The Healing Power Of Movies

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She had been going through a stressful time in her life, and each time she came in, I worked to calm her central nervous system, but this day was different.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that her body was relaxed, so I asked, “What did you do differently this week? Whatever you did, please keep doing it! It’s helping your body stay calm!”

She replied, “It must be the movies. I saw five this week.” She had decided to see all the movies nominated this year before the Oscar’s, and she was movie-cramming to get them all in before the big night.

Intrigued, I began researching the effects of movies on my own body and psyche. What I found surprised me and made total sense.

Ever felt relieved and more relaxed after having a good cry?

Movies permit us to feel our feelings. In our society today, there is little or no time to process our emotions.

When you are touched to tears in a movie, you are often releasing unexpressed emotions from your own life.

A good cry can feel like such a relief. Letting go of feelings that have been pent up in your body and psyche can be healing and freeing.

I felt this teary release watching Maestro. 

This story of the lives of Leonard Bernstein and his wife Felicia Montealegre was a brilliantly acted and sad movie that portrayed how one can feel a complexity of emotions like love, passion, longing, joy, guilt, loss, and the satisfaction of success at different points through a marriage. 

It hit home for me why it is so important to be in touch with what we are feeling and allow our feelings to guide our choices. 

Feeling the love or joy of characters in movies can also get you more present to the joy you have in your own life. 

In The Holdovers, a stingy teacher and a rebellious and troubled teen both learn to appreciate each other though unexpected and nonideal circumstances. They manage to find the joy of Christmas and friendship by learning to see one another for who they really are.

It invited me to listen more to people in my life and see our shared humanity.  

Ever find that you have trouble turning your brain off and just relaxing?

Getting immersed in an alternate reality of a movie can give your mind and body a much-needed break from focusing on your own life. 

And in doing so, they can open us up to new possibilities and ways to think about our lives too. 

Movies or even TV series’ can open us up to new ways of being, by living them with the characters in the story.

My husband and I have been into watching old episodes of Murder She Wrote. We have found ourselves strangely addicted to watching Jessica Fletcher solve the case and save the day.

When discussing why we are so intrigued by this outdated show, I realized how comforting it feels to experience someone who is as authentic, dependable, clear, strong, and capable as Jessica Fletcher.

It gives me a sense of assurance and has even helped me feel more clarity about my own life.

When faced with a tough problem to solve, my husband and I joke, “What would Jessica Fletcher do?”

It somehow adds levity and gets us thinking more creatively.

Felt more tired of late? Feeling the pressure to do more but not the energy? 

It’s not you; ’tis the season.

As we move through this often tough transitional time between winter and spring, it might be more effective to take a break and watch a movie or a good TV show.

Chinese Medicine teaches us to live in harmony with the seasons. Winter is the time to restore and store energy for the growth Spring brings.

Chinese Medicine suggests we follow nature’s lead at this time of year and take time to rest, stay warm inside, and maybe hibernate while binge-watching a great series or batch of movies.

Even if you are in a warmer climate, the beginning portion of the year is meant for rest and rejuvenation. All of nature takes this time, and refilling your energy stores now can help you be more effective when Spring energy supports germination and growth!

Watching a TV series that gives you a fresh perspective or inspiration is a great way to refuel.

Seeing the cast of Ted Lasso at the awards shows earlier this year got me re-watching the series. It is one of my all time favorite shows… 

It is heartwarming and inspiring to witness macho football players being open and honest about their feelings. I believe this is one of those pinnacle shows that alters the way we, as a society, think and feel about being present to and expressing our emotions—-a real game changer.

To add an extra energetic benefit to your time watching movies or TV, try the relaxing, restorative exercise in the video below as you watch. It’s something I do every night to help me calm my central nervous system as we watch our favorite shows so that I get a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling rested and rejuvenated.

It’s pretty awesome and super easy to do.

Enjoy it and your movies!

PS: And, let your gut guide your movie and show choices. Watch the trailers, and see if you feel drawn. Your choices are the best for you 😉

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lara riggio

Lara Riggio is an Energy Intuitive. Her videos, classes, and sessions have helped tens of thousands discover and heal the mind/body, ancestral, and past life blocks which sabotage health and happiness. She is based in New York City, and works out of her Central Park Energy Center in Columbus Circle.