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Body rocking

Hi,

I wonder if anyone could help me figure out something... Up until about 4 years ago I would body-rock. Im now 34, from the age of I realy dont know when... since my memory started at the age of say 2 i would body rock. I'd lie on the floor and rock for between a few minutes up to 6 hours or more. I'd rock on the floor and day dream and it seems that the rocking motion would help me day dream and I'd end up in almost in a trance. It completly messed up my education... instead of studying I'd body rock and dream whenever possible.... I mean I was totaly addicted to it, it may seam strange but it got worse from childhood. Im my teens and twenties i spent most of my spare time doing this, once I got to the age to start listening to music I'd body rock with music playing, with the different type of music depending one what i wanded to dream about or vice versa. It could be for the whole weekend and I've lost so much my life doing this.... You would'nt believe. I don't believe I'm autistic... i dont seem to show any other signs... I have a good career now and live a happy life but I'd like to understand what happened to me for all those years.

I'm not entirely sure this is the right forum, maybe it should be mental health but if anyone could help me understand I would much appreciatre your thoughts! If not i will try the other forums. Thanks for your time
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Avatar universal
Wow. Im amazed of all the stories that sound exactly like my life. So thankful for all your honesty and bravery. Ever since I can remember I felt different. Whew, I got to just take it in. Thank you.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Whoah! So thankful to "Pauledh" for starting this thread back in 2009.

Like so many of you, I've been body rocking since I was a child. (I'm 47 now.)

I am so grateful to everyone who shared their stories and offered details that mirrored my own experience. I feel so much less ashamed.

I want to address the daydreaming part of body rocking: Years ago, I made a conscious decision to use the daydreaming time in a more productive way. One way is to solve problems. As an example, whenever I have a computer problem I can't figure out (some glitch that comes up that needs fixing), I'll leave my computer to body rock and use my imagination to figure out different, possible solutions. Also, every time I go on a trip involving an airplane, I body rock before I leave and see myself going through the whole process from leaving home to fastening the seat belt. Then I'm able to go through the actual experience with total ease.

I also envision upcoming conversations as well and go back over previous conversations.

Recently, I started writing fiction. I use my daydreams to envision the scenes I will write. And, just like with problem solving, if I get stuck, I always go to my couch, put headphones on, listen to music (often the same song over and over) and daydream until i figure it out. I think it's the soothing, the euphoria, and the daydreaming that makes it such a valuable tool for me.

Again, like so many of you, I experienced abuse, I was shamed for rocking, broke furniture, and keep it a secret. But after reading all these comments, I'm now seeing how it has saved, and enhanced, my life and I am so grateful for the ritual and have no desire to stop.

From my experience, as I got older, the practice would ebb and flow. I have gone months without doing it. I've also gone through phases where I did it so much I got a blood blister on my calf from sitting cross-legged for so long. (That only happened once.) I don't really question the pattern or the reasoning anymore.

I do often wonder if I'm strengthening my abs by rocking!
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1 Comments
Maybe even strengthening back muscles.  :)
I'm 50, ricked since I have had memories of rocking.  Broken springs in chairs...holes in walls from springs and Rock when I drive. I have not wrecked from it ever.   I also found ways to use it, and times in the last 10 years of it lessoning.   I remember when I was around 13 seeing another grown woman rock and I whispered a prayer to not be rocking at that age.   I have been mocked, and diagnosed, given so called reasons and suggestions on how to stop....The greatest help for me has been aging and acceptance of me as a person from my family.  I still rock,  but not entire days,  can go days without Rocking.  If in a car I cant drive without rocking,  and if I stop rocking while driving you better know something is up!''  lol.   I would problem solve while rocking, enact needed compassion or anger responses in my head.... Music is a high trigger to set off rocking.   The strange thing is....there are times now,  I think I want to go back to losing entire days rocking just for the strength I think it gave my back and ab muscles.   Creativity flowed easier, and lonliness and emotions were seemingly managed easier.  
I still rock but not to the extent of hours on end.  

Loved your post,   felt so similiar.  
Avatar universal
Hi peeps, I'm male 24 and from Ireland. I've have been rocking since I was a kid! I'd do it in my spare time and when I'd go to bed, it helps my dream about fantasy(part of the reason why I do it)! It makes me feel Awesome! I'd get this urge to do it everysingle day! I've grown out of it in the past few years but still do it 3-4 times aweek! Thought I was alone, thank you all
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Avatar universal
Yay I thought I was a nutter ! Iv been rocking for as long as I can remember. I lie in bed and rock from side to side and listen to music. Like many I do this for hours non stop but now I think it's causing back problems and it starts to hurt my spine if I do this for too long  .... but I can't stop ! Iv tried different posttions and ways of rocking but it's just not the same. Is there anyway of stopping ?? I feel like I'll never be able to stop.    

