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Somatic Support Sessions

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Somatic Support

Somatic Support

Somatic Support
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Transitioning My Practice

Transitioning My Practice

31:46
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Orienting Towards Pleasure

Orienting Towards Pleasure

17:21
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Resourcing, Titration, and Boundaries Guided Breathwork

Resourcing, Titration, and Boundaries Guided Breathwork

16:35
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Check out the main video above to learn about my practice transition and the "somatic support" sessions I'll be offering in 2023 or check out the text below. If you'd like to get a taste for some session ideas, check out "Orienting Towards Pleasure" or any of the other somatic support videos

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or talk therapist and these sessions should not be treated as such. Being in therapy is not a prerequisite to book a session, but these sessions can be useful for some folks to have as a chance to explore themes from their therapy sessions in a body-centered way. 

What do I mean by "somatic"?
Somatic = related to body. I'll start by saying there are a lot of somatic trainings and modalities out there, many of which are trademarked, institutionalized, white-washed and inaccessible both to clients and practitioners who don't have the financial, white, cis, straight, and able-bodied privileges needed to safely access them. "Somatics" has become a mystified buzzword. What an unfortunate and quietly violent, deliberate situation. When I say somatic, I am simply referring to the body and all its wisdom. I give humble thanks and recognition to all the Indigenous and Black and Brown somatic practices that are at the root of all these modernized, westernized schools and programs. I give particular thanks to teachers I have followed who make somatic practices accessible, give credit where credit is due, and ground us in our current realities of racialized individual, group, and collective traumas: adrienne maree brown, Prentis Hemphill, Karine Bell, Resmaa Menakem, and so many others. If you'd like to take a peek at the various official and unofficial somatic continuing education I have participated in, you can learn about that here on the About Me page. Over the course of the next 3 years, I will be exploring other "official and unofficial" programs that I will integrate into my evolving practice. 

What do I mean by a “Somatic Support” session?

A session to start to tune in to what your body wants and needs. What expressions it wants to make. Maybe that’s stillness. Maybe that’s movement. Maybe that’s rest. Maybe that’s meditation. Maybe that’s intentional breathing. Maybe that’s rolling around on the floor. Maybe that’s drawing in chalk or paint on large sheets of paper. Maybe that’s low humming. Maybe that’s rocking back and forth. Maybe that’s turning your camera off, wrapping up in a big blanket and just feeling the floor underneath your body. I view “somatic support” sessions as a time where I can support a client in tuning into their own body wisdom. It can be challenging to create time and conditions to even know what our bodies need and want. It can be challenging to practice what our bodies need and want even if we know. This is a space we can carve out for that - a space to explore your own body wisdom that can then have ripple effects into how you move, breathe, react and respond, create boundaries, make decisions, and prioritize. 

What a typical flow could be like for a somatic support session:

  • Settling, nervous system regulation exercises 

  • Time for sharing/check-in: what are you coming in with today, what’s on the mind, what you’ve been noticing in your body today and since the last session, what you’d like to feel into, explore

  • Guided breath exploration 

  • Body-scan exploration with breath and small movements encouraged

  • Exploring whatever areas you choose a bit deeper, in a titrated manner 

  • Noticing what’s stuck, noticing what’s moving 

  • Bringing curiosity in, not forcing anything 

  • Inviting more room for what’s present and what’s available…could be…breath, movement, stillness, sound, silence, and any forms of expression the body wants to make 

 

Supports we might bring in:

  • cup/bowl of water

  • candles

  • plants, stones, other natural elements

  • art supplies

  • journaling supplies

  • anything you already know supports you

*if you reacted to any of these ideas above with a visceral “NO” or YES,” great, listen to that and let me know if you’d like. We’ll honor it.*

For anyone interested in a session, I would encourage you to come in with at least one intention. Here are some ideas to get the juices flowing: 

  • Be still 

  • Foster energetic boundaries

  • Exist with chronic pain with more ease

  • Unfreeze

  • Slow down

  • Move with more ease

  • Breathe easier 

  • Connect to my voice 

  • I want more resources for when I’m in an anxiety spiral. 

