Seeking Embodied Liberation – Getting Curious About Discomfort in Your Body – Being with Anxiety, Panic, Stress Patterns, Chronic Pain, Illness & Trauma.

April 3, 2019

“Your body is the ground metaphor of your life, the expression of your existence.” ~ Gabrielle Roth.

You can heal.

The ability is already there, within you. Healing — a real, lasting change — is within reach.

Through my practice as a relational somatic psychotherapist, I have helped hundreds of people successfully reduce their stress, improve their emotional and physical symptoms, create a new relationship with their bodies, and engage more deeply in richer, happier relationships with their partners and children.

Together, each person has found healing from trauma, anxiety, depression, and chronic stress patterns and create a new way forward to a healthier life. My clients experience transformation, both within themselves and how they relate to those around them.

I can help you, too.

This is not like typical therapy. It’s a different approach – with aspects of somatic work, gentle movement, breath and touch (if that is what you would like to do) and it works.

You will begin to understand your body in some very new and deep ways. You will understand your body’s stress signals – and be with any discomfort that arises in your body, as well as practicing finding ease. The resources I share will guide you to reduce stress, improve your relationships, and transform your relationship with your body.

Stress happens to each and every one of us.

It’s a natural part of life, a reaction to difficult situations, to finding (or struggling to find) a balance between work and life, between caring for ourselves and caring for others. It’s difficult to avoid and dangerous to ignore.

You can feel stress in your body, building up, leaving its mark on everything it touches. Your health. Your relationships with friends and family. Your ability to handle the everyday challenges life gives you.

Stress can make you feel short-tempered, anxious, overwhelmed, and unable to enjoy your relationships and your own life.

The more your body feels chronically stressed, the easier it is to stay stuck in the same patterns over and over again.  It’s an endless cycle, stress upon stress, until it seems you’ll never take a deep breath again.

But you can find relief. Step by step, there are changes that can transform your life, creating meaningful, lasting improvement in your body and mind. Stress doesn’t have to define you.

Out of your awareness, you are suppressing your stress response – and it will surface in different ways until your body has found a way to release the tension. Once the cycle is complete, the memory of the stress becomes like a distant memory and the symptoms will subside.

Your body needs an outlet when it has experienced shock or trauma. As humans we have suppressed our natural ability to process shock and stress. As a result, the stress piles up in the body and if the issue or emotional stress is not addressed, then often medical conditions
can surface.

Learn to pay attention to and listen to your body when it tries to communicate with you.

You can open a new dialogue with yourself. Allow yourself to be in relationships and community where you feel supported more often – this will open up new possibilities for your body, your self and your life.

Feeling fatigued, addicted, in pain or lost in their relationships is a chronic pattern that can be met, worked with and shifted over time. Are you ready to allow something new in your life? For your relationships? Your health, your work, your whole life?

Your body is here to serve you, nurture it so that it can work with you to achieve your goals.

How can you best serve your physical body today?

Explore your emotional and physical landscape with kindness, curiosity and compassion.

You have it in you to heal.

Perhaps you’ve tried other therapies or techniques without success. There’s no shame in feeling stuck, but don’t let those experiences keep you back. It’s time to give something new a try.

You’ll discover the support you need to finally reduce the stress in your body — and the small, simple steps toward a life without feeling chronic stress patterns.

The solutions to life’s problems are easier to find after you calm the stress in your body. I want to help you take these first steps toward practical, lasting change.

When there is trauma, including anything from an overwhelming experience, ongoing stress, a difficult childhood, or even birth complications, the nervous system can become dysregulated.

When the nervous system is dysregulated, your body needs to struggle to accomplish its day to day tasks, including breathing, blood pressure, circulation, sleep/wake cycles, metabolism, temperature, hormones, immune system, etc. A disruption in any of those things can cause difficult emotional and physical symptoms, and when combined with interpersonal challenges or overwhelming experiences, it becomes harder and harder for the system to right itself.

This is why we start with nervous system regulation. In my office, I will engage your nervous system and remind it how to come out of the stress response. You will practice recognizing the feeling of a more regulated state in order to be able to help your body find it more often outside of session. Another name for this state is commonly known as the “Window of Tolerance.”

When you are inside the Window of Tolerance, symptoms are low, sleep is better, and you have more interest in life. Outside the Window, you’re less curious, more reactive and need more energy to get through your day. With practice, you’ll learn to support your regulation and as your system gets more time inside the Window, capacity will grow.

When people come to see me, it’s usually for one of three reasons:

  1. They know they have experienced some kind of trauma and feel that it is getting in the way of living the kind of life they want. It’s often some kind of developmental trauma where there was an early environment that was less than supportive.
  2. Symptoms like anxiety, depression or anger are interfering with work, relationships and their ability to enjoy life. Often, they have tried other kinds of therapy and medication, but felt they never really got to the root of the problem.
  3. A referral from another health care professional to help with the physical/physiological aspects of the nervous system that have gotten dysregulated.

Do any of those reasons sound like you?

What I really need to know about you is:

  1. How does your nervous system organize itself around stress?
  2. How has your system figured out how to manage to get through stress?
  3. What signs of health and capacity exist now?

