Before I was trained to facilitate somatoemotional release therapy, I was a receiver – a client on someone else’s table around age 34. Before that, I was a yoga student, crying on my mat in child’s pose because at 26 I had finally come into my own body. And even before that, I was a child, flailing my body around “throwing fits” – doing what children do.
Our bodies were meant to move. Our emotions were meant to move through our bodies. Energy is always moving and can get stuck in our tissues of our bodies if we do not allow it to be there and move through our body.
Poor or non-existent coping mechanisms set us up to fight these natural movements and emotions. Trauma can be so overwhelming to our system that even with solid coping mechanisms, surrendering to the effects of the traumatic experience can feel like impending death. So, we freeze. We stop feeling what is there begging to be felt, and it eventually causes physical pain and/or disease.
Somatoemotional release allows the mind and body to reunite and thaw these frozen moments in our bodies releasing us of the negative effects of unprocessed emotions and traumas.
The SER experience can happen in a variety of ways, but the most common theme is a sudden realization of a root cause of something that has been hidden deep within our psyche and/or body followed by a softening, a twitch, tears, a long breathe, sudden body movement, and/or therapeutic sharing to name a few.
My personal experience includes a vivid recall of a go-kart accident while a practitioner was going through the tissue release process during a demo for my SER1 class. Our intention was finding the root cause to some neck and shoulder pain I had been having. Until then, I hadn’t realized it was caused by the go-kart accident, but it was invaluable information. Along with substantial immediate relief, I was thrilled to finally know what was causing the pain so I could go about treating it appropriately. Later that evening I had the emotional release alone in my hotel room, where I cried and journaled for a couple hours. It had been just over a year since the accident, a year of journaling and talk therapy, that yielded some results but nothing like the night after my SER experience. I was able to finally process all the emotions that came along with the accident. I had been carrying a lot of guilt and sadness about breaking my daughter’s arm when I loss control and flipped the go-kart. It was incredible and allowed me to finally heal.
Another time, I was alone with my SER therapist, as she worked a painful spot in my right shoulder, I thought I had somehow injured doing everyday activities. Initially, I laughed uncontrollably because it hurt so badly as she worked until I began crying on her table suddenly verbalizing a deep grief and responsibility I had been holding onto related to my brother.
In my practice, I have witnessed many soft “a-ha” moments, as well as, some tears that fell silently without the client knowing why. I’ve held space for people as their bodies trembled and their voice shook while they recalled events in their life they didn’t realize were still affecting them. Others have peacefully and quietly processed things internally that I will never have the privileged to know about and that is absolutely fine. Every person’s experience is unique to them. As recipients, we will only go as deep as we are ready to go. Our “Inner Physician” as Dr. John Upledger calls it, posses an infinite wisdom about ourselves that guides the practitioner during each moment of the session.
This work is next level. It’s beautiful and sacred, and I’m honored to be able to facilitate it.