Somatic experiencing is a body-based technique to help our nervous system heal from a negative experience. The somatic experiencing theory of trauma suggests that trauma symptoms result from incidents where we do not have the opportunity to fully process and digest a time where we could not fight or flee. Our body naturally wants to come back to baseline, but we often prevent ourselves from fully processing the experience by holding back, constricting, or limiting our normal response. As a result, we get stuck or frozen in the experience and our body continues to re-experience these traumatic events through nightmares, flashbacks, and chronic hyper vigilance.
Sometimes this happens in war or during serious car accidents. Other times this happens when we have a bad fall, a negative or nonconsensual sexual experience, or even a “holy shit that almost happened” near disaster.
After we’ve had a traumatic experience, it’s important that we process and allow our bodies to complete the natural cycle and come back to baseline.