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What is Somatic Therapy?

The word 'Soma' or Somatic is:  pertaining to the Body, especially as distinct from the Mind.

Rather than focusing on the Mind alone, as do talk-therapies like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Somatic Therapy focuses on integrating mindfulness, body awareness, breath awareness and body-orientated tools to guide the client towards resolving maladaptive emotional and physiological patterns.

Somatic Therapy aims to assess and map out each client's unique Nervous System and to track, through the skill of Interoception, how the Body holds stress, trauma and patterned tension through emotions, sensations and different bodily states.  Using a Somatic lens, holistically views the client as a whole unique individual; gently guiding one back into relationship with their truest version of Self.

Somatic Therapy has been shown to be highly effective in alleviating the symptomology of (c)PTSD, Developmental Trauma, Attachment Disruptions and the various symptoms of a dysregulated Nervous System that often get labeled as Anxiety, Depression, Mood Disorders, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Substance and Behaviour Addictions.

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Examples of Somatic Therapies used at Lighthouse Holistic Wellness Centre:
  • Therapeutic Yin Yoga for Fascial Release

  • Sensorimotor Therapy

  • Embodied Movement

  • Applied Polyvagal Theory

  • Yoga Nidra

  • Spring Forest QiGong

  • Breathwork Techniques

  • Directed Mindfulness practices

  • Visually Guided Meditation

  • Energy/ Chakra Clearing Techniques

  • Vibrational Sound Resonance

  • Vocal Toning, Humming, Mantra

  • EFT (tapping)

  • Trauma-Sensitive HeartMath techniques

vagus nerve, polyvagal theory, trauma therapy, somatic therapy, ptsd

See the yellow structure in the picture? That’s the Vagus Nerve.

The most basic explanation is that the Vagus Nerve acts as a Nervous System regulator; a ‘gas pedal or brake’ if you will.  When the Vagus Nerve operates optimally, that gas pedal or brake is the connection between your brain and the electrical pathways of the heart.  The Vagus Nerve can slow or speed up the heart to regulate how much Sympathetic Activation is required for any given situation. 

When an individual is exposed to chronic stress and inflammation, common causes

being: our toxic environments, mold toxicity, parasites, virus, bacteria, low quality nutrients and medications causing leaking gut, physical trauma and complex emotional stress, the Vagus Nerve loses its ‘tone.’  When this happens, the sympathetic system continues to be Activated even if the ‘threat’ has passed.  Low Vagal tone can show up as: anxiety, depression, restlessness, reactivity, brain fog, fatigue, digestive issues, insomnia, chronic pain and ultimately autoimmune illness.


My core belief is that unhealed trauma and stressors are the primary reasons for our struggles and dis-Ease within the BodyMind complex.  If you have seen multiple doctors and psychologists, are being told your labs are 'normal' and have seen very little improvement in your quality of life, applied Polyvagal Theory and Somatic work could be the the missing pieces along your healing journey. 

Do you struggle with symptoms of an Activated Nervous System or with Chronic Health Issues, Chronic Pain or Autoimmune Disease and want to work with me?
Learn more about what I can offer by checking out the links below
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