Would you like to be more in your body? Do you ever feel stuck in your head? Do you find yourself looping anxious, worried, or negative thoughts and old stories about yourself and others that don’t help you live the life you want? Have you ever wanted to “shut off” your mind, and find it impossible?
Modern Western culture tends to privilege the rational, thinking mind as the most central and important aspect of ourselves. While the mind can be an invaluable tool, it can also keep us removed from actually experiencing life.
Alternatively, by rooting one’s experience in the body, it’s possible to perceive, interact, and even think in a completely present manner that brings you into greater contact with yourself and your world.
Somatic therapy works with and teaches a way of connecting with yourself and your world through one of the most powerful and direct methods we have access to: the body.
Somatic therapy or somatic healing is similar to traditional therapy, with a much stronger emphasis and awareness on your immediate, embodied experience.
The word somatic means “of or relating to the body.”
As the primary way we interface with the world, the body holds immense wisdom, and often significant wounds and traumas. Working directly with embodied awareness provides incredible support to move through anxiety, depression, stress, and all of life’s challenges. It also enables you to heal from past traumas on the deepest levels, experience healthy and profoundly nourishing relationships with clear boundaries and connection, and bring you into a felt, physical attunement with your multifaceted truth.
Our bodies hold the effects of all our life experiences.
Harmful, disturbing, confusing, and unsettling events can create lasting dis-ease in our bodies. Somatic therapy helps your body-mind-spirit fully process, digest, and metabolize your life experiences so they are no longer stuck inside you, determining how you live. This process lets you extract the resilience, lessons, and meaning of your past in support of the greatest vision of yourself, while releasing the heavy burdens associated with it. As a result, you become free to live a more present, aware, and attuned life.
With somatic therapy, while talking about what's happening in your current life or about your past, I will guide you to connect and integrate your life experiences with your embodied reality so that you can live in alignment with yourself in authenticity, confidence, and health.
Somatic awareness is grounded, practical, and intuitive.
Have you ever heard or said:
“It’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”
“I know it in my gut.”
“I feel it in my bones.”
“The air was thick.”
“It feels electric!”
“I feel so much lighter.”
These aren’t just expressions, but can actually be felt, tangible experiences. If you’ve ever said anything like what’s above, without knowing it, you may have been speaking directly from your somatic, or embodied, awareness.
Many different types of somatic therapy have been developed and popularized over the last several decades. At their core, all forms of somatic therapy not only invite talking about issues, but also work with the physical sensations underlying our lives and moving through our bodies 24/7.
Why work with the body’s sensations?
Fundamentally, we experience life through our bodies and its infinite sensations. Our bodies are constantly reacting to the world, often without the awareness of our conscious minds. Becoming conscious of our sensations brings more awareness to the immediacy and vibrancy of life.
All our past life experiences, and even those of our ancestors, are stored in and remembered by our bodies, influencing how we live today.
Emotions always arise with particular sensations. For example, anger can be felt as a constriction or tightness in the belly, throat, arms or legs; happiness or relief can come with a lightness and open expansion in the chest; trust can be experienced as a strong solidity throughout the body. Working directly with sensations is immeasurably helpful in how we relate with and process our emotions.
The body’s sensations do not lie—they tell us exactly how we feel about anything in our lives, as well as what we’re really wanting, what we’re not okay with, and much more.
The body’s sensations are always available and accessible to us, in any situation, and at any time.
As we recognize and become familiar with the body's sensations and their meanings, our whole lives become more workable in simultaneously simple, profound, and immediate ways.
What happens in a somatic therapy session?
Somatic therapy brings you into direct communication with your body. While discussing and exploring your current struggles, past hardships, and future goals, I will help you listen, feel, and sense the messages of your body, to see what the wounded, scared, and hopeful parts of yourself are needing to help you move on and step into the life you want.
As you become more familiar with your physical sensations, the detail and focus of your awareness can become sharper and stronger. We’ll use a lens of curiosity to get to know the specific textures and subtle qualities of your sensations. You may be able to sense palpable densities, heaviness, softness, tenderness, sharpness, juiciness, heat, cold, vibrations, charge, physical release, and so much more.
One common effect of this work is that your experience of life itself can become much more vibrant and rich.
With the assistance of attention, breath, movement, speech, and other techniques, we give your sensations space, allowing them to process, shift, and change, which is the nature of all life. Letting your body move through the impacts of your life experiences allows them to unstick and release. Throughout this process, you will build your capacity to feel and tolerate intense sensations and experiences, both “good” and “bad.” As your capacity to be with experiences increases, the less you may feel a need to react impulsively to stressful triggers, and the more you’ll be able to regulate yourself and choose how you’d like to respond to any situation.
Somatic therapy increases your nervous system’s window of tolerance for all experiences.
You can become more able to weather the storms of life without losing your footing, with a stronger connection to your unshakeable core. You can also expand your capacity to feel good, to hang out with and savor pleasant and pleasurable sensations, and experience greater satisfaction, contentment, and joy in your life.
Simultaneously, you may also find that you can physically let things go much more easily—with a shiver, a sigh, a deep exhale, a burp, or a cry, your body can release that which is no longer serving it.
You may find you have more space to welcome in new experiences, new feelings, and new ways of being.
In addition to the lasting and integrative healing possible through this work, somatic therapy and its body-based and body-centered orientation can help bring you into a deeper and more authentic relationship with yourself, your life, and the whole world. For those more spiritually inclined, the body can be a direct portal to navigating the greatest mysteries of life, the universe, and everything.
Is somatic therapy right for me?
For as much as you may have read about it, working somatically is not something you can understand conceptually; it’s a felt experience, like tasting a strawberry, feeling rain on your skin, or riding a horse. The best way to know if it’s for you is to try it out and see how it feels and affects you. Contact me to schedule your free 20-minute consultation to begin stepping more into the healing wisdom of your body.