SOMA FUSION COACHING
FREEDOM. ADVENTURE. LOVE. EMBODY
The word somatics comes from the Greek root soma, which means “the living body in its wholeness.” Somatic coaching is a way to observe people holistically. It is a process in which one embodies new practices to be able to create a body of action. It is a unique coaching style that brings the body forward as an advocate in creating a place for change and transformation.
Our bodies are “built” through our lifetime — how we were raised and our association with our peers and friends create muscles and tissues that hold these memories.
Your body is a highly intelligent “self,” and by reconnecting your body with your thinking self you create a powerful offer in the world. Being embodied allows you to believe and trust in your competence.
Your life experiences shape your body
The body is a three-dimensional structure — having length, width and depth and is the shape of the self. At birth your body is flexible, malleable, open. But as you begin to experience life, your body begins to extend, withdraw or brace against the world. It takes on a particular shape, often out of balance. The physical shape of your body now is the sum of your historical experiences. Your body actually says more about you than your words!
Being out of balance in your length, width or depth limits your power, passion and expression. For example, people can be pushed down by their family dynamic. “Children should be seen and not heard, boys don’t cry, little girls don’t climb trees.”
In relationship to our lives we are always searching for affection, connection, belonging and dignity. These are many of the elements — our psychological drives, our family dynamics and our life experiences — that produces the “self” and our physical shape.
For example, when under pressure do you find yourself extending out and giving and giving to a point of exhaustion? Do you withdraw, staying small and quiet, not calling attention to yourself? Or do you brace against the world to protect yourself, waiting for the other shoe to drop?
Obviously, your historical shaping may not serve you now.
Notice your body now. What is happening with and in your body? Are your shoulders straight or slumped? Is your breathing deep or shallow? Do you walk with confident strides or with short, small steps? Is your neck tight or loose? Do you speak clearly and audibly or do you mumble in a low voice?
Reshaping your body, your life
Self and body are indistinguishable, so if you affect the body you affect the self. Somatic coaching teaches you to become a keen observer of how you think, the stories and narratives that run through your head, your mood and emotion, and the sensations that are happening in your body, your self.
Somatic coaching works through the body with customized, ongoing practices that shift the body to support you to be the offer you want to be in the world.
Through somatic coaching we work to literally reshape or rebuild your body by disorganizing the old shape through conversation, bodily practices and, when possible, bodywork. This interrupts the old pattern, and in doing this you begin to reorganize your body (actually reshape it) so that you are then able to create the passion and volition needed to support you being on your purpose.
Change your body, change your life!
What is somatic bodywork?
Somatic bodywork takes a comprehensive, somatic approach to coaching through the body. “Soma” refers to the body in its wholeness – that is, mind, body and spirit. This approach recognizes that a person’s physical, mental, emotional and psychological history is manifested through the body in particular patterns, and by working through the body these historical patterns can be changed.
In a gentle, systematic process, somatic bodywork allows you to open up and reshape your history – yourself – through releasing historical patterns, contractions, tension, and possibly trauma, in your body. And in this process of opening and releasing long-held patterns and contractions, you create space for more energy and aliveness in your body. When there’s more aliveness, there can be more choice, and in more choice you have an opportunity to shift something in your life, and a new story can appear.
Going in-depth about the concept of historical patterns?
Let me start at the beginning about how our bodies are “created” or shaped. As soon as we’re born, our family dynamics, culture toward race and gender, peer pressure, and institutions such as schools help us to create a body/self that moves in certain ways through the world. When we are young, the three main things we look for are safety, love and being seen. We create a body/self that will help us feel those things, no matter what’s going on around us.
For some people, growing up could have been very traumatic, for others not so traumatic. We’re not pointing fingers at parents or caregivers, but it’s just the case that nobody has had a perfect childhood. For example, let’s say that the old expression “Children should be seen and not heard” was used in your home on a regular basis and you were not allowed to speak out and say how you felt. Now as an adult you want to be a public speaker and really be authentic, or maybe you want to write a book. But because historically the message that you weren’t allowed to speak up was driven into your body, it can be much more challenging for you to express yourself. You may have learned to stay small, keep quiet and stifle your natural enthusiasm. And in doing that, you developed a body shape to help you feel safe and loved. However, that shape today no longer serves you.
Who is a good candidate for somatic bodywork?
A good candidate is someone who really wants to continue learning and developing themselves personally, professionally or spiritually.But they see that they’re stuck and haven’t been able to change. In somatic bodywork, we ask how you want to shift yourself, because the quickest and most effective way to make that happen is to shift the body.
