Body Sensations Wheels

HS Body Sensations Wheels System

Below, you will find human body diagrams and HS Body Sensations Wheels, designed to aid in locating, characterizing, and processing body sensations. You can purchase laminated color copies (available to ship in U.S. or Canada) or PDF downloads of the HS Body Sensation Wheels System in the HS Shop. The Human Systems Body Sensations Wheels are protected by U.S. copyright law. Please see the Human Systems Fair Use Policy for guidelines around acceptable use of the HS Wheels, as well as licensing information.

Why I Made the HS Body Sensations Wheels

According to my research and experience, identifying and processing sensations in my body is a critical skill for physical and emotional wellbeing because it helps me identify and process my emotions and needs, which helps me make better choices. Internal and external body sensations, such as those related to temperature and pressure, are a constant ingredient in my “emotional stew” (thoughts, experiences, and sensations), and increasing mindfulness around body sensations has led to my increased awareness and acceptance around my emotions and needs. Increased awareness of my emotions and needs has produced a myriad of benefits, including increases in my physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, as well as improvements in my relationships and systems.

Unfortunately, I was conditioned to ignore sensations in my body (you may have had a similar experience). My inability to feel things in my body was compounded by past physical and mental trauma. Before I learned about the importance of being aware of sensations in my body, I tended to ignore or avoid my body as much as possible (no small feat, given that I have to carry it around with me wherever I go). I would disregard sensations until they became too painful to ignore and often required urgent medical attention. Even when I became more ready to pay attention to what my body needed to tell me and found that I now had the opportunity to more effectively process old and new hurts, I found that I did not have the language to do so.

I created the HS Body Sensations Wheels System to help us more easily identify our body sensations. I developed the System using a technique similar to the one I used to develop the HS Emotion Wheels and Needs Wheels.

About the Body Sensations Wheels System

The HS Body Sensations Wheels System includes diagrams of the human body and wheels of words that describe body sensations. I designed the body diagrams to include front and back external views of the human body that are divided halfway into male and female features, and an internal view with major organs and some muscle groups (also divided halfway into male and female features). I purposefully included sexual features because I noticed that these were often left out of similar tools and I think they are important to consider when thinking about body sensations. The body diagram skin color is, according to my research, the world median human skin tone.
The two wheels have words to assist users in characterizing physical sensations related to movement, function, temperature, pressure, space, and composition.
Suggestions for Use
The intention for use (although ultimately it’s up to you), is to first identify areas of sensation using the external and internal views of the body, and then hone in on the quality of the sensation using the wheels. The tool can be used for specific physical sensations, as well as whole-body qualities and qualities of less obvious physical processes, such as thoughts.

1) First, take a moment to notice what is happening in your body. Then, use the front and back external body diagrams to note areas of sensation.

2) Next, choose one area of sensation to characterize using language from one or both Body Sensation Wheels. If the sensation feels like it has movement (ex. “twitchy” or “bubbling”) or is an action (ex. “breathing” or “smiling”), or is a body function (ex. “nauseous” or “sleepy”) you can review the words on the Actions, Functions, & Movements Wheel.

If the sensation is related to temperature, pressure, or something more subtle, you might want to start with the Space, Pressure, Temperature, and Composition Wheel. The Pressure section includes words for pain. The Space section includes words that indicate size and space, such as “clogged” or “empty”. Composition words indicate the quality of a body part, such as “stiff”, “stretchy”, or “electric”.

3) You can also use language from the Wheels to characterize whole-body sensations, such as if you are feeling “shimmery” or “tiny”, as well as less obvious body parts, such as your thinking process, which may feel “clear” or “dark”.

4) Some people prefer to start in the outermost ring of a wheel and “browse” the words until they find one that resonates – you can do that too.

HS Body Sensations Wheel

Action, Functions, & Movements

HS Body Sensations Wheel

Space, Pressure, Temperature & Composition

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