What to expect during your visit – Somatic Experiencing (SE)
Somatic Experiencing is one of the techniques I use to help you regulate (re-set) your nervous system. It’s difficult to describe but interesting to watch! So have a look at Peter Levine on U-tube working with traumatised individuals; you’ll see how gentle and non-invasive it is.
Somatic Experiencing will teach you how to gain access to your own nervous system’s processes and begin to control them.
I’ll ask you to sit and notice feelings and sensations in the body – some of which you’ll be familiar with, some of which will be new and somewhat strange. You will teach your nervous system to give you more information – more sensation – to work with. That is, you will learn to make conscious much of what is normally unconscious.
The point of doing this is to really feel what your nervous system is trying to achieve and to help it where it is stuck.
If you’ve suffered a traumatic experience and feel it has not been resolved then your nervous system will often be oscillating between some sort of ‘shut-down’ (disconnected, lack of feeling, spacey, low energy, depressed, rigid or collapsed, lifeless, un-emotional – and so on) and ‘aroused’ (fight/flight, anxious, frightened, restless, wary, hyper-vigilant, irritable, avoidant – and so on). When you become familiar with the feelings and sensations in the body that represent these processes, you can begin to change them. You can learn to mobilise and free-up the stuck energy patterns. You can learn to soothe the high-adrenalin feelings. You can learn to teach your whole body how to handle big feelings so that it doesn’t run away from them.
You can learn to do all this just by using a different part of your brain form the normal ‘problem-solving’ part.
The ‘problem-solving’ part of the brain that we use all day and which drives us nuts with its chatter has no ability to soothe the highly aroused adrenalised nervous system, and it has no ability to free the ‘frozen’, fearful energy-states.
You can learn to do all this merely by enhancing your awareness of what is going on in the ‘survival’ part of your nervous system, selecting what needs to change and allowing that change to happen. People often find this a fascinating and empowering process. Instead of being at the mercy of your brain or the medical profession, you become in charge of your own healing and aware of it actually happening.
What to expect during your visit – Osteopathy
On your first visit, I take a full case history of all your details. This will include any problems you are feeling now or have suffered in the past. I want to understand the story of you and how best to treat you, so information about your previous injuries, illnesses and general health is important.
I will give you a general examination to check things like posture, flexibility, and how your muscles and joints function, what the texture of your body is like – this gives a lot of information about the how your nervous system is functioning because the nervous system is in charge of ‘powering up the body’. I’m looking at how your body works as a whole ‘system’ and how the individual parts work together. I’m interested in how your body moves and where it doesn’t move well, where there is wear and tear, the effects of trauma, strain, and previous illness.
How long will my visit last?
Normally, your first visit will last about an hour. Follow-up consultations normally last about 30-45 minutes.
What kind of treatment will you receive?
I draw from a wide range of bodywork techniques. These include deep massage to relax and stretch muscles, movements of your joints and manipulation techniques. I also use Cranial Osteopathy, which is very gentle and particularly suitable for children and babies, the elderly, and for people in a lot of pain.
I’ll be keen to show you how to get the best from your treatments by showing you appropriate things you can do between treatments, such as exercises, breathing and relaxation techniques, etc. These will prevent your problems happening again, and help empower you to take your health into your own hands – as much as you wish to.
We think nothing of a six-monthly check-up with the dentist, but this is only for our teeth, a small part of our anatomy. The rest of the body is usually taken completely for granted. We recommend an osteopathic check-up once or twice a year, sometimes more frequently. This is especially sensible if you’re repeatedly straining your body whether this is from strenuous activity or prolonged sitting with poor posture and too little regular exercise.