Body worlds Gunther von Hagens controversial “Happiness project”

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Body worlds Gunther von Hagens controversial “Happiness project”

Gunther’s “Happiness project”

More success, more money, more friends, all to come closer to our goal in life – Happiness. But once we have it all we  are not always satisfied. We want to experience this feeling again and again, even if it might become too much of a good thing. We are not satisfied with the feeling of satisfaction. When we are happy inside, the electro-chemical relations are brought on in the brain by receptors. Nerve impulses produce feelings and chemical substances (neurotransmitters and hormones) act as transmitters. The evolutionary task of our ‘happiness model’ is to improve our chances of survival and reproduction by enabling us to tell the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. The concept however does not provide everlasting happiness, if it did we could no longer distinguish the feeling from other emotions thus losing the quality. Happiness therefore is a constant pursuit from all of us.

“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.” Benjamin Disraeli

This Easter I descended on Gunther von Hagens controversial “Happiness project”. For an exhibition of 500 plastinated bodies this could be seen as far from happiness. However, the artistry portrayed and sensationalism of the cadavers actually gives an education into the living body as never dared to show before. The display goes outside the box, and to see the hoards of holiday makers, children and tourists taking part in the interactive anatomy, reading and experiencing the experimental anatomy is a great thing in itself. Throughout the exhibition there are thought provoking quotes from Gandhi and other prominent figures.


The anatomy illuminates the dark and light of death with the cadavers holding symbolic expressions. The exhibition has a felling of solemnity and encourages thoughtfulness and self discovery. The intention behind the exhibition is anatomical education and information. It is a sacred site with a special aura. A big focus is on health and working with our body in order to survive. Our lifestyle is a great contributor to feeling healthy and happy. The exhibition brings awareness  to a more conscious lifestyle and strengthens our intentions with our own human body. Body World delivers  both factual information and highly unusual impressions which will leave the visitor questioning more.

“Focusing on the little things in life will ultimately change the way we look at ourselves”.


What did Gunther and I have in common?

What I loved about this particular exhibition was the focus on the central nervous system and its relation to stress, the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system and breathing. When treating clients with the Paul Chek method this is one of our first priorities. As you can see from the totem pole below breathing and the psyche is at the top and the slave joints, limbs, injuries and muscular imbalances actually come further down the chain. Gunther has hit the nail on the head with happiness. When we are not happy we are more prone to disease, illness, injury, pain, weight problems and a shorter lifespan.

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while your climbing it”.  Andy Rooney

CHEK-Totem-Pole-4 Why should we care about the nervous system?

The experience of a well balanced nervous system can bring feelings like peace, contentment or tranquility, but the state of your nervous system not only affects your emotions, it can also dramatically affect your health. Do you ever have that feeling  you are constantly rushing or things are not quite right? The role of the nervous system is to sense, via nerve cells and sensory receptors information from the internal and external environment, and make changes within the body in response to that information.When the nervous system is out of balance, it can have a direct, negative impact on our quality of life and even affect our longevity. When the nervous system is adequately supported and well balanced we feel a sense of contentment, and peace with what is. Our digestion, immunity and libido all improve. A healthy nervous system even helps us build and maintain lasting intimate and interpersonal relationships.

“There is more to life than increasing speed.” Mahatma Gandhi





“Body Worlds original exhibition” – Gunther von Hagens

“Eat, Move and be healthy”- Paul Chek

About the Author:

Nisha is a certified Chek practitioner and holistic lifestyle coach.Her journey started when a visiting Laban teacher introduced her to Pilates at Dance College during her first year. It's effects were forgotten but she then re discovered Pilates through Michael King eleven years later whilst running her dance school. Her background spans over 25 years with formal training in classical ballet, modern dance, tap, national choreography, stage production and theatre. Her formation includes Pilates, Thai bodywork, Yoga, GYROTONIC, GYROKINESIS and anatomical studies. Her particular interest is fascia, and the connective lines and movement patterns that allow a full moving structure rather than the isolation of bones and muscles. Her fascination with questioning the traditions of modern medicine and fascination with searching for meaningful answers has taken her in many different directions and has offered her an abundance of opportunities gaining a wealth of knowledge. “I tried many movement modalities and extended my search after experiencing fascia, because of its simplicity in movement. Quickly, I noticed my own body changing as well as the bodies of my own clients. In the last 25 years of teaching I’ve developed a workout unique to Yoga Anatomy". Throughout her studies Nisha has done numerous dissections with Julian Baker and Cery Davies and has the opportunity to take lectures and courses from Robert Schleip, Joanne Avisons, Tom Myers, Matt Wallden, Emma Lane, Gary Carter, Paul Chek, Dan Hellman, Peter Blackaby, James de Silva plus many many more Nishas teaching method promotes reflective self-discovery and provides the requirements to integrate a shift in consciousness for attaining individual goals. She maintains that an attitude of compassion, consistency and joyous humor are excellent components to growth and expanded potential. She welcomes all level of movers from the beginner to the seasoned athlete who have a desire to increase their skill potential, also teachers and students. Her specialties include assisting post rehabilitative individuals, injury prevention for dancers and athletes and advanced movement programs.