According to Somatic Experiencing Australia, "anybody who wishes to regain a sense of empowerment by learning about and experiencing their body's natural ability to calm itself after strong feelings or activation caused by a situation they perceive as being stressful or threatening can benefit from somatic experiencing".
Somatic healing can be used as a healing tool or modality for people of all ages, from children to adults. Somatic healing is used to heal traumatic life events or periods of continual stress. According to Somatic Experiencing Australia, "a traumatic event is an experience that causes physical, emotional or psychological distress, or harm. It is an event that is perceived and experienced as a threat to one’s safety or to the stability of one’s world". Examples include:
- Physical trauma as in car accidents, whiplash, sporting accidents, high impact falls
- Surgeries, medical interventions, prolonged illnesses, high fever, poisoning
- Inescapable attack, mugging, threat of violence, abuse of any kind, rape, incest
- Drowning, suffocation or choking experiences
- Unrelenting stress, work, bereavement, divorce, loss of a loved one or a pet
- Emotional and domestic abuse, bullying
- Development trauma such as childhood neglect, abandonment or betrayal
- Birth trauma, pre and peri-natal experiences
- War or conflict, torture, terrorism
- Natural disasters, fires, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis,
- Horror, being a witness to any of the above
If the traumatic experience is not healed, our nervous system becomes overwhelmed and cannot return to homeostasis. We may feel out of balance and uneasy. According to Somatic Experiencing Australia, "We may stay either in a state of high arousal, reacting adversely to the slightest sound or movement and being hyperactive, or we may move into a state of shutdown and depression".
If you are interested in learning more about somatic healing or trying it out yourself, contact Sue Kuyper, Somatic Therapist and Healer at Community Well.