SomatoEmotional Release for Trauma Healing

SomatoEmotional Release is a deeply profound and effective manual therapy designed to support the gentle resolution of trauma in the body. It was developed by Dr. John E. Upledger, the creator of Craniosacral Therapy and former Medical Director of Upledger Clinical Services.

Dr. Upledger developed this form of therapy as the result of years of documented patient cases and clinical experience. He observed that physical and emotional traumas are not confined exclusively in the brain and heart, but can also be stored within the tissues of the body in the form of energy cysts. These energy cysts can manifest as a chronic physical ailment, and often be more deceptive by appearing as anxiety, fatigue, or physiological dysfunction.

In SomatoEmotional Release, therapeutic imagery and dialogue are used to facilitate the necessary release of the energy cysts as well as other emotions stored in the body. The session enlists the support of the person’s Inner Physician or any other aspect of their internal guidance system to resolve physical and energetic imbalances.

During the SomatoEmotional Release session, the tissues begin to unwind, which allows memories stored in the body to release simulatenously. This process facilitates healing on a very deep level, bringing more relief and integration to the mind, body, spirit (conscious awareness) phenomenon.

SomatoEmotional Release has been proven to transform lives. Many people find this work useful during big life changes and transitions such as the end of a relationship, losing a loved one, recovering from addictions, supporting PTSD symptoms, and other life challenges. Some people find it useful for breaking negative patterns and limiting belief systems, resolving inner turmoil, grief support, or healing old wounds. SomatoEmotional Release helps them connect the dots so that real, lasting change is possible, sometimes with only a few treatments.

SomatoEmotional Release is a complementary method of hands-on manual therapy that works with the natural rhythms of the body to support the healing process and to release trauma stuck in the tissues of the body. SomatoEmotional Release is not a form of psychotherapy, nor does it replace talk therapy. Balanced Manual Therapy specializes in holistic health, which is not a substitute for  medical or psychological care.

When Should You Consider Somatic Bodywork?

SomatoEmotional Release is a therapeutic process that expands upon the principles of Craniosacral Therapy, with a focus on releasing trauma stored in the body.  Anyone can benefit from this modality, but the treatment will be most beneficial for those that are looking for deeper change  in their body, and open to the process of somatic healing. If you’re feeling stuck in any area of your life, or are experiencing chronic stress and anxiety, then SomatoEmotional Release may be beneficial for you. If you suffer from PTSD from past or recent life events, or are experiencing overwhelming grief, or simply want to feel more empowered in your body, this treatment could be beneficial for you.

Benefits of SomatoEmotional Release (SER):

  • Can help you better understand your traumas and how they affected your body
  • Assists with emotional healing from traumatic life events and sudden life changes
  • Can help uncover repressed memories that the body is holding on to
  • Provides relief from pain, stiffness, and soreness in the body caused by physical and emotional trauma 
  • Can provide relief from anxiety and/or anxiety attacks
  • Can provide support for grief and loss

SER is a complementary, holistic treatment for healing and does not substitute for medical or psychological care

How to Prepare for an SER Session?

The best way to prepare for a session is to avoid any alcohol or major stimulants the night before your session. Wear comfortable, loose clothing to your session, so the practitioner can easily access your torso and spine. SER sessions can bring up intense emotions, so try not to plan anything overly strenuous or social right after your treatment. The most important thing you can do after an SER treatment is to hold space for yourself, and allow your body to process the changes in a gentle and nurturing manner.

Frequently Asked Questions :

What are examples of somatic therapy?

There are many forms of somatic therapy including Somatic Experiencing, Accelerated and Experienced Dynamic Psychotherapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Gestalt. 

The somatic bodywork that Dali offers is SomatoEmotional Release, developed by the Upledger Institute. She has received advanced certifications in Craniosacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release, as well as Pediatrics Craniosacral Therapy.  

Is EMDR the same as SomatoEmotional Release?

No, they are completely different therapies with different applications and licensing requirements.

What are physical signs your body is releasing trauma?

Twitching, shaking or trembling, changes in eye movement, crying, changes in breathing patterns, and going into a state of deep relaxation, can all be signs that your body is releasing trauma. 

Are there any side effects or contraindications?

There are certain situations where the application of CST / SER would not be recommended.  These include acute aneurysm, cerebral hemorrhage or other preexisting severe bleeding disorders, history with cerebrospinal fluid leaks, or any condition that could be affected by intracranial pressure changes.

Is SER Therapy suitable for everyone?

SER  is a gentle technique that can be applied to individuals of all ages. That being said, for children and infants, I would recommend Pediatric Craniosacral Therapy.

How many sessions are usually required?

Response to this treatment varies on an individual basis and largely depends on the level of stress and trauma you have endured, as well as your medical condition and health history.  Your response will be unique to you and the number of sessions needed will vary.  You could see immediate results after 1-2 sessions, or you may need a few weeks (or months)  of treatment to see long-term results.

Is SER therapy only for individuals with traumatic experiences?

The body can store trauma for a number of reasons including strenuous physical activities, injuries, surgery, illness, viruses, difficulties during birth, and general life stressors. You don’t have to have traumatic life experiences in order to store trauma in the body, hence, anyone can benefit from this treatment. 

Is SER therapy similar to talk therapy or psychoanalysis?

SER is a form of manual therapy and is no way a substitute for psychotherapy.  Each therapy has its distinct qualities and can complement each other or stand alone, depending on an individual’s preference and needs. 

Can SER therapy be done remotely or online?

No.  SER is a therapeutic form of bodywork, where touch is required to release trauma in the tissues, while applying foundational Craniosacral Therapy principles into each treatment.