In the many years Dr Upledger spent working with people, he noticed (as have many other practitioners of course) that some physical symptoms would not fully release and heal until an emotional component was taken care of too. This may be the case in chronic illness as well as in less obvious, sub-clinical patterns, such as poor immunity, lack of energy, lack of confidence or anxiety, for example. In considering how best to assist this link between physical tissue and emotional and mental aspects, he began to draw on a few different strands of mind and body work that could be linked into the work he was doing physically, listening to and following the body’s tissue releases.
The process gradually developed into what he called SomatoEmotional Release® (SER®)
Most healthcare approaches separate mind and body – you can have either physical therapy or psychotherapy. What SomatoEmotional Release® provides is a framework and toolkit for working with the body tissues (‘somata’) at the same time as with the emotions, to work towards a ‘release’ of any retained trauma. This can occur in a myriad of ways and is frequently gentle and creative, as we listen to and learn from both mind and body.
SER® facilitates personal growth, helps us move from illness, unresolved issues and lack of potential, towards health and fulfilment, and is an ingenious tool for sorting out our lives and redesigning our futures.
SomatoEmotional Release® is…
an elegant way of working with the body-mind to help release emotional issues or memories within its tissues (‘somata’ – Greek for body)
It is still CranioSacral Therapy!
Listen to the fragile feelings,
not to the clashing fury…
to the quiet sounds,
not to the loud clamour…
to the steady heartbeat,
not to the noisy confusion…
to the hidden voices,
not to the obvious chatter…
to the deep harmonies,
not to the surface discord….
from A Prayer at Night
Jim Cotter 1983
with kind permission
Listening & following with our hands…
How this appears in the work that we do is that during a treatment your practitioner (if they have gone far enough in the training to be confident with this) may at some point ask about how you are feeling, what you are sensing, what is happening in your body in that moment. Often our clients describe images, memories or anything else that they may be aware of. There are a few key signs that suggest to us there may be an emotional component linked to the place we are at in the moment, and by following this we have clues as to how to keep this process on track and ensure it is helpful.
We know that a radical change in physical health, whether for the better or the worse, is invariably accompanied by profound mental change. We also know from studies of behaviour and body language that the reverse is equally true – a major change in mental perspective is always accompanied by a change in body activity, posture and movement. SomatoEmotional Release® and the tools of CST combine all aspects of human nature – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – into one approach that can facilitate tremendous change and growth in a person’s life.