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The National Council of Psychotherapists

Est. 1971


Spirituality, in the body


By Asaf Rolef Ben-Shahar


Human beings belong to two kingdoms: the kingdom of the bodies - the mortal sphere, and the kingdom of spirits - the immortal, divine sphere. Being spiritual without attending the body is disembodied; we will die unless we respect our physical side and take care of our bodies. Being physical without attending the spirit is dull and disenchanted; we disrespect our creators and our souls unless we honour our higher being.


The bible describes this space of belonging to the two kingdoms, in two sequential phrases: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" and "You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour" (Psalms 8:4-5).


When we see ourselves only as bodies, we actually ignore our spiritual and immortal nature: we stress our animalistic side. When there is no space for spirit, there is no true healing. Equating ourselves with our physical identity results in isolation and vulnerability, in aggression and fear (of others, of exposure, of deterioration and death). To heal and accept death, to strive and to maintain balance - we need something that is bigger than ourselves. When we accept ourselves as spiritual beings, then our bodies are the physical manifestation of our spirituality. We then not only pay respect to our spirit and soul, transcending death and fear into bonding with love, but we are also more likely to take good care of our earthly bodies. When we genuinely recognise our spirituality, we make the effort to supply our body with the necessary conditions to blossom and grow. 


True spirituality is about inclusion and love, not exclusion - it is about including body, mind and spirit together. In terminal illness, or chronic diseases it is even more crucial to include all parts, to encourage healing. This is why, I believe, western-medicine alone is not enough in the treatment of HIV, Cancer and other chronic or terminal diseases. Our bodymind connection needs to be respected in the light of our spirit.


Spirituality is about giving in to a higher power - within us and outside us. When a football player perceives himself only as an individual - he will try to hold the ball as long as possible, to gain respect on the expense of others. On the other hand, when he can see himself as belonging to a group, he would do anything to support the group, and himself - as a part of the group. He will have more resources to win, and would also treat himself better - allowing himself to express his talents, while using others to help his weaknesses.


By recognising our spirituality we do the same, and we are therefore more likely to be healthy in our bodies, minds and spirits. In Integrative-Massage-Therapy (IMT), as well as in many other bodymind approaches, you are encouraged to find all those aspects in yourself and express them fully.


Recognising your spirituality is like looking at yourself through the eyes of god: God will surely want you to be as happy and fulfilled as possible, and by accepting your spirituality, and honouring your body, you allow this divinity to act through you in this direction.


Integrative Massage Therapy (IMT) is a new, innovative therapeutic approach that combines bodywork, body-psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and stress management. It is a journey to find health and balance through the body.


I offer a safe and respectful place to explore what it means to be you, and to allow you to express life more fully in you. I offer you support and guidance to explore deeper levels of being. You will have a chance to observe patterns and attitudes, and as they change to notice how your life change as well.


In the sessions we might use various modalities to de-stress, balance and strengthen your immune system, your body and your mind. Body Processes include movement and massage, Reichian processes and Meridian therapies. Conscious process include various Stress-Management and psychotherapeutic approaches. Unconscious processes draw from hypnotherapy and shamanic journeys, NLP, storytelling and healing.



Asaf Rolef Ben-Shahar: Integrative Massage Therapy (IMT), Hypnotherapy, NLP and Stress-Management

Contact Details:


Tel: 01707-661501, email: , web:


Practice Details:


  • Bliss (Portobello Rd, London): 020-89693331

  • The Bassett Clinic (St Albans): 01727-656687



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