Exploring and regulating the nervous system is the focus of our work at Somatic Spiritual Counseling. Understanding our own nervous system provides safety, comfort, and direction as we approach any activity or healing endeavor. We can learn how to keep ourselves in a comfortable range of experience, bringing ourselves up when we feel too far down or down when we feel too far up. We can gather resources and tools, learning the instruction manual to our own being.
In these videos, you can try a few techniques that help us become intimate with the nervous system. Orienting, for example, is an activity that all mammals do when feeling safe. By practicing orienting in our daily lives, we send the message to our bodies that we are safe and sound. A body scan is another gentle way to make friends with our physical selves, checking in with various parts of our body that may appreciate some attention and care. The self-hug is a technique taught by Dr. Peter Levine (founder of Somatic Experiencing) that often brings a sense of containment and gentleness. The Changing the Inner Channel meditation is a good way to see that experiences come to us in many forms: through sensation, imagery, movement, emotion, and thoughts.
By opening our sense perceptions to a wider range of information, we will feel more intimate with ourselves and more aware of our internal and external experiences. Moreover, many experiences become “trapped” or “encoded” in our nervous systems—if an experience was threatening and our response to protect ourselves felt incomplete or thwarted, that will become a body memory, stored in the tissues and nerves. By working with the nervous system, we have the ability to unwind these old imprints, these places where we get stuck over and over again. This leads to a greater sense of freedom, agency, and empowerment.
The practices in this nervous system section align mind and body and bring us greater balance. Many of us spend most of our days living in our minds, and could use some body attention to bring a greater sense of connectedness, groundedness, and realness to our experience.
Somatic therapy and coaching is all about nervous system repatterning. It is based on the understanding that our body stores our unfinished business, and by shifting the body towards more health, centeredness, and presence, our minds will naturally follow. This is what makes somatic therapy different than traditional approaches to talk therapy.
You can read some of our blog posts about somatic healing here.
If you try some of these videos, we would love to hear about your experiences! Reach out to us here with your comments or questions.