A Somatic Approach to Mental Health: Part1

What is Somatic Therapy?

Somatic Therapy is grounded in the mind body connection.

Our mind and body are completely connected and affect each other. Some of you may be thinking “duh!” but the truth is we subconsciously move through the world in ways that affect us that we may not be aware of. Our thoughts, feelings, and emotions have a physical tangible effect on our body; our body also has effects on our emotional state as well. We cannot address one while ignoring the other.

Whether we are experiencing anxiety, addiction, depression, grief, or ptsd.  We feel this trauma inside of us. We keep our muscles tense. We slouch and shrink ourselves when we feel over-exposed. We clench our jaws or grind our teeth instead of saying what we mean. We eat our emotions and experience an assortment of different digestive disorders. Stress, anxiety, depression while we think of these conditions as emotions or feelings, they have physical effects on our bodies (as most of you know). Did you know when someone experiences depression their body has more pain receptors in it? Those with depression physically experience the world more painfully. Just as our body reacts to our emotions, our nervous system reacts to our posture, our breathing, our diet, and other external factors. Think of the posture we have when we are staring at our smartphones, curled into a hunched up ball. That is a message our physical position is sending to our nervous system and mind. We are sending that we are small, meager, weak, or hiding. This affects our mood and how we perceive the world around us.  This position is telling our mind that we should be in fear or on edge.  It isn’t just the content you are consuming, but also the position of our bodies. So even if you are only staring at adorable pictures of kitty cats wearing hats while playing the keyboard, if you stay in that position for too long it will affect your mood and mental health. (plus you will most likely have some neck and shoulder pain)

Somatic theory is addressing the sensations of past traumas that have become trapped in the body. The issues are in our tissues! Check in next week to see how acupuncture works perfectly to do this!


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