Somatic therapy is a holistic experience that combines the mental, spiritual, and physical aspects of our being. The therapy teaches us to become aware of our bodies and how we experience sensations. Soma has been defined as “the body experienced from within.” When we bottle up worries and stress deep inside of us, they can become physical manifestations on the outside of the body.
Muscle aches and pains are often the result of repressed concerns and stresses. Somatic therapy teaches us how to become aware of these tensions so that they can be released and the pain relieved. Some people may not even know that they have areas of discomfort until they stop and become aware of their bodies.
Somatic therapy works by taking the time to check-in with our bodies on a regular basis. This provides us with the ability to get in touch with our feelings, rather than remaining lost in a host of thoughts and worries. While focusing our attention we may become aware of uncomfortable sensations in our bodies. Every time we experience something traumatic, we remember it “physically” as well as emotionally, in the form of muscle tension or pain. When we become aware of this, the initial reaction is to move away from any uncomfortable sensations or memories. However in somatic therapy, we want to remain focused on them. When we remain focused on the event we can help ourselves move on from it and bring about a moment of healing.
The role of the therapist during somatic therapy is to provide care and support for the patient during the healing process. When the therapist is present and well focused on the client, they can also offer assistance and feedback to help them understand what they are experiencing, and guide them to the path of healing. It is very important for them to form a strong bond in order for the therapist to help the client work through all of their issues.
Through our newly found awareness, we are able to take control over our body and move towards a healthier way of life. Once the client knows how to become aware of their physical sensations, these will act as cues to signal a deeper emotional problem which needs to be dealt with. When we frequently become aware of what is happening inside of us, we can make better decisions and choices, and face life head on.
Somatic therapy can be used as a life long tool for healing and growth. We are allowed to heal through the awareness of the body and its sensations. Somatic therapy is a technique that can be taken with us anywhere we go, and encourages us to be true to ourselves.