The Body’s True Intelligence

by Kate Greenaway BAppSc(PT), Physiotherapist, Australia

In the early days of my work in Physiotherapy, I had a sense that the human body had its own natural intelligence. It was sensitive and responded clearly to any internal or external strain. I experimented a lot with my own body: I tested all the physio modes of treatment on myself first before I ever touched a client. I learned that if any technique was done in a pushing, forceful way, my body tightened in protection. It seemed like my body had its own sensor system to any sensation that was not gentle.

Through my practice, it became apparent to me that the accepted forms of protocol driven treatments were not always gentle and supportive to a body that was in need of healing.  Even with my work on tour with rugby and hockey teams, I was using techniques that helped in the short term but just did not feel right to do on someone’s body. I knew that there was a large missing component for the person with chronic physical and emotional pain. Treating a body part in isolation to the whole body and person was only giving temporary relief.

In 1994, during the course of a working holiday in the United States, I was introduced to Craniosacral Therapy and Myofascial Release work through the Upledger Institute, a teaching organisation established in 1985 and based in Florida. Craniosacral Therapy has received international recognition for its approach to releasing tensions deep in the body to allow the body’s systems to self correct. This presented to me a far softer way of releasing any tension in the connective tissue in the body and particularly the nervous system. Through studying this work, I became more aware of the connective tissue in my own body and how it was a vital tissue system not often treated fully by many physiotherapists, osteopaths and body workers. However, although Craniosacral Therapy was a softer approach to the body, it still came from a basis of telling the body what to do and how the bones, connective tissue and muscles should be in relation to each other.

I still felt there had to be a gentler way to help the body restore itself to its natural balance without imposing on it. My approach to the body became more holistic and softer. As I continued my work I realised, more and more, that if I completely supported the joints, muscles and connective tissue, the body had its own sense of how to restore itself to that natural balance. I knew that the connective tissue was vitally important as a continuous river system of tissue that protected and supported the body. The greater my insights into the body, the more I realised that there was so much more about the body to feel and know.

In 1999 I met Serge Benhayon, the founder of Universal Medicine. I was intrigued by his approach to healing from his sports and biomechanics background. I constantly asked him questions from my own scientific and factual background aimed at trying to understand more about the energetics of the body. Serge’s answers consistently made sense, and I could feel that he had a far deeper understanding of the body’s energetics than anyone I had met in my learning up until then. I experienced hands on healing sessions with him and gradually, through these, I began to feel and learn from my own body. This affected my work profoundly as my understanding and feeling for the human body’s connective tissue increased. Arising out of this, I developed my work in Connective Tissue Therapy, a gentle non-imposing modality inspired by Serge and Universal Medicine.

Essentially, the connective tissue is like a bridge between the body’s physical nature and its energetic nature. In its ideal fluid state, the connective tissue allows the body to move in a rhythmical and pain free, balanced way. I found in many clients’ bodies (as well as my own) that the connective tissue hardens with sudden harsh or forceful movements. When we are stressed emotionally or physically it hardens, which tends to compress or contract the area that is affected. It also has a major role in allowing the organs to work in harmony with each other to enhance the body’s vitality.

As I continued working and learning with Universal Medicine, I looked at what I was bringing to my clients if my body was hard from physical or emotional strain. I started living more of what Universal Medicine was presenting – that being gentle and more self-loving in the way we move and in everything that we do enhances our bodies’ natural vitality, and it is that which we bring to our family, friends, colleagues and clients. As my own body itself became more gentle, and my own awareness of how it felt to be gentle increased, there was a significant change in the sessions with my clients. I could feel my clients’ bodies more deeply, where their holding and tension patterns were, and whether they were able to let go or not. I realised more and more, the responsibility that we hold as practitioners. Through being more harmonious in my body, I was able to support my clients to a much greater degree, and observe the gentle connection of our bodies with Connective Tissue Therapy.

Connective Tissue Therapy is unlike any other therapy I have experienced. It supports the body to deeply relax and let go of any tension and holding with a gentle rhythmical motion. You can feel this from your feet up through your body, or from your head down through your body, depending on where it is on the body that the practitioner is working. It works deeply to assist and support the body’s own true intelligence to restore the body’s natural balance and harmony. The false intelligence is what the head pushes the body to do – ignoring how the body is feeling. It is also when the practitioner’s head directs the client’s treatment to “fix the problem”, rather than feeling from the client’s body what is needed.

