What is Insight Bodywork?

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  • Written By: Karyn Maier
  • Edited By: Jay Garcia
  • Last Modified Date: 14 January 2020
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Insight bodywork is a form of Asian bodywork developed by Barry Kapke (also known as Kondañña) that embraces an integrated therapeutic approach to meditation, movement and massage. Insight bodywork also incorporates other somatic therapies, such as acupressure and myofascial techniques. However, unlike some other therapies that utilize massage and energy medicine, the work is performed on a mat on the floor.

The primary objective of insight bodywork is to improve the flow of qi, the vital life energy force. This is achieved by employing a variety of massage techniques that include tapotement and percussion, as well as meditation and visualization. It may also involve a variety of guided movement exercises ranging from stretching to shaking and rocking. Insight bodywork often calls upon a technique known as dropping, which is the application of a sudden percussive impact on the body. Its purpose is to free the subject of blocked energy.

Insight bodywork is also about movement. In fact, the techniques used are designed to provide safe support of both mind and body while energizing both. Every joint of the body is explored to promote increased awareness and connection between the mind and body. One of the fundamental principles of insight bodywork is that wherever the mind exists in the body systems or tissue, energy will flow.


An important aspect of insight bodywork is the ability of the practitioner to improvise during sessions rather than impose a rehearsed series of techniques. In fact, synchronicity and intuitive spontaneity between subject and practitioner are key components of insight bodywork. Intent fuels the bodywork, and the practitioner exerts metta, or unconditional love and acceptance that is free of judgment and expectations.

The physiological benefits to be gained from insight bodywork are many. The work stimulates natural detoxification, enhances immunity and circulation, increases range of motion, and improves breathing. However, these benefits are viewed as consequences of the work, not its mission. By promoting balance between the mind and body, there is increased awareness of the whole person. Most importantly, this form of bodywork is a process that allows insight into the status of the mind and body and the paths to explore to eliminate energy barriers.



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