Using Somatic Movement Exercises for Emotional Healing

During a time that is rather difficult and emotionally rollercoaster-ey for me, I have been forced to find creative and deeply effective ways to self-soothe, ground, and calm. For this, I have found awareness exercises, yoga, meditation, breathing, nature walks, and using mindful imagery have really helped… but there is more that I need.

horse anger (3)I have needed to express (much of which I do through painting, writing, or singing), to cry, to talk, and to try to understand. At the same time, the emotions have had an impact on my body. I have noticed that certain protective reflexes are becoming more active and certain muscle groups are beginning to contract. My body is holding down the fort and trying to keep it all together, to keep me safe, in a time where I need, more than anything, to be open to heal, connect with loved ones, and to be ready to receive.

The practice that I have found to be most deeply restorative and opening is Somatics. At the same time that the movements release muscular tension, emotional tension and upset begins to release. It does not mean I begin to sob–it means that the feelings of desperation begin to melt and drift away. As the physical need to grab a hold is released, the mental and emotional need to hold on and try to control things I simply cannot control begins to release as well. As my muscles release, the protective reflexes lose their power. With this, my mind begins to re-enter homeostasis and my body returns to functioning in the parasympathetic nervous system. This allows me to find calm on both a mental and physical level. As the ribcage and abdominals are released, my breathing broadens through my trunk. I am able to move, to feel, and to come back to earth. I am able to begin to accept, to let go, and to love openly, without judgment or anger.

As the body releases the impulse reactions and reflexes, you, mentally and physically, are able to approach situations from a state of openness and love.


Published by Kara Cumberton

Wellness and horses are my things. I'm a rider, a bodyworker, and a college student studying integrative health and wellness. I also love nature, yoga, my dog, art, writing, and cooking.

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