Healing the Effects of Accumulated Stress on Your Body, Mind & Heart – Restoring Balance in Your Nervous System – Unwinding Hidden Trauma Physiology – Tracking Sensations, Feelings & Stubborn Symptoms – Freeing Up New Energy in Your Body.

October 27, 2020

Notice your rigidity.
Go in to it. Soften around it.
And feel what you are protecting.
~ John Wineland

Like the weather coming and going, the natural state of our emotional energy is fluid and moving. If your emotional and/or physical energy feels stuck, somatic healing can shift those internal patterns.

The more anxious, stressed, overwhelmed or in pain we feel, the more we need to focus on ourselves and get to the root of our stored, suppressed feelings, nervous system responses and symptoms. Free flowing emotional and physical energy is crucial to your overall health. We do this slowly, softly and gently – deepening your connection to yourself and your healing.

Your body’s systems hold everything that is necessary for healing – all that needs to happen is to build your capacity to express your emotional energy held inside of your body – which is so important for healing. All parts of you are welcome.

Noticing and being attuned to my body – has helped me get through difficult times like now. Many of us are feeling isolated and going it alone – and I know that allowing in and receiving support, can be one of the most powerful things we can do to change how we feel about ourselves, our children and our families. Take part in a process of embodied awareness – and open those doors for yourself this fall and winter – and I know you will feel a difference in how you feel.

I support my clients to heal at the level of the nervous system – tapping into the wisdom of the body to heal from hidden accumulated stress and trauma, chronic symptoms like anxiety, PTSD and overwhelm and physical symptoms and syndromal conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraines, IBS and chronic pain – using Co-Regulating Touch for Trauma Bodywork, Neuroscience, Embodied Awareness, Fluid Dynamics and other Somatic Embodiment & Movement approaches for healing the habitual defensive responses that we feel within our body, nervous system, brain and mind.

Trauma is an overwhelming demand placed on the physiological human system. Without ongoing opportunities for us to be anchored in systems of safety, our nervous system can get stuck and not be able to regulate efficiently.

When a situation is perceived as being stressful or traumatic (because it is new, unpredictable, uncontrollable, threatening or painful) – such as the pandemic – stress hormones are secreted. The short-term secretion of these hormones serves an adaptive purpose and leads to the fight or flight stress response (allostasis). However, the same stress hormones that are essential for survival can have damaging effects on both our physical and mental health, if they are secreted over a longer period of time (called allostatic load). This leads to dysregulation of other major biological pathways in the body and the brain, for example, our nervous system responses, insulin, glucose, lipids, dopamine, serotonin and neurotransmitters – ultimately causing a dysregulation of various other body processes, such as the immune system, the digestive system, the reproductive system, cardiac health, and mental health.

Your allostatic load is the cumulative effect of your stress response experienced in your body, over time – and changes in various biomarkers of stress that affect our health (blood sugar, insulin, immune markers, stress markers) show up as a result of what’s happening in your life.

We come into this world wired to connect – from the time we are born, we embark on a lifelong quest to feel safe in our bodies, in our environments and in our relationships to others. Our autonomic nervous system is always asking in every situation – is this safe?  Our nervous system is wired to protect us by sensing safety and risk, listening moment to moment to what is happening in and around our bodies and in the connections we have to others.

This listening happens far below our conscious awareness and far away from our conscious control. Neuroception is is the way our nervous system scans for cues of safety, danger, and life-threat without involving the thinking parts of our brain. Our wordless experience of neuroception – what we notice from the inside – that drives the creation of a story that shapes our daily living.

Befriending Your Autonomic Nervous System Response

The two main branches of the nervous system – the sympathetic and parasympathetic – respond to signals and sensations via three pathways, each with a characteristic pattern of response. Through each of these pathways, we react in service of survival.

The sympathetic branch is found in the middle part of the spinal cord and represents the pathway that prepares us for action. It responds to cues of danger and triggers the release of adrenaline, which fuels the fight or flight response.

