I am happy and grateful to Hiba Giacoletto who did an interview with me on the benefits of bodywork in April 2016 for Know it all.
Freedom Through the Body: Interview with Rita Rütsche
We tend to forget this, but the body is key when it comes to eating, and the way we listen and relate to our bodies can make all the difference when it comes to changing our eating habits.
This is an interview I did with Rita Rütsche, a practitioner with a unique approach to the body. I met Rita through her MLC group class (more on this below) and individual Grinberg sessions and found them both so helpful in allowing me to increase awareness of my body that I wanted to find out more about the way she approaches the body.
What exactly do you do?
I teach people to become more aware of their bodies so they can change disturbing behaviour patterns in their lives. I help them become conscious of how they walk through life, and what made them into the person they are today.
Through this process, they become aware of conditioning and influences. They are then able to find the freedom to make choices that are more fitting to their qualities and potential, that come from their heart, rather than being driven by common beliefs and other people’s expectations.
This is important because we are constantly influenced by the beliefs of our parents, our surroundings, our teachers at school etc from the moment we are born. Even though their aim is to provide a frame to grow and evolve in, they also transmit their fears, pains and limiting beliefs about life and about ourselves.
So even though these sources of influence give us a sense of security because of their familiarity, they also create dissatisfaction, physical discomfort and erroneous choices in our lives.
To be more precise: We are less afraid when we know what is right and wrong. When we know what is expected. When we can simply do what is expected. One of the basic biological human needs to grow and evolve is the need to be loved and get attention. Children will do anything to get love and attention from their parents.
For example, if it is very important to my parents that I become a doctor or a banker, there is a good chance that I will try to satisfy their ideology and do my best to become what they approve of, despite the fact that I might feel that there is always something missing in my life or that I lose strength and joy. The same is true with parents who would like to have an actor or a musician in the family when we would actually prefer to work in an office or become an architect for example.
When people first come for an individual session I do an assessment through their feet called foot analysis, since behaviour patterns, all kinds of blockages and physical discomfort are visible on the feet.
What is the role of the body in all this?
The body is reality. It cannot lie.
It has specific requirements to be able to function like sleeping, eating, rest etc. If we do not respect the basic needs of the body, we become sick or unhappy.
So in this way, the body doesn’t care about belief systems. It doesn’t care if we are driving it to exhaustion because of a belief about the need to be successful. All it knows is that it is exhausted.
For example, on an emotional level, the body doesn’t care that I believe it isn’t safe to get angry because this is the message I got from my family. When anger shows up, it shows up in the body. We can try to suppress it or not feel it, but the effect will still be there, the body experiences it and will create tension. Chronic tension leads to a dysfunction in the body and becomes a breeding ground for sickness or conditions like backache, headaches, hernias, heartburn etc.
The shape of the body can be a reflection of something that is going on for us. For example, extra weight can be a shield when it is not safe to feel attractive or we want to avoid being hurt again in a relationship.
Is it easier to live according to our hearts rather than our conditioning?
I don’t think it’s easier. It needs more courage, it takes more attention. A good dose of humor is helpful also since we take ourselves way too seriously when driven by our beliefs. Yet living according to our hearts leads to a more fulfilling, meaningful, happier life. We end up doing what’s most dear to us rather than what we’re supposed to do.
Could you share an example?
I had a client who came from a very close-knit family – to the point where it was seen as a betrayal for her to do things on her own. She felt guilty and anxious each time she had to leave for a business trip.
In the learning process through the body, she learned to manage her fears and guilt differently and gradually became free to choose who she wanted to spend time with, to do what she enjoyed on her own and also choose the times when she wanted to be with her family. Today, she knows how to tackle anxiety, has much more energy and joy in her life and has a real social life and friends.
She discovered through her body how much she had been ‘twisting’ herself into trying to fit the family rules and the cost on her life and sense of freedom.
Another example is a girl of 14 that had strong period pains and missed school 2 days every months. Through our bodywork she learned to work with physical pain and the fear of it and now gets her period without pain.
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to make people free and aware of their automatic behaviour patterns, their conditionings which act like computer programs they don’t even realise are running in the background and controlling their lives.
I wish to make people aware that they have the keys to their freedom and happiness inside them. The body is a precious tool in unfolding our potential and leading a fulfilled and happy life using all our qualities on a physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual level.
Who would you be without this conditioning? Who are you really?
What methods do you use?
Various methods have shaped my path; Yoga, The Grinberg Method, MLC (Méthode de Libération des Cuirasses), Hsin Tao, EFT etc. All these tools appear in my individual learning processes and workshops. There are many tools to awareness nowadays, the idea is to find a discipline and practical way to apply them in every day life since it takes practice.
Mark Twain said: “A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.”
It takes courage to choose listening to your heart instead of “secure” patterns because this requires us to be attentive and alive. And life then is intense and wonderful.
Saturday 23 April Du mensonge à la réalité from 9:00 – 13:00, a workshop in French with various exercises to become aware of behaviour patterns that are limiting me in my life.
MLC (Méthode de Libération des Cuirasses) Class in English: Practical exercises to learn to relax and pay attention to the body and it’s limits.
Every Monday 18h45 regular MLC classes in French from 18h45 to 20h15
All courses take place at Place des Augustins, 1205 Geneva. Individual sessions, foot analysis in French or English or German take place at 15, rue des Voisins, 1205 Geneva every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.