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You Are NOT Broken

Somatic Activation Release Response (SARR)

To Feel is To Heal

Through building a relationship with my body, through my own curiosity of exploration and resilience, I have arrived at the same conclusion as many somatic psychotherapeutic intervention. By using the direct physical experience of my body as a healing tool. I believe clients can be helped by being present in their body‘s sensations, slowing down their response in order to discharge emotional intrinsic movement held in their mind and body. The technique I have created demonstrates my findings and it is adapted to foster healing on all levels of our being.

 

The purpose of Somatic Activation Release Response (SARR) is to work through traumatic events to help clients amplify their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts about an event, ultimately to change their experience of that event and to create new neural pathways.

SARR is a therapeutic intervention that aims to create a grounding space by incorporating mindfulness as a gateway to facilitate somatic release in a safe, contained fashion. Thus offering an opportunity to address the shame, repair our sense of control, a chance to “rewrite” a different ending to our story, and to allow us to experience our body differently. Clients can begin to shift their body experience from one of passivity to activity; from one of allowing their body to control how they feel, to using the body to convey assertive messages to other people; and from the mere looks of their body, to the power of wisdom the body carries that can be used for the purpose of healing.

 

In this one on one session, through SARR, I assist clients in healing and developing, not only through the use of verbal interventions, but also through guiding them to a deeper awareness of their bodily sensations, images, behavior and feelings.

Through  observation of shifts in posture patterns, tension, gestures, facial expressions, sounds, words, other movements, as well as changes in breath to mobilize. As we explore techniques and methods, they are guided to bring their conscious awareness more fully into their body to help restore a sense of agency and some level of organization.

When one feels safe, movements and expression of emotions can be more spontaneous, and one can be free to realize their fullest potential 

Trauma affects the body as a whole: affects cognition, learning and it creates severe emotional dysregulation; disrupts the protective barrier that contains the dynamic equilibrium of the internal environment, blocking the relationship between the body systems, reducing the ability of perception, physical and gravitational orientation, spatial awareness, as well as the ability to achieve embodiment.

Tauma is an experience of extreme stress, any situation that leaves you overwhelmed and alone or shock that is or was, at some point, part of life. It is an experience that threatens body/mind causing a rupture in its capacity to assimilate and accommodate into inner regulatory, taking it to functioning in a new level of organization. The body is forced beyond its physiological adaptation’s capacity, in order to regulate the activation state of the nervous system, and fails in its reciprocal relationship among the other body systems.

Stress could be defined as any physiological event, external or internal, that demands that the body adapt to it.

 

When there is trauma or acute stress, the continuity of internal experience breaks, one dissociates from the present moment and loses contact with his or her internal physical sensations due to conditioned fear. Thus, a loss in rhythmic capacity for self-regulation occurs, which is the natural organismic state that guides the person to the presents state and to fluidity during life. 

Trauma has its roots in an unresolved fight, flight/freeze defense response, involves the arousal centers of the brain, and affects autonomic homeostasis. When the nervous system does not reset after an overwhelming experience, sleep, cardiac, digestion, respiration, and immune system function can be seriously disturbed. Unresolved physiological distress can also lead to an array of other physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral symptoms. 

The brain and the body are parts of a common interactive system: any outside stimulus or input to the brain must first be registered by the sensory organ systems of the body, and the brain relies on the body to provide all information having to do with function in general, not just survival; what’s happening in the body continuously changes the brain. 

The natural cycle of processing or moving through trauma or stress:

a) When there is novelty, one stops and notices the external environment and evaluates if it is or not threatening.

b) If the source of threat still is there, the startle happens almost simultaneously with the arrest response that includes mobilization of the chemical and physical resources needed to respond to the threat in order to prepare for action.

c) The potential for threat is assessed as being high. The defense orienting response is now done in the context of specific threat.

d) If threat does not materialize, physiology returns to the resting state after activation level is reduced via normal self-regulatory processes.

e) If threat requires active defense, completion of the fight, flight or freeze sequence (if defense is successful) leads to discharge of the high activation levels of the threat response, and the physiology returns to equilibrium via normal recovery processes.

~ Peter Levine

There are a number of situations in which the tendency to go through the discharge seems to be thwarted. As a result, the unconscious memory retains the threat as being always present, ready to be triggered by any cues to the event. Thus experiencing the past as being in the present – this can guarantee that the traumatic experience is destined to recur again and again. This means that even though the event is over and one survived it, the entire external and internal world remains a reservoir of somatic cues for what is perceived as an imminent traumatic event.

When the body is feeling uneasy, it sends messages; the purpose of these messages is to inform that something inside doesn’t feel right, and it needs attention. If these messages go unanswered, over time, they evolve into the symptoms of trauma. In order to heal trauma, a person needs to learn to trust the messages that the body is sending; the symptoms of trauma are internal “wake-up calls.” If we learn how to listen to these calls, how to increase the awareness of our bodies, and, finally, how to use these messages, we can begin to heal our trauma.

 

By starting to listen to the signals of your body, you begin to create a sense of internal safety, which allows you to heal

Embodied self-awareness is the ability to pay attention to oneself; to feel sensations, emotions, and movements in the present moment, without the mediating influence of judgmental thoughts. It requires an active sensing and ownership of one’s body. It is to know what one is doing, while being aware of what is happening inside and outside in a reflective way.

Embodiment is a process of maturing and a precious space in which one can have an opportunity in life to remember who they are. It is the alertness state of receptivity to the reality of what happens by itself, what happens to each one and to the others simultaneously. Embodiment is a process as much as a state of being. 

Embodiment is the path to self-regulation. Self-regulation promotes a feeling of well being, safety and impulse for life. It is the capacity in which allows restoration of an organism by rhythmic movements between states of comfort and discomfort, pleasure, displeasure of expansion and contraction.

Traumatic experiences cannot co-exist in any of these states. Self-regulation is the curiosity state, the state of playfulness, goodness and a sense of belonging to life. In peoples, this capability of self-regulation is essential. It gives us the capacity to alternate, in a fluid manner, our inner bodily states to adapt to external changes of the environment. This kind of ability allows you to vary your emotions to properly adjust to environmental challenges.