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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434 thoughts on “The Body’s True Intelligence

  1. Our body is a great teacher and a practitioner who works in partnership with the body and not in dominance of the body is an incredible gift because it brings to the table a deeper awareness of the body they are working with. You shared that as you deepened the awareness of your level of tension and brought more ease and flow in to your body and life, you were able to feel the clients tension more acutely. Just hearing that inspires me to deepen my relationship with my body and bring that into a livingness because that, to me, is bringing responsibility to life and offers greater respect to those I live and work with.

  2. “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.” This is such an important point that needs to be understood by anyone who works as a bodywork practitioner. We cannot help someone else to heal if we are not committed to doing this for ourselves and living and moving in a way that is gentle and harmonious.

  3. A great reminder of how amazing the body is when it is capable of healing itself, and how Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy allows the body to work in its own rhythm and harmony together, and the more aware we become of each other through our greater awareness.

  4. Restoring harmony to replace disharmony without dictating a corrective maneuvering – it is just amazing how this impossible-sounding task is made a possibility through energetic symbiosis between the practitioner and the receiver.

  5. “Our body is always truthful if we listen to it, and it is our own unit of science.” So true Kate. It has always seemed strange to me that my own experience – and that of countless others – can be discounted when a ‘controlled trial’ – which has to be funded (usually by big pharma or big food corps which have no interest in cheap affordable therapies) is recognised as being the gold standard. Recently however it is being found that many research studies are not all they are cracked up to be, with fraud and corruption occurring in many cases.

  6. While reading your blog I could feel how I compromised my body in the way I was sitting, so I gently streched my spine, felt my shoulder blades and my ribs open up while breathing, such small gentle movements done in connection with my body but a real ease and fluidness came back in my whole body.

    1. Thank you I too realise how often I still compromise my body when I am sitting and how little it takes for the connective tissue to be activated to bring about true change.

  7. Having had many connective tissue therapy sessions with Kate, I can attest to how powerful and deeply healing this modality is for the body.

  8. The connective tissue is superbly sensitive and I have noticed that, when moving in a certain direction, just changing my mind, stopping abruptly and turning the other way creates a palpable stress in my whole body; it loves rhythm and flow rather than knocks, bumps and sharp 180 degree turns.

  9. “It supports the body to deeply relax and let go of any tension and holding with a gentle rhythmical motion.” What I love about receiving a Connective Tissue Therapy treatment is exactly that, it allows me to truly relax and let go. It is as if the body is allowed to settle back in into its natural place.

  10. ‘There is a lot of truth to the old saying, ‘the body speaks louder than words’.’ Absolutely we know what it’s like to pull a muscle and we automatically rest, there is so much more the body is telling us on a daily basis too, that when we build a closer connection with our body we hear much more of what the body is telling us.

  11. After reading this article I have a greater understanding of my body, not in a theoretical but lived sense. It has allowed me to connect deeper with my body and realise how important the connective tissue is. By stopping myself and feeling it I have a greater sense of delicacy and unity that goes beyond the body although it comes from it; when connecting to it I’m nore aware and careful with my movements, so it helps me to make more loving choices and something expands in everything I do. Thanks Kate for your sharing

  12. Your commitment to integrity and finding the truth again is inspiring Kate. To not rest until we have come to what is true.

  13. It is amazing the communication with the body possible, I have found in stretching that telling my body it can relax sees it relax, that tension that I didn’t even know was there suddenly releases. I like the description of the connective tissue being like a merger between the physical and the energetic, that makes a lot of sense, as it does to consider the body is more than just physical matter but connected to an energetic quality that pulsates through our every movement, and that our quality of movement in respect of this energetic factor determines the ease we are able to feel within our body.

  14. I find your deepening process extremely humbling and inspiring. Thank you, Kate. Reading your sharing, I get a sense of how a practitioner could get in a way of a modality if they are not living from the same principles upon which the modality is based on.

  15. Being gentle with ourselves brings our focus back to our body and can put us in touch with how we feel from inside, and lets us appreciate our fragility and preciousness and the quality that we bring to our movements. Connective tissue does all this and can also bring up realisations of past behaviours or incidents that are waiting to be healed, the reconfiguring of energy in the body allows for a new start, a new life, a new way of living.

  16. Going to see someone to support you with your body and well being is so awesome but it is really felt when that Practitioner truly cares for themselves because this naturally shapes the way their room is configured. It shows in the way they treat you, the way the room is set up, the way they move and if it is a physical treatment like Physiotherapy, the way they touch you. The connective tissue modality respects all detail in-between our body, it honours the fact that what holds us together is fluid. It is a known fact that the human body is made up of 80 to 90 percent water and it is also being discovered in experiments all around the world that how we talk, and feel and move has a profound and physical effect on water. Having a modality and practitioner that understands this and treats your body with the tenderness and sensitivity it deserves is a gift in itself.

  17. I love that Connective Tissue Therapy works ‘to assist and support the body’s own intelligence to restore a natural balance and harmony’… this is a deeply beautiful and powerful modality that should be global in light of what it can offer a client in letting go of not holding the physical and emotional strain that can lead to the contortions and contractions they do. It is a truly stunning support in removing tension and enhancing connection and well being.

  18. Our body definitely speaks louder than words and the more we listen to it and understand it, the more we will learn and appreciate the wisdom of it.

  19. The Universal Medicine Connective Tissue Therapies bring a flow to the body that enlivens all aspects of life.

  20. This really supports the fact that the body has an intelligence of its own, and an amazing capacity to heal itself, our greatest support is to be gentle with it, as it gets to work on what needs to be done.

    1. Yes, the respect we offer our body when we stop imposing on it is worth deepening because it encourages a conversation that makes us accountable and responsible for our health and wellbeing.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. ‘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.

  31. 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.

  32. “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

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. “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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. “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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. “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.

  48. 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”.

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

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