  • I want more resources for when I’m in a period of depression. 

  • I guess I want to be embodied but it’s hard to be in my body so I don’t know where to start.

More specific focuses available, including guided sessions to self treat:

  • touch aversion

  • binding care 

  • top surgery prep and recovery 

  • scar tissue release

  • stretching and strengthening exercises 

  • self massage and myofascial release

Ideas I want to embody as a practitioner: 

  • Less is more.

  • Slow is fast. 

  • Titration is necessary. 

  • Consent in necessary. 

  • I am only here to help hold a container for your own body wisdom to emerge. 

  • I strive for making it a safe-enough container, but never assume I have done that and would love to hear what could make if safer.

  • I welcome feedback as a gift. 

 

An importance privilege thing to acknowledge: 
There may be days that I (as a white and often masc presenting person) am not the person you will feel safe enough opening up to. Please know that there is all the room to name that, for me to hear that, and for us to adjust in a way that honors that. 

A note on embodiment, meditation, and coaching: 
You may notice that I am calling these somatic support sessions rather than embodiment sessions, meditations, or coaching. For some folks, they will be one in the same. For others, this distinction is going to be important. While my approach is a body-based one that focuses on each client’s body wisdom, for many folks that body wisdom might say, “no” to "embodiment." Tuning into the body may feel too soon or too overwhelming. It may feel dysphoric or dysmorphic. It may feel painful. “Embodiment” might not be someone’s goal at all. Maybe instead, tolerating body sensations or feeling ease in just one part of the body might be what we are going for. 

Some of what we do may feel meditative. I don’t like to call anything meditation because of what that word can immediately do to someone’s nervous system and what expectations we can put on ourselves in a “meditation.” I want these sessions to be the farthest from any experience of having to sit a certain way, having to breathe a certain way, having to close your eyes, or feeling like you are doing something wrong. 

For many of us living with anxiety, even hearing the word meditation can elicit a fight, flight or freeze or combo response. I would often try to meditate, feel pain in by body from sitting, immediately have a flight response that would make me want to leave the room, and then if there were other people present, I would slip into perfectionism and fawning and not want to disturb them, and then my body would realize my only option then was to freeze/dissociate. What a terrible loop and so far away from anything that would have actually supported my body.

My path to befriending and relying upon something that many would call meditation, has involved years of intentionally and often rebelliously practicing doing it “wrong.” Giving myself permission to move, to lie down, to sway from side to side, to get up and walk outside in the middle of practicing.

 

I share all this to one, let you know I relate to this, and two, to emphasize the importance of us playing and exploring to get curious about what is going to work for your body and what will support you in settling and supporting your nervous system. These sessions are about listening to your body and honoring what it needs in a world that for most of our daily existence, forces us to override our needs. These sessions are about practicing consent, practicing choice, practicing having a voice and needs and desires.

 

And finally, a note on coaching: for me, the idea of coaching means I have some kind of answers or set of instructions. Rather than take that approach, I would invite us to view this as, we create a container where you get to get curious about and tap into your own body wisdom that perhaps just currently can’t be heard over the roar of all that life makes us override. 

To Book:

Email me at bodyworkwithj@gmail.com to request a session.

 

Location:

Online unless requested in person in my NW DC space. Please note that all in-person sessions may need to be moved online in the event of sickness or exposure to sickness on either of our ends.

Payment (individual prices, please reach out for group/organization prices):

  • Black, Indigenous, and People of Color: Sliding Scale $15 - 100 for 60 min. 

  • White Folks: Sliding Scale $50 - 100 for 60 min. 

  • Payments accepted via zelle to my email address, bodyworkwithj@gmail.com and my PayPal which is also attached to my bodyworkwithj@gmail.com email. If you want to use a card, click the "buy Now" button at the bottom of this page.

Other Continued Offerings:

I will also keep offering embodiment trainings to groups and organizations, such as the one I did with JWI. Would your organization be interested in that? Send me an email! You can check out one handout from that presentation in the Mind-Body Connection Library, listed as Bodywork With J Body Practices.

Funding Community Care:

Want to fund community care by contributing to my no and low cost work? Check out the Support tab!

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