In today's episode, I will take you on a journey through my own practice and share how I have integrated various modalities to work with trauma. Join me as we explore the transformative power of bodywork in healing emotional wounds and fostering resilience.
My Journey into Trauma work
My fascination with trauma work began during my study of Structural Integration bodywork under the guidance of renowned teachers Everett Ogawa and Audrey Nakamura. I discovered the potential of working with the body as a gateway to addressing psycho-emotional history and trauma. This deep tissue approach not only improved musculoskeletal alignment but also facilitated emotional release and self-awareness.
Within the realm of Structural Integration, I observed recurring tension patterns that resisted change despite therapeutic interventions. These patterns often indicated traumatic bracing, where the body retains stress to inhibit the expression of certain emotions. I realized that emotion and memory often surfaced during bodywork sessions, highlighting the intertwined nature of physical and emotional experiences.
The Neurobiological Revolution
Curiosity led me to explore trauma from a neurobiological perspective, particularly during the "neurobiological revolution" that began around the year 2000. Groundbreaking theories such as the Polyvagal Theory by Dr. Stephen Porges and the works of Peter Levine and Dr. David Berceli provided new insights into the role of the nervous system in trauma. This marked a significant turning point in my study and practice.
My journey deepened when I encountered the therapeutic technique known as neurogenic tremors or TRE. Delving into TRE, I realized its potential to stimulate the body's innate release mechanism and support trauma resolution.
I also pursued training in Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing, which enabled me to understand the autonomic nervous system's response to stress and trauma. Somatic Experiencing provided a toolkit for working with activation and charge, complementing the benefits of TRE.
Through my Somatic Experiencing training, I discovered the multifaceted nature of trauma and its impact on diverse aspects of human experience. This expanded awareness deepened my understanding of trauma embodiment and the importance of tailoring therapeutic approaches to each individual's unique journey.
Zen Integration Bodywork & Somatic Coaching
In today's fast-paced and stressful world, finding effective methods to restore balance and promote healing is essential. Zen Integration Bodywork and Somatic Coaching offer a holistic approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit. By combining hands-on bodywork techniques and non-hands-on somatic coaching methods, individuals can access deep levels of healing, release tension, regulate their nervous system, foster secure attachments, and cultivate resilience.
In my work I differentiate between hands-on and non-hands-on approaches. In the realm of bodywork, I emphasize three modalities: Structural Integration, Myofascial Release, and Zero Balancing. Each of these modalities offers a unique perspective and technique for working with the body.
In Structural Integration, I focus on direct pressure and mechanical manipulation to address trigger points, connective tissue, and musculoskeletal imbalances. Myofascial Release takes a slower approach, utilizing sustained stretches and cross-hand releases to target the connective tissue throughout the body. Zero Balancing combines touch with an understanding of energy flow within the bones, integrating principles from osteopathy and Chinese medicine.
By incorporating these modalities into my practice, I have created a synthesis called Zen Integration Bodywork. This approach blends the directness of Structural Integration, the depth of Myofascial Release, and the energetic perspective of Zero Balancing. Through Zen Integration Bodywork, I aim to support individuals in their healing journey by combining various techniques tailored to their unique needs.
Moving beyond hands-on bodywork, I introduce Somatic Coaching, a non-hands-on aspect of my work. Within the realm of Somatic Coaching, I focus on three modalities: Somatic Experiencing (SE), Internal Family Systems (IFS), and Dynamic Attachment Repatterning Experience(DARe).
Somatic Experiencing forms the core of my approach, providing a foundation for exploring the body's sensations and responses to stress and trauma. Clients learn to track their bodily sensations, identify areas of comfort or discomfort, and regulate their nervous system through techniques like orienting and regulated breathing.
Internal Family Systems work delves into the internal landscape of sub-personalities or parts that make up our psyche. By recognizing and understanding these different parts, such as protectors, managers, soothers, and exiles, clients gain insights into their emotional complexity and can work towards integration and healing.
DARe Dynamic Attachment Repatterning Experience focuses on exploring the impact of attachment styles and early relational experiences on present-day relationships. By fostering secure attachment within therapeutic relationships and examining patterns of anxiety or avoidance, clients can cultivate healthier connections and build resilience.
I also introduce two additional modalities: Brainspotting and TRE (Tension/Trauma Releasing Exercises). Brainspotting uses eye positioning to access neurophysiological states related to stress, trauma, and safety. By engaging specific eye positions and anchoring safety within the visual field, brain spotting facilitates deep processing and healing.
TRE allows individuals to access the body's natural tremoring mechanism, promoting the release of tension and stress. I highlight the importance of introducing TRE from a place of safety and relaxation to demonstrate the organic and authentic nature of this experience.
How I Work With Clients
By weaving together various modalities such as Zen Integration Bodywork, Somatic Experiencing, Internal Family Systems, DARe, Brainspotting, and TRE, I create a personalized and comprehensive approach to healing. Each session is tailored to the individual's unique needs, focusing on establishing safety, exploring the body's responses, addressing trauma and stress, and nurturing secure attachments.
Throughout the therapeutic process, I maintain a strong emphasis on the importance of pacing and not rushing the healing journey. By respecting the individual's readiness and creating a well-contained and manageable session, progress can be made more efficiently and effectively.
In addition to my expertise in bodywork and Somatic Coaching, I bring a unique perspective to my practice through my Zen practice and trauma education. I integrate the principles of Zen, such as mindfulness, presence, and non-judgment, into my therapeutic approach. This allows clients to cultivate a deeper connection with their inner selves, develop self-awareness, and access their innate wisdom and resilience.
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