Somatic Therapy and PRO Massage

I had a client mention Somatic (relating to the body, especially as distinct from the mind.) Therapy so I wanted to do some research and this is what I found.  








What is an example of a somatic treatment?
Somatic therapists use mind-body techniques to release the pent-up tension that’s weighing on your emotional and physical well-being. These techniques could involve breathing exercises, meditation, dance, and other forms of body movement.
What does somatic mean in therapy?
Somatic counseling, also known as somatic experiencing therapy, or SE therapy, is a type of therapy that helps treat post-traumatic stress and effects from other mental health conditions. This type of therapy connects a person’s mind and body to apply psychotherapy and physical therapies during treatment.
What is somatic therapy good for?
Somatic therapy, also known as somatic experiencing therapy, is a therapy that aims to treat PTSD and other mental and emotional health issues through the connection of mind and body. This body-centric approach works by helping to release stress, tension, and trauma from the body.
Who benefits from somatic therapy?
Somatic therapy has many proven benefits for those struggling with mental health conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Bringing awareness back to the body and reconditioning it to release the trauma stored deep within the nervous system can improve many symptoms of mental health disorders.
What is the main cause of somatic pain?
Somatic pain occurs when pain receptors in tissues (including the skin, muscles, skeleton, joints, and connective tissues) are activated. Typically, stimuli such as force, temperature, vibration, or swelling activate these receptors.
Is somatic a mental disorder?
Somatic symptom disorder (SSD) is a mental health condition in which a person feels significantly distressed about physical symptoms and has abnormal thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in response to them. The disorder disrupts their daily functioning and quality of life.
What are somatic exercises?
Somatic exercises involve performing movement for the sake of movement. Throughout the exercise, you focus on your inner experience as you move and expand your internal awareness. Many types of somatic exercises exist.
What does a somatic therapy session look like?
Usually, we start by sitting and talking, and then eventually, we work our way over to the table and begin with a really light touch. The first thing, I invite is the person to check in with their body—just observe what they’re feeling, what they’re noticing in their bodies.

The central nervous system (CNS) includes the brain and the spinal cord. The second major division of the nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, carries messages to and from the central nervous system. It consists of all of the nerve cells that are not in the brain or spinal column. It is comprised of two parts: the somatic and the autonomic nervous systems. The somatic nervous system is composed of the sensory (afferent) neurons that carry messages to the central nervous system and the motor (efferent) neurons that carry messages from the central nervous system to the skeletal muscles of the body. Every deliberate action a person makes involves neurons in the somatic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system carries messages between the central nervous system and the internal organs. It is broken into two parts: the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions. The first acts primarily to arouse the body, and the second, to relax and restore the body to normal levels of arousal. The sympathetic division generally acts to arouse the body, preparing it for “fight or flight” or quick action in an emergency. The parasympathetic division calms the body after it experiences this fight-or-flight feeling.
What is an example of a somatic?
Your sense of touch below your neck uses your somatic nervous system to reach your spinal cord, which then relays signals to your brain.
What are the 5 somatic disorders?
They include somatization disorder, undifferentiated somatoform disorder, hypochondriasis, conversion disorder, pain disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, and somatoform disorder not otherwise specified. These disorders often cause significant emotional distress for patients and are a challenge to family physicians.
What is somatic therapy massage?
Somatic massage therapy is a type of massage therapy that focuses on the body’s nervous system. The aim of somatic massage therapy is to help the body heal itself by relieving pain and tension. Somatic massage therapy is often used to treat conditions such as headaches, back pain, and neck pain.
Can massages release trauma?
YES, Massage therapy, the manual manipulation of soft body tissue to promote health and well-being, can provide relief from physical, emotional, and mental stress, and decrease levels of depression, anxiety, irritability, and other symptoms associated with trauma exposure (Collinge, Kahn, & Soltysik, 2012).
The aim of somatic massage therapy is to help the body heal itself by relieving pain and tension. Somatic massage therapy is often used to treat conditions such as headaches, back pain, and neck pain. It can also be used to improve circulation and relieve stress along with other issues such as PTSD and body awareness.
What are the main psychological benefits of massage?
Massage therapy has been known to lower stress, decrease anxiety, and reduce irritability. Along with increasing brain serotonin and dopamine, the combination of these effects leads to a happier individual.

These are the 10 most common benefits reported from massage therapy:

1. Reduce Stress

A relaxing day at the spa is a great way to unwind and de-stress. However, clients are sure to notice themselves feeling relaxed and at ease for days and even weeks after their appointments!

