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What is Somatic Healing?

When you think of healing, you may think of a physical wound that heals from the inside. The skin, bones and tissue all take time to heal and repair the wound, forming a scab to protect it and eventually as the skin cells replenish the wound it closes up and all that is left is a scar as a reminder.

For some, healing is not that easy, and it leaves invisible scars. Trauma experienced as a child or later as an adult takes time to work through. It is a complex ongoing process. Most people think that healing trauma is met solely with mental health intervention, (and it is an important part of this type of healing) but what many people don't realize is that most of the effects of trauma are actually stuck in the body and even with talk therapy the trauma can remain stuck. These blocks over time can cause depression, anxiety, allergies and other illnesses. Conventional medical interventions changes body chemistry and can help people feel better. However, the underlying energetic imbalances in the body often persist, leaving people dependent on medication for long periods of time. This can result in people left feeling like there is something wrong with them. They just feel off, but they don't know why.

The definition of the word somatic is "Relating to the body, especially as distinct from the mind." So it would make sense that somatic therapy is a form of body-centered therapy that looks at the connection of the mind and the body using both psychotherapy and physical therapy for holistic healing.

Somatic healing methods are mind-body centered ways used to help to heal trauma. There are several different forms of somatic therapy such as meditation, yoga, breathing work, EMDR, brainspotting, and energy medicine. These therapies encourage people to develop the resources within themselves to calm their nervous system and regulate their emotions. Once fully aware of the physical reactions in the body, it is possible to understand why it is happening and to gain freedom from what was preventing full engagement in life.

During my coaching sessions I teach my clients about their autonomic nervous system and the correlation between their mind and their body, and I utilize brainspotting to help that person recognize how the trauma is showing up in their body. These sessions allow the brain the time it needs to time stamp their traumatic memories into the past.

During the retreats I host each fall, a combination of somatic methods are utilized. Pictured above is my dear friend Angela Failor, who practices Eden Energy Medicine. Angela guided recent retreat attendees through a series of exercises designed to move the energy in their bodies, allowing them to release and heal a little more each time the exercise is performed. Angela's calm demeanor and explanation of each exercise allowed the attendees to feel safe as they did those exercises. This was followed by a walk in nature where the attendees could allow themselves time to process what came up for them during that session.

Somatic healing can be difficult, as some people may experience strong emotional and physical sensations during somatic therapy as a result of working through memories of experiences that were painful for them. Being able to talk about these experiences or journaling about them is very helpful in processing those emotions.

There is no official accreditation for somatic therapy. It is important to look for someone with experience in the practice and someone with whom you feel comfortable discussing your emotions and deep personal issues.

If you are curious about somatic healing and have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to me at 412-956-6001 or read more about brainspotting here. If you are interested in learning more about Eden Energy Medicine, please reach out to Angela Failor at Shine Your Light LLC

If you would like information about the retreat this fall see below:

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