Core to a somatic or body-based approach is liberating the emotional and sexual energy that is repressed throughout your life. Energetic blockages, stored in connective tissue, affect how much of your body and emotional range you can feel. These restrictions are based on beliefs about how you have to be in order to be accepted and loved. We may resist being joyful or angry, sensual or loud. When these parts are integrated rather than disowned, vitality and self-expressiveness return to the body.
The body doesn’t lie.
Somatics works with what shows up nonverbally. Your automatic responses to stressful situations, while intelligent, are limited by what you perceive is safe or will help you gain connection. Aikido based exercises can help you explore your automatic responses and give you tools to interact in relationships in a new way. By working through the body doing repetitive exercises, we can create new neural pathways to override trauma pathways.
When new neural pathways are created, new possibilities open up. You can then view life and the world from a vantage point of freedom, make new choices, and heal. We are creating a pathway back to yourself, to your center, so you can be home inside your body.
Starting therapy is a commitment to yourself. It means building a relationship not only with your therapist but more importantly with your unconscious – choosing a time every week dedicated to slowing down enough to feel, listen and make space for what has been neglected to emerge.
The more that unconscious thoughts, feelings and memories become conscious, the less reactive you become over time.
I blend dreamwork, art therapy, writing and reading poetry with psychotherapy as ways to uncover what wants to be expressed.
Your history shapes you emotionally, physically and energetically. As Caroline Myss says, “Your biography becomes your biology.”
I use bodywork as a tool to invite you back into your body.
I was trained in Lomi somatic bodywork (Rolphing, Polarity Therapy, Feldenkris) by Richard Strozzi Heckler and Staci Haines. We use physical movement, support and breath techniques to stretch your connective tissue, increasing the flow of energy through your whole body and thawing out stored trauma in a noninvasive way.
I blend Lomi somatic bodywork with energy work and other modalities to create TRB.
TRB allows you to discover and heal chronic places of constriction in your body that correlate to unresolved emotional issues.
TRB is not massage – you are an active participant during bodywork and there is no “right” way to be on the table. By working with whatever gets evoked from the contact, we create a way for all parts of you, even those parts you wish would “shut up” or “go away”, to be accepted and supported. You’ll be surprised by what can happen.
Bodywork is a priceless approach for people who are cerebral, over think, try to maintain control, have little sensation and feel numb or become overwhelmed by their internal experience. It is a more direct route to your unconscious and a way to access the story your body has been waiting to tell once you are ready to listen.
Create room in your body to feel and express.
If you were abused as a child you may have felt as if your choice to say “No” was taken away, but the body discovers creative, silent ways to say “No.” We might find restriction and tension in your chest, throat and jaw. Those unspoken boundaries get hoarded and hardened over time into protective walls that enable you to stay safe, not feel the pain in your heart or potential hurts coming towards you.
Now, when you want to say “Yes” to some things, your body hasn’t received the memo that you are safer and not everyone will hurt you. This bodywork helps unwind that historical trauma and build new muscle memory, allowing you to feel joy or effervescent excitement in parts of your body that were previously numb.
TRB is a light-touch technique that is performed fully clothed. No two sessions look the same.
If developmental needs get missed and we are not attuned to from the ages of birth to two, we can form insecure (anxious and avoidant) attachment, and develop certain beliefs: “I can’t trust anyone, I can’t trust them to stick around or show up when I need them, I am a burden, I don’t deserve care.” If you’ve been highly self-reliant and have trouble trusting support, your body may get overwhelmed even considering asking for it or receiving it.
Rather than simply speaking about how to develop secure attachment, I offer a form of bodywork that was created by Bodynamics. The bodywork I do calms the nervous system and helps imprint the belief that you deserve care, you can receive it and you can trust that it is consistently available.
People lacking consistent supportive attunement during this developmental stage may also be very sexually driven. They may think sex is the only way to fully exhale and relax. While sex can be an ecstatic and useful way to connect to yourself and others, it’s important to be able to have a range of ways to connect beyond sex.
I teach couples nourishing bodywork practices they can do with one another as nonsexual ways to rebuild trust and safety and securely connect with one another.
It’s true that your energy follows your attention. When healing from trauma, having supportive guides is an important part of rebuilding your trust with others. But attending to your own intuitive voice through dedicated quiet time is invaluable in regaining self-trust which is commonly lost.
Choose where you spend your energy and take your power back.
There is incredible power in being able to choose where you place your attention and direct your energy. Mindfulness and Meditation can help you develop more focused attention, attune to your own voice and regulate yourself. I offer a range of meditative tools, supporting whatever works for each individual.
The Lucia Light is a meditative light machine I discovered while looking for biofeedback devices for my clients. I was blown away by my first 5 minute experience under the light.
Using a neural monitor, I’ve recorded brain waves before, during and after light sessions to see what changes. The light balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain, increasing alpha waves (connected to being in “the zone” or altered consciousness state) and theta waves (the gateway to the subconscious).
Personally, I have gained a more stable nervous system, consistent recharge when I am sleep deprived, enhanced intuition and creativity. After light sessions, I felt resourced enough to start writing a book about healing from sexual trauma. If you’d like to learn more about the light please visit www.illuminatedsf.com.
Santosha, aka Toshi, is my sweet, 18 lb, hypoallergenic mini goldendoodle, training as a therapy dog. If in office she may lovingly lay across your lap or want to be on the massage table with you. There may be periods where she is in the office and other times where she is not. If you have a preference for her to not be in session, please let me know and I will respect your request.
Center for Passionate Living
7214 Sunkist Dr
Oakland, CA 94605
© 2020 By Charna Cassell, LMFT.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. MFC 51238.