Category Archives: somatic bodywork

Bessel van der Kolk on the radio: A Must-Hear Interview

Click on this link to hear a fantastic interview with Bessel van der Kolk (choose the edited version) about trauma and the need for treatment that reconnects a trauma survivor with his or her body. He is interviewed by Krista Tippett on the program “On Being.” I resonated with everything van der Kolk had to say…

“Becoming Comfortable in [Our] Bodies”–Transforming PTSD

I am thrilled about the article I just read–“The Limits of Talk” by Mary Sykes Wylie, Ph.D., a senior editor of Psychotherapy Networker. She eloquently explains the evolution of the thinking of Bessel van der Kolk, psychiatrist and neurobiological researcher, regarding the nature of trauma. In his decades of experience and research, he came to the conclusion…

Can We Free Ourselves from PTS Prison?

Talking with folks about PTS, those who have it and those who don’t, I get the feeling that, in general, people believe that those with PTSD will just have to live with it the rest of their lives. Or, folks are a tiny bit hopeful that they or someone can change but don’t really believe…

To Write, To Draw, To Feel: Accessing Pre-Verbal Trauma

There are many ways to get in touch with trauma that we have experienced before we knew language. And accessing this information is key to beginning to heal from early wounds. Many of us will need therapists to help us access and process this material; we will need support in healing. There are many things…

Into Sky: A Tale of Somatic Release

I’m growing a wing. More accurately, the wing that’s always been there, atrophied and flightless, is finding freedom. Strange as it sounds, my shoulder is being liberated from guarding my body where a surgeon cut my belly open when I was twenty-six days old.  Somatic release! Amazing. Check this out. All day every day, and…

Out in the Community with ReStory Your Life

I am psyched. I gave my first talk out in the world beyond the classrooms of The College of Alameda and it was thrilling. Eight women from the Women’s Motivational Meetup in Sacramento, hosted by Griffin Toffler, gave me their attention, listened to my lecture, and participated in a writing exercise at the library in…

Incisions–Coming Full Circle

Last Thursday, a dermatologist cut out a melanoma on the back of my leg just below my calf. It was a slow spreading kind and since I caught it early, I am told that it hasn’t metastasized. That’s the good news. I didn’t think the surgery and recovery were going to be a big deal. But…

In the Land of Hypervigilance

I have lived a life that is very different from what most people must experience. I have lived in the Land of Hypervigilance. Each morning shortly after waking, I do stretches that an osteopath taught me. These movements manage a painful hip that cries out when under stress. Yesterday lying on my back, having finished…

The Sacred Body

Right before I left for Iowa to attend The Examined Life Conference, I saw my chiropractor. She has helped me for the past year recover from a concussion and whiplash, so I am in deep gratitude to her. But after this particular adjustment, I had a problem. As I lay on my back, she suddenly pulled…

Normal!

Yesterday, I had a mud bath at a spa in Calistoga, California. I lay in the clay, peat moss, and 104 degree mineral water for ten minutes, rinsed, and lay wrapped in a warm blanket in a dark room–a cocoon of sorts–for a half hour. As I relaxed, I realized it was a good time…