Our body is always truthful if we listen to it, and it is our own unit of science. Over a two year case study project, I conducted a six week program of Connective Tissue Therapy on 50 subjects with chronic pain and collated the responses. This was in collaboration with Danielle Loveless, a colleague of exercise physiology and a PhD graduate in research. The research sample included 60% of subjects who were people having general treatment for their problems, but were not students of Universal Medicine (as has been incorrectly reported in the press recently). The results clearly demonstrated a 50% reduction in pain levels from the Connective Tissue Therapy that was maintained over a six month period.

There is a lot of truth to the old saying, ‘the body speaks louder than words’.

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465 thoughts on “The Body’s True Intelligence

  1. I remember you once sharing Kate that Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy lets you feel God in your body – and that I can fully state that it does. It is an amazing modality that lets you feel the fullness of our divine light, this light that flows through our lymphatics, through our connective tissue.

    An absolutely amazing gift to humanity.

  2. My body responds instantly to Esoteric Connective Tissue sessions by completely letting go of tension and bringing me back to a sense of flow and rhythm throughout my body. It is such a subtle modality but extremely powerful.

  3. It makes complete sense Kate. Your research combined with your own living experience feels like a very real way of informing yourself, which then of course enables you to inform others. Being open to such a gentle modality when we’re brought up to believe in ‘no pain, no gain’, can be challenging, but once we connect to the truth of it, it that saying feels outrageous.

  4. This was fascinating to read and I appreciate your dedication Kate to understanding the body and how best to support it. I also understand your point about how the whole body needs to be addressed and not as isolated parts, this has always made sense to me. Working with the body and letting it communicate and direct in the treatment and healing process rather than imposing a treatment or attempt to “fix it” feels correct also. We all have so much to continually learn and you have inspired me Kate to keep working with my body and being open to learning more, thank you.

  5. I highly recommend Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy! Having had many sessions with Kate over the past few years I can vouch for the gentle healing qualities of this Modality.

  6. I love how the body responses to gentleness and loving movements and how this is reflected in the connective tissue. It makes so much sense what you describe and when it comes to babies and little children we do not question our fragility and tenderness but the older we get the more we think we have to toughen up and face the world with hardness. Yet, besides that our bodies grow they do not become less fragile and have less right to be treated gently.

  7. I love the gentleness and tenderness that Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy brings to the body and in that energy I feel my body is able to surrender to it natural state of being, free from the imposed on postures and holds that not only are disabling my body in its movements, but also limits me in the freedom of choosing my thoughts.

  8. I have had Connective Tissue Therapy and it feels unbelievable. In a world of push and shove to have a treatment that brings in a real gentleness to the body and actually works super well is very supportive and refreshing. It would make sense also that the practitioners performing this Therapy are walking their talk which gives you the whole package. The ongoing support this quality of therapy gives you is undeniable and you can feel it sometimes for weeks and months after. This is a quality of care that brings to you another way to live, that way you aren’t going to get fixed or made better each time but more supported to hold how you feel in how you live, that way you are treating yourself ongoing.

    1. Sure Ray, Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy is not a therapy that fixes anything but instead gives you the opportunity and the choice to become your own healer just by allowing your body to move to its natural order and rhythms.

      1. That is what the modality introduces back to your body, “its natural order and rhythms” and so while it may seem foreign at first your muscles quickly remember how to move in this way. Just like birds when they fly there is an ‘natural order and rhythm’ they are aligned to, that we too can feel and live by.

      2. Exactly Ray, our bodies do know how to move in a natural way, in true movement. But it is the disconnected mind that introduces movements to the body that are not true and natural to it and with that we lose our natural flexibility to life and get ingrained in the fixed patterns that makes it hard to move from. Therefore the Esoteric connective tissue Therapy is like a gift from heave as it reintroduces that true movement our bodies do know so well and with that releases us from the imprisonment of the movements of the mind.

      3. Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy brings back the true connection to our natural rhythm and flow. It allows us and our body to settle into a connection that supports everything. From there our body is naturally impulsed to move in complete regard and care to what that feeling is. As has been said, no different to birds in flight, there is nothing there doing it for them as it comes from an alignment and complete trust of what they feel. It’s to the point where it’s like breathing and you can do it when you are asleep.

  9. I agree Kate, our body is sensitive and does respond clearly to any internal or external strain. When we are honest with what our body is communicating and why, we are able to truly appreciate our body’s inner wisdom and initiate changing our choices that align to the harmony and natural rhythm within our body.

  10. When there’s a stress or emotional disturbance I find my shoulders roll in and my posture collapses, I get tired easily and more overwhelmed. However, lately I have been standing up taller and able to take in more air. It feels like the extra space fills up where the stress or emotional tension was in my body and it completely vanishes until I move in a tense way again. The teachings of Universal Medicine have completely changed and expanded my understanding of physical and mental health.