After your first session, I will ask you if anything feels different from when you arrived. Most people feel more relaxed. If possible, you will pay attention to how long the feeling lasts. For some it’s a few minutes and for others, several days. Over time, the feeling tends to last longer, which is an indicator that your nervous system is able to hold the improved regulation on its own. If you want to make lasting change, it usually works best if you commit to weekly sessions for at least six months. That may sound like a long time, but most people find that the change they are able to see in that time is worth the commitment.

We’ll know that is happening when you begin to say things like:

“There were a few hard things that happened this week, but I didn’t over react like I usually do.”

“I found myself asking for what I wanted, which I don’t normally do.”

“My anxiety was a little better.”

During our work together, there is a lot going on, often at the same time. After we discuss the symptoms and challenges that are bringing you in to see me, I will start with a little information about how your nervous system works and what to track for (pay attention to), and then when you are ready, we move to the table.

I’ve found the best way to help shift things in your system is by contacting it directly, starting with the kidney/adrenal area (on your back near the bottom of your rib cage). This is a place that is more receptive to the story I’m trying to tell your system: the stress is not here now.

While we work on the table, you can let me know if you feel anything unusual. Some people feel heat, cool, tingling or simply start to feel more relaxed. In some cases a person might not feel anything, but the system is still responding.

After we are underway, we follow your impulse for talk or quiet. Some people want to process particular traumas or challenges and others like to chat about day-to-day life. Anything we choose will support the healing.

Noticing is the first step.

Here ‘s where it begins; a new way of understanding your stress response and the start of a journey to lasting change.  These are the basic, must-have concepts that everyone needs no matter what kind of stress, anxiety or trauma has been in the picture.

Keep going.  This is just the beginning. 

Here’s how I define trauma differently:

  • Shock Trauma is an event that overwhelmed your nervous system
  • Developmental trauma is ongoing stress during childhood
  • When there was stress or trauma very early, the template in the body was dysregulation
  • Regulation can be learned by your system now

Here’s what most people don’t know about developmental trauma and the nervous system:

  • Chronic stress means the nervous system gets stuck on “on”
  • Regulation means there is easy flow between “on” and “off”

The first step to healing is building your capacity for regulation:

  • Learn to recognize regulation in yourself and others
  • Also known as Window of Tolerance

Are you a parent?  To help your child, it helps to start with your system:

  • When a parent is calm, children respond to their calm

Learn to identify when you are going outside of your ability to regulate:

  • Signs of Window of Tolerance
  • Outside the Window of Tolerance, we go into hyper arousal or hyper arousal
  • Knowing our state is the first step to helping us master our self-regulation, reduce symptoms and improve relationships

Drawing on the profound wisdom of the meditative somatic traditions as well as the emotionally-attuned and shadow-sensitive approaches of depth psychology, we will begin to illuminate this territory and work within our wounds to unearth the wisdom and creativity found in even our most difficult experience.

Grounded in mindful awareness, compassionate presence, and the healing power of love, together we will create, rest, and play within an evocative, yet safe holding environment where we can grow and heal and awaken together.

Everything that we experience in life is reflected in our bodies. Our emotions and thoughts 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 defensive patterns in our bodies, which represent unresolved emotional experiences. By connecting to these patterns consciously through somatic work – including movement, touch, breath, Family Systems Trauma work, Trauma Touch work and Somatic Experiencing (SE), and then learning to complete the natural emotional response, we can release those unconscious held patterns in the body.

This is a drug-free approach to feeling better in your life and this somatic process will be helpful for everyone with chronic emotional and physical concerns. Move through trapped energy stuck in your nervous system and complete impulses and reflexes that are being held and stored in your body – keeping you feel anxious, sick, stuck and overwhelmed.

Get in touch to learn more about this work, including Somatic Experiencing™ – how relational somatic therapy reduces symptoms and helps to repair physiological injuries associated with trauma and accumulated stress.

I currently have space in my practice for 2 new clients – this is an opportunity for you to step more fully into your relationships, your life purpose, to feel more radiantly alive, and repair your nervous system so you can align your true desire(s) and your capacity to embody it.

I am now scheduling session times for mid-April.

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

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

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. 

When we can feel ourselves, we are able to detect and understand the sensations and emotions our bodies signal to us – and we can connect with ourselves and others from a place of felt honesty and sensitivity, set better boundaries, and make clearer decisions about our interactions.

I’d love to get to know you – to focus on your body, your mind, your symptoms and the courage it takes to move through shame and fear – along with the interconnection of your body, mind and emotions.

Get in touch to learn more about Family Systems Imprint Sessions & Individual Body-Focused Therapy Sessions, and 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

“In a world of quick fixes, instant gratification, on-demand
entertainment and pain relief, it takes courage to stay with our
discomfort, our boredom and our uncertainty, even for a moment.
Being with what you feel is a brave act, then, an insurrection
against dehumanizing forces of mindless pleasure-seeking. It takes courage to turn from easy “fixes” for the human condition and meet ourselves in all our outrageous, messy glory! In our
pain, inside the very wound we tried to run from, we may end up
finding the very thing we were seeking. Our authentic selves.”
~ Jeff Foster

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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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