A Spectrum of Interventions
Fundamentally we are energetic beings, endowed with our own unique consciousness that coordinates functioning within our mind body systems by overseeing and facilitating the exchange of vital information via chemical, electrical and magnetic energies.
Intervening through the body, as well as the mind, expands the possibilities for resolving blocks to the flow of vital information.
Somatic psychotherapy can bridge the divide between mind and body therapies. Techniques used in somatic psychotherapy can differ depending on the model. However, all models share complimentary roots and principles; and similar beliefs about the role body consciousness plays in coordinating mind body communication for the purpose of maintaining homeostasis and ensuring survival. When all systems are in sync, the natural state of homeostasis is preserved. However, when the free flow of Life Force energies is blocked at any point, the communication process is disrupted and all systems fall out of balance.
Mind body balance is dependent on the free flow of vital Life Force energies.
Energy blocks are simply interruptions in the free flow of Life Force energies that occur in the presence of negative thoughts, emotional obstacles, or pain, be it physical or emotional.
How Do Energy Blocks Occur?
Let’s consider for a moment how this works with the effects of negative thinking. Psychologists say about 70% of our thoughts are negative. Many of these negative thoughts arise in childhood, driven by a childhood incident or series of incidents, then recede into unconsciousness. Because we are no longer conscious of the root of the problem causing us distress, we often don’t know what to do about it.
Let’s consider yet another example of how this works by shaping our behavioral response to specific stimuli in the environment. Beginning early in life, our neurophysiological system spontaneously integrates beliefs we accept as true with our behavioral responses. This is an unconscious process. As we emerge into adulthood, we can find we are responding reflexively (reactively) at times without knowing why; no longer consciously aware that long ago this behavioral response was neurophysiologically associated with a specific belief. In this way our past becomes our present. Everyone has examples of getting caught off guard by their own behavior, and then being frustrated when they cannot seem to change it.
Help Through Somatic Psychotherapy
Somatic psychotherapies are focused on intervening in mind body systems, conscious and unconscious, to release blocks and modify neurophysiological associational pathways, and restore the free flow of life force energies in the process. Mind body systems are then able to return to the natural state of self-regulating, self-healing, responding accurately to present stimuli, and maintaining homeostasis; BALANCED STATE OF BEING IN THE NOW.
Not all somatic psychotherapies are accepted by mainstream psychology or western medicine. However, research is progressing and outcome studies in various models are showing positive results. It is validating to note the opinion of Robert Scaer, M.D., author of The Trauma Spectrum and 8 Keys to Brain-Body Balance. He has researched some somatic psychotherapy models and finds, “…if one breaks down the specific elements of each technique, one can find what I consider to be the essential ingredients of fear extinction: attunement, ritual, empowerment, alternating sensory stimulation of both cerebral hemispheres, motor acts of completion, and repair of ruptured perceptual boundaries.”
What is important to understand here is that when our fear center, the amygdala, is activated, we spontaneously move into the flight, flight or freeze mode. We become hypervigilent; our consciousness is focused like a laser on ensuring survival in the face of a perceived threat. This process is designed to act quickly, and when the threat is past, to activate mind body systems that return us to homeostasis. However, this system can become overworked and get stuck in the “ON” position. When this occurs our vulnerability increases because hypervigilence narrows our perception, and our left brain processes of clear, logical thinking go offline temporarily. We can miss vital cues in the environment and not respond in a timely, appropriate fashion. When a hypervigilent state becomes chronic, which can happen for people who have experienced a trauma, we suffer further negative consequences.
Expanding Horizons of Healing
Numerous branches of science are making new discoveries almost every day, adding to our understanding of how various systems in the mind body complex operate, and how and where to intervene when they are out of balance. Somatic psychotherapy holds keys to restoring natural, innate capacities that maintain mind body integrity and homeostasis.