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What is Somatics?

"Before there are words, there is the wordless communication of the body."

-Michael Changaris, Psy. D.



What is Somatics?

How do you know when you’re cold, hungry, nervous, calm, aroused, or satisfied? Your body tells your brain. Your nervous system picks up sensations throughout your head and body and sends them upstairs for your brain to process, understand, and address.


Connecting with your body

Even when we’ve long forgotten or seemingly never got to know parts of our bodies, our brains are capable of reconnecting, integrating, and forming relationships with our whole selves. Somatics practice is about tuning into your internal, felt-sense of self. Dropping down away from your rational and analytical mind into your body to sense the nuance of what it feels like inside.


A nervous system practice

Somatics is about connecting your mind to your body to more completely sense the signals your body sends your brain. Bringing your inner feelings (muscles, organs, emotions, the whole lot) into consciousness and facilitating the integration of your sensory (feeling) self with your motor (movement) self, a process that happens through your nervous system.


Body to brain, brain to body

Somatics practice is something you do. It’s embodied learning that asks you to feel into sensations while you make small, repetitive, intentional movements. It doesn’t have to require a lot of time, but it does require concentration and focus.

The benefits are cumulative, and learning somatics probably feels different from learning something intellectually. It’s bottoms-up—the body “teaching” the brain. Or rather, the brain coming to listen more deeply to the body, so that it’s better at controlling your actions in response to what it hears. 


Types of Somatic Therapies

-Massage

-Deep breathing

-Sensation awareness

-Meditation

-Yoga

-Sound/Frequency therapy

-Physical exercise

-Dance

-Voice work

-Grounding exercises


“The Somatic Exercises…enable us to remember what it feels like not to be anxious, and to breathe once again like healthy human beings are meant to breathe.”

-Thomas Hanna