Also does anyone know psychologically what it does to our brains when we do it like are we meditating or semi hypnotised or something ? Sound stupid but it feels like a dream state trance  a lot of times.
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Avatar universal
Omg I thought I was secretly mental, me and my twin had an horrific childhood and we both head banged on our pillows until we were about 15 then it started to hurt so we stopped. The rocking though was a huge problem I used to put my music on super loud and just lose myself in house and garage, it was the most relaxing thing ever and I still do it if I have spare moment at 32. I have a partner now so I can't do it as much as I would like to and I miss it. Although I used to worry about how I would get to sleep without doing it and how I would  cope in a relationship.  I was also terrified of anyone finding out that I did a few ppl walked in on me when I was in a children's home and took the ****.which made me feel crazy. Anyway reading this and seeing how many people do it, I feel vendicated I feel like people manage stress in different ways and maybe this is just our way of dealing with stress.
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Avatar universal
I'm 19 and about to be 20 and I hate to admit that I still do this "rocking" or whatever it is.  I always have and it's definitely been a huge setback in my life.  I suppose I've always done this because it makes me happy, but I honestly wish it didn't.  There's been too many times I've chosen to rock over doing something with friend and family.  I still do this everyday unless I'm busy with something or have someone there with me.  Posting this comment is the first time I've been open to telling somebody because it is my deepest and darkest secret.  For now I plan on looking more into my issue and eventually gain enough confidence to tell people I know.  It helps me so much that all of you know what it's like and now I seriously don't feel alone.  Since I now have found you all who knows what I'm going through, please message me or chat so I can talk to someone more about it, it would help me so much   thank you all!!
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
i am 17 almost 18 and do the same thing, i lay on my back and roll side to side while i listen to music and i enjoy it greatly. when i am doing this i feel the music much more strongly and i roll to the beat of what im listening to. i feel that it is something i have to do because otherwise i have difficulty sleeping. not only do i feel the music more strongly but i also go into a sort of daydream/trance state that is much more powerful than normal daydreaming. until now i was convinced i was the only one doing this because i couldnt find anything about it online. it is quite relieving knowing im not the only one, like many other people on this post i do notice that i do it for many more hours a day than i should and it is very time consuming and i plan my day around it. i think that one reason it becomes so time consuming is simply because of how enjoyable it is, it is simply more enjoyable than anything else i would be doing.
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Avatar universal
This forum really has made me feel better about my rocking back and forth. I have been rocking (or boinking, as my parents called it) ever since I can remember and it was at it's worse when I was a teenager (I think because I was very unhappy and my parents did not understand and would get very angry), when it took over my life and I used to rock for about 6 hours a day (waking up early so I could rock before I went to school). It used to give me severe neck- and headaches as well. Luckily, I now only do it for 6hours a week or less when I'm busy with work. I would love to be able to stop it though as it affects my posture, still gives me neck- and headaches and also hurts my back. Not sure how...
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Avatar universal
