How Somatic Experiencing (SE) Helps You Cope With Stress

by | Apr 10, 2024 | All Blogs, Health, somatic experiencing, wellbeing and healing

In the ups and downs of everyday life, our body has the remarkable ability to ‘activate’ to deal with stress and then ‘relax’ to return to a state of healthy calm.

Somatic Experiencing (SE) allows you to help your body cope with the stresses of life, so you can enjoy good health, happiness and wellbeing. In the ups and downs of everyday life, our body has the remarkable ability to ‘activate’ to deal with stress and then ‘relax’ to return to a state of healthy calm. As stress is unavoidable for most of us, it is most important that we do what we can to allow the body’s natural balancing system to work effectively. If we don’t, we risk living our lives in the unhealthy state of flight, fright or freeze. The consequences of living in this heightened state include persistent pain, illness, disease and more.

Somatic Experiencing enhances the body’s natural self-regulating system (the Autonomic Nervous System). The purpose of this automatic system, that operates beyond our conscious control, is to release traumatic energy that is caused by stress. This release restores healthy equilibrium in our organs and allows us to achieve and maintain optimal health.

Dr Peter Levine is an expert in healing through Somatic Experiencing. He notes that traumatic symptoms are not caused by an event itself. Rather, they arise when residual energy from a traumatic experience is trapped in the nervous system. Over time, this trapped energy can cause the body and mind to become exhausted, which can lead to pain, symptoms, illness or disease.

From the perspective of Somatic Experiencing, traumatic energy is located somewhere in the physical body. While more traditional talk therapies tend to focus on the events that cause trauma and how we think and feel about them, a Somatic Experiencing practitioner is more interested in where or how in the body we feel the response to a traumatic event. Somatic Experiencing allows release of traumatic energy from the body so that healthy functioning can be restored.

For example, a young girl with very demanding parents may grow up to be a woman who is a high-achieving perfectionist. Always struggling to perform excellently and gain approval from others, by middle age she may suffer from persistent lower back pain.

From a Somatic Experiencing perspective, the lower back pain may be symptomatic of the stresses in the woman’s childhood. It may be her body’s response to the trauma of never feeling good enough as a child. In this scenario, the purpose of Somatic Experiencing would be to allow the release of the traumatic energy from the woman’s lower back held there since her childhood. This release would help her rest, unwind and calm down through decreasing her heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure, relaxing muscle tension and – most importantly – allowing the immune system to function normally again.

If you are simply tired of feeling stressed or experiencing persistent pain or other symptoms, it may be the right time for you to find out more about Somatic Experiencing. Call me, Trisha, on 0414 486 926 today.

About Trisha

A practicing therapist for over a decade, Trisha holds qualifications from the Australian Institute of Applied Science.

Trisha offers specialised services in Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, Nutrition, Craniosacral, Manipulative Muscle Therapy and Massage at her clinic in Boonah, Queensland.

She helps her clients with conditions that include persistent pain; muscle and sciatic pain; problem joints; repetitive strain or sports injuries; and weight loss.

I help children, adults and the elderly improve their long-term health and wellbeing. Naturally.

Follow me on Facebook or call for an appointment at my Boonah Clinic.