Q)What is Somatic Experiencing?
Somatic Experiencing, created by Dr Peter Levine is a cutting edge technique for working with developmental trauma and event trauma, and in general honoring the nervous system and working therapeutically on the mind-body level.
During sessions, a client sits opposite the practitioner and is guided to begin noticing the sensations in their body. Working on a body level enables one to begin working with the nervous system and safely help the “mind-body system” work through any layers that have affected it. During this process one can process challenging events or struggles that they are going through and help their nervous system come back to balance. This process allows for deep and effective healing to take place and takes into account the full complexity of who we each are.
Some core principles of Somatic Experiencing:
Trauma or challenging experiences can’t be healed just through cognitive awareness. What’s needed is to help the nervous system process these events, release or complete them if needed, and come back to balance.
Oftentimes our survival instincts of flight, fight and freeze play a large role in the underlying cause of what were struggling with and its important to know how to work with these systems.
The importance of helping one reconnect to their body, emotions and sensations for full healing to take place.
A focus for the therapeutic work to be done in a manner that’s safe and contained so the change is integrated and effective.
Peter Levine: Waking the Tiger
Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD : The body keeps the score
Stephen Porges, Phd: The Polyvagal Theory
Q) What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral Therapy is a truly amazing opportunity to experience the full depth of mind-body healing. Craniosacral Therapy is a light touch technique that is used to listen to a client’s body, help them connect to themselves more deeply, and help their nervous system, body, and psyche heal whatever is needed at that time.
All our experiences, thoughts and feelings from our lives get “stored” in our body to one degree or another. Oftentimes, our conscious awareness is limited in what it remmebrs or is aware of. The cells of our body however hold onto all the feelings and experiences that we had and they can be brought back to our awareness through connecting to the body. Through the body one can even reconnect and heal feelings, experiences or sensations from one’s utero experience, birth or past life. It is only through dropping into the body can one begin to process and release the full spectrum of whatever their system needs for healing. Craniosacral Therapy is the ideal tool for that process.
Working with the Craniosacral rhythm has a profound effect on the nervous system and is very effective for working with stress, anxiety and trauma. The process helps the nervous system unwind from tension or experiences that it is holding onto and allows clients to finally experience feeling present, calm and grounded.
In addition, craniosacral Therapy allows clients to get in touch with and resolve their emotions, feelings or experiences in a profound way that otherwise would not have been possible. During a session, clients are helped to slowly “drop” out of their protective or “defended” thinking brain and instead reconnect to their bodies and emotions on a more experiential level. This allows for change to happen not just on an intellectual level, but also shift how the client actually experiences those events or emotions, and how they now feel in their body and the the world.
Lastly, craniosacral can be very effective for helping with physical pain and ailments. Issues such a headaches and migraines, injuries, neck, back or hip pain can all be helped through the gentle approach of craniosacral therapy. Furthermore, syndromes such a PTSD, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and many others can greatly benefit from this profound work.
Clients lay face up, on a comfortable therapy table and are fully clothed. The practitioner lightly places their hands on different areas of the client’s body and “tunes into” what the system needs at that time. During some sessions, a client may drop into a deep state of relaxation, stillness or rejuvenation and not feel the need to say anything at all. During other sessions a client may have images, emotions, thoughts or memories come up that they would like to process. The session is an ideal time to process any of that content on a mind-body level. There is no right or wrong way. Just a commitment on my part to fully trust and respect the inner wisdom of each client and follow what they need to reach healing and balance.
I received my Craniosacral Training through the Upledger Institute and have been practicing Craniosacral Therapy for over 7 years.
John Upledger: Your Inner Physician and You
Hugh Milne: The Heart of Listening
Q) Do you only work with local clients?
A) Much of the therapy and coaching that I do can be done in person or over Skype. However, Craniosacral Therapy can only be done for face to face clients.