The Transformative Power of Somatic Therapy: A Movement and Dance-Informed Approach to Mental and Physical Wellness

by | Dec 27, 2023

By Cynthia Newland

In the realm of psychological services, the integration of somatic and movement therapy by Cynthia Newland, a health and wellness consultant with a professional dance background, brings a unique and profound dimension to mental, emotional, and physical health. Somatic therapy, a body-oriented approach, aims to enhance understanding of pain, discomfort, and imbalances. Rooted in bodily sensations and emotional regulation, this therapeutic modality has proven benefits that extend to mental health, thinking patterns, and overall well-being.

Somatic experiencing, a key aspect of this approach, focuses on bodily sensations to regulate the emotional system, teaching individuals better thinking patterns and facilitating the rewiring of the brain to create a productive balance. By increasing internal awareness of sensations and emotions, individuals develop bodily awareness, grounding visualization, and body scans. This heightened awareness provides a platform to release trauma and recognize unprocessed emotions.

Release of tension is a central goal of somatic therapy, particularly for individuals grappling with mental health conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Addressing the physical expressions of deeply painful experiences, therapists use techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, visualization, and movement to release tension stored within the nervous system. The primary objective is to modify trauma-related responses, diminishing the impact of stressors on the body.

Somatic therapy offers a range of benefits, including restoring the mind-body connection for those who have experienced trauma or distressing situations. During therapy, individuals explore the physical sensations accompanying their emotions, uncovering habits formed in response to these sensations. This approach not only strengthens the mind-body connection but also builds resilience, aiding in the navigation and coping with negative thoughts and feelings.

If you are seeking to alleviate stress resulting from anxiety or depression, somatic therapy may prove invaluable. Through breathwork, movement modalities, dance, and sensation awareness work, individuals gain tools to calm themselves and alternate focus between stressful and non-stressful experiences, releasing tension and promoting emotional release. Ultimately, somatic therapy is a holistic and transformative approach that recognizes the intricate connection between mind and body, offering a pathway to enhanced mental and emotional well-being.