2. Improve Circulation

Loosening muscles and tendons allows increased blood flow throughout the body. Improving your circulation can have a number of positive effects on the rest of your body, including reduced fatigue and pain management!

3. Reduce Pain

Massage therapy is great for working out problem areas like lower back pain and chronic stiffness. A professional therapist will be able to accurately target the source of your pain and help achieve the perfect massage regimen.

4. Eliminate Toxins

Stimulating the soft tissues of your body will help to release toxins through your blood and lymphatic systems.

5. Improve Flexibility

Massage therapy will loosen and relax your muscles, helping your body to achieve its full range of movement potential.

6. Improve Sleep

A massage will encourage relaxation and boost your mood.  Going to bed with relaxed and loosened muscles promotes more restful sleep, and you’ll feel less tired in the morning!

7. Enhance Immunity

Stimulation of the lymph nodes re-charges the body’s natural defense system.

8. Reduce Fatigue

Massage therapy is known to boost mood and promote better quality sleep, thus making you feel more rested and less worn out at the end of the day.

9. Alleviate Depression and Anxiety

Massage therapy can help to release endorphins in your body, helping you to feel happy, energized, and at ease.

10. Reduce post-surgery and post-injury swelling

A professional massage is a great way to safely deal with a sports injury or post-surgery rehabilitation.


Do I do Somatic Massage?
Yes, contact me for an appointment. I combine all my modalities and treat each person differently depending on what I learn from their initial intake form and consultation.
Where is trauma stored in the body?
Ever since people’s responses to overwhelming experiences have been systematically explored, researchers have noted that trauma is stored in somatic memory and expressed as changes in the biological stress response.
What does somatic release feel like?
In somatic therapy, these sensations, along with things like crying, shaking, or shivering, are considered to be a discharge of the energy trapped in your body. Your therapist might also help you use specific breathing or relaxation techniques to help you process and release the trauma. Sometimes this can be overwhelming for clients who have never experienced this kind of treatment and release.
How do you know your body is releasing trauma?
  1. You Begin Feeling Your Emotions (Rather Than Minimizing Them) …
  2. Practicing Living Mindfully (Rather Than Mindlessly) …
  3. Your Body Releases Tension & Trauma. …
  4. You Reach Out More For Support & Ask For Help (Rather Than Isolating)
How do you release trapped emotions?
Practice mindfulness to get better at recognizing your feelings and observing the bodily sensations connected to those feelings, as they come and go throughout the day. Offer yourself self-compassion as you go through more difficult emotions. PRACTICE: Sit still for a few minutes with your eyes closed.
How do you feel after somatic therapy?
While somatic experiencing therapy does not involve a complete retelling and processing of your past trauma like some other trauma therapies might, you will be asked to bring up some of these painful memories. Doing so may result in you feeling “activated” or feeling a high level of energetic arousal in your body.
Can I do somatic therapy on myself?
Somatic therapy may help you manage symptoms of trauma and chronic stress. Although some somatic experiencing exercises can be done on your own, to truly benefit from this approach, it’s recommended that you work with a trained therapist.
What are some somatic symptoms?
Specific sensations, such as pain or shortness of breath, or more general symptoms, such as fatigue or weakness.
Does somatic therapy work for anxiety?
Somatic therapy can help individuals that suffer from a wide range of mental issues such as trauma, addiction, grief, depression, stress, and anxiety. It can also help people heal from past trauma and abuse and anyone currently dealing with sexual dysfunction and problems in their relationships.
Does insurance cover somatic therapy?
Yes, most California health insurance carriers provide mental health benefits that cover therapy. However, the exact amount of coverage will vary based on the plan details and whether the selected provider is in-network or out-of-network with your insurance.
How often should I do somatic therapy?
How often do I need to come in for SE therapy?  Usually, we recommend starting with weekly sessions and spacing them out further after approximately 4 sessions. However, this may also vary considerably from client to client.
How do you get old trauma out of your body?
People with trauma or other mental health conditions like anxiety and depression often experience physical symptoms as well.

