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What Is Somatic Therapy & Why Is It So Effective?

Have you ever been in a yoga class and while holding a particular pose you're surprised to feel emotional? Or as you're stretching you have a memory pop into your head you hadn't thought about in ages? Maybe you came out of a chiropractor's office feeling light and joyful when you went in feeling down and sluggish? Perhaps you recall feeling physically weak and ill when you were stressed about something. Then, once that stressor had passed you felt completely well again. This is because our body and our feelings are deeply interconnected. Somatic therapy is a holistic wellness modality that focuses on this connection between your body and mind to heal ailments of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

During times in my life when I could feel myself abandoning my own needs in favor of what I thought others wanted, I'd feel an intense sensation of tension and fuzzy, painful heat rising in the back of my neck. This sensation would rise into my jaw, creating tension patterns that would cause headaches. There were times it lingered for months, even feeling it on and off for years without my understanding of what this discomfort truly meant... I simply knew it hurt and caused me discomfort. I tried pain relieving creams, over the counter painkillers, heating pads, massage therapy, chiropractic care, physical therapy, targeted exercises and more. Through the understanding of somatics, I was able to understand what my body was trying to tell me... and it had everything to do with trauma I'd experienced and my emotions.

When I reflected back on the time this painful sensation had been at its worst, it aligned with times in my life when I was suppressing my own needs in a way that created feelings of anxiety and even entrapment. When I was not holding boundaries that honored my own needs within an abusive relationship during college. When I was living in an environment where I was unable to feel safe or let my nervous system relax. When I was feeling triggered by an argument with a loved one.

Now, I only have to begin feeling the slightest hint of this sensation and I ask myself, "What inner truth am I not honoring? What am I not speaking? What boundary do I need to be holding?" Immediately, I recognize the need to bring peace to my body and mind through learned breathing techniques and grounding practices. Then I speak my truth. Or if the situation is not bettered by physically doing so, I write out these emotions and stretch or dance. By releasing them from my body I no longer feel the weight of these fears or worries and am able to move forward as my true and grounded self.

Over time this pain and tension no longer had a debilitating hold on me... because I discovered how to recognize and address the emotions underneath it all. Once we have this sense of self-awareness, we're then able to pause and release the emotions before they settle into our body.

“We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body. This imprint has ongoing consequences for how the human organism manages to survive in the present. Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think.”
― Bessel A. van der Kolk from The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

We often think of trauma as dramatic and intense events. Abuse, a life-threatening accident, the death of a child. And these things are traumatic, no doubt... but these are not the only instances of trauma impacting our body, mind, and spirit. Trauma is the lasting emotional response that results from living through a distressing event. Our body and mind do not determine how distressing an event must be for it to be traumatic... it simply responds in the way it is designed to best protect you. This unaddressed trauma (no matter the severity) can then impact our sense of self, our ability to feel safe, and our relationships with others.

Again from the book The Body Keeps the Score, "The mind needs to be reeducated to feel physical sensations, and the body needs to be helped to tolerate and enjoy the comforts of touch. Individuals who lack emotional awareness are able, with practice, to connect their physical sensations to psychological events. Then they can slowly reconnect with themselves."

This is why I'm so passionate to be guiding somatic therapy.

woman standing in grass with trees surrounding her as she does a yoga pose with a smiling face

I want to see you reconnect with your joyful self. By supporting you in gently releasing these emotions from your body, understanding your own body and mind connection, and creating the skills to help you manage your stressors in the future, you're able to to experience lasting wellness. This state of wellness allows your spirit to freely live the life intended within this human form, showing up for those you love as you desire and experiencing more contentment. And doesn't that sound a whole lot better than a life of fear, pain, reactivity and unsettled nervous systems?

Click here to read frequently asked questions and be the first to sign up for group classes or individual sessions. Looking forward to sharing in the beautiful art of healing through somatic therapy together!



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm a writer, energy healer, and plant-obsessed meditating mama on a mission of guiding women to Heal & Rise! For more about my story...

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