Introduction to Module 5

Your body and brain has an immense capacity for healing and improving your emotional well-being as long as certain physical needs are met. This includes the need for a nutrient rich diet, supplements (unfortunately diet alone doesn’t provide enough nutrients), rest, relaxation, sleep, physical activity, sunlight and a healthy environment, and the need to be minimally exposed to smoking, excessive amounts of sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Many health and mental problems will often improve or even resolve just by meeting these needs. When provided in balance and moderation they enable the bodymind to do what it does best, that is heal and restore balance.

The Nine Physical Needs


Physical Need 1- Diet & Supplementation involves nourishing your body-mind with high quality food, water and nutrients in order to prevent disease and ensure optimum emotional health and functioning

Physical Need 2 - Personal Hygiene involves taking actions to ensure that your body is kept clean and maintained

Physical Need 3 - Physical Activity involves exercising and moving your body in a way that improves and maintains aerobic capacity, flexibility and muscle mass and tone

Physical Need 4 - Sleep involves providing your bodymind with adequate amounts of restorative sleep

Physical Need 5 - Rest involves taking unstructured periods of not-doing (rest)

Physical Need 6 - Relaxation involves proactively triggering the relaxation response of your bodymind

Physical Need 7 - Optimal Breathing involves a series of exercises and techniques which harness breathing in order to bring about greater health, healing, insight and personal growth

Physical Need 8 - Mental Aerobics involves the regular use of a variety of mental workouts designed to improve mental performance and prevent brain-related diseases

Physical Need 9 - Healthy Environment involves living and working within an environment that nourishes and enhances your well-being

This all sounds like quite hard work, but most of them won’t be relevant to you and the physical needs audit will help you prioritize those which you should focus on. For example a client of mine Tom, was already doing pretty well on diet, supplements, physical activity and sleep, so he ended up focusing on rest, relaxation and optimal breathing. Another client, Clare, lived in a healthy environment, had a high standard of personal hygiene and was good at relaxing and resting, however she did little physical activity and her diet wasn’t great (it was high in sugar and low in fruit and vegetables). So she started with diet and supplements and physical activity


The Physical Needs Audit

Each of the following mini-questionnaires relates to one of the nine physical needs. Whilst addressing all of the nine physical needs will ultimately be of benefit to you, you may chose want to focus initially on the ones that you score lowest with. Having completed the questionnaires, fill in the score table.


Physical Need 1 – Diet & Supplementation               no = 0, occasionally = 1, yes =2


  • Do you eat less than five servings of fruit and vegetables a day?                                    
  • Do you feel that your diet is in any way negatively impacting on your health?            
  • Do you eat sugary snacks more than once a day?                                                          
  • Do you have cravings for certain foods?                                                                                             
  • Do your energy levels dip at certain times of the day?                                                        
  • Do you eat more processed food than fresh food?                                                                               
  • Are you overweight or obese?                                                                                               
  • Would you like to find out more about diet and supplementation?                                  


TOTAL                                                                                                           ___


Physical Need 2 – Personal Hygiene                         no = 0, occasionally = 1, yes =2


  • Do you often forget to wash your hands after sneezing or using the toilet?                  
  • Do you avoid seeing your doctor or seeking medical attention even though you know you should?                                                                                                             
  • Do you regularly go without a bath or shower every day?                                                 
  • Do you not use a condom or another form of contraception when having sex?              
  • Do you brush your teeth less than twice a day?                                                                   
  • Do you see a dental hygienist less than once a year?                                                        
  • Do you go for the recommended health screenings?                                                           
  • Would you like to find out more about personal hygiene?                             


