As a coach and nutritionist, I work with the body and the mind. I learned early in nutrition school that we can’t just look at one part of ourselves; we must pay attention to the symptoms we have but also the meaning we are creating from these symptoms. I am also familiar with how powerful the brain is, from my own experience with addiction and from helping clients understand why we want change, but it feels so damn hard!
In my training as a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I learned to palpate the body for weakness and then to address these weaknesses through water, food and supplements. It was a fascinating crash course in the power of the body to effect the mind. I also experienced my own mind-body challenge when it came to my alcohol use. I didn’t want to drink – my brain was 100% convinced it was not doing me any favors and yet, every evening at 5:00 PM my body would crave alcohol and my brain would ‘cave’. The more I learn about the mind-body connection, the more I want to know about harnessing the power of bodywork to better serve my clients.
This is where my friend and fellow coach Brandi Babb comes in. She is currently a somatic experience therapist in training. This means she is in tune with how and where the body stores trauma and stress, and how releasing these trauma and stress responses, through bodywork, can help us toward peace and wholeness.
The most common and straightforward form of somatic therapy is known as somatic experience therapy. In this therapy, patients discuss their problems as in other forms of mental wellness therapy. Rather than just talk about them, somatic therapists guide patients to focus on their underlying physical sensations. From there, the mind-body exercises may include breath work, meditation, visualization, massage, grounding, dance, and/or sensation awareness work.
In this episode of the podcast, Brandi shares her personal journey with somatic therapy and the methodology she is learning through the work of Dr. Peter Levine.
We talked about:
- Who might benefit from this therapy?
- Nervous System Regulation
- Understanding the ‘freeze state’
- How alcohol shows up as a ‘state changer’
- Noticing our own bodily responses
- Her personal journey with an eating disorder
- Self-regulation and self-resourcing: expanding capacity
- The brain, safety and emotional regulation
Find out more about Brandi’s coaching at Little Big Leap Coaching