“Our relationship to our own body is often one great casualty of trauma.” ”Learning to tolerate and be curious about dreaded physical sensations gives people a sense of mastery. . . Somatic experiencing, with an intuitive knowledge that there is a natural flow in and out of emotions, opens up an appetite for even deeper experiencing. . . Yoga is part of the overall healing process . . . ”
~Emerson & Hopper in Overcoming Trauma through Yoga
Traumatic experiences can interfere with our ability to enjoy a full and vibrant life. But are the psychological scars of traumatic experiences mirrored in the body in the form of trapped energy?
This is the tenet of Dr. Peter A. Levine, a pioneering thinker in psychotherapy and trauma work, who created Somatic Experiencing – a body awareness approach bearing many similarities to what the ancient yogis taught about how we can deal with the—at times overwhelming—stresses of life.
Millions of Americans live with trauma each day. Approximately 3.6% of men and nearly 10% of women in the US will meet criteria for post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in their lifetime, surveys suggest. Among war veterans, occupants of inner city neighborhoods, political refugees, and children and adolescents who have been exposed to traumatic events, these numbers are considerably higher.
Many people who experience trauma do not develop PTSD. However, for some people, even highly stressful life events such as an accident, illness, death of a loved one, divorce, and unemployment can lead to many of the symptoms of PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD often include reliving the trauma over and over again, bad dreams, intrusive frightening thoughts, avoidance, depression, hyper-vigilance and agitation, and angry outbursts among others. These symptoms often create considerable disruptions to a person’s life, interfering with employment and social relationships.
Historically, treatments for trauma have mainly been psychotherapy, which focused on examining the thoughts and emotions surrounding the event, and exploring methods for coping with traumatic stress. The influence of trauma on the body was largely ignored.
Increasingly, however, counselors and psychotherapists are realizing that traumatic experiences become locked in the body as well, and that to be effective, treatments for traumatic stress need to incorporate both the mind and the body.
The Somatic Experiencing approach created by Dr. Peter A. Levine is an excellent example of this pioneering work. Dr. Levine is one of the foremost experts on healing trauma, the founder of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, and the author of the best selling book, Waking the Tiger.
Trauma, Dr. Levine says, is a “highly energetic response” in which energy gets “locked down in the system when [it is] traumatized.” Painful symptoms associated with trauma are the result of “fragments of sensory body memory” that become trapped. (See the YouTube interview below in which Dr. Levine describes his unique approach to releasing traumatic experiences locked in the body.)
Somatic Experiencing is a technique that involves discharging this trapped sensory memory, and integrating it with present day experience in a “coherent way.” The key to Somatic Experiencing is releasing and integrating this energy gradually, rather than reliving the experience or thinking about it. Dr. Levine believes that it takes a great deal of energy to keep the trapped sensory body memory associated with trauma from being released, which often results in fatigue or an inability to engage in pleasurable activities for fear that intense emotions such as fear or rage will emerge.
“The trick is not to deny, but not to get swept away” with anger or other intense emotions associated with trauma, Levine suggests. Feeling these emotions as “physical sensations in the body,” and releasing these sensations incrementally, he notes, is an important way to safely free stored energy associated with the trauma, and re-channel this energy into pleasurable activities.
Irrespective of whether you are dealing with a traumatic life event, or ‘simply’ high levels of stress, Somatic Experiencing offers important insights into how we can process intense emotions such as anger, grief, and fear in an incremental and healthy way. It recognizes that the experiences of our minds and our bodies are intertwined, allowing for healing at a deeper level.
As such, it is part of the larger mind-body revolution, of which yoga is also a part, which continues to deepen our insights into the importance of incorporating both body and mind in healing modalities for both psychological and physical issues.
Bessel van der Kolk, Medical Director of the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute and David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper, authors of the book Overcoming Trauma through Yoga are pioneers in the integration of yoga and trauma therapy. They draw on the ability of yoga to cultivate mindful awareness, inner peace, and body consciousness, to allow people to safely experience challenging emotions and physical sensations, and to gain mastery over them. This fosters personal empowerment even in the presence of fear-provoking sensations.
Each time we ‘hold space’ for present awareness in our yoga practice—be it braving the physical challenge of sustaining a posture, or confronting difficult emotions or thought patterns—we learn to accept and embrace sensations in our bodies and minds that may previously have been interpreted as threatening. Yoga allows us to sit with those feelings, reinterpret them in the present, and release them, This is just one more example of the ways in which yoga is a practice of liberation that allows us to heal, and to experience the richness of life to its fullest.
With Rachana Wolff & Vira Drotbohm
We are looking forward to diving into the next LIVING TOUCH MASSAGE TRAINING together again.
