A BodyMind Approach
Whether it’s breathing, mindfulness, body awareness or any of the many approaches I teach, Somatic practices, skills and approaches are always in the mix, tying everything together.
The term Somatic comes from the Ancient Greek “Soma,” meaning the body. My “Somatic” work involves awareness, movement and bodywork. It emphasizes how we can intentionally use our body (through our physical actions, sensations and experiences) along with our mind (including our beliefs, hopes, wishes, needs and desires) and our spirit/psyche (however you personally define or don’t define these terms) to help shape, change or strengthen who we are and how we respond, live and interact with the world and people around us.
“You can learn a lot just by watching.”
“You can learn a lot just by watching.”
many I call this a BodyMind approach that I always teach in a trauma sensitive way. It’s informed through a variety of sources and approaches including:
Being in Movement® mindbody education (BIM) Created by Paul Linden, PhD at the Columbus Center for Movement Studies, with whom I still collaborate and practice. This practical empowering Somatic approach focuses on helping people work with their body’s distress responses which often trap them in their own thoughts and actions. Paul has used and taught this system around the globe in countless personal growth, trauma, conflict resolution and peacemaking efforts.
Mindfulness approaches Many mindfulnes practices from my favorite teachers and traditions including MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). Created by Jon Kabat-Zin at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. I also incorporate Mindful meditative and pain relief practices from many of my other favorite practitioners such as Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Tara Branch and Thich Nhat Hanh.
Somatic and Embodiment approaches In addition to somatic approaches and skills I’ve developed and teach, as a professional member of the board and executive commitee of ISMETA (The International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association) I work closely with many of the leading teachers and innovators in the professional somatic field. These collaborations keep me well informed of many of the long standing somatic approaches as well as the exciting new work today’s innovators are developing. I currently hold ISMETA’s highest certifications of Master Somatic Movement Educator (MSME) and Master Somatic Movement Therapist (MSMT)
Breathing and Breathwork From an assortment of martial arts, mindful and movement traditions including the teachings of Koichi Tohei, one of a handful of people to attain the 10th Dan (Black Belt level) in Aikido.
Body Awareness There are two truths that no one has been able to challenge me on. The first states that the only constant is change. The second states that the only way for us to bring information from the world around us into our minds is through our bodies. There is no other way. By gaining an awareness of what we are ‘doing’ and what is happening in our bodies we gain valuable information that helps us wisley respond instead of blindly reacting to the world as it unfolds around us.
Principles from the art of Aikido The Art of Peace. A movement art associated with Somatic Healing and Educational Practices. An art some describe as a moving meditation in the midst of chaos. I currently hold the rank of Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt), awarded by Andrew Sato, Nanadan (7th Dan) Aikikai Shihan, Founder and Chief Instructor of the Aikido World Alliance, as recognized by the Aikikai in Japan. Some of the principles I teach include the cultivation of purposeful movement and being centered in the present. In other words the ability to remain calm and empowered in the midst of distress.
Complimentary not Alternative
I view my work as a complimentary practice that can be used alongside many mental and physical healthcare approaches as a part of an integrative whole person healthcare approach. Although these techniques can be done as a stand alone practice, I do not consider them to be a complete replacement for those in or seeking treatment for all physical or mental health situations.