From conscious movement to unconscious movement By Jean Dorff

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 Gary Zukav, a renowned author says, “Every intention sets energy into motion whether you are conscious of it or not”.

For this article, please pay attention to the differences and relationships between conscious and unconscious movements versus controllable and uncontrollable movements.

There is a constant process of motions in our bodies such as breathing, bloodstream, lymph system etcetera. The majority of motions in our body are beyond most people’s ability to control. Although we can bring these movements to a level of consciousness, most of us can only control them to some extent, if at all.

There is little or no reason to bring these uncontrollable motions to our consciousness, but there is rationale in bringing controllable movements from our consciousness to unconsciousness.

Learning to control a movement is a conscious process. After we master the movement, we can bring it into our unconsciousness. A simple example is harnessing one’s typing skills. First we teach our fingers where each letter and character is located on the key board.  Once we master this step, our fingers can type with  the speed of our thoughts. Being conscious of every individual movement would only slow down the motions of our fingers. Ergo by bringing ‘learned and therefore controlled movements’ to our unconsciousness, we can speed up the execution of these individual movements tremendously, especially when performed in succession.

This principle is used a lot by dancers of all disciplines. A dancer constantly practices movements with a conscious mind, then allowing the movements to sink into their unconscious mind. The dancer can now execute endless and complex combinations of individual motions with remarkable speed.  There is however a big caveat here.

The higher the quality the dancer practices these individual movements, the higher the caliber of the movements will be when performed in a large sequences.

These sequences are known as dancing.


The Cognitive Benefits of Movement Reduction: Evidence From Dance MarkingEdward C. Warburton, Margaret Wilson, Molly Lynch and Shannon Cuykendall Psychological Science 2013 24: 1732 originally published online 17 July 2013


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