First module "WHOLE INTUITIVE MASSAGE" 06. - 08. Dezember 2019.
The start of the training is an incredible opportunity to get deeper into contact with your intuition.
and the healing power of your hands. Centering, clarity and intuition are building blocks in the First Module of Training. Through the deep connection to one's own body, the perception of touch will be connected and supported by the Massage technic. In the respectful connection with other people, trust, relaxation and silence can grow inside you.
WHAT MEANS EXACTLY TO BE IN FLOW? –
Many teachers have different ways to explain this phenomenon called flow.
For me flow is an ongoing discovery about my inner and outer movements. The inner movements in my body, in my thoughts and in my emotions. The outer movements in my actions, in my decisions and in my judgements.
We all know the moments were Life is just moving in a way were we can move with it and we also know the moments were Life moves and we are holding back and stopping the flow, specially when things are not going the way we will want them to go. When we learn to be awake and aware of what is going on, we notice the difference.
For me the moments were I am not moving with the flow are the moments when I have fear, when I have to many negative thoughts inside me, when I am fighting for something and the fight becomes a tension, when I am projecting myself into the future and the not knowing becomes unbearable.
If I can bring awareness in those moments and I can realize what is happening and what I am doing, then I have a chance to step out of the wheel of tension. Mostly I use my breath as a tool of awareness and immediately a release of tension in my body starts to happen. something starts to circulate again - a flow starts to happen - a stream of Energy - an oxygenation - something unexpected unfolds.
I want to introduce an ancient practice born on the Hawaiian Islands and used to generate more Energy Inside ourselves.... It is called Piko Piko Breathing.
This Breathing practice starts with the awareness of the Pikos we are going to use. In this case the Piko situated on the Very Top of our Heads and the Piko situated on the lower Belly.
Piko is the Hawaiian Name for an Energy Center.
First we bring the touch an warmth of our hands to this to Pikos and start connecting with this places on our physical Body and later on our Energy Body.
We start breathing in on the Piko witch is situated on the Very Top of our Heads - on the crown and we use this wave of Energy inside the body till we breath out through our Belly Center - our Source.
At the beginning we hold this two places with our hands and when the energy starts to build up inside of us, we allow the movement of the arms and the hands to move freely following the rhythm of the breath and the connection with pikos.
Much Healing Energy, called Mana starts to move through us. Mana in Hawaiian Language is equal to Life Energy. We are full of Life, full of Creativity and full of Power.
10/9/2019 0 Kommentare
Fluidity- is a State of the ongoing movement of healing energy inside your BODY.
Learning to discover your Inner Flow is to allow peace, openness, awareness and love in your LIFE.
Being connected with your own light, mirrors your inner beauty.
Follow the Body, listen to it and open up to recive the Message every day.
LiquidBody is a creative fluid style of somatic movement exploration based on Emilie Conrad’s pioneering Continuum Movement that recognizes that your body is mostly water that can be cued and sculpted with simple sounds, breaths and movements. It works from the inside out to improve circulation and build liquid strength. Through guided improvisational movement sequences that follow the natural curves of your bones, muscles and fascia, tension is released while honing a deep body-mind connection. Caryn Heilman is an authorized Continuum Movement teacher with an MFA in Modern Dance from the University of California at Irvine. She has studied somatic movement with Emilie Conrad, founder of Continuum Movement for almost 20 years as well as Astanga Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and other somatic modalities. She has taught at SomaFest L.A., Jacob’s Pillow, Smith College, Hollins University, Princeton University, Beijing Dance Academy, and more in the U.S. and abroad. Caryn‘s LiquidBody experience coupled with her ten years of performing arts experience as a professional dancer in the Paul Taylor Dance Company allows her to share the wealth of expert guidance she has received over the years with anyone looking for an enjoyable and disciplined movement approach.
THE FIELD OF SOMATIC MOVEMENT EDUCATION AND THERAPY
The field of somatics has developed over the last century through a process of inquiry into how consciousness inhabits the living body. The term is derived from the word “somatic” (Greek “somatikos”, soma: “living, aware, bodily person”) which means pertaining to the body, experienced and regulated from within. According to Thomas Hanna, who first coined the phrase, “somatics” is the study of self from the perspective of one’s lived experience, encompassing the dimensions of body, psyche, and spirit.
The field of Somatic Movement Education and Therapy represents a variety of approaches to the process of awakening awareness of the human body, or soma, in movement. Registered practitioners guide individuals and groups into inner experiences of their bodies, deepening the clients’ understanding of themselves in motion. This transformational learning process can include sound, breath, touch and imagery in addition to movement.
Benefits of Somatic Movement Education and Therapy