Saturday, May 25, 2013

What is Somatic Therapy

Somatic Therapy is a form of healing that integrates the emotional, spiritual, physical and mental facets of the individual.  It uses body awareness and the mindfulness of pinpointing different sensations within a person’s body to help facilitate healing.   Diverse techniques are used in somatic therapy such as touch, movement, sound and breath, to help an individual get in touch with their physical self. 

How does it work?

Worry, busy schedules, and concerns about events that happened in the past or might happen in the future are often “held” within the body.  A person’s body can become sore, rigid or tight, and the breath can become short and shallow because of these concealed emotions.  Becoming aware of places where stressors are held within the body helps a person become conscious of holding patterns.  When a person takes the time to get in touch with feelings and experiences that are happening in the moment, often other sensations begin to surface.  If an individual is uncomfortable with them, he or she might try to resist focusing on them and attempt to avoid them or alter the focus.  However, these feelings may be hidden memories held within the body.  These sensations may have a story to tell that could help the individual heal. 

Whenever a person experiences a traumatic event, the memories are held within the physical body as well as the mind.  These tight areas constrict the energies of the body, keeping them from moving freely and smoothly.  Upon examination, a person might discover that their whole life has been out of sync due to these concealed memories.     

Every person is guilty of being so busy with their daily lives that they do not feel what is going on in the present moment.  Becoming more aware allows a person the ability to have better judgment and make better choices.  It is also a way to help an individual uncover patterns that he or she may be repeating that are not necessarily in their best interest.  When a person feels these tight or contracted places within the body, it is important to stay with them.  What are they trying to say?  Exploring these concealed emotions and honoring what comes forward is the beginning of the healing process, even if it is only for a minute. 

A therapist is helpful in creating a supportive and caring environment while being very present in the moment during the discovery process.  The therapist cannot only help to navigate these new waters, but also gives much needed observations, support and feedback, and assists in validating the client’s experiences.  A nurturing environment is critical in order for a client to feel safe enough to move and explore these uncharted territories of the body.

Somatic therapy gives an individual the tools that he or she can use throughout their life and allows them to discover their true authentic self.  This in turn, allows the individual to live an authentic life.



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