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  • Writer's pictureJess

What the Heck Does Somatic Mean Anyway?

Have you ever stumbled upon the term "somatic" in a conversation or while reading and found yourself scratching your head, wondering what it really means? You're not alone. The word "somatic" often floats around in various contexts, from psychology to biology to wellness

practices, leaving many people puzzled about its precise definition. So, let's unravel the mystery and explore what "somatic" truly entails.

At its core, "somatic" refers to anything related to the body or bodily sensations. Derived from the Greek word "sōma," meaning "body," somatic pertains to the physical aspects of our being, encompassing sensations, movements, and experiences within the body.

Somatics in Psychology:

In psychology, the term "somatic" is frequently used in the context of somatic experiencing, a therapeutic approach developed by Dr. Peter Levine. Somatic experiencing focuses on resolving trauma and stress by paying attention to bodily sensations and allowing the body to release stored tension. It acknowledges that traumatic experiences often manifest physically in the body, leading to symptoms like tension, pain, or numbness.

Somatic Practices:

Beyond psychology, somatic practices encompass a broad range of disciplines aimed at enhancing bodily awareness and promoting holistic well-being. These practices include yoga, tai chi, qigong, dance therapy, and various forms of bodywork like massage therapy and chiropractic care. Through these practices, individuals cultivate a deeper connection with their bodies, fostering relaxation, flexibility, and resilience.

Somatic Education:

Somatic education emphasizes learning through bodily awareness and movement. Practitioners of somatic education, such as the Feldenkrais Method and the Alexander Technique, guide individuals in exploring their movement patterns and habits to improve posture, coordination, and overall functioning. By heightening awareness of how we move and inhabit our bodies, somatic education empowers individuals to move more efficiently and comfortably.

Somatic Cells in Biology:

In biology, somatic cells refer to any cell in the body other than reproductive cells (sperm and egg cells). Somatic cells make up the tissues, organs, and systems of the body, carrying out specific functions necessary for survival and everyday functioning. Unlike germ cells, which are involved in reproduction, somatic cells do not pass genetic information to the next generation.

The Significance of Somatic Awareness:

Understanding the concept of somatic awareness can be transformative for our overall well-being. Our culture generally prioritizes mental tasks over bodily sensations, reconnecting with our somatic experience can offer profound benefits. By tuning into our bodies, we become more attuned to our needs, better equipped to manage stress, and capable of fostering greater physical and emotional resilience.

Embracing Somatic Understanding:

So, the next time you encounter the term "somatic" in conversation or reading material, you'll know that it refers to the realm of the body and bodily sensations. Whether you're exploring somatic therapy, engaging in somatic practices, or simply becoming more aware of your bodily experiences, embracing somatic understanding can lead to profound insights and transformations in your life.

In essence, "somatic" isn't just a fancy term thrown around in specialized fields; it's a doorway to deeper self-awareness, healing, and empowerment. So, let's embrace the somatic journey and rediscover the wisdom inherent in our bodies.

Want to give it a try?

Join us for the newest offering in The Sundry line up of emotional & energetic wellness classes, Mindful Movement with the brilliant Jennifer of Embodied Wisdom by Design.

What to expect from the event in Jennifer's words:

Q: What is Somatic Dance?

A: Somatic dance is a modality to bring your awareness into your body in a way that helps you start from a a very visceral feeling, in your own body and really allowing that feeling to move the body.

Q: How is Somatic Dance different from regular dance?

A: There's no choreography. There's no structure to it. It's literally just letting those emotions move through your body. Both are about being embodied and getting in your body, but Somatic Dance is more about the release of emotions.

Q:How can I expect to feel after a somatic dance class?

A: The intention of the class is to allow those emotions and energies to flow, to work through

your body for release. You will feel more grounded because you are bringing your awareness into your body, which is what grounding is. It's about quieting the ego mind and bringing the higher mind into the body to consciously identifying where energy is stuck in the body.

You can also expect to feel a sense of calm because that's that's really what we're doing, we're connecting to a deeper level of ourselves which in turn calms the nervous system. By bringing more body awareness, more emotion awareness, the nervous system will naturally calm and regulate.

You will leave the class more mindful of bringing in good energy, of bringing in more of yourself and more authenticity going forward in your life.

Hope to see you there!


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