Somatic Healing Practices
Somatic Healing Practices
Soma ‘the body’ is a mirror of our internal thoughts and feelings that stem from external stimuli. Our bodies five senses are the barometer that regulates the feeling of safety, and how safe we feel. The external world is just a mirror of our internal world. How we process external stimuli determines how we feel about our Self and our life. If the world seems chaotic, confusing, scary, or disjointed, it is not necessarily the external world that is manifesting the fear, it is the lens we are looking through.
Our lived experience is processed through the ‘subtle body’, our ‘felt sense’. We perceive others and the world through our bodies. First and foremost, the body needs to feel safe for us to feel emotions, and to feel comfortable in our bodies. When we feel emotionally safe, we feel comfortable and trust it is okay to be vulnerable, present, and grounded in our body. Living an embodied life allows us to be fully expressed with Self, others, and the world at large. Only then does our body become a reliable resource for love, connection, touch and joy, the precursors for freedom and ultimately states of happiness.
When we are in alignment with soma ‘our body’ our external life naturally aligns itself, freeing us from fear, anxiety, and over-reactive behavior. Our attitudes express themselves in the way we move, hold, contract, tense, relax or expand our bodies. Every external and internal moment is memorized and stored in the body, by the body. Soma creates innumerable inner connections, which then determine how we relate to our life, others, and the world. Are your inner connections based on your impeccable truth?
Alignment within the body, mind and spirit are the proverbial gateways for all changes you desire in your life through the power of transmutation of adverse belief systems, thoughts and memories, and manifestation of positive belief systems. Establishing a deeply intimate and connected relationship with our body is intertwined with our intra-connectedness of how we feel about our self and our life.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed psychologist or medical doctor. My services do not replace the care of psychologists, doctors, or other licensed medical professionals. Somatic, depth psychological, shamanic healing practices and entheogen facilitation &integration services should not be construed as substitutes for psychological counseling, psychotherapy, mental health counseling, or any other type of psychotherapy or medical advice.
How Soma and Ego Commune
Emotions give color and meaning to life, informs us about what matters to us, and clarifies our needs, wants, and desires. Emotions also connect us to our intuition and instincts. That ‘gut feeling’, which we often ignore, is our psyche and soul attempting to guide and direct us. Psyche is always endeavoring to provide us with vital information that is in the interest of our highest Self.
Our intuition is constantly working to protect us from our own internal self-sabotage mechanisms and outdated defense mechanisms. Our intuition is our truth that protects us from making poor decisions, getting into bad relationships, saying things we don’t really mean and often regret later. However, if we are disconnected from soma ‘our body’, disassociated or living in constant fear, often we are disconnected from soma, which allows the conscious ego to lead through fear.
Our conscious mind, or brain, is not a reliable source of truth, because it rationalizes, conceptualizes, defends, and protects. The brain filters all communication through our past experiences and the stories we created about those experiences. To feel our true emotions, we need to be connected to the body. The body never lies and is the gateway to our soul. The body communicates with us through the “the wisdom of the body”, which is our intuition.
Life can overwhelm us, throw us into a state of fear, cause explosive anger, or even panic. Emotions can take us on a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs, as we struggle to make sense of overwhelming and conflicted feelings. We may lose touch with our intuitive ‘felt sense’, begin to shut down, feel isolated, unmotivated, or even slip into depression.
It is human nature to consciously reason with our selves, to rationalize, or make meaning of our thoughts and behavior because we are inherently emotional and embodied beings. However, shifting and reconnection with soma provides us with a deeper sense of self awareness. Developing a more intimate relationship with our body allows our emotional truth to emerge so we can reconnect to the deep foundation of who we are. It is from this place of truth that we can transform negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors through learning how to sense what we really want, and need out of life
“The body is the bridge, which allows trauma to be expressed through words for development of rhythmical attunement, self-regulation, and imagination” – van Der Kolk
Trauma wounds often begin as acute stress from a real or perceived life-threat, or as the bi-product of cumulative stress. We need to be able to feel and identify our bodily sensations so we can use language to name and describe sensations and to articulate our emotional states and make meaning from them.