TOTAL                                                                                                           ___


Physical Need 3 – Physical Activity                                       no = 0, occasionally = 1, yes =2


  • Do you get less than 150 minutes a week of aerobic exercise?                                          
  • Do you tend to avoid or have an aversion to physical activity or exercise?                   
  • Are you overweight or obese?                                                                                               
  • Do you rarely do strength training exercises or flexibility exercises?                 
  • Do you feel that your lack of physical activity is in anyway negatively impacting on your health?                                                                                                         
  • Do close friends or family tell you that you should exercise more?                                   
  • Do you have any chronic health problems, such as heart disease or depression?         
  • Would you like to find out more about physical activity?                                                   


TOTAL                                                                                                           ___


Physical Need 4 – Sleep                                                         no = 0, occasionally = 1, yes =2


  • Do you sleep less than seven hours a night on more than three nights a week?            
  • Do you feel that you are sleep deprived in anyway?                                                            
  • Do you rarely take time to just sit and do nothing?                                                              
  • Do you feel tired most of the time?                                                                                          
  • To you ever nod off when driving?                                                                                         
  • Do you drink alcohol on most evenings?                                                                               
  • Do you have insomnia?                                                                                                             
  • Would you like to find out more about sleep?                                                                      


TOTAL                                                                                                           ___


Physical Need 5 – Rest                                                          no = 0, occasionally = 1, yes =2


  • Do you rarely take time to just sit and do nothing?                                                              
  • Do you tend to fill your time with things to do?                                                                    
  • Do you find it hard to switch off and be still?                                                                       
  • Are you involved in a creative endeavour?                                                                           
  • Is your life over-structured?                                                                                                    
  • Do you have a strong need to control?                                                                                 
  • Do you find it hard to let-go?                                                                                                   
  • Would you like to find out more about rest?                                                                         


TOTAL                                                                                                           ___


Physical Need 6 – Relaxation                                     no = 0, occasionally = 1, yes =2


  • Are you in need of relaxation?                                                                                                 
  • Do you live a stressful life?                                                                                                       
  • Do find it hard to de-stress and relax?                                                                                     
  • Do you feel stressed most of the time?                                                                                   
  • Do you struggle to manage your stress?                                                                                
  • Do you think stress is negatively affecting your health/life?                                              
  • Do you get easily irritated, upset or anxious?                                                                        
  • Would you like to find out more about relaxation?                                                               

TOTAL                                                                                                           ___


Physical Need 7 – Optimal Breathing                                    no = 0, occasionally = 1, yes =2


  • Do you think your breathing is anything less than free, full and healthy?                       
  • Do you tend to breath shallowly?                                                                                            
  • Do you tend to hold or restrict your breath when emotionally?                                         
  • Are you not aware of your breathing most of the time?                                                       
  • Are you stressed or do you have stress-related symptoms?                                                             
  • Are you interested in becoming more present moment focused?                                       
  • Does your belly hardly move when you breath?                                                                   
  • Would you like to find out more about optimal breathing?                                                 


TOTAL                                                                                                           ___


Physical Need 8 – Mental Aerobics                                       no = 0, occasionally = 1, yes =2


  • Do you have a family history of dementia?                                                                            
  • Are you concerned about your memory or ability to concentrate?                                    
  • Do you rarely train your brain with puzzles, crosswords etc?                                             
  • Do you fail to actively stimulate your mind on a daily basis (TV doesn’t count)?                                                                                                                  
  • Would you like a healthier more flexible mind?                                                                      
  • Would you like to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease?                         
  • Would you like to find out more about mental aerobics?                                                    


TOTAL                                                                                                           ___


Physical Need 9 – Healthy Environment                               no = 0, occasionally = 1, yes =2


  • Do you use toxic household cleaning materials?                                                                  
  • Are you exposed to significant air pollution?                                                                       
  • Do you have mercury amalgam fillings?                                                                                
  • Is your home and/or work environment cluttered?                                                              
  • Do you drink chlorinated and/or fluoridated tap water?                                                      
  • Do you have an alarm clock radio next to your bed or an electrical blanket under it?                                                                                                                        
  • Do you spend most of your time indoors?                                                                             
  • Would you like to find out more about a healthy environment?                                       


TOTAL                                                                                                           ___


Having completed the questionnaires, the next step is to transfer your scores to the chart below or, if you prefer, to a notecourse or journal. A score of four or more on any questionnaire suggests that you would benefit from reading about and addressing that physical need.


Physical Need                                                                         Your score     


1          Diet & Supplementation

2          Personal Hygiene

3          Physical Activity

4          Sleep

5          Rest

6          Relaxation

7          Optimal Breathing

8          Mental Aerobics

9          Healthy Environment


Physical Needs 1 – Diet & Supplementation


These are covered in module six


Physical Need 2 – Personal Hygiene - click here

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