You are already familiar with how adept your body is at processing emotions – “gut instincts”, “knee-jerk reactions”, and “butterflies in the stomach” are just a few terms we use to describe some of the physical sensations we experience when our body is processing a strong emotion. A growing amount of research now supports the theory that not only do we experience these feelings physically when they occur, but that our tissues are capable of holding memory and emotion, especially when we experience accident, injury or trauma. Even more importantly, these emotional imprints can impact our physical structure by becoming walled-off and trapped in our tissue, causing symptoms that we may not realize are connected to a past experience. 

It may be long after these incidents initially occur before we begin experiencing discomfort which may seem unrelated to any specific event. Symptoms can also show up in an area we thought was already healed, or perhaps manifest as pain that is not responding to treatments which we expect to help. Emotions lodged in the body can also cause us to experience repetitive patterns of behavior, or feel an inability to move forward, even when we may have done much work around these issues. These situations sometimes arise over time because as we live and grow, the body needs to process more and more information and can become intolerant of hanging on to something from our past. The body then communicates with us that something is no longer working by sending us the signals of physical and emotional pain and discomfort. These are some of the instances when the advanced techniques of CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and SomatoEmotional Release (SER) can bring profound results.

When practicing CST, practitioners use a gentle, non-invasive touch to monitor the body’s CranioSacral rhythm (the natural motion of the cerebrospinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord) which serves as a guide telling how the body is moving through, processing, and releasing stored emotions. This occurrence itself is known as an SER and may include spontaneous movement, tears, laughter, tingling, warmth, lightness and many other sensations. Often, verbal dialogue is used in conjunction with these techniques to allow the client to go deeper and more directly to the site of these long held emotions (also known as energy cysts). 

The SER process does not require a re-experiencing of a painful incident, but rather offers a way to allow our nervous system to fully process what may be lingering in the tissues and find it’s way out of the body. The non-directive dialogue and non-invasive touch together support the body while it reorganizes our physical structure back to a place of ease. Post session, clients often feel deeply relaxed, and free of aches and pains that may or may not have been result of an area having been worked on directly. For some, what comes up in a session may be unexpected and may benefit from additional analysis, which is why these techniques pair very well for those working with counselor or psychotherapist. 

In some cases, the body or psyche may not be ready or able to fully process all of the old information it has been storing, and may need multiple sessions which may not all result in an SER. However, each session helps the nervous system to move out of a state of organized dysfunction and closer it’s self-healing nature and overall well being.

For further insight on SomatoEmotional Release, you can refer to the book SomatoEmotional Release: Deciphering the Language of Life by Dr. John Upledger (creator of the CST system) or Reclaiming Your Body by one of our teachers, Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. Contact Haven to schedule a session or complimentary phone consultation.

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