Somatic Processing | Somatic Therapy San Diego



What is Somatic Processing:    

so.mat.ic; of the body   

proc.ess; a systematic series of events directed towards an end

Somatic Processing is a body centered technique used for the release of trauma-bound energy (trauma is loosely defined as stress, overwhelm, or hypervigilance) within the nervous system during a fight/flight/freeze response. By completing the fight, flight or freeze response the nervous system regains its capacity to self-regulate resulting in reduction or disappearance of symptoms.

What is Trauma? 

Trauma is loosely defined as a response to ANY EVENT that triggers a sense of overwhelm, stress or hypervigilance in the nervous system; too much, too fast. Overwhelm elicits a fight, flight or freeze response. Examples include:

  • Falls, accidents, or near missed events
  • Witness or victim of violence
  • Abuse of any kind (verbal, mental, emotional, physical)
  • Surgeries
  • Any situation that violated your senses safety or boundaries
  • Ongoing/ Chronic Stress
  • Loss of a loved one

What are symptoms of unresolved Trauma?

Overwhelmed response creates a highly charged state in the body.  Because of our rational mind, many of us inhibit or shut down our ability to complete a stress cycle.  As a result, the body holds onto the trauma bound energy by compressing it.   Physical symptoms are the result of trauma bound energy:

  • Chronic Pain, Including Headaches/Migraines
  • Immune Imbalances
  • Anxiety/Panic Attacks/Post Traumatic Stress
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Memory Lapses, Trouble Focusing
  • Repeated Injuries or ones that don't seem to heal
  • Hypersensitivity, Hyper-vigilance, Easily startled
  • Addictions, OCD, Repetitive Destructive Behavior
  • Decreased Vitality,  Insomnia
  • Depression, Shame, Feeling of Failure
  • Reenactment, Persistent thoughts or dreams/ Nightmares of the event, Flash backs
  • Relationship Difficulties
  • Inability to move forward
  • Feeling detached or numb, dis-empowering patterns or beliefs such low self-esteem or lack of confidence 

Contrary to common beliefs, stopping a discharge, like shaking for example, does not resolve the trauma cycle. Recent research in the field of neurobiology and trauma has found that tracking sensation while controlling the activation level in the nervous system is a highly effective approach for both long and short term healing.

How does Somatic Processing work?

Somatic Processing develops the awareness of 'felt sense' through accessing memory, tracking body sensation and dialogue to gradually regulate and safely discharge trauma bound energy.  The completion of fight/flight/ freeze response allows the nervous system to regain its capacity to self-regulate. The result is the reduction or disappearance of symptoms. 

Remember that trauma is an event and events do come to an end. Symptoms of trauma need not be permanent.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or you can't get motivated and don't know why?

Call, we can talk about Somatic Processing and see if it is the right approach for you.


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