“The body-mind system is neurobiologically interconnected, while physical actions create the context for mental actions: bottom-up processes affect these upper level processes” – DeMassio
The unconscious psyche is connected to the whole body not just processes in the brain. What affects the body affects the mind. The body initiates thoughts, feelings, and memories, while the mind or ego follows. Traumatic memories are stored in the body, more specifically the Polyvagal nervous system, whereas non-traumatic memories are stored in a verbal, linear narrative that is often fragmented by a disruption in the unifying thread of time.
Somatic Healing Practices
Somatic practices are highly diversified and often experiential working with stress physiology, psychology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing therapies and medical biophysics. Somatic practices that support feeling safety and re-connection with soma, such as grounding, anchoring, breath work, focusing, and tracking al help to reconcile implicit and explicit memories stored in the body into a more comprehensive and positive narrative. Re-connection with these psychic wounds and adverse memories help incorporate these memories into a new narrative. A cross-cultural approach to healing trauma wounds ultimately informs a fundamentally deeper understanding of the dynamic two-way communication between mind and body.
The body has the knowledge to heal itself if provided with the right conditions, circumstances, and environment. What the conscious ego refuses to acknowledge, the body manifests.
Traumatic events often become the core of one’s identity and increase distressing memories. Interoceptive, somatic healing practices directly confront these core issues and disrupt the timeline of traumatic events as they are experienced in the body. A sensorimotor approach involves more than just viewing the body as a frame of reference. It involves an integration that links differentiated or fractured elements into a functional whole. With an integrated system, our lives become flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized, and stable. Without integration our minds get stuck in rigidity and chaos.
Soma creates innumerable neurobiological inner connections. How we relate to our self, our life, and the world in general is largely based on the degree of connection we have with soma. Our authentic truth is directly proportional to the neurobiological and neurophysiological inner connections we create. Our inner connections strive to support our best self?
Whereas our ego-based mind is extraordinarily protective and highly proficient, in rationalizing, conceptualizing, defending, deflecting, bridging, refining, denying, and highly selective regarding what we are allowed to recall or retain. This is why it is often difficult to sort through our issues and challenges solely through traditional “talk therapy”.
Many of us live what I often refer to as, “the un-lived life”. If we are being rigorously honest with our self; we often realize that we have no clue who we really are, what we really want out of life, or what our life purpose is? Without meaning or purpose in life it is almost impossible to navigate life in a way that supports authenticity, contentedness, real happiness or freedom. To find purpose or calling in life we need a roadmap to connect to our truth. Soma can provide this roadmap for deeper understanding and clarity of what we really want out of life?
Somatic Healing Practice Intentions
A primary intention of somatic healing is to assist individuals in re-connecting with their body. Heightened bodily awareness allows individuals to access their emotions and actually feel what they feel. Embodiment allows us to connect with bodily sensations, which is the foundation that grounds us in our authentic Self. Somatic practices help integrate the body and mind, which is the proverbial gateway for real psychic transformation.
Somatic healing practices open the door to re-connection with our inner intuition and the ‘wisdom of the body’. This wisdom develops interconnections to, and with, our body. Grounding in our body reinforces our sense of connection with self, others and the world, and our sense of wholeness. Our belief systems, emotions, reactions, perspective on life, physical sensations, and illnesses are all interconnected. Somatic healing practices explore these interconnections so we can make sense of them. Somatic practices impact our perceptions toward life, the way we think and act, and allows us to move through emotional, physical and relational challenges.
The one constant in life is change. Life changes moment-by-moment, as does our lived experience. Logic dictates that if we explore and work through old stories and limiting belief patterns, we can then shift or change them to better support who we want to be. Issues that are not explored or resolved, remain unresolved and morph into triggers, which then makes us a reactive puppet on a string.
“The difference between the “natural” individuation process, which runs its course unconsciously, and the one that is consciously realized is tremendous. The encounter between conscious and unconscious has to ensure that the light that shines in the darkness, is not only comprehended by the darkness, but comprehends it.”
- C.W. Jung