Somato-emotional release is a therapeutic procedure that uses the concepts of cranio-sacral therapy to free the body and mind of the discomforting side effects of trauma. The therapy focuses on establishing a strong mind-body connection in order for the release of emotional trauma and the resolution of physical symptoms.
Many times, the emotional symptoms that we experience during trauma remain unresolved as the body heals. In order for these remaining symptoms of trauma to heal permanently, a mind-body connection has to be made. Accordingly, somato-emotional release is used as a tool for healing problems that require a mind-body communication.
Tissue memory is one of the important concepts in somato-emotional release. Muscle tissues and cells can store memories that are related to our traumatic experiences. When a particular muscle group is injured during an accident, a memory of that experience is formed in the affected tissue. This usually means that a small, unconscious contraction has formed in the muscle as a protective reminder of the painful experience. If the tissue memory is not appropriately released then the contraction will remain in the muscle as the injury heals, leading to future pain.
When these unconscious contractions are not released, they can spread strain to other parts of the body. Usually your body will adjust to these strain patterns and will begin to feel normal. However, later on in life, these strain patterns can eventually cause chronic pain of which the cause is unknown.
The therapist uses the cranio-sacral technique to engage the muscle contraction in order to evoke the memory associated with the initial trauma. Then the patient can become aware of the memory and deal with it appropriately. Once the release has occurred, the unconscious contraction of the muscle will disappear and the muscle pain will begin to heal. A typical somato-emotional release session lasts between 20 and 30 minutes, and the actual amount of release experienced during therapy will depend on the individual patient.
Somato-emotional release is beneficial to patients who are experiencing problems associated with injuries, physical trauma, car accidents, challenging life experiences, and surgery. The release process can be modified to suit the needs of each individual, thereby bringing optimal relief. It can be used as a complimentary therapy to help relieve physical conditions that are intensified by stress, tension, and anxiety. Somato-emotional release is a form of therapy that uses the power of the body-mind connection to facilitate change and the healing process, allowing the body to fully recover from traumatic experiences.
SOURCE: Massage Magazine