Ways to release old emotions in the hips
  1. somatic exercises.
  2. yoga.
  3. stretching.
  4. mind-body practices.
  5. massage.
  6. somatic experiencing therapy.
What emotion is stored in the hips?
The hips are an important storage vessel for emotional stress because of the psoas’ link to the adrenal glands and the location of the sacral chakra.
What emotion is stored in the neck?
Neck Tension = Fear and Repressed Self-Expression

Fear and anxiety are also frequently stored in this area, particularly as a physical response to danger (as the neck is a vulnerable area) or strange environments. Neck muscle tension is also related to trust issues.
What trauma is stored in the gut?
A study conducted by Columbia University has discovered that traumatic childhood experiences can cause stomach or gut problems which may manifest in adulthood as mental or emotional issues. As a psychotherapist, I often see clients who feel grief, anger, sadness, and anxiety in the gut or stomach.
What kind of pain is somatic?
Somatic pain is characterized as well localized, intermittent, or constant and described as aching, gnawing, throbbing, or cramping. Such metastases are characterized by bone destruction with concurrent new bone formation.



Somatic counseling, also known as somatic experiencing therapy, or SE therapy, is a type of therapy that helps treat post-traumatic stress and effects from other mental health conditions. This type of therapy connects a person’s mind and body to apply psychotherapy and physical therapies during treatment.

Therapists who practice somatic body psychotherapy believe a person’s inner feelings impact their physical form – they use mind-body exercises to release pent-up trauma from the mind and the body. By releasing these bodily sensations, a therapist works towards healing trauma from the inside out with this form of trauma therapy. 

How Does Somatic Therapy Work?

It is easy to feel trapped by our own physical and emotional stress. This feeling of being trapped might also lead you to feel panicked, anxious, and unable to calm down. Traditional talk therapy can effectively address many mental and emotional health challenges, but those who practice somatic psychotherapy believe talk therapy can benefit from paying attention to a person’s body and symptoms, which can help a person alleviate the stress and chronic pain preventing them from fully experiencing life.

Somatic experiencing therapy is a specific approach to somatic therapy and is based on the idea that traumatic experiences cause dysfunction in a person’s nervous system and prevent them from processing the experience. The goal of somatic experiencing therapy, therefore, is to help an individual notice physical sensations stemming from their mental health issues and use that awareness to work through painful feelings and emotions. This kind of physical sensation can be in the form of chronic pain and other unpleasant symptoms.

Over time, somatic trauma healing therapy aims to help individuals improve their body awareness and learn somatic therapy techniques to release physical tension. These can include:

The key is helping a person develop new thinking patterns and behaviors to better respond to various experiences or emotions as they come up.

When Is Somatic Therapy Used?

Somatic trauma healing therapy focuses on a person’s physical and mental connection during treatment and can be done in both an individual and a group therapy setting. This type of trauma therapy can be used to help address both physical and psychological symptoms of certain mental health issues, including:

  • Chronic stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief
  • Addiction
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Problems with relationships
  • Sexual function

Somatic experiencing therapy can also benefit those who have tried, but not found success with, more traditional treatment methods after a traumatic experience. These treatments can include for physical pain, digestive disorders, sleep problems, and other medical issues. The idea of using somatic techniques is that once physical symptoms are resolved, most people will find it easier to address psychological symptoms through the use of somatic therapy techniques.

Somatic therapy techniques

A somatic therapist can use a few different techniques to help release trauma or negative emotions from the body. Here are some of the more common ones:

  • Body awareness. This is one of the first steps in learning to release tension from the body. The client learns to recognize and identify areas of tension in the body, as well as calming thoughts and feelings.
  • Grounding. This is the act of connecting deeply to your body and the earth. Grounding involves sensing the body, feeling your feet on the ground, and calming your nervous system.
  • Pendulation. In this technique, a therapist guides you from a relaxed state to one that feels similar to your traumatic experience. This may repeat several times, allowing you to release the pent-up energy. While the energy is released, you may feel uncomfortable or anxious. Each time, you will be guided back to a relaxed state. Over time, you will learn to get into a relaxed state on your own.
  • Titration. In this technique, the therapist guides you through a traumatic memory. You will be asked to observe any changes in your body that appear as you describe the memory. If you experience any physical sensations, the therapist will help you address them as they occur.
  • Sequencing. This involves paying close attention to the order in which sensations of tension leave your body. For instance, first, you might feel a tightening in your chest and then in your throat. Then there may be a sensation of trembling as the tension leaves your body.
  • Resourcing. This involves recalling resources in your life that make you feel safe, such as your relationships, personality strengths, or even a favorite vacation spot. It can include anything that makes you feel calm. You then recall the good feelings and sensations associated with your resources, which act as an emotional anchor.
 more info at:  

What Is Somatic Experiencing Therapy?






*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to the scope of practice, medical diagnosis, or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company, or specific massage therapy technique, modality, or approach. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.

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