According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, nearly 38% of adults in the United States utilize complementary and alternative medicine. These holistic treatment methods include acupuncture, biofeedback, Reiki, naturopathy, meditation, massage, and more. Somatic therapy is a form of holistic treatment that helps rejuvenate the mind and body through both psychotherapy and physical movement. This form of therapy takes the approach that a person’s thoughts, attitudes, feelings, and beliefs can influence their physical well-being, while a person’s lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise can influence their mental well-being.
Many contemporary practitioners believe that the mind and body are of one entity that can be altered by the environment, interpersonal interactions, posture, muscular pain, and other messages received from the body. It is through this communication of the body that we can learn of negative effects on a person’s autonomic nervous system. Somatic therapy helps clients to become more aware of the signals their body is sending them – signs that they need to release tension in certain areas. Several techniques are used during a somatic therapy session to help relieve tension, such as breathing exercises, sensation awareness, physical exercise, voice work, massage, and more. There are many benefits that have been described from somatic therapy, including:
- Reframing and transforming past negative experiences
- Obtaining a greater sense of self
- Developed confidence, resilience, and hope
A 2017 study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress assessed participants with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The participants shared the symptoms they were experiencing, as well as the severity and depressive symptoms experienced. Somatic therapy calculations were shown to fall in the range of being considered an effective therapy for people who need it.
There are two methods that are typically used with somatic therapy: titration and pendulated method. Titration involves being guided through a traumatic memory while being asked if one notices any changes in the way they feel when the memory is recalled. The pendulated method involves moving the client between homeostasis and instability – a person may feel physical discomfort that serves as discharged stress, such as nausea, twitching, and flushing of skin.
Complementary medicine has become more popular than ever before in the United States. More people are seeking ways to help relieve pain and address mind, body, and spiritual concerns in a way that is relatively non-invasive. Somatic therapy could be a great option for you; speak with a representative at a reputable treatment center to see if this is offered.
If you’re seeking a mental health and/or substance abuse recovery treatment center, call us today at 855-412-2426. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed treatment center with licensed, experienced professionals who care about your recovery. We have a variety of methods that we can try with you to see what works and will help you develop a customized treatment plan to best suit your needs. Make the decision to place your health and happiness as top priority and call us for a consultation.