Body language and what it teaches us

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Body language and what it teaches us

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According to The universal language of the body by Philippe Turchet.


  1. Transient emotions and permanent emotions
  2. Left brain and right brain
  3. Micro-itching
  4. The symbolism of the body is universal
  5. The neck is the royal road to emotions
  6. The back, an eminently symbolic area
  7. Shoulders to support
  8. The body thinks out loud

We don't realize it, but more than 80 of our exchanges go through channels other than words.

The body speaks, it expresses all of our emotions, both those we want to keep to ourselves and those we want to transmit.

The American researcher Robert Rosenthal measured the impact of non-verbal language, that of the body, in daily communication. It is astonishing !

It starts in childhood: the newborn communicates face to face after birth. Little by little, his mother teaches him to decode the world, through her bodily expressions. In the animal kingdom, too, baby monkeys learn to be afraid of snakes when they see their mother fleeing. In adults, the non-verbal first impression is decisive in human contact. This is true in romantic relationships as well as in job interviews !

It is moreover this language faculty of the body which is the spring of empathy that is to say the ability to understand what the other feels: the brain makes us feel his experience because it naturally decodes the micro-movements of his face and his body. We thus perceive the physical pain of a being because the same brain areas, as those active when he is in pain, are activated in us. Thanks to the action of mirror neurons, we unconsciously make the same areas of the brain work as it does.

We also speak of emotional intelligence: we prioritize the information that arrives to us based on emotional criteria.

This body language has no borders: whether we are Asian, Western or African, if we experience an emotion, it will be readable on our face. Of course, each of us has a gestural heritage which is specific to him and which differs from one individual to another. But if the brain registers an emotion, it will display on the body whether the person is aware of it or not. This will result in gestures, positions, micro-movements, eye blinks, etc., …

Jacques Lacan said well: I speak with my body, and this without knowing it. So I always say more than I know.

Emotions related to body language

Transient emotions and permanent emotions

Some emotions cause us pleasure, others pain. These emotions can be fleeting or on the contrary repeat themselves regularly and become emotions background. In this case, the emotion ends up transforming in a characteristic way the physiognomy of the person. For example, anger often causes folds between the eyes and a tightening of the face. If anger becomes a character trait of the individual, their face will bear these folds and contraction permanently. We will then speak of wrinkled, that is to say, lasting features that are expressed on the face.

This is how people who live in anxiety often have a tense face, even when no particular event worries them.

Certain emotions, like fear, cause the shoulders to rise and contract. A lasting fear can modify the morphology of the individual who keeps the shoulders contracted and the neck retracted. We can cite the case of a child who was beaten throughout his youth; the fear of his father shaped his adult morphology, his shoulders were so tight that he seemed to no longer have a neck.

It is when the morphology of the individual is reached that it is important to find the tools to release physical tensions see the offer massage device of Cervi-Care and give it the possibility of rediscovering a natural movement that is more harmonious and more fulfilling.

Left brain and right brain

Right and left hemisphere of the brain

The human brain is made up of two hemispheres: the right hemisphere which welcomes emotions, founds feelings, and the left hemisphere which decodes logically, with vigilance and keeping a distance.

The dividing line between the two hemispheres is clearly visible in the center of the brain. Information is transmitted from one hemisphere to another by the corpus callosum. More than 99 cortical neurons work on internal communication between areas of the brain. Emotional information is received in the right hemisphere which manages the left part of the body and rational information is processed in the left hemisphere which manages the right part of the body. There is therefore a logic of crossing. If the right hemisphere is more active, it is the left half of the face and body that will manifest it, and vice versa.

The two parts of the body and the face therefore do not express the same realities.

It has been observed that babies look more at the left part of their mother's face, the part which expresses the emotions of the right brain. Or fathers choose to place their child on the left arm operated by the right brain when they want to help him fall asleep. Or, lovers most often kiss from left eye to left eye.