For example, some people are looking to enhance their ability to move through a corporation – they would like to become executives or senior leaders. Some want to create a new company where they are leading. Others want to improve their health, get in better physical shape, or lose weight or gain weight. All of this is around being able to build a body/self that can move you forward in what you want to shift or change in your life.
A lot of people have a very hard time declining, saying no to things.We keep saying yes, yes, yes. We get anxious, our breath gets short, we get tense. Most of us probably grew up wanting to please others, and so saying no can be very, very challenging to people.
For instance, if you’re in a workplace where you have to do your job plus someone else’s because they’re on vacation, how do you say no? How do you decline? A lot of people that come to me want to be able to decline with dignity for themselves and for others.
And it’s not always saying no to outside situations. It’s also being able to decline those old stories that hold you back, such as a story that says, “I cannot stand up in front of people and speak. I’m scared. I’m not smart enough.” There could be multiple stories that manifest as bodily weakness and contraction. With somatic bodywork, we start to create a body/self that can and will stand up in front of people by creating more space, and allowing the contraction to relax in their bodies so that they can build a different story. A story that says, “I am smart enough. I am capable.”
My process and what new clients could expect?
Generally someone coming to me is looking to be shaped differently so that they can accomplish something, act differently, or enhance a practice. Let’s say you want to become a successful public speaker. First, we’ll talk about your intentions. Then I’ll ask these questions: “What’s working in your life? What’s not working? If you are successful, how would you be different?”
Next, I look at your body. You stand, and I notice the alignment of your body. Is your head aligned over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips, your hips over your feet? Due to holding your body in particular ways in response to challenging life circumstances, your body is not aligned. So I start to move your body so that your head is aligned over your shoulders, hips and feet.
Then I look at how you walk. For some of us, our stride isn’t very long. We plod instead of rolling our feet. If you watch people walking down a street, you’ll see many with their shoulders slumped forward or their heads pushed out past their necks. Their feet are flapping against the sidewalk. All of that is a shaping that’s been historically created.
When you are ready for the next step, we will begin bodywork to support you in opening up. While fully clothed and lying on a table, we look at where you hold tension and how you’re shaped. Most of us can relate to tension in our shoulders, whether it’s from sitting at a computer all day or being fearful about something. We start looking at how you can relax tense areas and let the body take a different shape. You’ve been practicing this tense and contracted shape for 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, or 70 years. Now we want your body to take a different shape – one that is relaxed and open.
This is a hands-on, deep opening. I literally hold a contraction so that your body can relax and feel that there is a different way of being. I gently and with intention extend into the body in certain areas – the shoulders, the bottoms of the feet, the neck – and open them up.
When our muscles are contracted, our cells are “contracted” too. They’re tight. There’s not a lot of energy. Sometimes we feel cold because of that. Even if it’s warm outside, we feel cold because we’re contracted. What we want to do is open up to allow more oxygen and blood, so that your cells can move and create more energy. You become more alive.
As I work, the fascia – the connective tissue under the skin that covers the muscle – softens and lets the muscles relax. The real pragmatic part of this is that we want the skeleton to do its job, and that is to hold us up. Muscles were not meant to hold us up. Hold us in place, but not hold us up. The skeleton does that. We’re loosening up the fascia, muscles, and joints so that more energy moves through the body.
This relaxing of the muscles allows for deeper breaths. Many people breathe up in their upper chest, which creates anxiety whether they’re anxious or not because the rest of the body is not getting as much oxygen. Just taking a good deep belly breath and letting the diaphragm drop, just letting it go, can also create an opening.
The work we’re doing on the table is creating a bigger container. When I say container, I don’t mean container in the sense of a tight closed box, I’m talking about a container that can hold more energy and more life. This is the essence of somatic bodywork.
We work with individuals and groups through somatic coaching, a specialized method that works through the body (soma) to create and support change.
By working with me you can:
Learn to be comfortable with your own power and presence.
Build a body that can hold your passion and your purpose by becoming an effective observer of how you move through the world.
Transform self-limiting beliefs and habits and enhance your intuitive and listening skills
You will also deepen and broaden your skills and go to the next level of success, purpose and commitment. You will discover your style, strengths and limitations.
I work with individuals to support them in aligning their actions with their values and to make authentic, meaningful contributions in their personal and professional lives.
Somatic bodywork is a hands-on, fully clothed process that breaks up physical armoring in the body. This work allows people to see and feel where they are contracted and learn how they can change their bodies to be a bigger offer in the world.
Coaching sessions typically are 60 to 90 minutes and can be done by phone or Skype.
Reach out and book a 15 minute "Can Coaching Help Me" call with Katie via phone at 202-227-7566 or click the button below to send her an email. She will answer any questions you have and help you get started on the path to living your full potential!