We’ve been exploring the power of Somatic Therapies in a variety of situations. Today we’d like to explore how we heal grief and loss.
First, let’s set the stage by examining loss. We can feel a sense of sorrow or loss for many reasons: death of a loved one, job loss, separation or divorce, natural disaster, physical disability, or any other major life change. Any of these can trigger grief, although sometimes in a way we may not recognize it. We often hear someone say after a loss, “My heart is breaking.” Grief is a complex mix of psychological and physical energy – and as we have stated before, any unresolved energy will be stored in the body.
A healthy, appropriate reaction to grief is, of course, crying, sadness, sorrow, shock. However occasionally these reactions do not resolve over time or are accompanied by other symptoms and behaviors (i.e., breathing, eating or sleeping problems, substance abuse, lethargy). When the discomfort has increased to being disabling, or if you feel stuck in your grieving process, treatment may be beneficial.
Somatic treatment for toxic levels of grief is very effective in releasing the stuck energy of the loss. Treatment may include breathing exercises, relaxation and meditation techniques, and mindfulness. A therapist will also use language to trigger an emotional and physical response, using the power of the mind to influence the body in a healing, positive way. A somatic therapist will use body-based practices that can help the body and mind heal concurrently.
Grief is a normal human reaction to loss, and just as with other stuck emotion we have discussed previously [link], when the loss has been stored in the body without expression, there is hope. We invite you to contact us if you feel you need help with your grief process.