Somatic Experiencing: How does Somatic Experiencing support your trauma healing?

Somatic Experiencing can help relieve stress, trauma, PTSD and many other physical and mental health conditions by providing simple, practical tools to treat these symptoms.

Do you struggle with physical symptoms like gastrointestinal and digestive issues, respiratory, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, urological, dermatological, or neurological disorders etc?

Have you been looking for solutions to these issues? You may find your answers through Somatic Experiencing…

Somatic Experiencing is a popular somatic therapy that has its presence in over 40 countries. Somatic Experiencing is known to relieve stress, trauma, PTSD and many other physical and mental health conditions.Soma means ‘body’ and somatic means having to do with the body. “Somatic Experiencing is a neuro-biological approach to healing the wounds of trauma.”‘ Neuro’ refers to the nervous system, ‘biological’ relates to the natural process of living things.

Over fifty years ago, Dr. Peter Levine developed Somatic Experiencing, a holistic healing modality that helps bring awareness to the body and the mind to release stress, relieve symptoms, prevent, and heal trauma.

Over the past few years, I have had the honour and privilege to assist and be a part of Dr. Peter Levine’s team; both in his online as well as in person trainings like the ‘Embodied Practices for Healing Attachment Trauma in Children, Combining SE & IAFT’ and the EOTN (Eye of The Needle) Master training in California. At Peter’s behest, each morning of the EOTN (Eye of The Needle) Master training, I lead the group with an Opening Embodiment Movement practice. Peter taught and demonstrated how to skilfully work with clients who had undergone near-death trauma, surgical trauma, etc. It was Insightful to witness how he enabled clients, who had gone through horrific experiences, come in touch with their true essence and bounce back to life!

How does Somatic Experiencing support your trauma healing?

Somatic Experiencing supports your trauma healing by providing simple, practical tools to treat these symptoms. The slow and gentle bottom-up (body to mind) approach helps access and regulate the nervous system. The key to healing lies in working with a little piece and releasing a small amount of stuck energy at a time so that the nervous system does not get overwhelmed or overstimulated.

A significant part of the healing process involves paying attention to what goes on in one’s body. Sensation is the language of the body. As your physiological awareness increases, you learn new ways to be present in your body and build the capacity and resilience to touch into trauma that is bound in your body.

An important aspect of this healing framework includes working with Images, behaviour, emotions and meaning. Images in sessions could emerge as flashbacks, dreams and memories in the client’s narrative from past events (positive and negative) that enable the client to have more access to the five senses- visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory and tactile senses.

Working with behaviour includes noticing impulses, gestures and movement patterns that spontaneously show up in sessions and letting them slowly and gently unfold. This helps in renegotiation of what didn’t get to happen at an earlier time. Clients will be able to organically release stress and trauma, regulate and ease the body from fixity to coherence and flow.

Often, a Somatic Experiencing therapist supports you in your trauma healing process when they ‘catch’ a resource – a movement, a bracing or collapse posture, a gesture, pleasantry, or statement and use it skilfully to set up a safe environment for the session.

Working with spontaneous movements helps in renegotiation of what didn’t get to happen at an earlier time.

As you start to move your body, shifts occur, that help come out of fight, flight, or freeze states. Often, a seasoned therapist can also catch a ‘No’ that comes intuitively in the form of a gesture while the client maybe vocalising a yes. Mirroring the client or encouraging them to work with these gestures in a slow and gentle manner offers new responses from the body. Healing occurs when getting in touch with what we’re paying attention to in our bodies in the present moment.

Being cognisant of emotions and meaning that show up in sessions, welcoming and integrating them through a felt sense (body sense) helps in renegotiation and healing your trauma.

Somatic Experiencing complements several healing modalities I have embraced over the years. It has benefitted several of my clients who presented with symptoms and syndromes, depression, chronic pain syndromes, anxiety near-death experiences etc. Somatic Experiencing has enabled them to not only rebound from trauma, but it has also enabled them to become more curious, lively, resilient and joyful in their body, mind and spirit. Their post-traumatic growth has been phenomenal- They are not just surviving, they are thriving! Many have reported having a much better sense of vitality and agency and have embarked on their journey of self- transformation.




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