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Have You Tried Somatic Healing? The Issues May Be Stuck In Your Tissues

somatic healing

Positive Aging Thought Leader: Maria Leonard Olsen

The effects of trauma may be one of humanity’s most urgent public health issues.

I know that trauma from my childhood affected me throughout my life. At age 60, I decided to do something more about it, by trying somatic healing.

Somatic Healing Modalities:

In 2015, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk wrote the seminal book on traumatic stress, titled The Body Keeps the Score—Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma. Turning away from traditional talk and drug therapies, Dr. van der Kolk espoused groundbreaking holistic treatments for those suffering from trauma. His scientific research exposed how our physical selves are connected to things we undergo in our lives.

“I resisted somatic healing modalities.”

As a civil litigation attorney whose work-life primarily involves provable facts, I resisted somatic healing modalities. I dabbled in it over the years, reading about it, going to breathwork and retreats, and more

At the time, I had gotten divorced, sober, become an empty nester, and was living alone for the first time in my life. I wrote about some of these efforts in my book  50 After 50: Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Lifewhich chronicled my trying 50 new things in my 50th year to determine how I wanted to live my life going forward.

A New Level Of Healing:

I turned 60 less than a year ago, and am living and writing the sequel, tentatively titled 60 After 60: Finding Serenity in Your 60s. I am ready to engage in a new level of healing. Somatic healing is part of that.

Moreover, I have been in traditional therapy off and on since the early 1990s. I resisted that, too, but it definitely helped. Somatic therapy aims to treat post-traumatic stress syndrome and other mental and emotional health issues through the mind-body connection.

This body-centric approach helps release stress, tension, and big and little T trauma from the body. It includes breathwork, meditation, mind-body exercises, and other body-oriented modalities to support mental healing.

Becoming Your Best Version:

A team member from gifted somatic healer Keli Carpenter contacted me several months ago to inquire about Keli being on my podcast, Becoming Your Best Version.

“I knew that I would benefit from working with this gifted somatic healer. I was finally ready.”

I was going through a challenging time in my life. When Keli and I met to record the podcast, Keli sensed my troubled energy. She gently suggested we do a bit of meditation together. Her perceptiveness was greatly appreciated and allowed me to center myself before recording the episode.

After we recorded the podcast and I learned more about her work, I knew that I would benefit from working with this gifted somatic healer. I was finally ready.

I engaged in one on one sessions with her. Which uncovered parts of my trauma that I had suppressed, despite years of working on these issues. I was amazed by what I was still holding in my body a half century after the trauma occurred. Her ability to help me integrate, process and move beyond what continued to affect my life in conscious and, more often, unconscious ways was life-transforming.

Conscious And Subconscious Blocks:

Keli hosts free online workshops, as well as biannual in person retreats, which one can learn about through her website, TheOtherSideOfAverage.com. She also encourages those curious about her work to sign up for a free inquiry session to meet with her online and learn about her work.

After working with her one on one for several weeks, I signed up for her last retreat, which was held in the Yucatan jungle. It was life-changing. It helped me break through long held conscious and subconscious blocks.

“Meditation is increasingly being introduced in educational settings and in workplaces.”

I feel the effects of the work in my daily life, including in my relationships with those close to me and even when I am in the courtroom. I recently signed up for her next retreat, which will be held in August on Vancouver Island, in Canada. It is accessible by ferry from Seattle.

Awakening And Growth:

Keli “supports aware parents, partners and space-holders to turn their stuckness, stress and pain into awakening and growth.”

I can attest that her methods work, even with stubborn litigators like me, who often believe that they can do everything without any help. She provides tools, knowledge and support for those who wish to stop repeating patterns of emotional struggle and yearn to release deep-seated pain. 

I thought I had plenty of tools to help me with the challenges in my life, and I do. The tools Keli introduced me to, however, and helped me implement and integrate into my life provided a deeper level of healing.

Benefits Of Somatic Healing:

More people are being exposed to the benefits of somatic healing. Some hospitals, for instance, offer Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing, and some insurance providers cover it.

Meditation is increasingly being introduced in educational settings and in workplaces. Popular media also has played a role in helping people open their minds to the mind-body connection when it comes to healing, including for physical ailments.

“The world needs somatic healing,” Keli says. “The world craves it.” I certainly do. Maybe you do, too.

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Maria Olsen

About the Author:

Maria Leonard Olsen is an attorney, author, radio show and podcast host in the Washington, D.C., area. For more information about her work, see www.MariaLeonardOlsen.com and follow her on social media at @fiftyafter50. Her latest book, 50 After 50: Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life, which has served as a vehicle for helping thousands of women reinvigorate their lives, is offered for sale on this website.

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