I Tried Somato Emotional Launch—The Therapeutic Therapeutic massage for Your Thoughts and Physique


Dawn Phillips / Haven Holistic + Somatic Healing

After I first heard of Somato Emotional Launch (SER), a way that helps the thoughts and physique work via trauma, I used to be skeptical. However, as extra conversations about its psychological and bodily well being advantages have been swirling round, I lastly determined to delve deeper into SER. I booked an SER bodywork session with Daybreak Phillips, founding father of Haven Holistic + Somatic Therapeutic in Brooklyn, and spoke along with her about the advantages of Somato Emotional Launch. Forward, study extra concerning the therapeutic course of.

What Is Somato Emotional Launch (SER)?

SER is a type of CranioSacral Remedy1—a way established by osteopathic doctor John E. Upledger—centered across the perception emotional and bodily trauma can have long-lasting results on our muscular tissues and joints. SER bodywork might help launch these damaging tensions, each bodily and psychological.

The therapy is carried out by skilled professionals who work with the shopper’s fascia (fibrous tissue masking muscular tissues or organs) in very light, delicate actions. Ideally, your fascia is supple and limber. However bodily and emotional trauma can tighten it, resulting in stiffness and ache. “The fascia map is responding to our experiences,” Phillips says. “Even when we emotionally recover from one thing, our physique nonetheless holds on.”

SER combines CranioSacral Remedy bodywork with psychotherapeutic dialogue to discover the feelings and experiences impacting our our bodies. “We begin figuring out elements of the physique which might be fearful or overprotective as a result of they’re responding to the trauma,” Phillips says. “We are able to begin to un-blend them and discover elements of the physique which might be extra resilient and assist them come to the floor.”


Advantages of SER

  • May help you higher perceive your traumas and the way they’ve affected your physique
  • Assists with emotional therapeutic from traumatic life occasions
  • May help uncover suppressed recollections that the physique is holding onto
  • Gives bodily reduction from ache, stiffness, and soreness attributable to trauma

Phillips says SER could be useful for individuals experiencing PTSD2, nervousness, and despair. She additionally notes it is helpful for individuals who really feel they’re plateauing with discuss remedy or these immune to it and need to strive one other therapeutic technique. Nevertheless, Phillips states she has a number of shoppers who see each a chat therapist and an SER practitioner and says the 2 can work collectively alongside a shopper’s therapeutic journey.

How one can Put together for an SER Session

Phillips recommends arriving at an SER session able to be absolutely current for the whole session. Phillips acknowledges that although that is superb, it is not all the time attainable, and practitioners are keen to help you, it doesn’t matter what bodily or emotional state you arrive in. It is also greatest to put on non-constrictive clothes to stay snug all through the session.

What to Anticipate Throughout an SER Remedy

 Haven Holistic + Somatic Healing

After arriving at an SER session, you will sometimes have a 15 to 20-minute session with the practitioner. Some individuals are available realizing the psychological and bodily points they need to handle, whereas others are available with a imprecise concept of their objectives. I used to be the latter. I went into my session having no concept if SER would work for me. I additionally feared I’d have some wholly traumatic, suppressed reminiscence blindside me and fly right into a panic. On the flip facet, I used to be nervous nothing would occur, and I would go away dissatisfied. Going into the appointment, I wasn’t certain if I used to be going to really feel snug sufficient to share these fears. However upon assembly Phillips, I discovered it extremely simple to specific these issues. She created an inviting and, most significantly, protected house for me to be clear.

After the session, the session strikes to the desk, the place the practitioner will begin the light bodywork. “We’re not manipulating your tissue the way in which bodily remedy or bodywork does,” Phillips says. “We’re serving to help your tissue so it might probably unwind again to the place it needs to be.”

As Phillips talked about, the physique’s interior knowledge is on the forefront of this work. “The physique is guiding us, so I haven’t got an intention once I strategy any shopper’s physique,” she explains. “I’m in a impartial place and need to really feel via what sort of patterns are happening of their system.”

Concerning bodily outcomes, Phillips says there isn’t a singular manner launch presents itself. “A launch could be so simple as only a actually deep breath,” she says. “Or, a launch may very well be sobbing, laughter, or visualizations. It may even be a change in how we’re sensing our physique, like feeling lighter, heavier, or extra grounded.”

Throughout my session, Phillips began by gently inserting her fingers on my ft and moved as much as my head. Whereas doing so, she helped me visualize my breath, serving to to provide my physique house to be open to something that may come up. I expressed I nonetheless had fears buzzing in my head, and he or she let me understand it was okay to thank the elements of myself that had been frightened. As she moved to the bottom of my head, I began to really feel a lightweight tingling sensation run from the outer sides of my knees down via my shins and calves and to my ft. I used to be calmly stunned by the feeling. I then started to cry—a attainable response Phillips and I had mentioned, but not a response I used to be anticipating to have—and it wasn’t generalized crying. As a substitute, it was a pointed emotional response to one thing particular I hadn’t even been enthusiastic about previous to or throughout our go to. Phillips acted as an endlessly compassionate supply of help, permitting me to be interested in what I used to be experiencing versus combating it.

Because the bodywork a part of our session got here to a detailed, Phillips gave me just a few moments alone to transition again to the sofa the place we had had our session. By means of our steady dialogue, Phillips made a number of factors I linked with in fairly pivotal methods. She additionally wrote significant notes about what we labored on for me to take dwelling. In contrast to with discuss remedy, when one can stroll away feeling depleted (although that’s not all the time a nasty factor), I walked away from our session feeling lighter. Personally, I’m already trying via my calendar to make time for one other session.

The Value

Session costs vary relying on location. You may anticipate to pay between $100 to $200 for a 60-minute session. Most insurance coverage suppliers don’t cowl SER, but when price is a barrier for you, it’s value reaching out to the practitioner to see if they supply any monetary hardship plans as Phillips does.


Phillips says aftercare is way extra vital than preparation for SER therapies. She recommends avoiding engagements comparable to work or get-togethers after a session. “You need to spend the remainder of the day as distant from know-how as attainable, giving your self the house to mirror on what occurred,” she notes.

To get essentially the most out of your classes, Phillips recommends returning for at the least three further classes (and scheduling them not more than a few weeks aside). “A part of what we’re engaged on isn’t just having one expertise,” Phillips says, “We would like you to have the ability to keep the discharge of no matter you are making an attempt to course of out of your physique. So with the intention to get a real measurement of how this work will profit you, we have to have just a few classes.”

The Last Takeaway 

If you happen to’re in search of a method to higher perceive troublesome experiences in your life and develop in your therapeutic journey, Somato Emotional Launch is a therapeutic technique value contemplating. It’s a light, trauma-sensitive, and inclusive remedy that lets your physique be the information. When in search of a practitioner, search for somebody formally skilled in SER and whose mission speaks to you. The outcomes may very well be simply the reduction you’ve got been in search of.


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