Arlie Mischeaux shares how accepting and learning to listen to her body supports her to take an active role in her well-being.

Healing by Increasing Vitality

May 18, 2020

by Arlie Mischeaux

Translation available in Spanish

Many years ago, I read an article in the Yoga Journal about Breema bodywork. At the time, I was searching for anything that would help me during a “healing crisis.” What stood out for me most was the statement that Breema supports the body not by fighting sickness, but by increasing vitality! This statement was quite shocking and revolutionary for me at the time, because I’d been completely focused on everything that wasn’t working as I thought it should. So, when I read that statement, I felt that there were, in fact, still aspects of me that really were okay. Not only was I still alive, but a deeper part of me was also functioning. I recognized that while the body was in distress and trying to regulate itself, my mind was suffering from worry and anxiety, and my emotions were in turmoil. Yet, here I was, alive and breathing! The Breema phrase about increasing vitality was having an impact on how I thought about myself and about healing—in a positive new way. 

Through Breema, I learned to move towards acceptance and cultivate vitality in my life. I began to take an interest in the essential part of myself. I saw that I had been approaching health as a battle—one part of me against another part. But what about the whole? I quit fighting myself, and eventually stopped defining myself as a sick person, and began to listen to my body.

I recognized I needed support and that support came in the form of Breema bodywork. Immediately after my first session, I was taught a few Self-Breema exercises to practice. Thanks to their simplicity, I could easily do them. And because of their subtle yet tangible effect, I wanted to do them. That supported me to take a more active role in my well-being.

Receiving Breema bodywork and practicing Self-Breema every day gradually started breaking down the old patterns and conditioning in my mind, body, and feelings. I was gaining flexibility on many levels. Breema’s stretches and leans created more space in me. The tapping and rocking movements were enlivening, and the holds and brushing movements were deeply nurturing, helping me to open up even more. My mind was calming down, without me trying to do anything. And perhaps even more importantly, I was seeing my thoughts as just thoughts, not as who I really was. My feelings began to stabilize and less often swing from one end of the spectrum to the other. This inner order and calmness enabled me to be more receptive, and gave me clarity and the wish to be present.

Body, mind, and feelings working together became a supportive and enlivening force that helped me experience connection, instead of separation. This grounding sense of unification within was “vibrational medicine” of a different and higher nature, harmonizing my energy and increasing my vitality.

With this clarity and openness, I began to experience a new depth of relaxation. I began to ask myself, “How can I strengthen and nurture the essential part of myself, too?” The answer was in cultivating vitality. Once there was more balance between the body, mind, and feelings, I became interested in life and finding meaning and purpose in it. The wish to understand my life—why I’m here, what I’m supposed to be doing, who I am, and why I behave, think, and feel the way I do—began to show me that things could be different.

Now, whenever I find disharmony in myself, a relationship, or another aspect of my life, I more often remember that acceptance is what’s needed. I can start with what is. I know what to do—become present by bringing body and mind together, so my mind alone isn’t leading me. The heart and body are included, and I find real vitality.


Arlie Mischeaux is a Staff Instructor at the Breema Center and teaches ongoing online Self-Breema classes found at breema.com/arliemischeaux. Practicing Self-Breema is both nurturing and energizing, and supports physical flexibility and vitality, mental clarity, and emotional balance.  Visit breemaclinic.com to experience a one-on-one Self-Breema session, first session is free.

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