In the parasympathetic branch, Polyvagal Theory focuses on two pathways traveling within a nerve called a vagus. Vagus, meaning wanderer, is aptly named. From the brain stem at the base of the skull, the vagus travels in two directions – downward through the lungs, heart, diaphragm and stomach and upward to connect with the nerves in the neck, throat, eyes and ears.

The vagus is divided into two parts – the ventral vagal and the dorsal vagal pathway. The ventral vagal pathway responds to cues of safety and supports feelings of being safely engaged and socially connected. The dorsal vagal pathway responds to cues of extreme danger. it takes us out of connection, out of awareness, and into a protective state of collapse. When we feel frozen, numb or not here, the dorsal vagus has taken control.

When we feel firmly grounded in a ventral vagal pathway, we feel safe and connected, calm and social. A sense (neuroception) of danger can trigger us out of this state and backwards on the evolutionary timeline into the sympathetic branch. We become mobilized to respond and take action.

Taking action can help us return to the safe and social state. It is when we feel we are trapped and can’t escape the danger that the dorsal vagal pathway pulls us all the way back to our evolutionary beginnings. In this state, we are immobilized. We shut down to survive. From here, it is a long way back to feeling safe and social and a painful path to follow.

To begin, we will map your personal nervous system response patterns –
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. You will learn about your nervous system and how it works, the relationship between your emotional (anxiety, panic, depression and overwhelm), physical and s
yndromal conditions.

You will also learn about your: window of tolerance, HPA (hypothalamus, pituatary, adrenal) Axis, the role of cortisol and adrenaline in your stress response, incomplete defensive responses, management strategies and defensive accommodations, incomplete reflex responses and somatic resilience & regulation.

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.

An Integrative, Relational Somatic Approach

Your body knows how to heal; you just need a skilled guide to help your body feel safe enough to move towards healing. During our work together, we will renegotiate old emotional and physical patterns that aren’t serving you well.

Co-Regulating Touch Bodywork for Trauma & Integrative Relational Somatic Therapy – provides healing for these symptoms and many others:

  • Chronic Accumulated Stress, Anxiety, Panic and Depression
  • Chronic Illness & Syndromal Health Conditions – Fibromyalagia, Nightmares, Autoimmune Conditions, Kidney Disorders, Allergies, Acne, Chronic Pain, Breathing Disorders, Migraines, Chronic Headaches and Neck Pain, ADHD, Crohn’s Disease and Colitis, Female Sexual Dysfunction and Pelvic Pain, Menopause Symptoms and Aging Concerns, Sleep Disruption, Eczema, High Blood Pressure and Self-Injury.
  • Trauma (Complex PTSD, Early Developmental & Complex Trauma)
  • Discover and Cultivate Your Inner Mother
  • Heal Intergenerational Trauma & Learn to Communicate with Family Members About Your Experience
  • Shock Trauma from All Accidents including Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Dissociation & Chronic Freeze State
  • Grief, Heartbreak & Loss
  • Chronic Relational Breakdown, Attachment Disruption & Codependent Behaviours
  • Hypervigilance & Obsessive Behaviours
  • Eating Disorders & Substance Abuse
  • Neglect, Abuse & Sexual Abuse
  • Postpartum Symptoms

What to Expect During a Session

To begin, we go slowly. Attuning to your experience – what is happening in your body and what cannot be seen on the surface – with an understanding that there are parts of us that may be hidden due to hidden trauma – and that need a slow, nurturing pace to feel safe.

For true and deep emotional and physical healing, we can’t leave our body and how it feels and responds, out of the process. Each person needs something very specific in their healing journey, which is why it is so important to have a customized approach with sessions that are specifically tailored for you.

Your body doesn’t have energy – it is energy. When we allow traumatic stress that is contained in our nervous system to begin to move through our system – flow begins to happen in our body and we feel more energetic, grounded, healthy and alive.

For those who would like to focus on a body-focused, somatic approach, we can do this by sitting in chairs across from each other or where you are lying on a table. When you are sitting in a chair, we can do some talk therapy, and you may also be asked if you are open to closing your eyes and noticing your feelings, emotions and body sensations that are happening for you in each moment.

