“Occupy the Body: somatic practitioners are the new revolutionaries.” Emilie Conrad, the visionary and founder of Continuum Movement, made this statement during her workshop that I attended recently in Los Angeles. As a craniosacral therapist, it resonated deeply with my own beliefs.
Often life’s traumatic experiences can get held in the body preventing it from functioning in its full and healthy capacity. The body loses its ability to rebalance and heal itself, getting stuck in unhealthy physical and behavioural patterns as a result.
‘Somatic’ practitioners (who work with the body) such as craniosacral therapists, continuum movement practitioners and other body workers, help people to rebalance their bodies to become more self-regulating, allowing them to make more appropriate responses to given situations. Put in simple physiology, if the neuro-endocrine-immune system is functioning healthily, then the body can regulate itself so it knows when to rest, play and make love, or when to get ready to run away or fight. When in balance, the body won’t fight and argue unnecessarily, or become unnecessarily paralysed when an angry person threatens it.
Healing needs to start at the body’s core, working from the inside out, to effect lasting change in individuals, and therefore society. By returning to our body’s natural balanced rhythms, through craniosacral therapy and other self-regulating therapeutic approaches, we can find more balance and regulation not only in ourselves, but also in our family, and in our community.
‘Somatics’ includes many great practices and therapeutic treatments, whose aim is to achieving this body mind regulation. The availability of these treatments is growing but it needs to grow more quickly to make a difference to society. I passionately agree with Emilie that the way to help shift unhealthy patterns in society is through healing the deep wounds in the body. If we can achieve this, a more harmonious and balanced society will ensue.