When a Dysregulated Nervous System Keeps You Up at Night – A Fresh, Somatic Approach to Healing Sleep Patterns, Anxiety, Digestion, Immune System Function and a Chronically Turned-On or Stuck Stress Response.

August 21, 2019

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” ~ John Muir

With an open heart, anything is possible. There is only this moment – the time is now, literally, to breathe and open our hearts to something new.

Everything is connected to your nervous system response(s) – sleep patterns, moods and feelings, digestion and eating behaviours, how comfortable and safe you feel in your own skin and how your immune system responds to your environment in your day-to-day life.

You’ve waited long enough. It’s time for a fresh start and a new approach. You’ve talked with friends and family who are supportive and try their best to help you. And they do help you, but nothing seems to change. You want to feel better and have a greater understanding of what is happening in your mind and body. When you come to see me, we will go slowly and take the time we need to – and be with what’s happening for you with care, compassion and patience.

I work with clients to bridge the gap between the medical profession and their individual body-focused experience – sometimes working with your medical professional to help you get better sleep, find more permanent relief from chronic pain or illness, stomach and digestion concerns and chronic anxiety or depression, sexual trauma, early developmental trauma or when you’re not sure why you’re experiencing what you are feeling – with a somatic integrative whole body, health-focused way of being.

The work I do helps you live and feel better in your body – focusing on helping you learn about your body and work somatically to heal real concerns that trouble you on a ongoing basis. You don’t have to accept or medicate your symptoms on an ongoing basis – you don’t have to blame aging or genetics – you can slow down and practice somatic awareness, somatic inquiry and psychophysical integration. I work deeply within the body – with or without touch – to connect you to ease, mobility, resilience, understanding, and joy.

This work goes beyond knowing and understanding yourself – which you will do with more clarity – you will change the patterns in your nervous system and brain so that you will feel more like yourself – for the first time or the first time in a long time – your system will feel more flowing and alive.

Your experience of anxiety, sleeplessness, pain, chronic illness and depression, travel through similar pathways along your nervous system and share many of the same biological mechanisms. We will work to rewire your experience of these symptoms.

We’ll be exploring the subtle nature of the nervous system and what it means to ‘drop-in’ and embody the present moment using your body and your biology, and how it all connects to your environment.

I want to get curious with you about:

  1. How does your nervous system organize itself around stress?
  2. How have you and your nervous system managed to get through that stress?
  3. What signs of health and capacity can we see?
  4. Which defensive strategies does your body organize itself around to protect itself? Let’s get to the roots of your defensive responses.
  5. How does your immune system function around stress, relationships, food and your environment?

When your nervous system makes your survival a priority over your happiness, life after known and hidden trauma can be filled with stress and unnecessary pain.

Due to past – often hidden, and unknown to you – trauma, you can find your nervous system stuck in a high activation state or a low activation state. When you go to the doctor for help, you may get some short-term relief from your symptoms, but you don’t get to the roots of what’s happening in your nervous system to release trapped survival energy. Once we get in touch with what’s happening for you and how your energy moves, we can work to rewire your nervous system response so that you experience appropriate and healthy levels of nervous system arousal – and your symptoms will decrease so you can feel more awake, alert and alive when you want to. Your body is trying to discharge trapped survival energy – and it gets worn down from the inside – resulting in painful feelings and chronic symptoms – which are not the natural aging process – resulting from an overactive, stuck or underactive nervous system.

Our internal state is always informing our external state – our moods, our feelings of joy and aliveness and our feelings of well-being. Many of us are not able to tune into ourselves in a deep way – to really feel ourselves and get a sense of what’s happening inside of us – because it may not feel very good when we do this on our own. We will do this together – slowly and with care – and you will begin to cultivate new abilities within your brain and nervous system to help you feel better.

One of the ways that we begin is by touching in to and developing a sense of your body – with new attention and focus – cultivating somatic awareness – which is a powerful tool for healing and well-being. Our brains are receiving constant input from our bodies. This input shifts our mood, feelings, behaviour, and what we perceive as salient information. When we bring awareness to this process we are better able to utilize somatic input and make coherent decisions in our lives. These sensations are also the source of our feelings of goodness and happiness. Becoming aware of bodily sensations helps us make decisions that lead to more feelings of goodness and happiness.

Cultivating body knowing – somatic awareness from the inside out – working slowly and deeply to process chronic tension and stress patterns and allow your nervous system to find a resting state more frequently – so sleep comes easier, anxiety feels less present and your immune system functions with more efficiency. This process of somatic noticing lowers cortisol levels and makes us healthier, overall.