During intense emotions, the emotional jerk is triggered by the right hemisphere which is overactivated and which strongly irrigates the left half of the face which is dilated. When the emotions felt are positive, the left half of the face tends to open up and it closes when they are negative.

When a person decodes the information of his interlocutor, it is the left brain that works and the right half of the face that manifests itself more.

When a person is contracted, they are often more weighted in the right part of their more toned body. If the contraction is constant, it is that the stress permanently inscribed in his body. And here too, corrective measures must be taken, see Cervi-Care's offer to relieve stress.

Woman on an acupressure mat who is relaxed and de-stressed

Reduce stress with the use of an acupressure mat


The neocortex would like life to pass without upheavals. From this perspective, it stifles strong emotions. But emotions have been in the brain for millions of years. There is no question for them to be dislodged. With movements of wrinkles, heartbeats and otherses itchy, they organize an active resistance against the neocortex. They are spread in the hands that are worn on the moon or the other part of the face or body, a sign of what itches. It is the brain that gives the order to the hands to intervene, without the person being aware of it. The person feels a micro-itch and responds to it impulsively. We can say that the hand says aloud what the body thinks softly.

It is common, for example, to scratch your head when trying to find the solution to a difficult problem. Or rub your eye when you don't want to see a situation that doesn't suit you. Or scratching the back side of your head when you're in a bind. The closer the micro-itching is to the back of the neck, the more it takes on an aggressive emotional tonee. A sign that the embarrassment is increasing and so is the impulsiveness.

The itching under the nose is related to the unspoken, that is to say the lie. It is not for nothing that one speaks about the nose of Pinocchio!

Micro-itching is 6 times more present on the right part of the face than on the left, which is not surprising since it responds to the expression of the aggressiveness of others decoded by the left hemisphere of the brain.

The secondary function of micro-itching is to give capacity to the individual who moves and gesticulates to get out of a bad situation. The gesture allows the interlocutor to escape to think about the most appropriate reaction.

The symbolism of the body is universal

Human beings all have the same body, each of its parts everywhere fulfills the same physical and symbolic functions, whatever the culture considered. The mouth is always in the center of the face, it ingests food and emits sounds or words. People look at each other with their eyes, grab things with their hands, hug their loved ones and run away with their legs.

In all cultures, the sternum means the ego, the I. Having pain in the sternum is often the indication of a personal malaise, of a difficulty in finding one's place in society.

The belly is the symbol of the washhouse. Touching your belly, caressing it allows you to reassure yourself about your own possessions, to be proud of it or to worry about it, to be jealous of that of others as well.

The pool is the area of sexuality par excellence. Some men subconsciously comfort themselves by stroking their cocks. They thus assert their virility. Placing the hands on the hips reflects the quest for ascendency and authority.

The arms are links. They allow the relationship. But they are also weapons of struggle, for whoever play big arms or which falls to shortened arms on his opponent.

The legs are, like the arms, a link in space. They bring together or they move away. They say Yes getting closer and no while going away. We will stay closer to people we like, we will move away from those we are suspicious of.

Symbolism of the body, spine and back

The symbolism of the body through the spine and back

The face is the strategic space par excellence because it is the body's control tower, the radar that links all dimensions of information. The hands have the function of protecting it from the outside. For example, in case of fear, the hand will instinctively put on the mouth to close it and not let the fear enter. It is a gesture that does not deceive. Raising the hand to the chin indicates the person's doubt in the face of an uncertain or ambiguous situation. Putting your hands on your ears often shows that you don't want to hear what is wrong with your business.

The neck is the royal road to emotions

It is often said to have a lump in the throat or to be short of breath. The neck is the royal road taken by the emotions to reach the brain. No wonder that so many traffic jams form there and that so many neck pain are triggered!