For those who would like to do Co-Regulating Touch Bodywork for Trauma – sessions consist of lying on a table with eyes closed – and I offer touch on several areas of the body: the head, stress organs, the belly, muscles, organs and joints in the body. There may also be some movement involved. Sessions are done fully clothed.

Each session is one-hour unless we are doing an extended session (which could be 1.5 or 2 hours in length) – and is unique depending on what you are experiencing on that day and would like to focus on during a session – we want to tune in and understand what’s really going on in your body – beyond pathology and diagnoses – to allow your body to move into a flow state, rather than to remain stuck in a stress response state – during the session and in the hours and days afterwards. healing hidden trauma.

Co-Regulating Touch Bodywork for Trauma sessions allow you to pay attention the sensations of your body, and to notice what you feel, sense and notice within when you do. We will invite ease and support into your nervous system and body – providing nurturing comfort and care. Each session builds upon itself – you develop a sacred container for emotions to arise and build resilience in the nervous system, which in turn affects how you feel about yourself and how your energy flows.

This body-based method helps you heal physical, emotional and psychological shock states, early developmental trauma states, chronic stress and long-held trauma. It works directly with the autonomic nervous system to discharge stress and trauma and balance and restore equilibrium.

Prior to coming to your first session, you will need to fill in some paperwork and bring it with you to your first session to give me a sense of what is happening for you right now in your body, mind and heart.

Have you or someone you care about been struggling with mysterious or stubborn symptoms or feelings that don’t seem to resolve without medication, after visiting your health care provider? Our primary health care system is not poised to recognize the symptoms of hidden trauma and are not able to work deeply with you at the level of the nervous system to heal, process and resolve trauma in our systems.

This is why it’s so important to learn about and share information with friends and loved ones – because Somatic Experiencing (SE) and Co-Regulating Touch for Trauma bodywork – works deeply at the level of the nervous system to heal stubborn symptoms for lasting results that evade traditional treatment – without drugs or medication.

Physical and emotional health exists when our nervous system is in balance. When you’ve been struggling with ongoing health symptoms or chronic emotional patterns, I can help. I support you to bring balance into your nervous system – for those whose systems may be stuck in overwhelm or shut down.

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a body-focused therapeutic approach is about finding balance and creating dynamic tension in your body and nervous system. You will learn about your own body and learn about symptoms of undischarged traumatic stress, your window of tolerance, what a healthy nervous system feels like and how it feels when it is balanced – and you are available for connection and your nervous system activation is low.

I help people learn the language of their unconscious minds and bodies. Then we can work effectively with the body, to reduce or eliminate the symptoms. 

I believe that it’s essential to include the body’s feelings and reactions in therapy, because this is the primary place where the trauma lives.  That’s why it is almost impossible to “think” trauma away. The body’s survival responses are much more powerful than the thought process. 

My clients and I often find that anxious or depressed thoughts, and other symptoms, are part of an incomplete stress response. These stress responses get stuck in the nervous system (or other places in the body). The thoughts may then also make the stress response worse. In my experience, our bodies are also involved with most other symptoms that bring people into therapy.  I have found that a calm, well-regulated nervous system does not tend to produce problems in mood or behaviour.

Our physical bodies contain incredibly powerful energy. For some people, it’s nearly explosive. We are talking about survival energy here, and that is our most potent. Due to the profound impact of these survival states, and how tricky it can be to unwind them, an experienced practitioner is needed to help create or restore a good state of nervous system regulation in the mind, body and spirit.  

Everything that we experience in life is reflected in our bodies. Our emotions and feelings are directly connected to our body parts and the history of these experiences shape and define our posture and form. We all have unconscious physical muscular patterns in our bodies, which are the representation of unresolved emotional experiences. By connecting these patterns consciously through somatic attunement and movement, and learning to complete the natural emotional response, we can release these unconscious patterns in our bodies.

