Somato Emotional Release
What is it?
Somato-Emotional Release is a therapeutic process which helps rid your mind and body of the residual effects of past injuries and negative experiences. During a treatment session, the therapist assists you in identifyingand re-experiencing the original injury that could be causing you pain and dysfunction.
The Somato-Emotional Release concept was developed during a three year period (1977-1980) by Doctor Zvi Karni and Dr. John Upledger who were working together as researchers in the Department of Bio mechanicsat Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. At that time, Dr. Karni, a biological engineer and physicist was a visiting professor on leave of absence from his position as Chairman of the Department of Biological Engineering at the Technion Institute in Haifa, Israel. Dr. Upledger was a professor and researcher at Michigan's Department of Bio mechanics.
Energy cyst formation
Dr. Karni's and Dr. Upledger's joint research efforts led to the concept that physical force on your body, such as the result of an accident or injury, may be dealt with by your body in one of two ways:
- Your injured body may immediately begin dissipating these forces and the natural healing process will follow.
- The physical forces imposed upon your body may be retained rather than dissipated.
If these forces are retained, your body must adapt to this deposit of abnormal physical force. The adaptive response is to isolate or "wall off" the abnormal force so that a sort of "energy cyst" is formed.
This "energy cyst" represents a localized area of increased particle activity which is synonymous with increased entropy. This means that the ions and molecules are moving in a disorganized and chaotic way and are not performing usual work or serving the whole body efficiently.
We call the "energy cyst" an area of dysfunction because it inhibits normal body function. Your body must adapt to the localized, disorganized particle activity so that normal "body business" such as conduction of energy can be carried out. Body energy must detour around the "energy cyst". The dysfunctional area does not cooperate with vital fluid tissue and fluid motion.
A reasonably healthy body can adapt to and work around these "energy cysts". However, extra energy is required to carry out bodily function with this area of disorganized and uncooperative activity in its midst. As the years pass, and the additional energy required for function is spent, the adaptive pattern of the body begins to lose some of its effectiveness. Symptoms and dysfunctions begin to appear which become more and more difficult to ignore and suppress.
What makes injury force result in energy cyst formation?
The most powerful determining factor which causes "energy cysts" to form is your emotional status at the time of injury. If negative feelings are dominant at the time that the external injury forces are imposed, these forces will probably be retained and "energy cysts" will develop. Our research has shown that the people most likely to retain the effect of injuries and accidents are the victims who harbor anger, resentment, fear, etc. regarding the incident. Once these negative feelings are discovered and released, the bodily dysfunction with its attendant symptoms are free to leave.
How does Somato-Emotional Release work?
The victim seems to be of two "minds". Part of the victim wants to maintain the status quo. After all, the body is working even though that work may be inefficient and painful. Why risk a change?
Another part of the victim is striving for improvement which means that the "energy cyst" must be dissipated, thus ridding the body of the need for adaptation and discomfort.
During the therapeutic process of Somato-Emotional Release the therapist acts as a facilitator in cooperation with the part of you that wants to get rid of the abnormal "energy cyst" formation. In order to do this, the positive aspects of your body-mind are encouraged, the negative aspects discouraged. The "energy cyst" is expressed from your body by facilitating your body's memory of the injury, thus ending the suppression.
This facilitation is accomplished by touching you, tuning into what your positive body would like to do. The usual result is that your body will assume the position it was in when the external forces were imposed upon it. As this occurs the therapist can feel the tissues of your body relax as the "energy cyst" is expelled. The practitioner can also feel heat radiating from the areas which have been retaining injury forces, and frequently can sense a force leaving your body along the same direction line from which it entered.
The Somato-Emotional Release process requires extreme sensitivity on the part of the therapist and a positive attitude and trust from you. It is a very mystifying experience for both parties involved. It is very difficult to describe in words, but once the release of an "energy cyst" has been experienced, it is clearly understood without need for verbal description.
What to expect as a result of Somato-Emotional Release therapy
During the therapeutic session the release of the "energy cyst" frequently results in a re-experience of pain, fear, anguish, resentment, etc. that was attendant with the original incident. This re-experiencing of unpleasant memories and feelings may occur immediately during the treatment; or within a few days following the session.
The re-experiencing of the negative aspects of the original injury is a very good sign that the treatment has released at least a part, if not all, of the retained problems. When this type of reaction occurs, you should not try to suppress the pain and emotion. You should concentrate on the memory and try to re-experience it to the fullest extent possible. Once you are very familiar with the whole incident, the therapist works to eradicate the attendant destructive negativity and convert it to positive constructive energy.
Somato-Emotional Release is not always a pleasant experience but the results are worth the effort required to complete the process.