Somatic Experiencing and Osteopathy with Emily
Somatic Experiencing is a way of integrating the mind and body in order to give you more choice in how you deal with, and respond to normal life events, and to help you feel more at ease in your body.
Somatic is defined as relating to the body as distinct from the mind.
Somatic Experiencing and Osteopathy can help with
Tension: General tension, tense shoulders, tension headaches or pressure in the head, tight jaw, migraines.
Not feeling right: Sometimes it can be just ‘not feeling right’ or experiencing a sense of disconnection with the world around you. A numbness or a sense of disconnection with your body. Feeling spaced out. A jarring or jangly sensation in certain situations. Feeling uncomfortable in your body. Feeling off centre, shaken, fragmented.
Mood: Anxiety, panic attacks. Quick to anger, irritation. Overwhelm, life feels too much, over
Stress: Helpful if you are finding life difficult when under stress. PTSD.
Accidents/Falls: Not feeling back to normal after an accident, fall or head trauma. Repetitive accidents or falls.
Health issues: Help in dealing with long term health issues. Helping to recover from an illness, medical interventions, a difficult childbirth, operations. Chronic pain. Fatigue.
Breathing: Difficulty taking a full breath. Stress, anxiety, and shock can all cause tension in the diaphragm and other respiratory muscles. This results in less oxygen absorption which can affect energy levels and further affect mood.
Embodiment: Using embodiment to feel more empowered ; Finding your spine, your support. Standing on your own two feet and building more capacity for aliveness through a deep connection to yourself through physicality. Creating a feeling of centredness , a sense of midline and safety. This supports a different relationship to emotions and feelings as often we can often feel overwhelmed by a perceived threat. To meaningfully be able to develop and access internal states of safety gives us more choices in how to be in the world.
What to expect in a session
With somatic experiencing I will ask you to send me a brief summary of any trauma history. During the session I usually begin with you sitting in a chair. We may start with some simple exercises to settle your nervous system and we may do some work standing where I can observe and work with posture and movement. This is designed for you to develop a dialogue with your body in order to help understand tension patterns and release stuck energy. It can help to develop a sense of embodiment and new ways to experience yourself, through your body.
I may also work with the you lying on the massage table where I use osteopathic (mostly cranial osteopathy) hands-on touch to assess and release tension and re-balance tissues, realign your body. I integrate the SE which again engages and encourages a dialogue between the client, and what you are sensing in your body. And this is where we begin to become aware of the multitude of information that our bodies are telling us if we allow the time, and how we can influence how we feel by changing patterns of tension and movement.
I work as an Osteopath and Somatic Experiencing practitioner. My main focus at Barnsbury therapy rooms is Somatic Experiencing.
Both these disciplines see the story of our lives written in our tissues. Our bodies are like treasure chests of experiences, good and bad. We sense everything through them; from the damp cool air as we walk through the park and the smell of cut grass, to a stressful experience or injury.
Somatic Experiencing (SE)
Dr Peter Levine the Medical Biophysicist and Psychologist developed SE after observing how animals in the wild deal with life threatening situations. He noticed how their nervous systems became activated in response to a life threat and how they quickly returned to equilibrium to continue life un-traumatised.
We humans have the same ability to regulate our autonomic nervous systems, but sometimes we are unable to re-establish equilibrium, and we remain in a state of relative dysregulation. A traumatic event results in a high level of activation in the nervous system and frequently the situation dictates that we cannot complete or act on the basic instinct to fight or flee and the high level of activation/ energy remains stuck in our body as a tension or reactivity pattern.
These unresolved patterns can remain causing pain, and distorting posture, movement, breathing, and mood, disturbing the harmonious functioning of the body. Somatic Experiencing works to integrate the body and mind by teaching us conscious awareness of these holding patterns and finding ways to slowly let them go. This helps the body heal and builds resilience and a capacity to deal with the stress and trauma that is a normal part of life.
During an SE session we take time to sense how these patterns show themselves in gestures, subtle sensations, feelings and images, and we allow time to be with them. This gives the nervous system the opportunity to discharge some of the stuck energy. Care is taken to do this slowly.
The founder of Osteopathy, Dr A T Still, saw that the structure and function of the body are interrelated and that the body can heal itself if upset balance is restored/ re-established.
In many years of working with people in pain and discomfort I have often found a link between their present pain and a past event, such as an injury from a fall, medical intervention, surgery or other traumatic experience.
I suffered chronic low back pain as a young woman and was so inspired by how much osteopathic treatment helped me that I decided to train to be an osteopath.
I have worked as an osteopath for over 20 years and see people of all ages and from many different occupations with a wide variation of physical problems. My expertise is in biodynamic cranial osteopathy, alongside soft tissue massage and manipulation techniques. I also specialise is treating newborns, pregnant and postpartum women, and have spent time working in premature baby and paediatric units. Before becoming an osteopath I was an actor, this included basic training in dance, voice work and singing. The way we express ourselves through our bodies has always fascinated me.
Areas I work with:
Includes low back pain, neck pain, joint pain, limb pain, chronic pain, headache, neuralgia, digestive problems, circulatory problems, general tension, overwhelm, anxiety and stress related problems.
PTSD related to medical trauma, post operative, accidents, illness.
Qualifications and Training:
- Somatic Experiencing practitioner. Fully trained SEP, graduated April 2023.
- British School of Osteopathy. BSc (Hons) Ost. 1999.
- Osteopathic Centre for Children London. DPO. Worked for 5 years a a volunteer practitioner, 8 years as a clinic tutor and lecturer.
- Fully trained in the Biodynamic approach to Osteopathy.
- Founder member and organiser of annual osteopathic course Biobasics for 8 years.
- PG cert in higher education.
£70 for 50 minute session
£75 for 50 minute session
Psychotherapy sessions at Barnsbury Therapy Space:
Directions to Barnsbury Therapy Space