What is Somatic Movement Therapy?
Somatic movement therapy is a holistic body-mind healing process that seeks to address dysfunction and dysregulation by working with underlying systems that possess their own healing intelligence. It utilizes passive touch techniques as well as active movements like stretching or activating muscles for health, balance, and restoration.
Somatic movement therapy is a collaborative effort between the therapist and client that works to gradually transform their movements and feelings until they are ready for change. This transformation may occur in one session or over multiple sessions.
As a result, the client learns to utilize their own movement as an effective means of self-regulating their emotions along with psychological understanding. This has proven particularly successful in helping those who have experienced trauma reclaim control over their feelings and physical responses.
Though there is some evidence to support somatic movement therapy as a tool for managing stress and chronic pain, more research needs to be done in order to fully comprehend its specific benefits.
Exercises of somatic movement, such as tai chi and qi gong, to yoga and Pilates, are available to everyone – especially those seeking to develop a more mindful outlook in their lives. Anyone is welcome to give these practices a try, especially those looking for ways to relax more fully into themselves.
If you want to introduce your students to somatic movement exercises, Thomas Hanna – who first coined the term in 1970 – created and popularized somatics. These movements aim to increase bodily awareness through movement, relaxation, and meditation.
Your students can benefit from journaling by becoming more cognizant of their internal thoughts and feelings, which in turn promotes resilience. This is particularly helpful for young children who struggle with self-regulation of emotions, as well as teens and adults who require an outlet for their feelings.
Some somatic movement practices are designed to assist those with physical injuries and health conditions in improving their range of motion. These exercises emphasize relieving tension and increasing flexibility.
It’s essential to exercise responsibly and consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program. Avoid overexerting yourself by not pushing yourself too hard and be sure to listen to what your body is telling you before beginning an exercise regimen.
Somatic Experiencing is a somatic movement therapy technique that can assist those who have experienced trauma to regain normal functioning. The approach involves gently encouraging the client to gradually increase their tolerance for unpleasant bodily sensations associated with past experiences or suppressed emotions.
Traumatized individuals may struggle to regulate their autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for responding automatically to stress and other emotions. As a result, they experience discomfort in bodily sensations before feeling calm and relaxed afterwards.
The purpose of this exercise is to teach clients to accept unpleasant physical sensations by leading them through a series of iterative stretches that help the body shift into relaxation mode gradually.