The Psychological Article Baby Boomer Guide to Somatic Experiencing – navigating beyond trauma

Elderly Problems by

Foundation for Human Enrichment: Undischarged Trauma

Foundation for Human Enrichment: Undischarged Trauma

Somatic Experiencing: Low Nervous System
Balanced Nervous System
Healthy Nervous System

Healthy Nervous System

What is somatic experiencing? It is a process by which physical and psychological problems are healed by dealing with a person’s body sensations – or somatic experiences. This form of therapy was first introduced in 1997 by Dr. Peter Levine in his book Walking the Tiger. The premise of this form of therapy is rooted in studying (and later replicating) wild animals and their ability to negotiate and come out of life threatening situations. These wild animals seem to have mastered the skill of avoiding traumatization by being highly adaptive in their approach to life-threatening occurrences – this is the key to healing the symptoms of various physical and mental trauma-based problems.

The practice revolves around the theory that trauma tends to throw the autonomic nervous system (ANS) off its normal self-regulatory processes and that the procedures of Somatic Experiencing can reinstate the autonomic nervous system’s balance. A balanced nervous system will exude resilience, openness, a sense of mastery, emotional stability and the ability to be fully present. On the other hand, a dis-balanced and trauma-inflicted nervous system would exude symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, sleeplessness, hostility, rage, depression, lethargy etc.

Somatic Experiencing is generally helpful, for two types of trauma – developmental trauma and shock trauma. Where shock trauma is caused by a single traumatic occurrence such as a war, a natural disaster or a road accident; developmental trauma tends to grow on a person (usually during childhood) – children who undergo a disturbing relationship with a parent or who receive little or no attention and appreciation, are prime examples of developmental trauma.

Somatic experiencing is all about healing the effects of traumatic events through heightened bodily awareness. The techniques are based on an exploration into why wild animals are never really traumatized despite the ever-looming threats that come with living in the wild. This understanding has unlocked the long-standing questions about trauma that mystified both laymen and professionals. Somatic Experiencing gives us the tools, techniques and steps by which we can free ourselves from the chains of the past and realize our fullest potential – something desperately sought by most baby boomers.

Baby boomers in particular will find great value in investing time, effort and money in understanding and practicing Somatic Experiencing. As a baby boomer it can help you heal all kinds of traumas – whether you are an ex military person who is trying to overcome the trauma of being in a war or whether you are a baby boomer who is trying to put the pieces of your life together after a broken relationship. The best thing about Somatic Experiencing is that it does not require any form of medication – somatic experiencing is a mix between bodywork and talk therapy aimed at heightening awareness of the physical body, breathing, sensations and their accompanying negativities.

Baby boomers are most likely to have a storehouse of feelings and emotions buried in their bodies – even though these feelings and emotions may have been long forgotten they still continue to shape and define our limitations and capabilities. Somatic Experiencing helps us navigate our way out of this maze.

The Psychological Article Baby Boomer Guide to Somatic Experiencing – navigating beyond trauma is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of baby boomers psychological coaching tips and how to alleviate elderly problems. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.

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