Let's say you're feeling a bit overwhelmed. Your heart races faster than a hummingbird’s fluttering wings, and you break out in a sweat: even just thinking about your to-do list. Your mind is active and you are disconnected from your body.
What's the solution?
There can be many solutions, but one option is Somatic Movement – deliberate attention to moving the body.
Somatic movement can activate the pre-frontal cortex of the brain and actually slow down your racing thoughts. By moving your body mindfully, we are carving out healing space.
What is somatic movement?
Somatic movement is an alternative therapy technique that helps you interact with the emotional and physical feelings hidden in your body.
Purposeful movements help reveal where the body holds onto stress and tension, which can lead to physical ailments and emotional distress. We use somatic movement exercises to help you get into your body and be more mindful of yourself.
Ultimately, we use somatic movement to stretch and move through physical sensations that help to reduce anxiety and improve quality of life.
Some common somatic movements:
rolling on the floor
sequencing through the body
specific breath patterns
foot and hand articulation
Benefits of building a somatic movement practice
Building a somatic movement practice helps understand the difference between being and doing.
You learn to be present.
Focus on your inner awareness.
Focus on your breath.
Somatic practices can help you turn off your inner critic, calm your body and mind, and celebrate all that you are in the present moment.
By moving slowly and learning how to relax your muscles, you learn how to respond more appropriately to stressors because you know where you are holding tension. In time, you can reduce anxiety, improve your mood and even reduce pain.
Somatic practices help you become more aware of how you feel in your body, both physically and emotionally. The goal is not necessarily to make you feel good all the time but to help you recognize your feelings and which steps to take toward feeling better.
Finding a teacher
Working with a Somatic Movement Coach can help with building a lifelong somatic
movement practice that:
Reduces stress and anxiety by helping you feel more grounded in your body.
Increases self-awareness and mindfulness, especially when it comes to your physical sensations.
Improves your ability to regulate emotions by developing greater control over your body.
Improves balance, strength, flexibility and range of motion through gentle stretching exercises.
Like any new habit, consistency is key to long-term success.
Finding a teacher who can walk this path with you in spirit and mind helps make your physical practice a priority, not just an afterthought.
Somatic movements can help you better understand your body and make your physical practice a priority, not just an afterthought.
You’ll learn to pay attention to the sensations in your body during your daily activities and the overall effect to your energy.
This practice takes time and patience, but it is worth it.
Working with a teacher or coach gives you the benefit of consistency and feedback to start feeling the results sooner, increasing the chances of maintaining the practice for the rest of your life.
Relieve stress and improve your mood
Our bodies have an innate wisdom that can help us heal from physical ailments, emotional difficulties and psychological traumas.
Somatic practices help us reconnect with our bodies so we can help you turn off your inner critic, calm your body and mind, and celebrate yourself.
What you can expect from working with me
We will work through different forms of movement and stillness depending on what you are feeling that day, but in general, you can expect:
Our brain has an actual map of all the parts of our body. Some parts are really well mapped out because we have been using them from the very start. Other body parts do not have as strong a place on the map and can even start to blend together. When we map them out, your brain starts to have better access to the entire body and you will feel more in tune with your body as a result.
Nervous system regulation techniques:
Our nervous system is the primary system that responds to stress. When we're feeling anxious or stressed out we're more likely to be experiencing pain. Learning to work with the nervous system is key to managing our stress and can also reduce pain.
Movement by design exercises:
The movement we do is meant to help you learn more about the brilliant design of your body; your joints, organs and tissues. You will develop a greater understanding and appreciation for your body through movement.
Journaling about the experience and connecting with the emotional sensations and physical movements before, during, and after a session builds the awareness and reinforces your newly acquired skills.
Our goal working together through this movement therapy is to find self-directed, gentle movements you can do alone. You’ll build the tools to respond in the moment to whatever life hands you.
Find out more about my unique Body Dialogue Coaching series.