What is Somatic Therapy?

So. Many. Kinds. Of. Therapy.  Which is absolutely fantastic!  We know that different people have different needs and different methods are key!… but, it can get a little overwhelming… So, what exactly is this “Somatic Therapy” you’ve been hearing about?


In the most basic sense, somatic therapy is a holistic approach to healing that recognizes and uses the connection between the mind and body. This therapy focuses on releasing stored tension, trauma, and unprocessed emotions within the body to help you get “unstuck”.


Somatic Therapy Key Principle


Somatic therapy functions under the belief that emotions become trapped in the body when they are not processed.  With this belief, there is an essential principles that must be addressed and understood: 


Mind-Body Connection


This is a phrase that gets thrown around fairly often in different contexts, so we are going to delve into what it means as far as somatic therapy is concerned.  


At its core, mind-body connection means that your beliefs, thoughts, behaviors and attitudes (the “mind”) are intrinsically linked to your physical health and well-being (the “body”).  Essentially, the idea that none of your experiences happen in a vacuum.  Whether it’s going on in your heart, your noggin, or your body– it’s all interconnected baby! 


This expands somatic therapy to take a holistic approach and focus on the WHOLE you, rather than isolating and focusing on just one part.  


If you have ever heard the phrase “get out of your mind and into your body” or some iteration of that, it’s a bit like that.  Sometimes, when we are working through trauma or working on our healing, we get so in our heads and spiral with our thoughts so much that it gets overwhelming and then we feel stuck.  But, this idea of “getting out of your head” (for lack of a better term) reminds us that our essence is throughout ALL of us– it’s in our mind, our hearts, our actions, our bodies, ALL of it!  So, let’s use the body to help our hearts and our minds be more at ease!


Benefits of Somatic Therapy


I would love to shout the benefits of somatic therapy on your healing journey from the top of every mountain top.  There’s just so much good that comes out of these practices!  


Let’s start with just a handful of the positive effects of somatic therapy:


  • Healing from Trauma
    • ST gives us a safe space to explore, process, and release traumatic experiences that may be stored in the body
  • Stress Relief and Reduction
    • Regular ST practice help regulate the nervous system which can lead to lowered stress levels and increased resilience
  • Improved Emotional Regulation
    •  ST practices help us to better understand and therefore manage our emotions
  • Improved Body Awareness
    • Through ST you begin to better recognize and be able to identify the physical sensations associated with different emotional states– this awareness helps us more intentionally take care of ourselves and address these emotions with compassion and understanding


Somatic Practices for your Daily Life

Here are a few simple ways to dip your toes into the somatic therapy:

  • Breathwork
    • Really intentionally focus on your breath for a short period of time.  Maybe only a minute or two.  If you have a breathwork technique that you enjoy, use that.  If not, try inhaling for a count of 4 and exhaling for a count of 4.  Keep it simple.
  • Cold therapy
    • Try out a cold plunge or cold shower or a cold blast at the end of your shower!  This is a practice in sensory awareness… and man oh man will you be aware of your senses with this one
  • Solo dance party!
    • Dance, dance, dance!  Move your body however feels good with complete disregard for how it looks or if you’re on/off-beat. Even if it’s just for ONE song– move your body and dance your heart out!


Try these options out and see how you feel!  


Of course, we know that healing isn’t a one and done thing, so as much as I would love to tell you that one truly stellar solo dance party and *BOOM* Healing Complete!! Um, sorry, but no. What I can tell you is that taking these little steps help that process of healing.  At the very least (even if you find you absolutely despise dancing around your kitchen) you took another step on your healing journey simply by trying out one of these option– heck!  you’re taking a step right now, just by reading this post!  And as you try different modalities of healing you learn which tools really resonate with you.


This is a marathon, not a sprint.  Actually, scratch that.  This isn’t even a marathon– those have finish lines; your healing is more like a meander.  You’re meandering along, some parts are really beautiful, some parts are really difficult, lots of parts are somewhere in between, but you just keep on meandering! 


Next Steps


Did this pique your interest in somatic therapy?  Let’s talk next steps!


→ You can check out my monthly Somatic Recovery Sessions! Tailored to those that have loved ones suffering from addiction, or those struggling with addiction themselves, my monthly Somatic Recovery Sessions are an easy way to begin meandering with your mind-body connection awareness!

Join my FREE (like really free, no strings attached) Somatic Recovery Sessions


→ Reach out and we can chat about working together 1:1 through somatic coaching. Apply today! 

Happy to be meandering along with you!

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