What is Somato-Emotional Release?
We all go through emotional pain. We have all had experiences that have been so overwhelming that we can’t process them at the time. Or, we didn’t have the tools to resolve them, so the safest thing to do was to (non-consiously) lock those feelings in a box never to be felt again. But, sadly, we don’t get to carry this box around for free. There is a price to pay for hauling those locked up feelings around. That price comes in the form of anxiety, fatigue, digestive issues or any other low lying chronic ‘can’t quite put your finger on the root cause’ type of problem. Somato (meaning body) emotional release, developed by Dr John Upledger, is a way to release the charge of those negative emotions from your body.
How can an injury have an emotional element?
Lets say you fell off your bike when your were little. If an attuned or empathic caregiver attended to you, listened to your pain and supported your needs then you should very quickly heal from the physical injury. But, if you were told you were stupid for falling off, or told boys don't cry, or your caregiver was angry with you, then you should heal from the physical injury of the fall, but you may carry the emotional blow. Years later when your knee keeps playing up and you can’t get any relief, a visit to a somato practitioner may reveal the long held memory of the emotional injury.
How does an emotional blow get released from the body?
Somato-emotional is a branch of craniosacral therapy that release doesn't separate mind from body. It is a gentle hands-on approach that also pays attention to the emotional body. When you visit a somato practitioner, you may find that a memory, image, or feeling springs into your mind when they have their hands on your body. These images are a communication from your non-conscious mind - that part of you that very wisely locked those feelings of guilt, anger or shame away. Your therapist will be able to help you connect in with those lost feelings and either release, transform or express them, then changes will be felt in the tissues of your body. The therapy is led by you, which means that you don’t have to talk about anything that you don’t want to, you can go at your own pace. Your body has an inner wisdom that knows when the time is right, and when it is safe to release long-held emotions.
Who would benefit from this therapy?
Literally anyone! But here are a few examples:
What the mind represses the body expresses.
Many of us anaesthetise our unresolved negative emotions with work, food, shopping, scrolling, porn, busyness or drugs. Most of the time we are not even aware that we have pain or that we are numbing our pain. Distressing emotions from the past can be a factor in a variety of health problems or behaviours.
We won’t try and talk you out of your feelings, or make you ‘positive affirmation’ your way through them. We will give you the judgement-free space to connect to those lost parts of yourself, release the load from the repressed feelings, freeing up energy to live your life full of authenticity and vitality.
Alison is a registered acupuncturist and co-owner of Blossom Natural Health in Chelmsford. She has been specialising in fertility and women's health for the last 20 years, and is the fertility acupuncturist for Bourn Hall fertility clinic in Wickford. She loves combining acupuncture, cranio-sacral therapy and somato-emotional release to help her clients with stress, digestive issue and pain relief.