Three Powerful Somatic Therapy Practices Used By Alex Greene
Written by Kianna Morgan, a therapist in training and MSW student. Kianna is passionate about trauma-informed practices and enjoys writing as a way to share empowering information with people suffering from trauma and chronic stress.
How has Alex’s treatment style evolved over time?
Alex Greene, owner of Red Beard Somatic Therapy and somatic therapist, began his journey as a Structural Integration (SI) practitioner. SI is a deep tissue manual therapy that aligns your body’s structure within the field of gravity and supports movement.
While Alex primarily focused on postural and musculoskeletal issues, psycho-emotional content and trauma history would regularly come up in sessions. His observations sparked his curiosity about the connection between the physical body and the mind. This ultimately drew him to study new nervous system approaches that work with the body's relationship to stress and trauma.
Alex studied and honed his craft by diving into approaches such as Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) and somatic experiencing (SE). These approaches are utilized to release tension in the body, support balance, and improve biopsychosocial health. Alex immersed himself in the polyvagal theory and its teachings to grow as a bodywork practitioner.
How does the fusion of Eastern and Western practices influence sessions?
As a child, Alex lived in Japan and spent a considerable amount of time in Hawaii where his father was a senior zen teacher. Alex chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and embraced a rigorous zen practice that emphasized somatic experiences of zen principles.
Through his zen training Alex dedicated himself to zazen (zen meditation), martial arts, and breathwork, eventually living for three years as a monk in a zen temple in Hawaii. His training solidified his embodied understanding of zen and how to work with Qi, our vital energy or life force.
Alex’s dedicated personal practice allows Alex to be present and harness his own Qi to be a safe and grounded presence for his clients. He attends to his own breath and posture as he connects with clients and guides them to embrace embodiment.
After diving into Zen, Alex’s studies in bodywork proved to be an opportunity to begin exploring the way Eastern and Western practices can support and even enhance each other. He trained to become a licensed massage therapist at the East West Healing arts center in Madison Wisconsin. While studying there he partook in in-depth explorations of Western clinical treatment models as well as Chinese medicine. His continued studies in neuroscience, the polyvagal theory and interventions for trauma survivors have also been integrated into his therapeutic approach.
How did Alex’s relationship with David Berceli influence his approach?
Alex became interested in TRE after experiencing spontaneous tremors while on the table as a bodywork client, and also observing spontaneous tremors in his own clients. His curiosity around this phenomenon led him to TRE, which introduced him to Dr. David Berceli, the founder of TRE.
After becoming a certified TRE provider, Alex discovered a synergistic relationship between SI and TRE. He noticed that TRE helped his clients to discharge tension while he worked on their tissues, which amplifies the benefits of the SI modality. To this day Alex finds that integrating the two makes his treatments more effective.
During an advanced training, Alex approached Dr. Berceli and asked to show him how he utilized TRE during SI sessions. Being a massage therapist himself, Dr. Berceli was intrigued by Alex’s work and asked him to write about his approach in a book, Shake it Off Naturally: Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Tension with TRE. Dr. Berceli and Alex are colleagues and friends to this day.
What are the top interventions and practices Alex uses with trauma survivors?
Red Beard Somatic Therapy has a team of trauma informed somatic therapists that fuse Eastern and Western practices to support you in your healing journey.
At Red Beard Somatic Therapy we will create a safe holding space for you to explore body-based practices that support nervous system regulation. Our team is dedicated to helping you calm your body and release tension, stress, and trauma. We will teach you tools to calm your nervous system and connect with yourself on a deeper level.