Somatic Therapy: The Benefits of Shaking
| LAST UPDATE 08/12/2022
Somatic therapy may not be a well-known form of therapy, but it's definitely a beneficial one. The body-based approach helps relieve stress and triggers in the body to aid in regulating the nervous system. But trying out new holistic health practices can be overwhelming when it's something we haven't done before, especially without any guidance. Luckily, somatic techniques can range from difficult to super simple. And one of those helpful forms includes shaking. Here's how the simple somatic method can immensely benefit you by helping you feel a sense of calm, collection, awareness, focus, and self-love.
"Shaking is a body practice that has not even been invented - it has been observed by animals in the wild and made its way to us, humans. This practice allows the body to release trapped energy that we were not able to discharge during a traumatic event," explained Marina Yanay-Triner, a.k.a. the Compassionate Somatic Coach. "When we go through a dangerous event, we can either fight, flee, or freeze. If we fight or flee, we are much less likely to be left with the impact of trauma or PTSD than if we freeze. The freeze response is a smart survival mechanism in that it protects us from pain by numbing our entire body. As we freeze, all of the survival energy stays trapped in our body, and shaking allows us to release it."
Essentially when our body is shaking, we have an easy chance of connecting with our inner selves. So much of our lives are in a stuck mode. We sit at a desk all day, we lay in bed when we get home, we sit down for long dinner parties, etc. And being still all the time lets trauma just linger and stay in the body. Thankfully all you need to do is shake it out! (okay, it might take more than that to actually heal trauma, but this is a great start). And it's super easy!
Yanay-Triner explained, "Begin by feeling your feet on the ground, and what it feels like to be supported and grounded. Feel the contact between your feet and the earth, and notice your chest, belly, and throat and the sensations that arise. Start to gently shake your knees up and down, and choose a speed that works for you. Allow the shaking to spread into any parts of your body that want to participate, all while noticing your feet firmly on the earth. I typically recommend moving slowly rather than quickly so that you can actually stay connected to your body (particularly the throat, chest, and belly) and feel that energy being discharged. Your body will tell you when to stop." Honestly, it's too simple for us not to try. Check out Yanay-Triner's Instagram for more great tips on somatic therapy.