How to Heal Trauma with Somatic Healing

Judy Lam
Written by
Judy Lam
20 October, 2020
· 4 min read
How to Heal Trauma with Somatic Healing

Join Wana + Rianne Vestuto, energy healing artist, to heal from past trauma

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what led you to what you do today:

I am a somatic movement teacher and energy healer. I teach classes and hold sessions that are inspired by the paths of yoga, somatic and energy healing, to help people restore and return to their true nature. I’ve been practicing yoga since I was a toddler, and embodied movement has been a staple in my life ever since. Movement helped me immensely through tumultuous times in my early life and I became passionate about the ancient traditions of healing through movement. I am always looking for ways to connect with ways to heal through embodiment, and connect with the body's wisdom more deeply. I’ve devoted nearly a decade to studying and teaching many embodiment traditions such as yoga, somatic healing, ritual dance, and energy healing. What I offer today is a distillation of all the wisdom gained through each modality that I created on my quest to heal myself and share this wisdom with others.

2. What are the benefits of somatic healing? Who is the best candidate for somatic healing?

The best candidates for somatic healing are people who are often in their heads—which is really most of our society today. With so much of our energy on our smartphones and social media accounts, our minds are very overstimulated and overburdened. Somatic healing helps us calm our nervous systems and bring our awareness back into our bodies.

Other great candidates are people who have experienced trauma, which causes us to dissociate from our bodies. But the imprint of the traumatic memory gets trapped in our body and can wreak havoc on our physical, mental and spiritual health. Somatic movement helps us to open up so that the trauma can be released, and so that we can let life's emotions flow through us. Rather than being stuck in the past, somatic healing helps us collect ourselves back to our center and return to the present moment.

3. Biggest myth around somatic healing?

I think the biggest myth around somatic healing is that it only addresses our bodies and doesn’t integrate our minds. Half of the work is actually learning to calm your mind, detach from your thoughts, and allow your mind to be in the passenger's seat so that the body can lead you in your healing.

4. Top 3 tips for starting somatic healing:

Starting simple will take you very far. There are so many easy techniques you can try right now. For example, wherever you are sitting reading this article, really let yourself feel your feet rooting into the ground. Feel gravity supporting and grounding you. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly, and bring your awareness to your breathing. Feel how each inhale pushes your ribs into your hands and the exhale knits your ribs in towards your core.

Simple practices like this one help us return to the present moment. Every moment, even when we are not paying attention, our bodies are ecosystems that are always working towards balance and creation. We are so much more than our thoughts, our worries, and even our traumas.

Don’t be attached to the result: I know one can be difficult, but it's important. One of the most powerful aspects of any healing journey is showing up with zero expectations. This keeps us open to the healing organically coming through as it's meant to, rather than trying to force it to happen in a specific way or time. When we stop trying to control how our healing happens, we allow it to unfold as it’s meant to. The best thing you can do is show up to your somatic healing with an earnest intention to heal and let your body's intelligence do the rest.

Find a practitioner that feels safe, authentic and right for you. This work can get deeply personal and it’s important that you choose someone who suits your unique needs. Don’t be afraid to “shop around” and try a few different healers until you find the healer/s that you want to work with on a more long term basis.

5. Why should someone choose a somatic healing approach as opposed to CBT?

Somatic healing and CBT are both beautiful modalities that can work really harmoniously together. When it comes to choosing between somatic healing and CBT, it all depends on what suits you personally. I don’t think somatic healing should be a replacement for CBT, and I don’t think CBT can replace somatic healing.

In my practice, (I am not a licensed CBT or clinician) there is a lot of mental integration of what gets uncovered somatically that has a similar approach to CBT. This is so that clients can put their body experience into context with their minds. My work takes a holistic mind/body/soul

approach…because I strongly believe it’s important to address all dimensions of each person. This is why I recommend either finding a practitioner who works holistically like I do, or having different therapists to address each of your needs (like having a CBT and a somatic teacher.)

About Rianne Vestuto

Rianne is an embodiment guide and energy healing artist. Her signature somatic movement classes, sessions, and workshops are a result of her own healing journey, and nearly a decade full of rich training and experience. She’s trained with some of the most prominent teachers in yoga, prana vinyasa, meditation, reiki, somatic healing, dance therapy, freeform movement, fluid feminine movement, chakra balancing, and shamanic energy healing. Her work today is a distillation of all the wisdom gained through her experiences, that she created on her quest to heal herself and share with others.

Rianne creates a sacred, multidimensional healing space where clients can restore and return to their true nature, fall in love with their unique healing journey, and feel empowered to heal and radiate their own healing gifts into the world. Through classes, private sessions, and workshops, she teaches soulful somatic movement. These embodiment experiences are all about connecting deeply to your body and soul to help you restore and remember your true nature. To book a session, visit her site and go to her Instagram to get connected and join the healing circle.

Wana does not directly support any claims made within this content. These are the views of the individual/organization represented.

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