“The truth about our childhood is stored up in our body, and although we can repress it, we can never alter it. Our intellect can be deceived, our feelings manipulated, our perceptions confused, and our body tricked with medication. But some day the body will present its bill.” – Alice Miller
Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a technique that was developed to resolve the symptoms of trauma in your body, such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and other diseases. It is a holistic approach that helps “re-set” your nervous system and establish a natural flow between mind and body, by focusing on body-sensations.
Created by Dr. Peter A. Levine, with over 45 years of successful clinic application, Somatic Experiencing® combines the studies of stress physiology, psychology, etiology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics. The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early childhood traumas.
What are the symptoms of trauma?
Trauma is an emotional response to something that happens. This includes anything that is too much or happens too fast for your nervous system. It is said that our nervous systems are only meant to be experiencing this kind of activation every 2-3 months, yet many of us experience this overwhelm daily, overstressing our systems and causing disregulation.
Symptoms of unresolved, long-term trauma include:
- anxiety disorders
- anger issues
- unpredictable emotions
- strained relationships
- poor decision-making
- self-destructive behaviours.
The longer it is left unresolved, trauma will trigger real physical pain, symptoms and disease.
These symptoms are the body’s way of communicating that the flow and the rhythm of the nervous system is off kilter and needs to be “re-set”
Re-establishing the cycle between alertness and rest
The reason you want to create a more regulated nervous system is to restore the natural flow between alertness and rest. When trauma occurs, this cycle is interrupted and an energy charge gets “stuck” in your body. This energy charge gets continually triggered when you encounter people, situations or anything that reminds us of that earlier experience you never got to “protect” against. You can never fully live in the present when our past has not been processed which mean we can never be fully present
How Somatic Experiencing® works:
The Somatic approach facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.
Creating a balanced regulated nervous system allows us to settle to more quiet states for digestion and rest. These states are required for optimal health and vitality. It also helps our systems recharge for the next time we need to respond to a threat and put a new demand our bodies for energy.
Somatic Experiencing® can help you with:
- Anxiety and stress
- Panic attacks
- Nightmares and night terrors
- Abrupt mood swings
- Exaggerated emotional and startle responses
- Intrusive imagery or flashbacks
- Exaggerated or diminished sexual activity
- Digestive disorders
- Recurring back problems
- Chronic pain
- Brain fog
- Neck pain
- Headaches/ Migraines