Wow-I knew I was not alone but, now I feel so-so NORMAL. 61 rock myself to sleep often. I've never been diagnosed with OCD or  ADD but i'm certain I have them. I have perfected the need to rock when I am , if I am in a space where it is not acceptable, i simply hum some tune in my head and let my foot rock but ultimately I will  begin to gently full body rock. I am only embarrassed at the idea of having been doing this when I was unaware of it, because I can really get into it unconsciously. When I became conscious of it in my 30;s I began to try and do it in a controlled way because I knew something was not right with me. Connecting it to my mother makes sense. I have never seen a picture of her holding me. And she reminded my DAILY of how she almost DIED giving birth to me. SO rocking me was probably high on her list- (LOL) At any rate, finding this group has REALLY made my day. OCD creates lost of isolation. Being raped and molested probably did not help either. But here i am. On this planet-in this world-trying to make the best of the skin I was born in. HELLO TO EVERYBODY!!!!
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6872101 tn?1385604648
im forty years old and have done the same thing my whole life. ive always just used it as an escape. my husband is the only one who knows the extent to which i do this. i have mixed feelings about it. it  can seem like a waste of time, but i do find that i come up with some really good ideas while rocking. sometimes i even pray to God while rocking.
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Avatar universal
I am 71...and have rocked all my life.  I am a retired real estate broker and now work part time as a money counter at a casino in a secure vault...so now I get paid to stand in one place for hours a day counting....and I ROCK....
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6412396 tn?1381077634
I'm so relieved I'm not the only person that does this...It's so weird and I have always done it ever since I was a small child, when my favorite cartoon theme songs would start to play on t.v. I would sit on the couch and rock away... It made me relaxed and it calmed me... Now I am 21 years old, and I can't seem to stop. I'm a grown woman and I'll sit on the couch with my headphones plugged into my laptop or my ipod and rock while listening to music, sometimes I'll do it nice and slow, and then sometimes I'll rock back and forth violently lol, really depends on what type of music is playing. When I do this I daydream of being someone famous, doing things that I would NEVER be able to do in reality...It's like when I start to daydream, I become a whole different person from who I really am. The only problem that I've had with this is that now that I'm 21, it's sooo embarrassing when my dad walks in on me, and he sees me doing this.. rocking violently back and forth, and when he catches me, I'm like a deer stuck in headlights, my face is expressionless, and I have no words...I just feel and look so ashamed, and he just looks at me like I am disabled and asked why I do that? he says I have the mind of a 5 year old... so yea, it really ***** when that happens. I've never been able to find a way to explain to him, why I do this, cause he already thinks I should be put away in the "crazy" house... I have tried really hard to just listen to the music without rocking, but it just doesn't feel the same unless I'm rocking, It's like I'm just obsessed and I have to rock back and forth always. It just feels good to know they're others out there like me (:
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Avatar universal
Celexa (Citalopram), 20mg a day, did the trick for me.  Now, even if I TRY to rock -- like I did hours every day for decades before -- I don't get the same sense of exhilaration and comfort back that sustained it before.  Now I get more productive hours in my day.  I also seem to get to sleep faster, as if it's because my only entry back into the dream state I enjoyed while rocking before is now a good night's sleep.  
Helpful - 1
1 Comments
Thank you!
In reading about this issue that has always been a part of me although NOTHING as much as it has for my 6 yr old grandbaby....