By inhabiting your body, you can recover the internal sources of strength and enjoyment that trauma may have injured within you. You can invite in feelings of safety and feel open to life, becoming curious about your trauma physiology and become more receptive.

With a somatic approach, you can become more present and receptive, regain a sense of agency (knowing what we want to do and when we want to do it – where we’ve experienced being overpowered), restore resilience, develop self-love, and ground deeply into our foundation of being.

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.

Our energy gets blocked due to trauma that we may not be aware of in our lives. Trauma blocks the flow of energy in our bodies and can result in many health-related symptoms including: chronic anxiety, depression, eating disorders, chronic anger responses, autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel symdrome, migraine headaches, exhaustion, chronic pain and illness in the body.

We can free our constricted sensory experience, that has been forming a protective barrier between ourselves and the world around us, increase our sensory experience, expand our perception and create a new way of being in our bodies, relationships and in the world.

Although the emotions surfacing right now may feel calibrated to the situation you find yourself in, they probably have deep roots in your psyche. This isn’t the first time in your life that you’ve felt unhappy about what’s happening and uncertain about what’s happening next. Chances are, then and now, you’ve ended up trying to manage your negative feelings with negative behaviors. In the long run, this doesn’t work. As somatic healers know: when feelings come up and don’t move on, they get tucked away and become the body’s tension patterns. Based on this understanding, anywhere there’s habitual tension, numbness, or agitation (forehead, jaw, stomach, chest, neck, and so forth), there’ll be an emotional, as well as a physical component.

This work helps to restore core regulation – your symptoms are a natural response to a dysregulated system.

Together, we work deeply in your nervous system to uncover and resolve:

1) How your family of origin attachment patterns effect your nervous system
2) How your trauma physiology processes survival threat in your nervous system
3) How your nervous system processes sensory information in your body

Learn how to identify sensations and feelings in your body – and allow feelings of safety and support to run freely through your nervous system.

With support, your nervous system will complete the steps of trauma resolution including:

1) Nervous system arousal – a survival threat response to stimuli
2) Noticing threat – knowing when we’re safe and when we’re not
3) Mobilizing a response aligned to the presented threat
4) Restoring coherence in your system – notice that you’ve survived and the threat is over
5) Processing sensation in your nervous system – and inviting rest & digestion
6) Noticing something new in your environment – open space for new energy to flow

Increase the state of flowing energy in your body – and find relief from chronic anxiety, stress, sleeplessness, disordered eating, relational struggles, chronic health concerns, chronic pain or illness.

We heal in relationship – when we bring our struggles into the light – your willingness to be vulnerable is a sign of strength. I will help you learn about and track symptoms in your body and nervous system – as well as how hidden trauma and your relational history may be contributing to current struggles, feelings and chronic symptoms, so you can live a more balanced and joyful life.

Many of us don’t have a felt sense of support in our bodies – and we need that to heal from the emotional and physical patterns that we are holding.  Allow yourself to feel safe and connected to yourself– deep in the core of our being. Let’s talk about your experience and how I can support you – so you can begin to feel better in your body – and I will answer any questions you may have about working together.

Get in touch with the gifts of inhabiting your body – and learn more about working together. I will invite you into feelings of safety, groundedness, clarity and support – I look forward to being with you.

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

Whole Body Health & Well-Being from the Inside Out.
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 / www.kimcochrane.ca

What to Expect During a Whole Body Health Somatic Practice Co-Regulating Touch Bodywork for Trauma Session

For true emotional and physical healing, we can’t leave our body and how it feels and responds, out of the process. Each person needs something very specific in their healing journey, which is why it is so important to have a customized approach with sessions that are specifically tailored for you – a combination of emotionally-focused psychotherapy and body-focused Co-Regulating Touch Bodywork for Trauma.

Your body doesn’t have energy – it is energy. When we allow traumatic stress that is contained in our nervous system to begin to move through our system – flow begins to happen in our body and we feel more energetic, grounded, healthy and alive.

