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Trauma lives in the body. Anyone who has experienced severe stress or trauma knows those memories and feelings don’t just exist in our minds – they seep into our muscles, nerves, even our cells. This is why traditional talk therapy often falls short for trauma recovery. To truly heal, we need to access the deep wells of emotion stored in our bodies.

This is the premise behind somatic therapy, an innovative approach gaining recognition for its ability to resolve longtime trauma and pain.

Somatic therapy guides you to connect with your body’s sensations and release pent-up emotions on a physical level. Freeing these energies allows room for healing and growth that talk therapy alone cannot provide.

Keep reading to understand what somatic therapy is, how it works, and who can benefit from this holistic healing approach.

What is Somatic Therapy?

The term “somatic” means “of the body.” Somatic therapy helps you access unresolved emotions trapped in your body so you can process and resolve lingering trauma on a nerve, cell, and tissue level.

It takes a mind-body approach, using breath, movement, and touch to bring awareness to tension stored in your muscles, fascia, and nervous system. From here, somatic therapists help you safely explore difficult emotions and memories tied to this chronic tension.

Releasing this muscular armoring and associated energy allows your body and mind to return to a state of ease and inner peace.

How Somatic Therapy Differs from Talk Therapy

Talk therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focus mainly on conscious thought patterns and behaviors. The goal is to identify distorted thinking and actions related to your trauma so you can challenge these perspectives.

While CBT is effective for some, it overlooks the crucial bodily piece of the trauma puzzle. Our bodies absorb emotional and sensory information from traumatic events and store these memories in our tissues. Ignoring the body’s critical role can impede true healing.

Somatic therapy picks up where talk therapy leaves off. It teaches you to listen to your body’s sensations and use this insight to guide your trauma processing. The goal isn’t to reframe your thoughts but rather to gently release and transform years of accumulated tension


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