Maybe, something hopes if I help her I help me or vice versa...

I am PTSD/ADHD/OCD
Now, None of these diagnoses came until my son died from Sudden Death in his 20s....
He was also, ADHD
So, I don't Know...
Many of these were issues all my life but, Guess I just thought something was always wrong with me...
Lately, (last 2 weeks for sure,) I've noticed an unexplainable, lost-ness, sadness, empty & dead feeling that is growing so much stronger & I can't explain why & I can't seem to shake & my friends seem to not want to discuss it, but maybe, if this could help...
I will talk to my Dr. when I can get in next...

I have so much emptiness I can't explain. So much
Gone or just not here any more...

I really would like to stop taking Sertraline and Ritalin & Chantix...
Something's not working right lately that I can't explain to anyone.... But, I'm scared & KNOW I need to try something different.
I will call for an apt aft the New Year...
Than you & Everyone posting here...
Avatar universal
Wow...lots of rockers here. I too thought I was alone in this aspect...to some degree. I use to rock as a child on my hands and knees, head on the ground, in a rolling back and forth motion. Then as I aged, around 3 or 4, I started bouncing my head up and down on the pillow at night. My parents called it "fighting the head board" because many times I would be completely asleep (or rather dazed) and would be banging my head on the head board to the degree of bleeding at times. I finally stopped bouncing at age 17 or so. I started rocking on the couch when I had my first baby. I would rock him back and forth for hours. Then my next 2 I did the same way. I am now 42 years old and still rock back and forth to this day. I love to rock.
I do not have a problem with thinking about what I look like to other people, because I really don't care. I am not bothering them. My problem is lately, by rib cage has began to bother me. the lower part in the front on each side and center. Sometimes it feels swollen. Has anyone else experienced this? I like the rocking and wish to continue on (its so soothing :)) but cannot with the pain.....
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Avatar universal
thank you for your input, music is also the trigger for my daughters rocking, and she absolutely loves her music, she's 17 and has started university last week, staying in halls ( shared accommodation ) so I will have to wait and see if it affects her in her new enviroment, with regard to there being a cure, I just stopped doing it sometime during my late teen years, I have no doubt at all that my rocking was the result of trauma ( my father dying when I was eight years old ) I started playing the drums when I was 17 and that became a major part of my life for about ten years, I cannot remember ever rocking after that age but give me a rocking chair and I can just rock for ages :-)
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Avatar universal
Hello everyone. I stumbled across this discussion after entering rocking back and forth into a search engine. I was amazed to find I was not alone. Now forty, I've rocked my entire life. Thinking back, I did it most acutely in my teens and early twenties. Home life was always very loving and comforting, although we moved house often due to my dad's work. However bullying at secondary school was pretty regular, so rocking was an escape. I would often put headphones on and listen to music for hours on end whilst rocking against the wall. It's shocking to think how much time was lost doing this!
As a child I drove my family mad with it. Mum used to tell everyone and anyone about it. Visitors would be sent up to my room to catch me doing it which was terribly embarrassing and humiliating. The subsequent mocking would make me feel ashamed. I would usually be told I was autistic or that I was retarded, a word I now hate.
However it has always been a comfort. In the daydreaming that came with rocking I was a hero like a top footballer, or one of my favourite film characters. I have always been a bit socially awkward, but in the daydreams I was someone special.
In middle age I still do it from time to time and I honestly don't really think it does any harm. Although I find I do it in phases now. I've recently been doing it after a couple of years off. There have been one or two ups and downs recently. Being stressed or undergoing big life changes seem to make me want to do it. When things are settled the compulsion ebbs. Certainly as a child I found rocking addictive, something others have mentioned here. As I've got older, my busy life prevents me thinking about it. I don't know where this comes from, but I have lots of pent up energy at times. I often grind my teeth whilst asleep and thrash my legs around in bed. Could these be linked? I don't know. All I can say is nobody here should feel ashamed as you're not alone and I don't think rocking hurts anyone. I agree with someone who said keeping busy makes you do it less, so if it is a problem, perhaps try some mentally and physically taxing things. Best wishes to all of you here.


Helpful - 1
5881084 tn?1375982865
Rocking is something that is done in the mothers womb before you are born.  It is why a lot of parents are told to cradle their infants when they hold them and kind of sway them side to side.  I am 17 so younger then everyone else.  But rocking helped me get through my young age.  And I did it as well with music.  So I can say to you from experience as well as I am learning for my hobby about the brain as well as disorders for it... Because I want to help people and start an organization.  But the fact that it calms you is as far as I know because it is something natural.  Some people say they can memorize things faster when they rock, others say they get more focused..Most I talk to are like me and say they do it with music to calm their nerves.  I am a straight B student.  I do well on tests. Not so much on homework as I have my mother and father by culture I need to take care of.  
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1699033 tn?1514113133
I'm guessing that you saw a general doctor and not a psychologist?  I don't think that it is fair to say there is no treatment for it especially to a child.  You didn't say how old she was but I'm guessing teenager.  I think it is worth seeing a psychologist to learn cognitive behavioral therapy.  

As you said, it is stress related and body rocking does help her relieve the stress she is feeling.  She is sensitive to it because she more than likely doesn't understand why she has to do it and doesn't know how to make it stop.  I think saying "there is no treatment" just makes her more stressed especially since you are right, she just wants to be "normal" and fit in.  Does she do it in public or does she have a measure of control over it?  

I rocked myself to sleep for a number of years and it was violent.  It drove my three sisters who had to share a room with me crazy.  At some point it stopped but I do have OCD and my stress shows up in this form now.  

You are a caring parent and I think you need to reassure her that you can find help for this.  Make an appointment.  And show her the following video.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tr7_T_M0g4

Did you know that Bill Gates rocks?  He rocked his way through a hearing that obviously had him stressed.  I think when she sees someone like this having the same problem she will feel a bit better.  There is help out there and I'm mad that a doctor would say this.  If it was a psychologist, then find another one, and another one until you find one that says they can help.  

