An individualized treatment plan may include a variety of approaches to healing. Some common treatments and tools are described below:
Somatic Experiencing: Overwhelming experiences from the past often leave a sticky residue in the body-mind. We may or may not have a conscious memory of the event, and even if we try to “process” the memory intellectually, it may not change the pattern our nervous system has developed. Fight/Flight/Freeze patterns are biologically wired and can result in distorted perceptions and behaviors. Anxiety and depression and a whole host of mental and physical conditions can be the result. Somatic Experiencing uses strategies to help restore the natural regulation of the nervous system by paying attention to messages (sensations) being sent by our bodies. Modern humans often ignore the messages and don’t allow full recovery from whatever has shocked us. We are not able to “shake it off” as effectively as animals in the wild. For more information, see this article:
Videos from Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute website:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Many psychotherapists find this to be their most effective therapy. It starts with an intellectual assessment and analysis of thoughts and behaviors that are associated with the issue. Sensible thoughts and actions are used to replace those that are troublesome. It works best when the bulk of the problem is on the mental or emotional level, but it can have an effect on all levels.
Energy Techniques: Systematic ways of helping the body/mind “reset” itself, using stimulation such as tapping on certain acupressure points to overcome or release negative emotions. This is a way to change the disturbed bioenergy that is associated with distorted thought and behavior. Works on all levels, but is especially effective for stuck emotions. These techniques can also be used to evaluate the body’s response to foods and supplements such as vitamins and herbs.
Homeopathic Remedies and Flower Remedies: Derived from plants, flowers, and other substances, these remedies stimulate the body/mind to heal itself. The original substance is “potentized” by the homeopathic method so that the active ingredient is not a chemical, but subtle energy. Works on all levels.
Bodywork: This includes work with muscles, fascia, and other tissues to release stagnation and to energize the body/mind. A number of different modalities are utilized, including shiatsu (Japanese acupressure massage) and Chi Nei Tsang (abdominal organ massage from China and Thailand). For more information on Chi Nei Tsang, see Dennis Lewis’s article “Taoist Healing & Chi Nei Tsang.”
Tensions and traumas tend to get stuck in our physical bodies, and it is often very effective to release them directly with specific types of massage or stretching. Emotions can get tied up in our “guts”. Physically unwinding these deposits often works wonders, while thinking and talking may be unable to touch them.
Heart Rate Variability Analysis: A fingertip sensor is used to collect pulse data, which is analyzed by a computer program to assess stress and relaxation. Information comes from the heart rhythm, which is on the physical level. But experience has shown that data collected in this way reflects the balance of all levels, often more reliably than data collected by self-report. This tool can be used to confirm the effectiveness of other treatments.
These approaches can be helpful for many issues, including:
- Stress and Anger Management
- Anxiety and Fears
- Grief and Loss
- Substance Abuse and Addiction
- Peak Performance Enhancement
- Vitamin and Herbal Recommendations
Podcast describing the use of the Chinese 5 Element system with Somatic Experiencing: