Introduction

"Life happens at the level of events not words. Trust movement." - Alfred Adler

What if we had a way to get to the deeper levels of our being? We do. It is through our own bodies. The language of the body, spoken through movement, can aid in identifying unconscious determinants of behavior. Body language may also signal the emotions that provoke or accompany behavior, and sometimes even indicate the motivation behind it. Most studies of body language have focused on facial expression and gestures, but many other signals that are also transmitted nonverbally have not received the same kinds of attention.

Princess Diana and Elizabeth DoleThis book explores the significance of a relatively overlooked aspect of body language, that is, the frequent, brief self-touching motions that occur in response to internal cues. These movements are clear indicators of the state of a person's mind and seem to reflect the efforts of the unconscious mind to bring the person into balance -- not only to physical homeostasis, but to mental and emotional balance as well.

The premise of this work is that conflict has an associated physical response, and is often accompanied by self-referential touching of one's body, which symbolically manifests what one is thinking and feeling. While the physical response may be perceived consciously, it is often barely perceptible to the conscious mind. Just as frequently, the individual is unaware of any sensation that has caused him to bring the hand to the body, head, or limbs, or show other signs of this personal body language.

While the impetus to these movements seems to be the body's effort to regulate energy distribution and flow, the benefit of the concomitant symbolism is that we can decipher the associated hidden meanings.

Kinoetics is the designation I have chosen for the specific body movements that reflect unconscious mental activity (Greek kin, to set in motion + noetics, the act of knowing).


Clinton and Gore The self-referential touching that will be described has a very different significance than gestures. Gestures constitute an external or social dialogue, whereas the motions of Kinoetics reflect what is going on within oneself, an internal personal dialogue. That is, Kinoetics constitutes a personal body language and is not intended for communication with others.

While the overall impression (gestalt) of such a motion is perceptible to other individuals, they usually do not consciously understand but may well intuit that the motion has significance. Curiously, even though a self-referential touch concerns highly personal material, the individual manifesting a Kinoetic response is most often unaware of the significance of the movement -- that it has meaning. To gain an understanding of the meaning of one's own body language, a heightened conscious attention -- awareness of what one is feeling and doing -- is required. 



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