Let me know how it goes and take care.  
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Avatar universal
Wow! thank you everyone for sharing! I am happy to know i am not alone. Been body rocking since i was a baby in my crib. I am now 40 and still do it when no ones around. It comforts me and i find i can think things through more clearly. I also some times daydream.
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Avatar universal
Hi JGF25 My daughter has been to the doctors about it and he told her it was just caused by stress, I have a fairly good relationship with her but she will get really stressed out when I talk to her about it, as the doctor also told her that there was no treatment for it.
she does it when she is lying in her bed listening to music and it tends to be very sudden and quite violent, (like someone doing sit ups badly), she has hurt her back on occasions also. she tells me that she is aware of doing it but cannot do anything to stop it.
she very sensitive to peer opinion, and like many teens just wants to fit in and be accepted. any shared experiences are welcome. thanks
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5824860 tn?1374953373
My story, like all our stories, is very complex. The Lord has created us, human beings, with such love. Unfortunately, we have to many problems to apreciate what he has done for us all and we dive into self destruction, most of us never knowing what real life is. Here I share my story, for I know we can be cured of anything in this life through Faith.
I don´t remember with what age I’ve started to built my own world, but it was quite preferable to the real one. I created a world of my own, where only I had access to, whenever and wherever I could. Everything I needed was there and I made sacrifices when I had to get out to face the real world. My family was problematic, I barely saw my father, which worked during the day and studied at night. We lived in a constant stressful environment at home and to escape it, in order to provide for myself what I didn’t have in reality, my mind created an alternative world, where I could do have and be whatever I desired.
My father passed away when my and my brother were 11 and 10. It was the summer of 85. After that, my mother started to work and she didn’t have much time for my and my brother, she had so much to take care of. So we both dived into our worlds even deeper. I sank into depression and stayed indoors for 6 months. We quited school, my brother started working at 12 and I around 15. Television, music, daydreaming, overeating and what you call body rocking was our life more then ever. My case was even worse.It seemed we were on our own. Nowone would see us going out with friends. Our way of life always was until today, home school home, home work home. Today I’m 39, almost 40 and my brother is 38. He stopped much before me, I continued as further as I could, until…

A few years ago, I started to feel  I needed to face the world as it was, and be brave to live in it. Or else, I knew I would spend my life living in a world of make believe and there would be a moment where I, when it would be too late, would realise it, and that’s a feeling I didn’t want to have. I’ve worked for 20 years as a hairstylist and went through many struggles, because I had to fight my constant need to get away from people and go home in order to feel secure. I had a great lack of self esteem, self confidence, emotional insecurity. And so, meanwhile I worked I was always in my world, rarely coming our to the real one.
In 2010 I decided, after a inner debate, to change my career, because I gave the best of my abilities and didn’t get to feel accomplishment. I was 36 and needed to thing fast. I decided to change to the hotel industry for many reasons, among them my desire to travel, the love for different cultures and languages. I went to the university and, meanwhile I worked, I started to adapt myself to the academic world.

2011 – the year my life crumble. My believes where new age: spiritism, astrology, cristals, reiki and so on. Along side with that, was my own separate world. I knew I had to come out of the world where I felt protected very slowly, so I could adapt to the shock. I went back and forth so many times, retrieving whenever I needed confort or felt threatened. That was until not too long, a long journey. Still today I sometimes daydream when I imagine possible different lifes I could or can have. The problem is, meanwhile we daydream we let our precious time pass by and we don’t accomplish anything. I’ve made a thousand plans and had so many great ideas but then, due to fear and insecurity things don’t come true.
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Avatar universal
I used to rock on all fours as a child and eventually stopped in my mid to late teens, I now have a 17 year old daughter who is doing the same thing and is about to go off to university, she will be living in halls with other students and I am worried that she will be picked on or bullied because of this, can anyone give me any feedback on their experiences of taking Gabapentin, any side effects, mood changes, depression etc, thanks to all who have contributed to this very interesting blog
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Avatar universal
I'm a fifty two year old female who has rocked for as long as I can remember. I started on a sofa, busted the springs out of it. Then went to a rocking chair wore the springs from it and had to be replaced. Mom tried to keep me off it.
Didn't work. I have always rocked either on a couch or chair, ( had my own rocking chair in my bedroom and wore the spring out and mom replaced them for me. My family talked about it when I was in my 40's and they thought it was from stress from parents fighting all the time. They divorced after 23 years but they couldn't stay away from each other and never remarried. I quit doing the sofa rocking by age 11 and just rocked in a rocking chair. With music it was better. I find when I'm under alot of stress or upset I tend to rock on a chair or standing and sitting. I don't worry about the whys and never have. I figure your mind knows what to do to keep everything together.
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Avatar universal
I am 53 years old and have been body rocking for more than half a century. I recently stopped when I started reading up on this body rocking and finally told me doctor about it. She told me it was a form of OCD and prescribed 600 mg. of Gabapentin to stop it. I've been on Gabapentin or Neurontin for a year and haven't bounced since. Talk to your parents about this OCD and have them take you to a doctor that specializes in OCD. Hate to see you ruin your life like I did with this body rocking. While other teens were at proms and socializing I was at home body rocking and living in a fantasy world.
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