  11. ‘Essentially, the connective tissue is like a bridge between the body’s physical nature and its energetic nature. In its ideal fluid state, the connective tissue allows the body to move in a rhythmical and pain free, balanced way.’ How beautiful to have a modality that does this and allows us to feel the truth of what’s happening in our bodies and what they are asking for. The heightened awareness in the body that can come with a Connective Tissue Therapy session can show us a different way to be with ourselves, often freeing us from long-held unhealthy ways and bringing a harmony that had not been felt before.

  12. It’s common sense to me that the body knows how to heal itself given the true support it needs, so trying to fix issues where the practitioner comes from the mind and tries to control the client’s body feels very imposing, interfering with the body’s natural healing. I am getting to know that the body’s intelligence is super amazing. My body knows, and developing an awareness where I feel connected to my body is essential in getting to know my body; the messages and signs which are constantly being communicated with me.

  13. “The false intelligence is what the head pushes the body to do – ignoring how the body is feeling.”
    Wow, such simple words that share a powerful wisdom for any one who chooses to stop and consider that this may be how they run the body that carries them every day.

    1. We have possibly misunderstood the true role and place of the mind by isolating it from the rest of the body. By allowing it to take lead and valuing its type of intelligence we can make decisions that are in complete disregard to the rest of the body. This in itself doesn’t make sense because if the body is harmed or dies from these decisions so does the brain. To me the mind is supposed to be the servant of the heart, making it the leader is simply not working. If we understand the brain and mind in relation to the whole we can begin to understand that it’s part of a whole system but not necessarily “it”, nor necessarily meant to lead. There is a great blog that examines this more and how the heart is our true lead and intelligence at

  14. We have probably all had an experience of visiting a practitioner and coming away feeling that our body has been abused. I remember one chiropractor that hurt my neck so much with the forced manipulation that she recommended I put ice packs on it day and night. It definitely made the condition worse and not better. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, our body is extremely intelligent and it knows what is good for it and what is harming it and it let’s us know. Do we listen? Sometimes.

  15. Any time we are pushing or shoving or forcing our way of thinking or ideas on the human body, we are not respecting its natural grand intelligence and its ability to heal.

  16. I was particularly struck about the part where Kate explained that her own awareness and gentleness in treating her own body allowed her to more deeply understand the state of her clients and how best to support them. I can feel the truth in this, which makes the role of a practitioner fully about their living quality. I therefore would always look to be treated by a practitioner who was gentle and loving with themselves, first and foremost, and this to me would now be more important than any qualification that person held. Of course with Kate Greenaway you get the best of both worlds, someone who is vastly experienced and qualified, and also most gentle and tender in how she lives and brings this to the treatment table.

  17. Kate, this is really interesting to read, ‘I found in many clients’ bodies (as well as my own) that the connective tissue hardens with sudden harsh or forceful movements. When we are stressed emotionally or physically it hardens’, this really makes me realise how some sports can be damaging to the body and why it always feels so awful if I push my body and move in a hard way and why my body seems to love moving gently, I have also noticed that if I am stressed that this affects my body, with my body often feeling tense and achy.

  18. Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy is the most amazing modality. You can feel the ripples expanding throughout your body in this most gentle of treatments, yet producing spectacular results.

  19. “my body had its own sensor system to any sensation that was not gentle.” When we sense that the practitioner is gentle in their own body we are more willing and able to let go of the holding and feel the gentle flow and natural rhythm of our own body.

  20. I received Craniosacral Therapy before I came across Universal Medicine but something about it didn’t feel right so I stopped having sessions. When I began to receive Connective Tissue it felt non imposing and very gentle on my body. On a physical level there didn’t seem to be much happening but boy the sessions were powerful reconfiguring my body and supporting it to connect to my body more deeply.

  21. This blogs shows us that there is an intelligence in our body that knows how to live a harmonious life in accordance to our being. It is only our disconnected mind that interferes with this intelligence and imposes its ill way of living that is void of the interconnectedness the body is from.

  22. I love your philosophy here Kate and it is one I share with you – not to do anything with a client that we would not feel comfortable having done on our own bodies. I too have experimented a lot with my own body and it has really supported me to continue to develop and deepen my relationship with my body and my treatment techniques.

  23. “I still felt there had to be a gentler way to help the body restore itself to its natural balance without imposing on it.” I love what you have highlighted here Kate, I find the more caring and tender I am with myself the more my body naturally responds and opens up to realign itself to an inner knowing and rhythm that feels harmonious.

  24. I love what Kate has shared here, how deepening her connection to her own body has allowed her deeper understanding of others. Here lies the foundation of a true health professional. Understanding others through the wisdom of understanding self.

