What is Sophrology?
A collection of techniques involving breathing, small movements and visualisation, designed for individuals who wish to add a well-being routine into their daily lives:
Practicing sophrology can help you with improving sleep, managing stress, anxiety and phobias, or simply relaxing. It can be the ideal exercise to help confront situations such as exams, sports competitions or speeches for instance. It helps to develop creativity and revitalise the senses, building confidence and enhancing performance strength, as well as improving focus with children and relaxing hyperactivity
Sophrology is well known in France in the medical world:
It was created in 1960 by Dr Caycedo who studied psychiatry and philosophy, as well as eastern techniques of relaxation.
It was later developed in Switzerland for sports purposes by Dr Abrezol.
Since then, it has been a successful tool used in education, social institutions, in the corporate world or simply in everyday life management.
How does it work?
There is no massage involved, or any strenuous exercises. Anyone can practice sophrology safely, adapting techniques according to personal limitations.
You will learn to relax your mind and your body, sitting or standing, as the sophrology educator leads the session. According to the client's needs, exercises can involve deeper relaxation, breathing or dynamic exercises.
After each session, the clients will be able to take home individual exercises to practice, techniques can be developed following instructive videos.
The clients take responsibility for their own sophrology at home or at work, sometimes a few minutes a day will make a whole difference to their life, in some cases it will take a few sessions only to resolve issues, as long as the techniques are repeated at home.
Educated in France, I first trained and qualified as a primary school teacher in the French state system, where I built up my teaching experience before moving on to further teaching experience in England as a French teacher in the secondary school system, then as a French teacher in the French system in London, namely the renowned French Lycée Charles de Gaulle.
I continued studying through my professional life and obtained a Cambridge Certificate of Profiency in English, a French degree in English, followed by the CAPES, a higly regarded French diploma to teach English.
This gave me the opportunity to teach English back in my native country, as well as in the French Lycée Charles de Gaulle in London, where I taught Cambridge Certificate courses to French students aged 15 to 17. I later had the priviledge to work in a well established bilingual nursery school in London.
Teaching came to an end in 2010 when I moved from London to Kent to enjoy a different quality of life.
My husband is British and my 2 sons are both bi-national and bi-lingual.
I enjoy family life, hosting friends and cooking for them, travelling and everything creative.
When I burnt out whilst accumulating experiences of parenthood, personal problems, work and studies, I diverged to the unpaid, "self development" world of opportunities where I discovered myself for myself with art, martial arts, sports and yoga, creative writing and bookclubs.
HOW I FOUND SOPHROLOGY
I didn't come to sophrology, it came to me in the form of a talented Fench speaker who is the founder of the Sophrology Academy in Canterbury, and who gave a talk about sophrology, followed by a taster, to our local French Circle.
Her words resonated in me as if all forms of self development I knew could be gathered in one called sophrology.
Indeed, as I learnt during my 2 year course at the Academy, sophrology uses and mixes various essences of eastern and western self development techniques to work at best for every individual.
MY OWN CONCLUSION
I have not replaced my favorite activities by sophrology, sophrology has enhanced everything positive I do in my life. As an example, when training for my black belt grading in karate at the age of 55, I was able to control my nervousness and pace myself with focus and a clarity of mind rarely felt before.
Why is it different?
It's been practised for 55 years
Sophrology has been used successfully by several thousands of practitioners in France and around the world, it was created long before mindfulness became popular in the United States.
It's a great life tool
The practitioner merely guides the clients to allow them to rediscover their own resources such as breathing, the 5 senses, imagination, concentration and their individual mobility. Combined with the repetition of simple exercises and the adaptabilty to suit all ages and fitness levels, the awareness of the body develops freely to improve health and well-being.
Its principles are simple
Sophrology is a holistic approach: it works on the harmony of body and mind. The main sophrology principles are: positive attitude, body awareness and objective reality. Dynamic relaxation is an original feature of sophrology. So are the pauses, to listen to and integrate body sensations, and the end of session dialogue to place words on them.
Present Future Past
Sophrology works on the present of the person, with the here and now exercises.
Once it is felt by both practitioner and client that the 'present' techniques are integrated, it is possible to move on to further levels of development to work on the future of the client.
The work on the past is regarding positive memories and how they shape our present and future. It is possible, under guidance, to use them to rediscover capacities we need again.