Updated: Oct 4
Years ago, before I knew about somatic exercise, I was doing TRE. Trauma Releasing Exercises developed by David Bercelli, PH.D. I'm not sure how I came across TRE but, it really helped me. I was under a tremendous amount of stress. What I learned was that stress and trauma get tapped in our bodies as much as our minds. My neck, shoulders, and guts were telling me I had to care for myself better. My sleep was interrupted, I was angry and anxious. Yet, every time I did the exercises, I came away feeling centered or grounded again. God knew what I needed and put it right in front of me. I can say this confidently because it was before Google started listening to our conversations.
Then I found Peter Levine who developed Somatic Experiencing. It's a mind-body therapy that is specifically focused on healing trauma, by helping clients draw their attention to their bodies. Unlike strenuous workouts, the slow gentle moves help to release emotions trapped deep in the body. The more I found out about Somatic Experiencing the more intrigued I became. The more I researched, the more I discovered how our body talks to us through physical pain in order to get our attention. It made sense since we are mind, body, and spirit.
As awareness of the trauma in our culture moved to the forefront, it became apparent that talk therapy just wasn't cutting it for many people. As a result, Somatic practices for releasing stress and trauma grew in popularity. Now, you can go to YouTube to find all kinds of instructors making somatic exercise videos that can help you right from the comfort of your home. You can also find a somatic therapist who can help you by using a combination of mind-body techniques. Whether you choose to see someone or do them in the comfort of your home, be prepared for an emotional release at some point. Emotional releases can come in several ways. Most often, it comes in the form of tears. I remember when I had my first emotional release. I couldn't cry because my nervous system was so numb. So, it wasn't immediate. After a few days, I started to shed a few tears while I was driving. It wasn't the best time for a release, but it came! These gentle movements started to unlock the trauma I was holding onto. I still do them because sometimes we need more than prayer or talk therapy.
I learned to embrace John 1:1-3 with curiosity. I shed an outdated mindset that taught me that relying on science was a lack of faith.
In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. God gave men and women the knowledge to research and develop modalities for our good.
It's funny how we think we're okay when we're really treading water. Equally as funny, is how disconnected we can be from our bodies. Oddly, every time we go through some kind of negative event we're taken by surprise. It's as if we forget that it rains more than once. It's in moments like these, that we can't seem to remember that Jesus said, "You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times."
Just look around, we're living in troubled times. I know some people will be skeptical. That's fair. I know you're coming from a good place. You just want to be sure it's not something wacky. You want to be sure you're honoring God and not falling for something flaky. I get that. I've been on this journey for a long time. I've done the research. You may be at the beginning of your emotional health journey. I can respect that too. As for me, I have decided to utilize various tools and approaches to live long and well. Who's with me?
P.S. You may know that I've been working on an emotional health app called Get Attuned. It's available in the Google Play store. However, because of the security changes going on with Apple, it's still not available in the App Store yet, sigh. We're so close. I'm standing on two scriptures. If you feel so inclined, stand with me for the release of what God wants to do for all his children. Those who know Him, the skeptic, the seeker, and the wounded.
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty."
Isaiah 55:10-11 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it".
Wholeness In Practice