Somatics: A Path to Healing

This world is indeed wiggity whack right now and we need all of the healing tools we can get. 

A healing modality that has been emerging over the past few years that is really rocking my world right now is - somatics. Somatics can have a PROFOUND impact on our physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. 

What the heck is it?

Somatics, derived from the Greek word "soma" meaning "the living body," refers to an integrative approach that focuses on the connection between the mind, body, and spirit. Unlike conventional wellness practices that often isolate physical and mental health, somatics recognizes the intricate interplay between our thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. It's about developing a heightened awareness of the body and utilizing that awareness to promote healing, self-expression, and personal growth.

Our bodies are so wise.

At the heart of somatics lies the understanding that the body holds within it a treasure trove of wisdom, as well as stuck "stuff," like emotions and trauma. Every physical sensation, from a clenched jaw to a racing heart, carries a message that can be decoded to uncover underlying emotional states. Somatic practices encourage individuals to be fully present in their bodies, listening to the signals they are sending. By doing so, one can tap into a deeper level of self-awareness and cultivate a more profound understanding of their thoughts and feelings, as well as letting go of stuck negative energy.

How can Somatics help us?

1. Stress Reduction: Somatic practices often involve techniques such as deep breathing, gentle movement, and mindfulness meditation. These practices help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's "rest and digest" response. This can lead to reduced stress, lowered anxiety levels, and an overall sense of calm.

2. Pain Management: Chronic pain can often be linked to emotional and psychological factors. Somatics approaches pain from a holistic perspective, helping individuals identify and release emotional tensions that might be exacerbating physical discomfort.

3. Improved Posture, Movement and Feeling More Comfortable: Somatic movement practices can help individuals become more attuned to their body's alignment and movement patterns. This leads to improved posture, greater ease of movement, decreased risk of injuries and feeling more at home in one's body.

4. Enhanced Emotional Intelligence: By paying close attention to bodily sensations, individuals can better connect with their emotions and develop a higher emotional intelligence. This can lead to improved communication, better relationships, and a greater capacity for empathy.

5. Self-Discovery and Personal Growth: Somatic practices offer a pathway to self-discovery by encouraging individuals to explore their inner landscape. As we become more in tune with our bodies, we can uncover suppressed emotions, limiting beliefs, and unexplored potentials, paving the way for personal growth and transformation.

Somatics can help to improve things like:
  • long-term trauma or stress
  • living in survival mode, especially freeze / fawn
  • grief or heartbreak
  • dorsal vagal shutdown
  • long-term anxiety / depression
  • nervous system dysregulation
  • frequent dissociation
  • feeling overwhelmed / stuck / immobilized
  • people pleasing 
  • constant fatigue / exhaustion / burnout
  • feeling numb / like you have no emotions
  • chronic pain
  • full body pain
Anyone else feel seen? And that is just a short list.

How can you begin to simply incorporate Somatics into your daily life?

1. Mindful Body Scans: Set aside a few minutes each day to perform a body scan. Close your eyes, focus your attention on each part of your body, and notice any sensations or tensions. Breathe deeply and intentionally to release any areas of tension.

2. Somatic Movement: Engage in gentle movement practices like yoga or specific Somatic techniques. Pay attention to the subtle sensations as you move, and let go of any judgments about how you should look or perform. Some of my favorite Somatic movement exercises have been shared by The Workout Witch on YouTube. She also has some amazing courses available to dive deeper into Somatic movement, which are on my list. True story - about a month ago, I was in complete dorsal vagal shutdown (if you've never hear of that, here is a great article that describes it, along with the related polyvagal theory) and my nervous system was literally peacing out on me.  Liz's free exercises, along with other self-care techniques, helped me to reset my nervous system.

3. Breath Awareness: Practice mindful breathing throughout the day. Take a few moments to simply focus on your breath, inhaling and exhaling slowly. This can help you to quickly center yourself.

4. Journaling: Write about your experiences during somatic practices. Reflect on any emotions or insights that arise during these moments of self-connection.

Somatics is more than just a wellness trend; it's a powerful tool for fostering holistic well-being and personal growth. Different modalities resonate differently for each of us. This one was like a huge cowbell for me and I'm gonna need more cowbell.

Maybe you do to? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

This post may contain affiliate links that support the creation of the content of this blog. If you use these links to buy something, I may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Thank you.