bodies is accessed. Through gentle guidance the mechanisms of “freeze” and refusal to feel are being loosened and bodily wisdom can create the necessary actions and releases.
NLMM is facilitated on a mat or blanket. Participants dress similar to a Yoga or Dance Class, in comfortable, non-restrictive clothing.
The method can be practiced at any age, fitness level and mobility. The movements are designed to be self regulating and can be done in any position, including laying down.
Online classes are currently offered 4 times per month. Click here for upcoming sessions.
In this video Michaela gives an overview on how the method was developed and discusses some of the underlying principles.
In addition, here is an excerpt from her book “The Wild Woman’s Way”, where the method is described as part of the practice section:
Now I find this method instrumental as a way to gently reintroduce women to their bodies in my workshops, and to help them restore their wild, embodied nature!
The key in NLMM is that it “unfreezes” you, and with that, the body’s natural genius can release and attend to whatever needs to be let go. As I described in chapter 6: “Embodiment” and chapter 7: “Barriers to Embodiment,” stress, tension, overwhelm, and trauma of all kinds tend to put us into fight, flight, or freeze mode.
This video is a Q&A with Michaela from a recent online Non-Linear Movement Method® class, using the ‘Moving What You Are Feeling’ technique.
0:00 – Creating a Non-Linear Movement Method® home practice
2:49 – Practicing with a knee injury
3:54 – Yawning dizziness, and nausea
4:51 – Working with pain
5:41 – When non-habitual movement is frustrating
6:51 – Should my music choices have emotional meaning?
7:46 – Crying and release
9:52 – What does it mean to ‘move as love’?
14:58 – Working with distraction and pain.
21:03 – How long should I practice?
21:34 – Moving as pain
22:40 – Self-soothing movements
25:33 – Practicing with intensity and nausea
29:39 – Head position in NLMM®
32:12 – Should I stay on my hands and knees?
35:02 – What if I start shaking?
39:07 – Boundaries and freedom from conditioning
A Q&A with Michaela from a recent online Non-Linear Movement Method® class, using the ‘Release’ technique.
0:00 – Emotions and physical contraction
0:56 – What is non-habitual movement?
2:41 – Different NLMM modalities and online training options
7:17 – Body distortions and self-regulations
9:04 – Emotional release and muscle tension
10:07 – Yawning in NLMM®
10:57 – Bodily wisdom or habitual resistance?
12:58 – Stuck in the head when feeling the heart
14:00 – Antidotes to resistance
15:32 – Working with looping thoughts
16:22 – Mind speed vs body speed
17:12 – Working with stuck energy in the head
19:34 – Side effects of practice
22:38 – Different reasons to open the eyes
25:28 – Moving the music or moving my feeling?
27:44 – Working with strong emotion
27:44 – How Michaela worked with a strong pattern
35:10 – Nausea when practicing
37:37 – Combining NLMM® and meditation
41:35 – Different ways to release
44:50 – Michaela’s playlists
45:20 – Experimenting with subtlety
A Q&A with Michaela from a recent online Non-Linear Movement Method® class focused on vitality & aliveness.
0:00 – Feeling energized after NLMM®
3:33 – Music for NLMM®
4:27 – Getting out of your head
7:09 – Adrenals and developmental trauma
10:19 – Practitioner Training
12:05 – Restarting a daily practice
19:09 – Nausea and after-session care
24:45 – Intense feelings after practice
27:01 – Accessing emotions
A Q&A with Michaela from a recent online Non-Linear Movement Method® class focused on love.
A Q&A with Michaela from a recent online Non-Linear Movement Method® class focused on ‘Unfolding’.
0:00 – Nausea and Release
1:57 – Feelings of sadness and anger
3:34 – Visual content during practice
5:57 – Steam of consciousness words when practicing
8:00 – Non-habitual movement 10:04 – Communicating emotion when triggered
11:48 – Love and grief
15:49 – Tips for when lost in thought
A Q&A with Michaela from a recent online Non-Linear Movement Method® class focused on ‘Heart’.
0:00 – ‘Dropping in’
0:34 – Non-Linear for dental trauma
5:46 – Insights gained while practicing
7:44 – Release before heart practice?
11:08 – Methods of release. 13:49 – Moving to the heart when angry.
Playlists are available on SoundCloud and Spotify with ideas for songs to utilize during your practice at home.Read more
Have you considered training with us to become a facilitator? Our next Online Teacher Training starts February 27, 2021.Read more
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