Inner check-in in our daily life and trough different cultures

Davide Casiraghi
Nov 11, 2019
Every time I give a bodywork session with a client I’m noticing how much the quality of the questions can affect the answer that I get out of them.
The question that starts this research is the one we more commonly used to start a discussion: “How are you?"
I consider it as a way to check the inner state of our interlocutor before advancing in any other topic.

Anyway, I think that nowadays due to the quickness of our lifestyle the original purpose most of the time gets lost. And then it gets used just as a starter rather than a check-in.
I experienced more than once that before the session when I welcome the client in the lobby of my studio asking "how are you?", I almost always get the answer “ok” or “fine", and then, 2 min later when the same person sit on the massage table and I ask the question “how do you feel in your body today?” I get a completely different answer.
For instance: I have pain in my neck, and I feel tense in the lower back.
Then if I ask for instance “what is alive in you right now?”, I get again a different result.

I think that the question "How are you?" is too general to allow the interlocutor to have an inner check-in within himself/herself. I think also that more specific questions that focus the attention on a specific inner aspect can allow the person to shift the focus inside and in this way provoke a wider and richer answer.

So I’ve decided to start research about how people use to ask about each other inner state among different cultures.
One of my intentions is to understand, analyzing the language patterns, the cultural differences related to body awareness and if the expressions have a different impact on the people that use them.
 I’ve posted this question on Facebook.
"Hi FB friends,
I’m researching the different ways we use to ask each other about our inner state.
Would you love to help me writing here different questions you use in your language for this purpose that are alternatives to "how are you?". Even dialects and slang forms can be interesting.
Please post them in this way.
“Come va la vita?”, “How is going life?”, Italy
“Cómo estás tu corazón?”, “How is your heart?” Mexico"
This is the results I got:
Google Doc >

One of the first things I've noticed is that some expression is more neural, some instead emphasize one aspect of our inner state or inner experience of the present moment, some others emphasize the outside environment and events.