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Steps of a Somatotherapy

by Nathalie Alvarez - L'École du Corps Conscience

(free translation from French)


Step 1: Starting to be conscious of your body. The therapist helps the person to perceive bodily sensations, by creating an understanding of how one lives within his or her body: Heavy legs, tensed trapeze, cold hands or feet, global insensitivity, etc. We are here at the level of SENSATION.


Step 2: The person receiving the massage is invited to actively participate through deep breathing. The harmonising massage, the technique of the californian massage, associated with shiatsu techniques, that are aiming more at the profound sensations might show zones that are empty or in excess of energy. The BREATHING allows to be present and a confrontation is now possible, especially when a touched zone is sensitive. The person cannot run away from what he or she is contacting within. This way, when the tension is perceived, a NEED can be expressed. This is often happening through shown emotions, movements or sounds. The therapist accompagnies and encourages the patient to welcome whatever he or she is experiencing.  We now are at the level of EXPRESSION.


Step 3: The patient finding him or herself in this intense process of sensitivity and emotions will live a peak within the session and a phase of integration takes place thereafter. As of now the verbal expression can be of great help to further understand what has been experienced in the session and allowing to make links to one's current life while putting the accent on the person's needs. We are at the level of REFRAMING.


Step 4: The more the therapy is advancing, the more energy  is circulating and the more the subconscious mind is showing itself. Here we may encounter phases of resistance.

The existing trauma  is sometimes unacceptable and may produce rage, but also irrepressible fears, that may at times lead to a partial tetany of the body. We are now entering the level of ACCEPTANCE.


Step 5: The patient that has contacted the denial or the rebel phase, expressing itself under various reactions (flee, fight, freeze) can now start to become conscious of his/her patterns. Often the tool of Gestalt will allow to show subconscious family patterns and help the person to let go of the victim, aggressor or savior role. The use of creative tools such as a drawing, scrap booking or clay modelling may enrich this phase of the therapy, which becomes more and more authentic and freeing. This is the level of taking RESPONSIBILITY.


Step 6: Follows now a stage of clarity and lucidity. The therapy is opening up and includes images with their symbols, which add a transpersonal dimension to the healing path of the patient. The day dream, tarot cards and any other support invites itself to the session as the SELF-CONSCIENCE is opening up. Unusual stages of consciousness, like those that may be experienced during trance or rebirth, create a purifying effect on the subconscious mind. We are at the level of CONSCIOUSNESS.


Step 7: The person has found the keys with a feeling of LIBERATION, an opening, to reconstruct the pieces of the puzzle and find an interior harmony. He or she has also gained the stage of the OBSERVER. Way beyond the suffering, he/she is on the path that gives priority to BEING instead of HAVING.  This is the level of experienced UNITY.


All of these steps happen on a non-linear but holistic level that comprises leaps in consciousness and require periods of integration. This could even sometimes mean, taking a step backwards or regressing. Each person follows its own life path in total liberty and respect.

The 'Final' of a Somatotherapy creates a feeling of being part of something bigger and more important than oneself.

The Love of Life is pulsing.

Image by Mathieu Perrier
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