If It All Comes Down to Bodily Awareness, How Do We Know? Assessing Bodily Awareness

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A purported key mechanism of action in most mind–body movement approaches is the maturation and development of bodily awareness. This is an experiential learning process with its own phenomenology, underlying neurological processes, and challenges for scientific study. This report focuses on the assessment of changes in bodily awareness, which is of key importance for the documentation of this learning process for both research and clinical application. Objective assessments requiring lab equipment are briefly reviewed. Qualitative assessments can be performed by interviews, focus groups, and second-person observation of movement performance. In addition, systematically developed self-report questionnaires have become available in recent years, have undergone extensive validation, and are presented here.

The author (Wolf.Mehling@ucsf.edu) is with the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

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