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Ancient and modern medical principles alike rely on the idea that our body stores different kinds of energy in different places and ways — Hindu chakras, Chinese meridians, pressure points and even the lymph and endocrine systems all incorporate the concept of physical reactions to emotional events. In cases of stress, distress or trauma, the body goes through a series of innate responses known as fight or flight reactions, producing hormones and activating areas of the brain that control everything from feelings of fear to breathing patterns. Among many therapists, doctors and researchers, there is a common belief that even after the event has passed, the effects can linger on as stored energy that impacts your day-to-day life. Somatic therapy relies on this belief and focuses on finding and releasing pent-up tension called somatic energy.

Somatic therapy was first developed in the 1970s, when experts observed that animals in the wild do not exhibit symptoms of trauma like humans do despite their confrontation with life-threatening situations relatively frequently. Researchers concluded that animals are more efficient at processing and discharging trauma-induced energy stores through their physical responses to fight or flight situations. This led to the belief that human trauma may result from an unnatural accumulation of these energy reserves in the body, and ultimately to the development of somatic therapy, which uses a physical approach to therapy designed to release these energy reserves. Those who participate in somatic therapy may use massage, movement, stretching, exercise or skin treatments in an effort to disengage areas of trauma-induced tension.

Somatic Therapy for Trauma and Mental Health Disorders

The overarching concepts of somatic psychology are relevant to nearly everyone — we all have stressors in our daily lives that build up over time. Making a conscious effort to release built-up tension is often a profoundly beneficial experience even for those who have not suffered a particular trauma. However, for those who do have more extreme concerns, somatic therapy can truly be life-changing. The results of trauma extend beyond physical discomfort and day-to-day worries, often deeply impacting mental health and triggering anxiety, depression, compulsions or addiction. When these concerns surface as manifestations of traumatic energy retention, somatic therapy seeks to provide a release.

Even if you cannot pinpoint a moment or experience of trauma that you believe may be the root of your mental health concerns, it is likely that somatic therapy can help you improve and manage your symptoms. Physical health is inextricably tied to mental health — studies show that eating well and exercising have immense impacts on confidence, positivity and perceived happiness. Somatic therapy focuses on restoring your physical well-being with the direct intention of improving mental health.

Somatic Therapy at The Guest House

As a treatment center with a strong focus on holistic healing, somatic therapy principles are integral to the programs at The Guest House. We understand the importance of using a blend of therapies to heal the mind, body and spirit; we pride ourselves on providing treatments that allow our guests to find this healing. Somatic therapy is one of these treatments, carefully chosen for its effectiveness and its ability to improve mental and physical symptoms simultaneously.

The Guest House staff consists of several highly trained therapists with years of experience providing a variety of traditional, creative and clinical therapies. We know that every person who enters our programs has their own story and their own needs, so we offer the variety of treatments necessary to ensure that each guest can thrive within our program by finding therapies that are suited to their own experiences. Alongside somatic therapy, we also offer modalities including:

  • Psychodrama
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Neuroimaging
  • Equine therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

The Guest House Ocala is a home for your recovery, offering concierge-level amenities and top-quality treatments to provide the comfort and compassion necessary for complete healing. We know that choosing recovery is a challenge and taking the first steps on your journey is daunting, but we know that we can make the rest of your recovery the most positive experience possible. We treat every one of our clients with respect, dignity and open-mindedness; it is our mission to be a place of hope and restfulness along your way to a new life.