Overview of Somatic Therapy
“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophies.” ~Friedrich Nietzche
Somatic Therapy is a holistic therapeutic approach that addresses mental, physical, and emotional health concerns. Somatic therapy viewing the mind and body as one entity is essential to the therapeutic process. The mind-body moves toward healing naturally, given the right environment. When the body releases tension, processes trauma, and move towards optimal physical health, the mind follows with a sense of calm, peace, and relief.
Somatic therapy focuses on the body because the source of compulsive behaviors, trauma, depression & anxiety, and general discomfort with everyday life exists as sensations, emotions, and experiences that occur within the framework of the body. Our bodies need to process, integrate, and release these hidden sources of tension so that self-destructive patterns can come to their natural end, and we can experience everyday life with less stress.
“The human body – specifically my body – has been the source of never-ending insights that have transformed how I live, how I relate to myself, and how I perceive the world around me. When the body heals, the mind follows.”
Somatic Therapy Modalities
Healing starts and ends with the body. Every modality has the power to heal. Listen to how the body responds.
Contrast Therapy takes advantage of the body’s natural reaction to temperature changes in order to make the body stronger and more resilient. Practices like ice baths, cold showers, sauna, and geothermal soaking increase your body’s capacity for managing not just physiological stresses, but life’s other mental and emotional challenges as well.
Meditation & Breathwork
Meditation represents a different way of being in the world. You learn and practice observing thoughts, emotions, and body sensations without reacting to or identifying with them. This is why meditation is often referred to as a practice. We are practicing a different way of relating to our present moment experience. When we meditate, we practice acknowledging, observing, and accepting our internal experience. We cultivate response-ability.
Breathwork describes types of breathing – and breath-holding – techniques. The specific pace and depth of the breathing pattern elicits intended outcomes, such as deep relaxation, feeling energized, or relief from mental, physical and emotional tension. Today, breathwork has evolved to become a means of therapy, self-healing, and major personal transformation.
Restorative Yin Yoga
Yin yoga helps restore equilibrium to the intimate relationship between physical, mental, and emotional aspects of Self. The practice also activates the body’s restorative parasympathetic nervous system – responsible for digestion, eliminating toxins, healing and repair – and helps alleviate psychological problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
When life gets tough, a few poses on the mat reveal that maybe there isn’t anything wrong with the world, but rather our interpretation of it. When you are stuck mentally and the power to walk away is overwhelming, the gut instinct is to fidget, adjust, or get out of the pose altogether. Yin teaches us that staying still and dealing with whatever comes up one breath at a time will actually help us grow. The ability to adapt to the many ups and downs of life and to manage change with grace can dampen and soften our reaction to stress. Resilience can be built upon a foundation of gentle surrender.