Bodywork and Somatic Psychotherapy are essential for healing trauma. There is growing evidence that shows the importance of touch in healing from shock trauma and developmental trauma.
Touch gives a child the physical feedback of its existence and healthy physical contact supports healthy emotional connection for lifelong healthy attachment and bonding. When disrupted by developmental wounding, illness or shock trauma, or when insufficient for healthy bonding, an infant can grow into a child, adolescent and adult in physical and/or relational freeze. Touch also supports and promotes healing of physical structures in the anatomy that impact a person’s life because of pain and/or movement difficulties.
The body is where we live. Psychological processes and emotions are physiological states expressed through the structures of the body. Through sensory feedback, bones, muscles, fascia and organs/viscera give information about our state of being: safe, threatened, relaxed, anxious, aroused, etc. If the body is sending sensory information registered as discomfort, pain or stress, a person will perpetuate a heightened state of arousal or activation. This can become a self-maintaining positive feedback loop resulting in negative feelings—emotionally and physically.
The causes: physical injury, emotional abuse, natural disasters, sexual assault, car accidents, surgery/anesthesia, suffocation, inescapable attacks and other threatening circumstances.
The result: PTSD, chronic pain, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, flashbacks, feeling detached, forgetful, stressed-out, fear of the next attack, relationship difficulties irritability, and sleep difficulties.
Somatic Experiencing (SE) body centered Psychotherapy whether hands-on or hands-off work supports clients moving out of freeze globally and in local physical structures (e.g., kidneys, fascia, esophagus, bone) to allow more ease and resilience, less physical and emotional pain, greater expansion and possibility for growth in their lives.
Somatic body centered psychotherapy involves clients either being on a table or in a chair and allowing for the healing to occur by working directly with hands-on work to facilitate and allow change of dysregulation in body tissues, organs and structures and through somatic education, learning from the inside through kinesthetic sense of self.
Here are a few areas of trauma where SE body work would be extremely helpful.
motor vehicle accidents,
mild head injuries with or without concussions,
chronic pain, fibromyalgia
and other threatening circumstances