In a past blog from our Parts is Parts Series, we talked about CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and touched upon the more advanced form called Somato Emotional Release (SER). SER is the next logical step in helping the body heal from trauma, both recent and long ago. While SER uses CST techniques it goes a bit further to you help you complete all the work necessary to fully recover from trauma.
What’s the difference between
CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release?
- CST is a gentle, light-touch approach to releasing stored tensions in the central nervous system. By releasing these tensions, every other system in the body can relax and begin to self-correct any imbalances.
- SER is the additional release of residual or “cellular” memory within all the body’s systems. When the body releases these stored physiological and emotional memories from its cells, the client receives a fuller, deeper relaxation and healing of the mind/body/spirit through this purging.
How SER Works
Many times, the emotional symptoms that we experience during trauma remain unresolved as the body heals. In order for these remaining symptoms of trauma to heal permanently, a mind-body connection has to be made. Accordingly, somato-emotional release (SER) is used as a tool for healing problems that require mind-body communication.
Cellular memory is one of the central concepts in SER. Muscle tissues and cells store emotional imprints or memories related to our traumatic experiences. When a particular muscle group is injured during an accident, a unconscious memory of that experience is formed in the affected tissue. This usually means that a small, contraction has formed in the muscle as a protective reminder of the painful experience. If the tissue memory is not appropriately released, then the contraction will remain in the muscle as the injury heals, leading to future pain.
When these unconscious contractions are not released, they can spread strain to other parts of the body. Usually your body will adjust to these strain patterns and will begin to feel normal. However, later on in life, these strain patterns can eventually cause chronic pain of which the cause is unknown.
By using cranio-sacral techniques to engage the contraction you can evoke the memory associated with the initial trauma. This in turn makes the patient aware of the memory and they can then deal with it appropriately. Once the release has occurred, the unconscious contraction of the muscle will disappear and the muscle pain will begin to heal. A typical somato-emotional release session lasts between 20 and 30 minutes, but the actual amount of release experienced during therapy will depend on the individual patient.
SER can be especially beneficial to patients who have experienced problems due to injuries, physical trauma, car accidents, traumatic life experiences and surgery. Each SER session is tailored to suit the needs of the individual and can also be used as an adjunct therapy to relieve physical conditions that are compounded by stress, tension and anxiety.
At times, the client can experience a great deal of emotion and body movement while releasing the mind/body blocks associated with a particular area, but most of the time the the releases are pretty subtle, though lasting in their effect. SER therapists often dialogue with the patient to find out how deep and old a particular restriction is and to help release it better. The premise of SER being that our own “Inner Physician,” already knows what we need, we just need a little assistance sometimes facilitating access to ALL the components of trauma so that we might release them fully.
If you’re interested in CranioSacral Therapy or SomatoEmotional Release call Esther at 503-866-3060 to schedule an appointment.