We begin our first session in a seated therapist-to-client format to create the opportunity to attune to each others' nervous systems, to discuss your treatment goals, and to introduce the Somatic Experiencing® stabilization tools and techniques. While in a comfortable seated position, we can discover together what may be most helpful for your unique nervous system to feel more settled and be able to move into self-regulation. This creates the foundation for increasing capacity and building resiliency in the nervous system that allows us to go deeper into the work of healing trauma. If and when you are ready to incorporate gentle, non-invasive therapeutic touch, we can transition to table or Thai mat for the duration of the session, in which you may remain fully clothed if you wish.
This type of somatic touch work is often creative, non-traditional, and a unique co-creation in every session. It may involve exploring sensation, gentle movement, metaphor, and imagery alongside integrative therapeutic touch, Jin Shin Do® acupressure, energetic holds, craniosacral therapy, sacral unwinding, and myofascial release to assist nervous system regulation.
"Somatic" means body and "experiencing" means present moment. Our work is therefore, experiential in nature and we will work with the natural process that arises within the client in each session. The techniques we incorporate will likely vary from session to session. With the primary goal of collaborating and supporting your nervous system, we may decide to incorporate some, none, or very little massage table work in any session. This will vary according to the organic unfolding of your healing process, your trauma history and whether you are comfortable with receiving therapeutic touch work, and your goals for each session. The work is fluid and will evolve over time.
As we move forward, our sessions together may include any combination of Somatic Experiencing®, Somatic Touch, Jin Shin Do® Acupressure, and table massage or Thai yoga bodywork, which is done while the client remains fully clothed on a heated Thai mat. If you are interested in learning more about the various specialties we may incorporate, you can find more info on our website here.
Lastly and most significantly, the most meaningful component of this type of healing work is to create what we call a safe container for the work to be processed and supported in a way that is welcoming, not overwhelming, to the body.
It is of paramount importance to understand when your nervous system is "in motion," feels settled and is processing, and has experienced the appropriate amount of SE™ work in any given session. Somatic work can be deeply profound, yet subtle, and it is imperative to honor the body's natural rhythm and not do too much at any time. We call this theory titration in Somatic Experiencing®, which is a concept developed in chemistry that refers to transformation drop by drop, which alludes to the gradual and natural process of the healing work. Generally, this is a wonderful time to naturally move into touch work to support the deep healing trauma work we have just cultivated together. A 75 minute session is recommended for these sessions in person, which seems to be just the right amount for SE™ processing and somatic touch integration. If you prefer more massage therapy integration time, 90 minute sessions are available, and we now offer these sessions virtually from anywhere in the world as a 60 minute session.
As a reminder, it is outside of the scope of my practice as a licensed massage & bodywork therapist to be able to give feedback or advice on any trauma-related content. Although content can be an integral component of our work together, it is not necessary to know your specific trauma history to be remarkably effective in this work. I recommend that you are able to further process any significant content that arises with a licensed trauma-informed psychotherapist. I honor and meet you where you are in your healing process with a guiding and empathetic presence and am happy to provide professional references for licensed psychotherapists in the field of trauma therapy.
Specializing in Trauma-Informed Somatic Touch, Jin Shin Do® Acupressure, & Thai Yoga Bodywork