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How Can Somatic Therapy Help Treat Addiction?

In the addiction recovery process, trauma cannot be overlooked. Trauma may have led to your addiction, and you also might have endured traumatic experiences due to your addiction. Ancient medical principles point to the idea that energy from traumatic experiences can be stored in our bodies. Somatic therapy is an extremely beneficial practice that can help you move this energy out of your body. You can heal from addiction in a more complete way.

The Effect of Trauma

A 2021 study in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology proposes that people in traumatic situations go through a “prolonged freeze” instead of fight or flight, resulting in “a persistent somatic and emotional dysregulation of the nervous system.” This results in a lasting stress reaction for those who have experienced trauma. While it’s been widely accepted that trauma needs to be acknowledged in order for it to be healed, it can be a lot more comfortable to face trauma gradually.

What Is Somatic Therapy?

Somatic therapy, also called somatic experiencing, focuses on areas in the body that hold trauma tension. According to the Journal of Traumatic Stress, somatic experiencing is an “integrative body‐focused therapy” that was originally developed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This type of therapy focuses on “creating awareness of inner physical sensations, which are seen as the carriers of the traumatic memory.”

Somatic therapy is not limited to those who struggle with PTSD. Anyone who has experienced trauma can benefit from this practice. Somatic therapy allows you to gently release prolonged trauma by focusing on energy reserves. Some somatic therapy practices may include body movement, massage treatment, or stretching.

Addiction and Somatic Therapy

Sometimes, individuals who struggle with addiction can’t pinpoint the exact trauma that led to their condition. Since somatic therapy focuses on the mind-body connection, you can release trauma that you might not even be aware of.

If you’ve been experiencing addiction for any amount of time, you might feel like there’s a part of you that feels “stuck.” Something is blocking you from fully healing. This stuck feeling may be traumatic energy stored in the body. Somatic therapy, along with other holistic mind-body practices like yoga, meditation, and even sound healing, can help you move this energy out of your body. Many people report feeling lighter and more peaceful after therapy.

Addiction treatment isn’t “one size fits all.” You can test out different methods to see what will work best for you.

Addiction and trauma often go hand-in-hand, and many people may feel like something is blocking them from finding true sobriety. At The Guest House, somatic therapy principles are integral to our healing programs. Somatic therapy can help you process and move stored trauma up and out of your body with different approaches like massage, body movement, stretching, and exercise. We offer a unique variety of mind-body healing modalities to help you overcome addiction and find lasting sobriety. Call us today at (855) 483-7800 for more information.