The Soma is the body, as perceived from within. Somatic coaching uses internal awareness to bring unknown parts of yourself and your experience into the known. Unlike talk coaching/therapy, we value the implicit information that might come through the body in the form of sensation, feelings, images, inner dialogue and/or inner knowing. We can also work with impulses for movement or sound and the associations that might rise as we intentionally follow the impulses. Trauma informed Somatic coaching also works with autonomic nervous system states, as we deepen connection with our 8th sense, interoception.
Interoception is the sensory system that helps us assess internal feelings. To be able to self-regulate, requires that we can perceive our inner state. Self-regulation is needed for inner child work and reparenting. It’s needed to develop emotional intimacy and body sensation literacy. For many of us, we may not have received the attunement to our needs that supported enough co-regulation, for us to develop the skill of self-regulation. Instead, we learn to turn to auto-regulation to deal with our inner states. Eating disorders and disordered eating are forms of auto-regulation. Over time the neural pathways that support interoception become pruned making it harder and harder to sense our inner state.
We become more and more disconnected from our body and what it’s communicating to us. We just see the behaviours on the surface and try to manage them through willpower. The good news is that with repetition and practice, we can build new neural pathways and regain or deepen our internal sense. As a Somatic Coach, I support you with co-regulation, while teaching you how to self-regulate, so that over time, you don’t need the behaviours you’ve used to soothe or numb.
Once we get here, we can begin to deepen into relationship with our emotions and body sensations. We can start to discern wounding from intuition. We deepen into self-trust and start to feel pulled inwards more for answers or guidance. We connect with our soul, through our connection with the body. We expand our capacity to be with the bigness of our inner world and start to feel more courage to communicate our needs and set boundaries. We begin to access our creativity and expression. We begin to thrive.
Somatics is the study of the self from the perspective of one’s lived experience, encompassing the dimensions of body, psyche, and spirit.Thomas Hanna
MindBody Therapy Practitioner
-Recognizes that each person is intrinsically whole and the role of the practitioner is to help the client clear the debris that is obstructing a person from living from that place of wholeness, ease and flow.
-Works in a way that recognizes client’s strengths, while helping them address imbalances in themselves and/or in relationship to others and the environment.
-Promotes the enhancement of resilience, awareness/embodiment, capacity building, adaptation, connection, agency and well-being.
-Helps client recognize symptoms as signals that can become the pathway to change.
-Support others in accessing more awareness and experience of themselves, enhancing inner attunement to sensations and feelings, and through that inner communication helping them to discover that they are the agent of their own healing and transformation.
-MBT uses various percentages of time spent in experiencing in the present moment & reflecting on these experiences.
-Advocates for ‘present moment’ stance towards experience, & lessens time spent in reflecting on the past.
-Works for graceful transitions between HAVING experiences & TALKING ABOUT experiences.
-Values sensory tracking, relating to practitioner, direct emotional expressing, as well as conscious breathing & moving.
-By experiencing bodily states directly we can expand or reshape our sense of meaning beyond what we think we know about ourselves.
-Body states are both the messages and the resource for change – by working with bodily states we can ‘work through’ old wounds and current stressors.
What does Food Freedom even mean and how do you achieve this? I get how fixated on your struggle with food you can get. I get how much food can feel like a horrible burden and at the same time, your best friend.
The thing is, your relationship with food is a byproduct of your relationship with your emotions and body sensations. Your behaviour with food is a symptom of something deeper. It’s a solution for a problem. Food is not your issue, although it may seem like it’s the thing that causes you the most suffering right now.
There’s a whole other world just below the surface, that food is covering up. I help you peel back the layers to uncover that world. One layer at a time your self awareness begins to increase.
One layer at a time your understanding of who you really are begins to unfold. One layer at a time you start to come home to your body. One layer at a time you start to accept and even love the parts of you you’ve denied and hid from the world.
One layer at a time you begin to feel. You begin to integrate and you begin to heal. As you build capacity and learn to feel the emotional pain you’ve pushed down, you begin to have more access to joy. You feel lightness in your body.
You start to trust yourself and the Universe. You start to believe that you are worthy and you learn to meet your needs internally and also ask for support from those closest to you. You become empowered in your own life. And then you realize food is no longer an issue. You trust yourself around food and you make choices that feel best to you. No more control and restriction. No more binge eating.
Your mind is no longer consumed by food and you experience Food Freedom by looking at what your behaviours with food are doing for you on a deeper level!
“Go to the heart of your pain, and you won’t find more pain, but freedom that doesn’t require the absence of pain.”Robert Augustus Masters
Binge eating is an attempt to regulate your inner state through an external behaviour.
Binge eating can be replaced with compulsive exercise or chronic dieting here as well. Like any compulsive behaviour or addiction, it serves a purpose. Therefore continuing to just work on the behaviour level by trying different diets, hiring a Nutritionist or personal trainer or counting calories/macros will not work. I know it’s tempting to continue to look outside of yourself for the solution. Maybe it’s all you know. Maybe you don’t even realize there’s another option. I didn’t either for a long time. I stayed stuck and continued to struggle as I focused on food, exercise and physical health.
I thought I just needed to try harder. I thought I just needed more motivation or accountability. That couldn’t be farther from the truth friends. The learned behaviours that you use will never help you truly regulate your internal environment, like working on a body and nervous system level, will. Your behaviours with food have served to keep you safe and there’s no shame in that. Going within and unearthing what’s subconsciously driving you to turn to food is what creates real, lasting change. Learning to change your relationship with these parts of yourself is where the magic happens.
To do this you need to come back home to your body. On the journey back home you get to learn about all parts of you that prevent you from being in your body. Those parts of you that have developed to keep you safe from feeling emotional pain. This journey is about compassion. It’s about understanding how these parts served you. It’s about including them and changing your relationship to them. It’s about self-trust, self-worth, self-sabotage, true self-love, internal self-soothing and so on.
You see the theme? Self. It starts within the self. Who you think you currently are, is layered with inherited beliefs, masks, borrowed identities, fear and wounding. Through all of that, you find your authentic self. I like to call this the Illuminated Woman Journey. The journey through the darkness and within the shadows leads to the light. The place where shadow and light intersect (much like the moon and sun in my logo), is where healing occurs. Once the shadow parts are illuminated, it doesn’t mean you’ll never meet darkness again, as that’s a part of the cycles of contraction and expansion of life. What it does mean though, is you’ll always have access to that light at your core to guide you, even through the darkest of shadows. To learn more about the Illuminated Woman Journey check out the Work With Me page.
“Numbing vulnerability is especially debilitating because it doesn’t just deaden the pain of our difficult experiences; numbing vulnerability also dulls our experiences of love, joy, belonging, creativity, and empathy. We can’t selectively numb emotion. Numb the dark and you numb the light.”Brene Brown