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  • Writer's pictureCasey Becker

Creation of Body Image

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

Before we start trying to change how you experience your body, we first have to understand

how body image is created. It is very literally a brain issue. Imagine that I ask you to close your

eyes and hold out your hands. In one hand, I put a stapler. In the other, I put a tennis ball. You

would clearly be able to identify the items, without opening your eyes. Why? Because of how

they feel.

The touch receptors in your hands send information to the sensory and motor cortices of your

brain, which are located between your ears, across the very top of your head. Your brain takes

this information and forms images and compares those images to the memories of things you’ve

seen and touched before. When you open your eyes, the visual information confirms the image

in your brain.

It is this feedback loop, the interaction between your senses and memories, that allows you to

identify the objects in your hands. Body image is created in the same way. Your brain is

constantly collecting information about your body in time and space. It uses this information to

tell you what you need, how to move, and when something is wrong. Normally, this is a

beautifully efficient process.

Unfortunately, many, many things can disrupt the process and result in a disrupted experience

of your own body. Trauma, eating disorders, social anxiety, weight swings and many others

change the structure and function of your sensory and motor cortices. I don’t have to tell you

that the consequence is profound psychological pain. It is the mental equivalent of walking on a

broken leg. The pain is overwhelming, constant, and corrosive.

The good news is that the brain is plastic. We can change this feedback loop and create a more

accurate, less painful experience of your body.

If you’d like to talk more or see how I might be able to help, please schedule an appointment or

check me out on social media!


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