Great topic, a couple of points which may or may not be relevant.
1) I can't for the life of me find it now, but yesterday in one of my too-many notebooks, I came across a quote from Bhikkhu Bodhi, I think from his series of talks on Majjhima Nikaya. Anyways, the gist was that according to Bhikkhu Bodhi at least, mindfulness in the body, awareness of and understanding of the physical processes and rupas involved is helpful for establishing conditions for understanding of the mental processes. So there was in that quotation at least an implied move towards understanding of the mental processes by first establishing understanding of rupas through mindfulnes of the body. I may be misquoting or may have misunderstood. And of course in any case, it was Bhikkhu Bodhi, not the Buddha. And maybe this is no news to anybody.
2) There are at least a few teachings, I think, that say that rupas are particularly to be mistrusted as treacherous and as leading us into suffering. Here is an example: "THe Buddha said to the Brahmin Pinguya: 'People are intoxicated, they are oppressed by physical phenomena, ruupas. It can be seen that people are disturbed becuase of ruupas. Therefore, Pingiya, you should not be negelectful, you should give up clinging to rupas so that you will not be reborn. " (from "The Questions of Pingiya" from Culaniddesa of the khuddhaka Nikaya as quoted in Sujin Boriharnwanaket's book "The Perfections Leading to Englightenment.") I think it is great that we appreciate any health and energy provided through our bodies as a temporary blessing and use that energy to develop sila, samadhi and panna. But our attitude to our bodies should be extremely mistrustful. Again, no news to anybody, I guess.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)