What is Somatic Release?

One of the services available at Way Opens Center will be Somatic Release sessions.  Few people are familiar with the name "Somatic Release", because it is an approach that evolved out of my 20+ years of Alexander work, my decade of experience as a labor doula, and my own personal journey of healing.  I created the name for this form, but the fundamentals of Somatic Release are rooted in the Alexander Technique as taught by my mentor Alan Katz. I also incorporate elements of Therapeutic Touch, Reflexology, Feldenkrais, Hypnotherapy, and intuitive common sense.

How is Somatic Release different from the Alexander Technique? Alexander lessons are by definition an active period of intentional learning between teacher and student. Although therapeutically beneficial, the AT is not a series of treatments or exercises.

By contrast, Somatic Release sessions are therapeutic treatments, a time for deep relaxation. Fully clothed and lying on a bodywork table, you will experience safe, supportive touch and positive, encouraging words that help you let go of tension. Depending on what the situation calls for, I use my hands in ways that are somewhat different from Alexander lessons. I sometimes use more specific pressure point techniques, for example, or work with the subtle energy field off the body, with very little direct touch. Some movement of limbs and opening of joints may be incorporated, and perhaps various breathing patterns might be explored. Improved energetic flow is the goal.

Alexander work asks you to actively participate as you learn about yourself; Somatic Release does not.  During a session you might be asked to make a mental or visual connection, but for the most part, clients find themselves drifting into a deeply relaxed state of being, thoroughly refreshed and at ease as a result.

Somatic Release is especially useful for individuals recovering from physical or emotional trauma, for those with mobility issues, and as a supplement to healing from surgery. It is also great for times when one is just plain exhausted and wants a little tender loving care.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, a Somatic Release session might be just the thing.