There are many types of modalities that help one release repressed emotions and old energy from the body. My particular path led me to SomatoEmotional Release (SER) through the modality of CranioSacral Therapy (CST). Simply put, CST is a gentle hands on method that improves the functioning of the central nervous system and compliments the body’s natural healing process. SER can be understood as a process to help one release emotions stored in the tissues of the physical body, as “soma” means body. Dr. John Upledger D.O., was the founder and talked about 2 paradigms of the method.
#1 The body is always working toward healing.
#2 Every person’s system has an ‘Inner Wisdom” or “Inner Physician” that knows what it needs to heal.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
SER asks one to deeply listen and go inside his or her body, as the therapist facilitates a dialogue between the client and their subconscious mind. The client is asked to be present to the sensations of the physical body and actually feel what they are feeling. A series of standard questions asked by the therapist help the client identify what they are feeling, where it is located, how big of an area it takes up, how long it has been there and what it represents. Once this is all clear, the questions become individualized for each person as we all, of course, have a different process. For example, the process may take one to a memory of them as a child. We then either proceed with some work to help that part of the inner child process the unresolved trauma or experience.
For some people a particular image may come into their awareness, such as “black tar around the heart” or “a ball of fire in the gut”. The psyche will always give us an image to work with to help us deal with all kinds of situations and help us process unresolved emotions. In other words, imagery satisfies the needs of your psyche.
Interesting fact: the brain does not know the difference between something real or something imagined or visualized. The same neurosynapses happen in the brain!
In these cases, the therapist would then facilitate a conversation between the client and that image, which remember is simply a representation of one part of the subconscious mind. You can also think of these images as simply a form of energy. Images are also just a form of energy. And we can look at energy as constructive or destructive.
Remember that destructive energy can ALWAYS be converted to constructive energy!
Now this may make perfect sense to you or perhaps just reading this, you may be hearing your own resistance to this type of emotional processing.We all have our patterns to avoid feeling pain and discomfort! Resistance is natural for all of us, it’s how we survive certain situations. Resistance can come across as acting cute, clever, sarcastic, funny and very smart. Some of us know what our patterns look like, while others still have yet to discover how their own resistance comes out.
“No resistance, no session.” ~ Dr. Upledger
At one of my advanced trainings, where we were doing group SER sessions where I had 3 therapists working on me, who were assisting one lead therapist. I went into the session not knowing at all what was going to come out of it. At the beginning of the session, the friendly female therapist started asking some of the standard questions. I found myself making little funny or sarcastic remarks that made everyone laugh. After a few minutes of this, she said, “Are you ready to let go of your resistance now?” Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! My ability to be cute and clever WAS my resistance. Remembering how sarcastic I’d been my whole life, I thought, “Uh-oh! I have A LOT of resistance and work to do!”
“What do we do about resistance? Treat it with respect. Resistances are not to be overpowered. Resistances are to be enlisted as part of the process toward healing and growth.” ~Dr. John Upledger
We all dissociate, or disconnect, to some degree. Many of us learned this technique as a child when we were in situations that were painful. We mentally check out because we didn’t want to be there. If you are someone who has trouble identifying what you are feeling, this has probably been a strong pattern since your childhood. I once had a client that was molested when she was only a year and half old. During her process as she was remembering the trauma, I asked her, “Where are you and what are you seeing?” She said, “I’m seeing everything from an aerial view in corner of the room. I’m looking down on myself as baby going through the trauma.” This is one example of disconnecting from the physical body to avoid feeling what is happening.
This is an extreme example, so please know that this also happens in our day to day life. Sometimes we mentally check out because we find the person talking to us overstimulating. We literally take our energy somewhere else.
“Where attention goes, energy flows.” ~James Redfield
WHO IS THIS GOOD FOR?
This process can be helpful when you:
The process of diving into your own self-healing can be daunting. But it is very true that no one else can do this work for you. You are the only one that can heal yourself. Once you dive in, it can become quite fascinating and even enlightening. And on the other side of contraction, confusion and pain is expansion, empowerment and massive clarity!
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please email Somer@YogaDoctors.TV.
Founder of YogaDoctors.TV
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Kundalini and Hatha Yoga Teacher
CranioSacral Therapist & SomatoEmotional Release Practitioner