  25. This is beautiful Kate. What you are describing here is whole body intelligence – every part of the body working in tune with each other to help correct any parts that are not in harmony with this. It is also our whole body working in harmony with its environment and not against it. There is so much we can learn from this approach if we get our head out of the way, stop focussing on an isolated part and listen to what the entire body is communicating to us.

  26. I now appreciate far more the sensitivity and wisdom our body truly has and how important it is to listen to what my body is communicating as it guides us to feel what is true and what is not making it easier to make choices that are in harmony with our body’s natural rhythm.

  27. “My body had its own sensor system to any sensation that was not gentle.” I agree Kate, I had not truly appreciated this fact and how hard I made my body in reaction to try to protect myself, yet this was worsening the situation as I left my body at the mercy of absorbing everything around me. I now appreciate the body’s natural wisdom and listening to what it is communicating guides me to deepen my connection and hold myself in a steadiness that is truly empowering and supportive.

  28. “Connective Tissue Therapy is unlike any other therapy I have experienced.” And the same goes for me too. I have experienced the most amazing results from this therapy, with long term pain that I had expected to live with for the rest of my life now all but healed. I love the gentleness of the treatment as well as the gentleness of the exercises I do, gentleness that ripples through every part of my body; after all everything is connected by this wonderful tissue.

  29. My understanding of the connective tissue in our bodies after reading this blog and having experienced many Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy sessions, is that our body has its own natural rhythm and flow that is supported by the connective tissue. But when we impose too much force on this system then essential connective tissue pathways will harden and with that the body will lose its rhythm and flow that we in fact already can call an illness to the body while we actually are not experiencing it as such yet. And then when I look to the current state of being of the people in our society, I must acknowledge that we all must have blockages in our connective tissues as many are living suffering illness and pain in the body on a regular if not constant basis.

  30. I used to attend Cranio-sacral therapy and I found it one of the most gentle therapies I have experienced, and then Connective Tissue more recently which I found to be even less imposing or invasive and yet extremely powerful. There is a lot to be said for the non pushing approach where instead we gently move the body and let it heal itself. This is seen in myofascial release where the body moves in the patterns it wants, with Connective Tissue therapy, this in my opinion takes this to a whole other level.

  31. It is curious how much technological advances have been made at the expense of human evolution. A particular news media website has recently updated its site and made it more appealing to the eye and senses, seamless to navigate, accessible, and easy to buy into a myriad of programme choices. Mental Intelligence in action seduces us to believe we are developing as a human race, yet all is focussed on things outside of ourselves. In contrast when I look at how much energy is devoted to transforming the nation’s understanding and awareness of their own health, there are huge gaps. The level and quality of information provided is often loaded with half-truths, if not lies, fragmented and contradictory.

    Universal Medicine is exceptional in that it has a true love of humanity and brings truth to health. It has raised awareness of the body’s intelligence and supported each individual to understand what it means to build a true relationship with our bodies, generate health, live vital and full lives. This is true evolution.

  32. “The false intelligence is what the head pushes the body to do – ignoring how the body is feeling” and in that tries to be smarter than the body but in fact is controlling the body to keep it under its regime. By doing so the mind withholds the body from connecting on that deeper level to the nature it belongs to and in which we can find a way of living that leads to a healthy body.

  33. I am not an expert on body physiology, but have experienced many many techniques myself. Though many felt good, in the end nothing changed in my life, my life stayed the same. Those techniques were just a relief. Having experienced and practised Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy myself, I can state that this technique is actually changing my body in a more gentle “more in the body way”.

  34. It is gorgeous to reconnect to the wisdom in our body. And the proof that supporting it brings a healing to all parts of life.

    1. Yes Benkt, this reconnection not only frees our body of any pain, stiffness, or illness but sure also has a positive effect on how we are with other people and with life in general.

  35. It’s great to see the detail and origins of what you are saying Kate. While reading your article I could also feel it go to work on my body, it was like I could feel or my body could feel what you are saying. Some may dismiss what you are saying and others like me would say it’s almost common sense. I know that if we all start choosing to make the choices you are talking about then this will support us all. The body is amazing and more and more we are seeing how great it is the more we listen or the deeper we listen to it. This is another part of that listening Kate, when you can read an article and actually feel what is being said, thank you.

  36. I’ve consulted a practitioner I’ve known for over twenty years, he uses the title ‘osteopath’ but works in non-traditional ways. His touch is gentle, has a deep understanding of the body’s intelligence and never ever moves the body in a way that imposes or forces. His way is to find the source of the dysfunction and often traces back to the physical root of the injury and works from there rather than say for example where the pain or ache is felt.

