Learning to listen to your own body’s wisdom

Sybille Lindner, founder of FlowForm Rehab & Physiotherapy, aims to show Namibians the healing benefits of embracing a slower pace and aligning with the natural rhythms our bodies crave.
Henriette Lamprecht
Human beings are vastly different and require diverse
healing approaches, with the most effective approaches
guided by their body's own wisdom.
You cannot heal if you don't understand what is
happening in your own mind and body. This extends not
only to scientific knowledge about how the body and
mind work but also to being able to connect to one's own
intuitive wisdom about what is needed to heal, says
Sybille Lindner of FlowForm Rehab & Physiotherapy.
The treatment programmes she designs are much more
valuable and effective when she takes into consideration
what the person feels they need rather than telling them
what she thinks they need.
“The more a person understands themselves, the better
they are at knowing what they need to heal. There is no
one healing technique that helps everyone, and each
person must learn for themselves what works for their
own unique body and mind.”
She wants to help people learn about their own
uniqueness and show them the wide variety of tools that
are available, so they can try them out and find what
works for them.
“It seems to me that many health issues we have
nowadays happen as a result of being disconnected from
our own selves. Trauma does that, pain does that too,
and our modern lifestyles pushing us too far and making
us override our own senses create a disconnection from
our own nature.”
Growing closer to nature
We forget that we are nature too, says Sybille.
We heal at the pace at which a plant grows; we are made
to move through the world at our walking pace; we are
meant to process the sensory inputs we get in a forest or
the ocean rather than virtual and artificial environments.
“Living a life too far removed from natural environments
overloads our sensory systems and wreaks havoc on our
internal regulatory systems that maintain our health.
Every person who has ever felt drawn to the fresh ocean
breeze or the way the wind sounds in the trees knows
this. We have to remember that we are natural organic
beings and not machines.”
Being out in nature helps us realise this. She explains that
nature is not just a tool we can use to recharge or heal
ourselves; it is our natural home. Our bodies return to
their own natural balance when spending enough time in
nature, and this effect is much stronger when we
connect to the natural elements in an intentional way.
“I want to show people how it is okay, and very healing,
to stop running at the pace that modern lifestyles
demand and to relax into the natural rhythms our bodies
want to move in. And perhaps, over time, we can create
new systems that recognise the natural within ourselves
and allow us the freedom to live and breathe in tune
with nature.”
Mindful retreats
When curating a retreat, Sybille focuses on what she
believes people need and builds a programme around
that. Her last retreat was based on the theme of reconnecting
to the natural elements to recognise the need for living
in a natural way. All movement and mindfulness
practices were centred around this intention.
“I also consider what would be inspiring and valuable for
people to experience. I like showing people other ways of
doing things, perhaps a little out of the box, to stretch
the limits of what they thought was possible or allowed,
so they can widen their field of possibilities and find what
speaks to them. I like my retreats to be a little different,
to explore and play with different ways of connecting to
ourselves, so we can find what works for us.”
Sybille emphasises that retreats are not meant to be just
relaxing holidays or tours to see as many tourist
attractions as possible. Rather, they are safe spaces in
which people can play, experience, and learn more about
themselves, inspiring real transformation.
Even though her physiotherapy training has been
focused very much on the physical aspects of health, it
has also emphasised the fact that health is a balance
between the physical, mental, emotional, and social
aspects of a person and that these aspects all influence
each other in complex ways.
"Through my experience working with my patients over
the last 13 years, I have found that these interactions are
much more complex than conventional medical science
accepts. I have found much more value in mind-body
therapies for my own personal health than with only a
medical approach.”
Holistic approach
Sybille’s additional studies on the fascia and the nervous
system have helped her create techniques and
approaches that work on both mind and body. The
deeper she understands the nervous system as a bridge
between the two, the more she can connect to what her
body, mind and soul need at any moment.
“I have several daily tools I use to help regulate my
nervous system and bring mind and body in alignment. I
allow my own body's wisdom and intuition to guide me
as to which of those tools are appropriate at that time.”
Sybille likes having a wide toolbox that she can pick and
choose from rather than strict routines of daily practices,
as this personally works better for her. Her tools include
different kinds of breathing techniques, movement
practices like yoga, Tai Chi, Qi gong, intuitive movement,
and sensory integration techniques like connecting to her
body's inner sensations and emotions and working
through them as they arise.
“I keep learning so much about the influence of
movement, breath, food, relationships, trauma,
thoughts, beliefs, and daily emotional processing have on
my overall health, and there is always more to learn.”
The holistic understanding of her own health and
applying this understanding by using and developing her
own tools have been essential to maintaining her own
personal physical and mental health, says Sybille.
“The tools I use to keep my mind and body aligned have
become such an integral part of my lifestyle that this is
who I am now rather than something I do for my health.”
Finding balance
More and more people are struggling with complex
chronic conditions for which the medical world just has
no solutions, says Sybille, because of an overly
reductionist model for dealing with complex human
“We forgot that it is humans we are trying to help, not
machines. We are realising that real healing comes from
guiding ourselves through the process rather than
handing over responsibility to a healthcare professional.”
In her opinion, healthcare professionals should support
people on their journey to find what they need and what
works for them, rather than imposing their beliefs about
what is effective on all their patients. “The person
needing healing is the best person to heal themselves,
but they need support on this journey.
“We are busy changing generations of conditioned
beliefs about what health means and what is needed for
But instead of perpetuating separation between us,
Sybille believes the best way to bring more healing into
the world is to collaborate and find ways to bring skills
together, helping each other find what works best for
ourselves and our loved ones.
“There is value in all forms of existing healthcare, and
when we make our fundamental intention one of self-
empowerment and collaboration, everyone will benefit
and heal.”
Sybille tries to aim for balance in all things, allowing
herself the freedom to choose what she does based on
how she feels in the moment.
“I allow myself to live in cycles and rhythms, not forcing
myself to do the same routine every day just because it
worked then. We are complex beings; we need many
different things. Being out in nature is always the best for
recharging me, and even more so when I make time to
intentionally connect to it. Intentionally slowing down
and connecting with nature are my best tools that help
me personally, because that is what my unique body and
mind need.”
Facebook: FlowForm Rehab & Physiotherapy; [email protected]