It helps to have a trained and knowledgable guide for somatic awareness. The presence of another human being – their voice, their understanding, their eye contact – has a powerfully stabilizing effect on our nervous system. This allows us to explore bodily sensations that might otherwise be overwhelming. In addition, if any traumatic material does come up, a trained Somatic Experiencing® Professional can help you to process it constructively. This results in an increased sense of aliveness and goodness.

I work with each person to get to the roots of their emotional, sleep and health concerns and use Somatic Experiencing (SE) and Trauma Touch work to help access and release trapped survival energy in their nervous system – that keeps you feeling wound up, anxious or stressed – and unable to sleep.

Getting your sleeping habits on track again will take some time and patience, but there are some important factors to consider as a starting point.

When you consider changing your habits and patterns related to sleep – we must begin in the morning – if you were a baby, what would be the most soothing and comforting environment for you?

Begin by considering the light, sound, smell, taste and temperature in your bedroom.

Along with practicing Somatic Experiencing (SE) and somatic awareness, here are some additional considerations for you to put in place as a part of a new approach to sleep hygiene and an evening, bedroom routine:

  1. You want to start to be aware of your circadian rhythm – your sleep/wake cycle and work in very specific ways to align yourself with what works best for your system. When you’ve been struggling with insomnia or erratic sleep patterns for a while, do not drink alcoholic drinks in the evening, because while they can make you sleepy when you are ready to go to sleep, you are also more apt to wake up in the night after drinking them. Also, do not consume caffeine, herbal stimulants or energy drinks after 12pm.
  2. Create a wind down period – 2 hours before bed – begin by drinking a Natural CALM Magnesium Citrate drink – then one hour before bed – close your screens and put your phone and computer in another room or across the room for the night. Look at your phone only in the morning when you wake up – not if you wake up in the middle the night – this is an important piece of the sleep puzzle.
  3. Use the time, one-hour before bed, to stretch, hum, have a warm epsom salt bath, add a weighted blanket (15-20lbs) to your sleep routine, and/or read a book that is comforting and not too stimulating – all of these activities do not use screens.
  4. Do strenuous exercise earlier in the day – the evening is meant for winding down – so do exercise that is gentle and not too stimulating.
  5. Consume foods that are comforting, healthy and not too spicy, energizing or aggravating to your system – and aim to stop eating at 8pm.
  6. Consider your experience of light, smell, sound, taste and temperature – check your bedroom and the area that you are winding down in for the 2 hours before bedtime. Is it dark enough, do you have calming essential oils for your pillow, do you have a quiet environment, have you digested your last meal, is the area appropriately cool enough to sleep and are you able to set aside your worries and thoughts of the day in a journal and return to them tomorrow.

I look forward to hearing from you about how these important changes have helped your sleeping patterns.

Learn to track your sensory experience, and get in touch with your physical and emotional states. When we can be with the chaos inside our bodies, we develop a practice of presence – becoming more at home with ourselves – being here, not only in contact with our sensory experience, but fully inhabiting our body, heart, and mind, and inhabiting our space, actions, and life.

Notice what you feel inside of yourself and befriend the capabilities of your body – access the quality of your essential self – your brightness and what is alive in you. Access knowledge about what you truly need and practice getting access to it in your life. Together, we’ll get to the roots of what is deeply happening for your body.

When we experience full health and aliveness, the process of slowing down, finding balance and shifting gears happens automatically.

We wake and get ready for work or school. We eat, then rest, play and sleep. Our blood pressure, blood sugars and heart rates increase and decrease as needed.

When we are experiencing the side-effects of trauma, this process destabilizes. Our blood pressure gets stuck in high or low modes or oscillates between extremes. Or our blood sugars, energy levels, cortisol, thyroid and other physiological processes get stuck on, off or other positions that are not adaptable.

One way of recovering our inherently normal cycles of moving between activity and rest, excitement and calm, ruminating over our response to unsolicited advice vs getting curious about our partner – is by paying attention and following the subtle impulses and cues that involve safety, pleasure, joy, ease, rest that may seem easy to pass over.

A restored feeling of health & well-being is available for you now – better sleep, easier digestion, less anxiety, expanded immune system function and more ease in your body, nervous system and emotional life – everything is waiting for you.