We explore our fluid bodies through the language of sensation, co-regulating touch,and  subtle movement. We have the opportunity of allowing time to slow down, to notice, let go and shed that which needs to shed, and to come through anew and refreshed.

For those who would like to focus on a body-focused, somatic approach, we begin by talking about your background, symptoms and history. We do this online and or in-person by sitting in chairs across from each other or you lie on your back on a table. When you are sitting in a chair, we can do some talk therapy, and you may also be asked if you are open to closing your eyes and noticing your feelings, emotions and body sensations that are happening for you in each moment.

For those who would like to do Co-Regulating Touch Bodywork for Trauma Sesssion – sessions consist of lying on a table with eyes closed – and I offer touch on several areas of the body: the head, stress organs, the belly, and joints in the body.

Sessions are done fully clothed. Each session is one-hour, unless we are doing an extended session – and is unique depending on what you are experiencing on that day and would like to focus on during a session – we want to tune in and understand what’s really going on in your body – beyond pathology and diagnoses – to allow your body to move into a flow state, rather than to remain stuck in a stress response state – during the session and in the hours and days afterwards.

Other Offerings – Nurture Surround Healing Session– 90-minute In-Person Allow yourself to slow down and experience deep healing. You are deeply supported on the table with weighted blankets, soft pillows and bean bags on your body – you choose what is most comfortable for you – providing soft, nurturing care – feeling supported and held – with choice. We will take time to attune to your body’s core needs and comfort at a deep level. Your needs are important. I will use a variety of touch skills with you – and invite you to place a hand wherever you would like to on your body – and to pause, slow down and notice what you feel.

Using mind-body skills to stabilize your nervous system – befriending, grounding, slowing down, tracking and resourcing. We will listen to your body’s narrative while utilizing body-mind emotion dialogue. We will explore biological survival strategies and process historical trauma by creating moment-to-moment interpersonal experiences of safe connection. We will utilize non-cognitive senses of relational connection – auditory, visual, movement, and touch – co-creating manageable ways to defuse internal feelings of pressure, anxiety and stress.

Family Trauma Imprint – 90-minute – in-person or online Zoom session – an opportunity to get to the roots of intergenerational trauma patterns & begin a path towards relational & relationship healing.

Discover Your Inner Mother – Healing the Mother Wound – 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 slow down and feel the strength of a supportive resource, move beyond blame and notice how our nervous system states inform our interactions with our partner, 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 Co-Regulating TouchBodywork for Trauma sessions are available for you now. Waking you up to Somatic Resilience & Regulation – 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 Nurture Surround & 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 Practices ~ Whole Body Systems Approach for Healing Inflammation.

Somatic work can be done effectively online, as well as in person – online sessions are available for those who would prefer not to come in to the office at this time, for those who 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.

You will learn to feel and by doing so, you will move towards whole body health and well-being that you can feel within you.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~ T. S. Eliot

hello@kimcochrane.ca / www.kimcochrane.ca

Facebooktwitterlinkedin

Search the Blog

Testimonial 1

When I came to you I felt confused, disconnected and broken. Now, I'm on my way to feeling whole. Thank you.
Kim Cochrane
2016-10-06T10:59:12-04:00
When I came to you I felt confused, disconnected and broken. Now, I'm on my way to feeling whole. Thank you.

Testimonial 2

I’m so glad I’m giving myself space to explore what’s happening in my life and to understand my feelings.
Kim Cochrane
2016-10-06T10:59:51-04:00
I’m so glad I’m giving myself space to explore what’s happening in my life and to understand my feelings.

Testimonial 3

I've wanted to do this for a while and I'm so glad I did - I trust myself more now, I feel more calm and open - working together has changed the course of my life.

Kim Cochrane
2016-10-06T11:00:16-04:00
I've wanted to do this for a while and I'm so glad I did - I trust myself more now, I feel more calm and open - working together has changed the course of my life.
0
Kim Cochrane

Get In Touch

I would be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you might have about working with me.

You can also read what others have to say
about working with me.