“Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness.” ― Dr. Peter A. Levine, PhD, Trauma Specialist & Developer of Somatic Experiencing®
Recent studies are showing the value of massage & bodywork therapies as a complementary treatment for those who have been exposed to trauma. Built over years of training, research, and hands-on application, I work with a deep understanding of how trauma is stored in both the mind and the body. Becoming aware of the tension and holding patterns in the body where the energy becomes stagnant or repressive can open a door way to gently bringing these patterns to the surface to be released and transformed.
The most important aspect of this type of bodywork is to meet you where you are in your healing process, to know what to nurture and facilitate and what not to facilitate during any individual session, and to collaborate with your body’s innate intelligence and power of self-healing and transformation. By integrating Somatic Experiencing® techniques along with Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure®in these clothes-on methods, we are able to address trauma and stress related problems while building resiliency and supporting nervous system regulation.
Many clients are also interested in incorporating traditional table massage or Thai yoga bodywork with the Somatic Experiencing® & Jin Shin Do® Acupressure. Typically, we would naturally move into the massage therapy portion following the somatic work in the same session. The massage therapy is then utilized to support the somatic work and assist integration. We can discuss this in our phone consultation or in a first session and will tailor any session to meet your treatment goals. Find out more here: What is a somatic bodywork therapy session like?
In Jin Shin Do® Acupressure, we work with the emotional content and the concept of bodily “rings of armor” coined by Wilhelm Reich, Austrian doctor and psychoanalyst, in the 1930s. Reich refers to emotional “body armor” as holding patterns that form in the physical body in response to chronically stressful and traumatic events and contain the memories and emotions connected with such events. He described seven horizontal armor rings — ocular, oral, cervical, thoracic, diaphragmatic, abdominal, and pelvic segments that exist at right angles to the flow of “life force” energy in the body, and are interrelated to the chakra system of eastern philosophy.
In trauma-informed somatic therapy, understanding the way the body holds traumatic memories and the systematic way to gently release these charged cellular body memories, or even to strengthen the places where the energy feels good and stable, in the “segments” using energy balancing techniques and specific pressure on acupuncture points with Jin Shin Do® Acupressure is key. The idea is that when tension becomes chronic, there develops not only a specific point of tension, but an interrelated ring of tension in that area or segment. Thus, tension in one part of a segment affects the other parts, which could be referred to as the “segmental effect.” By releasing the tension or enhancing the flow of energy in the segments, we can free up the muscular constriction and release the emotional blockages associated with this muscular tension, improving overall stress regulation of the nervous system.
According to the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), trauma-informed care is "an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of trauma." A trauma-informed approach is orchestrated by the key principles of Safety, Trustworthiness and Transparency, Peer Support, Collaboration and Mutuality, Client Empowerment, Voice and Choice, and Recognition of Differing Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues. Trauma-informed bodywork gives clients a voice in receiving healthy and collaborative touch. Bodywork can be a very powerful adjunct to psychotherapy and can be vital to rebuilding a sense of trust, self-empowerment, and true autonomy. In accordance with our scope of practice as licensed massage & bodywork therapists, we are unable to intently engage in dialogue about our client's trauma. We can listen and support and refer to licensed psychotherapists in the field specializing in trauma therapy. It is in the listening and supporting that we can really hone our skills and make a palpable difference in a client’s experience of healing. Additionally, Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure® is not intended for the diagnosis, treatment or cure of disease. It is a relaxation therapy, and a useful adjunct to licensed, qualified medical or psychological care. For any persistent pain or symptom, even a seemingly minor one, the reader is strongly encouraged to consult a medical doctor. When used in conjunction with standard medical treatment, the Jin Shin Do® Acupressure technique can assist the healing process by releasing tension, decreasing stress and encouraging a sense of increased well-being. Additional information found at www.jinshindo.org.
A free phone consultation is provided (828) 276-3475 to better understand each client's goals for therapeutic treatment and to answer any questions regarding modalities for an optimal treatment plan to reach those goals. The treatments performed are recorded and documented to achieve maximum results.