Somatic therapy is so interesting. Yesterday i had a very specific experience of it working and helping. I described the experience to my therapist and said, “This is the way.” She smiled knowingly and pointed out that I was quoting “The Mandalorian,” a show I love. 🙂
My anxiety is very strong first thing in the morning. My mind races calling all of my life’s choices into question and fear that I will not be able to meet the challenges of my day and my life. Now I am in a place of knowing and understanding that these are irrational thoughts, based on unresolved childhood trauma.
I don’t need to describe the trauma itself … one day perhaps I will, but here is how somatic helped me yesterday.
The feelings began stirring me up. I sat cross-legged and took a series of deep ujjayi breaths (thank you Yoga) . I identified where I felt the tension in my body (between my shoulder blades) and brought my thumb to my index and middle fingers resting gently on my inner thighs. Slowly, very gently, and almost imperceptibly, i rubbed my fingers together as if I was massaging the tension points in my back, all while maintaining that breath.
I raised my hands slowly up in the air so they were in line with my third eye chakra, the point between my eyes. Continuing the breath, I brought them higher and higher, ever so slowly. When they reached the full expression, similar to Warrior one in Yoga, I opened my hands completely and let my fingers, shoulders, chest, and breath release outward. I felt energy leaving my body. It felt very freeing and clearing.
After I did the exercise, which took less than ten minutes, I felt calm. I started thinking about the two “problems” that had stirred me up to begin with. One involved clashing appointments and childcare responsibilities. The other involved an imminent deadline. Before doing the exercise, the problems seemed complicated and the potential solutions seemed daunting. But after I did the exercise, I suddenly came up with multiple solutions to both problems and executed the solutions within a short period of time. It was magic!
My therapist described a study in which students with similar intellectual capabilities who used somatic techniques performed better on Calculus exams because they had greater access to alternative solutions. Sounded about right to me!
I am excited to see where this path takes me. If feels like this is indeed THE WAY!