Healing With Somatic Therapy | Types & Benefits
Trauma is one of the most difficult mental health issues that can last for days, weeks, months, and even years. When someone is dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event it can create an imbalance between mind, spirit, and body.
Somatic therapy is one of the more modern approaches to therapy that uses holistic healing with psychotherapy to treat trauma and other disorders. Somatic means “relating to the body, especially as distinct from the mind”. It is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on a person’s mind-body connection.
Although many therapy tools are often combined with this approach in the treatment. Very often therapists use physical exercises with the mind-body exercises to help with healing.
Somatic therapy can be performed in group therapy as well as in individual therapy sessions. This approach helps in treating:
- Stress and anxiety
- Grief and trauma
- PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Sleep disorders
How Somatic Therapy Works
Emotional and physical stress can make us feel trapped and this feeling can lead us to feel panic, anxious, and jittery. Talk therapy or in-person therapy can effectively help with such problems by simply addressing the issues but somatic therapy will help by focusing on our body and mind.
Traumatic events can cause our body and mind to freeze in response. Anxiety and trauma from certain events directly affect the nervous system hence causing us to freeze or physical pain. Somatic therapy uses a person’s mind-body connection to alleviate tension, stress, anger, and other negative emotions from the body and improve the quality of life.
With time and practice, somatic therapy can help people become more aware of their mind-body connection. This can be obtained by practicing breathing exercises, physical exercises, massage, and grounding exercises.
The goal of this technique is to help a person develop more positive thinking and behavior to better respond to traumatic events in the future.
While somatic therapy might be beneficial for trauma patients, it might not be helpful for healing long-term mental health problems.
Types Of Somatic Therapy
From ancient eastern techniques to more western techniques, somatic therapy has many types. Some of the more commonly practiced are:
- Sensory awareness
- Body-mind centring
- Kinetic awareness
- Martial arts
- Ayurveda and Yoga
- Reiki and acupressure
Somatic therapy commonly helps in treating trauma, abuse, and PTSD. But it is not limited to these problems. Depression, addiction, and sexual problems can also be treated with the help of somatic therapy.
Benefits Of Somatic Therapy
This therapy is a form of mind-body therapy or holistic therapy. Somatic therapy depends on a person’s mental and physical connection. There are many benefits of somatic therapy. Some of them are:
1. It helps heal trauma. The therapist asks a person to recollect their traumatic experience and then help them focus on pushing out the negative responses.
2. Increases self-awareness and confidence. Somatic healing helps gain a deeper understanding of mind and soul and increases feelings of hopefulness.
3. It helps improve the ability to focus and concentrate on the present than the past.
4. It also helps in treating physical illnesses and chronic pain and aches.
5. It increases resilience to stress and trauma.
6. It helps gain a better view of one’s mental health.
7. It improves social skills and gains positive views on life.
Somatic therapy can be combined with talk therapy and counseling. It is important to understand the challenges and benefits of this therapy on your mental and physical self.
A person’s ability to connect the mind and body is strong and can be helped in healing various disorders. Our thoughts and feelings are important and linked to our mental and physical health.
If you feel like you need help from a professional healer/therapist, don’t hesitate to reach out.
”Attention to the human body brings healing and regeneration. Through awareness of the body we remember who we really are.” – Jack Kornfield