  37. I really get that feeling of being ‘corrected’ when a body presents some hardness/disharmony and somehow it is not honoured for what it has to say and how my body goes into protection. I have experienced some ‘gentle’ approaches in the past before encountering Universal Medicine therapies, and there’s something very different when the technique is applied from the place of seeing the body as something that has issues therefore needs fixing, or from the absolute knowing of us being perfect in our imperfection.

  38. Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy is an amazing modality, both to give and to receive, ‘It supports the body to deeply relax and let go of any tension and holding with a gentle rhythmical motion’.

  39. The results of the study you mention Kate sound to good to be true, but I have since heard you present on the follow-up findings and from my understanding, a large proportion of the study participants who reported significant reductions in pain for 6 months, continued to experience this. This is unheard of in modern medicine, so the question that comes to my mind is why your colleagues in the world of physiotherapy are not beating a path to your door? Could it be there is such an investment in received wisdom and personal status for some medical professionals that they are blinded by choices to an offering of true healing for themselves and their clients?

  40. To fully understand and accept the fact that the body always seeks to heal and harmonize and never ceases doing so exposes how much many modalities ignore this fact and consider it necessary to tell the body what and how to do the healing. That doesn´t mean the body at times doesn´t need support but that is not because the body has stopped its activity of healing; much more it is often us who interfere with the natural process and this interference needs to be undone. Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy is very much supporting the process of surrendering and allowing space for the body to do its natural self-regulating work.

  41. I find it extraordinary that we all have this stuff called connective tissue that essentially holds us together and would seem to a layman like myself to be pretty vital suff, yet modern medicine appears to rarely give it a thought, writing it off as just junk padding between the bits that do matter. I was interested to read that connective tissue acts as a bridge between our physical body and our energetic body – not sure that modern medicine recognises this one either so the fact of a bridge may not be of much interest, however I feel that one day it will become interested in these things. Once we grasp that we are more than 3D physical beings perhaps?

  42. “the body speaks louder than words” – it sure does, but for most of us growing up we are not taught how to listen to its very wise messages, that is until something goes wrong and we are brought to a grinding, and often painful halt. To be introduced to the preciousness of the body from an early age, and the way to truly care for it, would certainly ensure that as we grow we don’t end up with the many illnesses, disease and injuries that so many of us now do. These days I definitely choose the intelligence of my body over the so called intelligence of my mind.

  43. This is great to read, and I can feel my body is the proof of what you write, it speaks quite loudly when I don’t live in the way that is more natural to it. It is a choice to connect deeper and listen, feel what is needed.

  44. ” I learned that if any technique was done in a pushing, forceful way, my body tightened in protection. It seemed like my body had its own sensor system to any sensation that was not gentle”.
    We seem to have made this protection, tightness, and hardened feeling so normal and sought after in our bodies, however to really feel a person who’s body displays this “look” feels quite disturbing. They actually feel stressed and exhausted underneath the “buff” facade.

  45. In choosing to develop a deeper relationship and connection with my body I now listen to and appreciate how my body shares the truth of a more harmonious way to be. With a willingness to deepen our awareness there is always more to know and embrace of ourselves.

  46. I can relate to how various forms of stress and going into a busyness resulted in having a hardening effect on my body, my movements and even my voice. Learning the gentle movements from Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy has enabled my body to gradually release the hardening and become far more fluid and gentle enabling me also to connect to my body’s natural rhythm.

  47. “Through being more harmonious in my body, I was able to support my clients to a much greater degree,” I also find that when I offer an Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy session with someone that the tender flow of energy in my own body deepens.

  48. Kate I have been exactly the same as a Physiotherapist and have never felt comfortable practicing any modality or treatment on any of my clients unless I was prepared to do it on myself or receive it myself. I actually trained in Chinese medicine based acupuncture but during the training I did not enjoy receiving it at all as it seemed a bit aggressive to me and unpleasant. So I never actually practiced it. So when I was introduced to esoteric chakra-puncture and felt the gentleness and supportiveness in both the technique and also the effects in my own body I knew I would be happy practicing this on my clients, and I still do.

  49. Reading this Kate has given me a deeper understanding as to why it is so important to be gentle and loving with our bodies and also that any movements that are harsh or done with a push are counterproductive to our health and wellbeing.

  50. To address the body at the deep layer of the connective tissue makes so much sense. If the connective tissue is tense and we treat a layer that comes after the connective tissue then surely sooner or later we will be back with the same problem or issue we had. But going to the connective tissue layer allows for a much deeper release of tension. I loved reading this and it has made me want to book in for a session 🙂

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