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  • Writer's pictureShalini Cameron

Why Somatic therapy is vital to true recovery?

Not many people have come across the word 'somatic'. Yet in the new 'fourth wave' of therapy, somatic therapy is making itself known.

Somatic therapy plays a crucial part in the recovery and health of the nervous system, and the nervous system plays a crucial role in governing every part of us from our brain, our body, and our cells and the functioning of all our systems such as our digestive system, reproductive system, immune system and endocrine system. More emerging science-based evidence is confirming chronic illnesses, cancer and diagnosed neurological conditions such as fibromyalgia, M.S, CFS and functional neurological disorders are caused by a dysregulated nervous system. (Blog coming soon).

We often also think our mind and body are two entities and they exist separately from each other however the mind and body are connected by the biggest nerve in our nervous system and the nerve responsible for overall health -the vagus nerve.

This is what the vagus nerve looks like in our bodies.

As illustrated the nerve is linked from the brain to the gut and to every organ, hence its nickname ' the wandering nerve'. There is also a significantly higher bundle of these nerves located in the gut ( what was evolutionary is the second brain! ) and an 80% afferent highway (traveling up) to the brain, which means more messages are sent from gut to brain than the brain to the body (only 20%). What this means is our 'gut instinct and nervous system responses, stress responses have a significant impact on our brain and body!

The regulation of the nervous system is key to keeping homeostasis within our bodies. Depending on what we have experienced in our lives the regulation of our nervous system can become 'dysregulated' (all over the place!) and we experience difficulty coping, and managing our behavior and emotions on top of anxiety, rage, depression, dissociation as well as enduring the physical symptoms, we cannot stay in our window of tolerance. This amazing video illustrates exactly how trauma and stress can significantly impact our health.

Somatic treatments such as sensorimotor psychotherapy, somatic experiencing, somatic trauma-informed yoga, and polyvagal theory all treat the dysregulation and the vagus nerve as well as provide psychotherapeutic treatment to a mental health issues such as anxiety, trauma, attachment issues as well as the physical issues such as pain, fatigue, neurological issues, which is why somatic therapy surprising treats both physical and mental health issues.

See this articles for more reading.What Is Somatic Therapy? (

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