Our necks itch where our emotions seek a passage to the outside. It is the neck that needs to be scratched: it gives the order to the hand to intervene in a specific place to relieve the itch. For example, opening your shirt collar to be able to breathe in a difficult situation. Or place your hand in the neck area, below the throat, to allow air to pass when confronted with a negative message.

The left side of the neck is itchy when we relate to someone else and wait for the opportunity to speak. The right side itches us when communication is strained and when the words are negative, when the atmosphere is symbolic violence.

The hand will rest on the neck to process the messages related to what to say or not to say.

The back, an eminently symbolic area

If there is one area of the body that has symbolic power, it is the back, as the many popular expressions show. We say well: have your back, he puts everything on my back, he has a good back, he has a big back, he made her a child in the back,. Most of these expressions refer to the weight of things and of life.

In the upper back are the trapezoids, when too heavy. These muscles contract to perform physical tasks, such as moving a cabinet for example. But they also contract when the person is entrusted with projects that are too heavy to wear, they indicate the emotional stress experienced by the individual. A white collar can experience, subjectively, as much fatigue in the upper back as a mover when he physically carries only hisson pen ! In fact, he carries responsibilities, he has to make decisions that weigh heavy. No wonder he needs massage the trapezius and relax the back at the end of the day !

Woman who massages her trapezius muscles with a Shiatsu cervical massager.

Trapezius and back massage with a Shiatsu massage device

People will have an itchy left trapezius when they feel that the situation or the events are heavy to carry, but that they want to make it, because they feel involved in the matter. When the brain energy invites them to scratch their right trapezius, it is because the general context is difficult and that it weighs too much, they disengage in the face of the weight of things. The body itself expresses what is good for it, its micro-itching testifies to this.

Below the trapezoids, the shoulder blades give amplitude to the gesturess. We will feel itchy at this height when you want to hurry but feel stopped in your tracks. On the left, because we really want to act and on the right, because we try not to get involved and to flee.

In the lower back, the kidneys express existential fatigue. When the individual instinctively places his hands on his back, he shows that he feels the weight of the world, a form of fundamental heaviness linked to his personal experience. The situations seem so heavy to him that they could cause himer a kidney turn. Here, the feeling is more diffuse than that which is expressed in the trapezoids.

Overall, the hand will be carried behind our back when we are in a difficult situation, with the desire or not to solve the problems, whether they are momentary or related to our way of life.

Shoulders for support

The shoulders are solicited to call for help, to solicit individual generosity. Shoulders shoulder others, they symbolize solidarity. We say well have broad shoulders.

In a communication situation, when the other person touches their left shoulder, they are expressing concerns with the hierarchy. He fears having to surpass himself to do what is asked of him and he doubts himself. When he touches his right shoulder he feels overwhelmed by events, it signifies that he is not up to the task. It is often because he dares not intervene that the individual is scratching, he can thus delay while being active.

In front of the shoulders, the collarbones are the key to the heart. When they itch, there is a desire to give. People stroke or scratch their collarbone in any situation where they would be willing to give more than they ask for.

Heart-shaped hand and sunset, emotion of love

The body thinks out loud

The human being is a being of emotions. He expresses some of his emotions through his gestures, and this is mixed if he also communicates them through words. In a communication situation, people's hand moves about every 6 seconds, which means they are performing aboutron 10 gestures per minute if the climate is of medium emotional intensity. These gestures tell the story of the life of the unconscious. It is important to be attentive to it, as an interlocutor, because this body language nuances the speech and completes the human exchange.ain.

Next to the emotions expressed, there is the one that we repress and which manifest in spite of ourselves, via micro-itching. The impulses that trigger in us the desire to scratch are not consciously perceived. Thanks to the micro-itching, emotional tensions emerge, find something to talk about, and can be managed so that the body finds its way back.The homeostasis that is, its balance.

When one feels a micro-itch on the right half of the body, the universe of communication is most often negative or difficult. The information is processed by the left hemisphere of the brain from a greater distance.