There is a magic in the silence of connection. A connection of compassion, non-judgment and pure acceptance. A heart-to-heart invitation that leads to a special space within ourselves. There, we realize there is no separation – between ourselves and the entire universe.

I welcome you to step in to a new experience of your body, your self, your health and your emotional life – where you can feel all of yourself with curiosity and aliveness – let’s explore it together.

Get in touch if you want to improve your sleep patterns – even long standing ones, as well as stubborn digestion and food sensitivities and emotionally stuck places that live inside of you.

I have 3 openings available for new clients beginning the week of September 2nd – let’s talk about your experience – and I can answer any questions you may have about working together.

I look forward to being with you.

with love from my heart, Kim xoxoxo
hello@kimcochrane.ca / www.kimcochrane.ca

Deep healing at the level of the nervous system enables you to explore and expand your inner landscape where self – confidence and inner agency reside. When you heal your nervous system, you can more readily access deeper ways of knowing and being that include intuition, imagination, sensuality, and the subtle body of emotions. Get in touch to learn more about working with me – hello@kimcochrane.ca

3-Month Online Offering Cultivate Your Somatic Aliveness – access deeply held emotional, physical and relational concerns and focus deeply on you during this program. Starting with a one-hour introductory session, then a 1.5 hour family systems trauma session – to access and heal the roots of inherited family trauma that you are carrying with you and how it affects your health, relationships and work in the present day – then an additional 6 online sessions to help you access deeply held body holding patterns, somatic trauma and emotional patterns and integrating unconscious blocks to help you access your internal, somatic freedom. A total of 6 one-hour sessions, on Skype or Zoom, one 1.5 hour family trauma healing session, and homework to help access internal transformation from anxiety, depression, panic, trauma, stress, eating disorders, relational struggles, chronic illness or health concerns – get in touch to learn more – hello@kimcochrane.ca 

Other Offerings – Family Systems Imprint – 90-minute Session – an in-person or virtual online Zoom session – an opportunity to get to the roots of intergenerational trauma patterns & begin a path towards relational & relationship healing.  Uncover your family dynamics and trauma history – this is an opportunity to strengthen your internal relationship with your mother, father and extended family – in ways that contribute to healing – get in touch to schedule an online or in-person session – hello@kimcochrane.ca / www.kimcochrane.ca

Sessions for Individuals & Couples
an invitation for you – to feel present in your body, to unwind patterns of anxiety, depression, anger, hopelessness, chronic stress & pain, trauma, regulate your nervous system, to cultivate trust in your moment-to-moment experience, your naturally wise heart, and your capacity to connect to yourself, those you love and the love that surrounds us.

Somatic Body Learning & Practice and Somatic Experiencing Trauma Touch sessions are available for you now. Waking you up to the innate wisdom of your body, healing inherited trauma patterns, feeling yourself below the level of thought, and accessing your full beingness in flowing, fluid motion. 

Get in touch to learn more about Family Systems Imprint Sessions & Individual Body-Focused Therapy Sessions, and Somatic Trauma Touch Work in The Somatic Sanctuary – The Anxiety, Stress & Trauma Restorative Clinic – in-person, online or a mix of the two – and to set up a time to work together:   hello@kimcochrane.ca

The Anxiety, Stress & Trauma Restorative Clinic:
Creating Well-Being Through Nervous System Regulation.
Heal Relational Trauma – Break the Cycle of Inherited Family Trauma.
Nurturing Connection, Restoration & Building Resilience.

Easing the Body ~ Calming the Mind ~ Opening the Heart.
Somatic Experiencing ~ Somatic Practices ~ Trauma Touch ~ Movement.

Virtual, online sessions are available for those who travel regularly, have a busy schedule, live far away from the office, or prefer to work from your own home – hello@kimcochrane.ca

Working together enables everyone who is willing to do the work an opportunity to decrease feelings of anxiety, pain, depression, chronic stress, pain or illness – as well decrease the chatter in the mind, and ground your mind and body with the depth of the intelligence found in the body. Experience lasting somatic transformation and feelings of calm, peace and wholeness – within your own body and within your relationships.

www.kimcochrane.ca / hello@kimcochrane.ca

I’m always amazed when I let go of old patterns and let the reality of the moment guide me. There’s immediate heart-opening, gratitude for what’s been given, and an undeniable intimacy with all that is.

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When I came to you I felt confused, disconnected and broken. Now, I'm on my way to feeling whole. Thank you.
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When I came to you I felt confused, disconnected and broken. Now, I'm on my way to feeling whole. Thank you.

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