Body language dates back to the dawn of time: it is written in our genes, which is what makes it universal among the human species. To be attentive, it is to find our full dimension of being human.

Alternative pain treatment solutions

And you, what do you think Leave a comment to let us know and share this article on social networks!

According to The universal language of the body: understanding the human being through gestures, by Philippe Turchet, Les éditions de l'homme, 2009, Montreal-Quebec.

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  • Ada

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    Migraine, maux de tête : symbolique

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    Symbolique des maux
    Migraine, maux de tête : symbolique
    Par Fanny, le 08/06/2014

    Les maux de tête peuvent être de courte durée, se prolonger voire encore dégénérer en migraine. Tout dépendra de la problématique à l’origine des douleurs.

    En général, les maux de tête réguliers se manifestent chez les personnes intellectuelles, cérébrales, qui cherchent à tout solutionner par la pensée, le raisonnement logique en se coupant de leurs émotions.
    Symbolique de la migraine et des maux de tête

    Les points ci-dessous sont plus ou moins accentués selon que les maux de tête soient réguliers ou occasionnels. Avec la migraine, on passe au cran supérieur.

    Volonté de ne pas perdre le contrôle lors d’un problème rencontré, problème important ou non. Peur de ne pas maitriser les choses, les émotions notamment. Les émotions sont étouffées, on se coupe de ses émotions pour ne pas souffrir. Recherche de la maitrise parfaite, de la perfection dans ce qui est entrepris. Vouloir faire toujours plus, toujours mieux. Déni d’avoir un problème, une émotion : tout est sous contrôle. La personne est quelqu’un de passionné, qui fait les choses à fond et qui n’en fait jamais assez. Elle ne sait pas et ne veut pas s’arrêter par peur d’affronter quelque chose qu’elle appréhende : une angoisse, un vide, l’ennui… etc Se fixer la barre trop haut dans ce qu’on cherche à atteindre. Saturation intellectuelle et mentale. Être entêté par rapport à une situation. « Se prendre la tête » sur quelque chose. Ne pas arriver à mettre en œuvre les solutions que l’on a dans sa tête. …

    Les maux de tête, quand ils deviennent migraine, sont un moyen pour le corps de dire « Stop, repose-toi, par rapport à tel ou tel problème »

    Quand les maux de tête s’accompagnent de vomissements, on rejette violemment une situation, une émotion, un problème qui sont insupportables.

    Quand ils sont associés à une gêne à la lumière, la personne ne supporte pas ce que représente la lumière (vérité, réalité… etc).

    Retrouvez tous les articles de biodécodage dans le SOMMAIRE.
    Bibliographie :

    Le grand dictionnaire des malaises et des maladies de Jacques Martel

    Bonjour, Je suis un peu perplexe, la lecture d’articles sur le sujet ne m’aidant pas vraiment à y voir plus clair j’ai envisage d’essayer de voir ça sous l’angle symbolique à cause de la répétition d’un schéma bien précis et localisé, en fait la totalité des accidents, opérations, blessures, problèmes de santé est localisée au niveau de la tête. Des cervicales aux yeux en passant par les dents les cheveux l esthetique l aspect vasculaire et les troubles mentaux, la liste est assez impressionnante. Et ailleurs, rien, je suis en bonne santé. J’ai commencé ma vie avec un torticolis congénital non soigné qui m’a laissé une légère plagiocephalie et une corde sur le côté droit du cou. Comment peut on expliquer symboliquement un tel « tir de barrage » localisé exclusivement sur le cou et la tête ? (C’est tellement étendu et varié que je n’en finirais pas de me documenter pour chaque trouble ou défaut. ..

    Toutefois votre article a beaucoup contribue à m’aider à commencer à décrypter. Notamment du fait que le côté droit a été particulièrement vise (torticolis congénital dents manquantes oeil le plus atteint etc)
    C’est très intéressant !
    Merci :)

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