Emotions are not confined to the brain, the heart or hidden in silences. The physical healing process is helped by allowing the emotional healing to occur at the same time. Challenging life patterns disappear. You find in yourself the freedom for a fresh beginning.

hand, somato emotional release


What is Somato Emotional Release?

Somato Emotional Release (SER) was pioneered by Dr. Upledger and is one of the many offspring of CranioSacral Therapy. Dr. Upledger developed this form of therapy as the result of years of documentation and clinical experience. He observed that emotions are not confined to the brain, the heart or hidden in silences. They have a profound impact on the body, health and general well-being.

During any bodywork session, when the physical release happens, let’s say a muscle relaxing from a spasm, images or emotions associated with the physical pain or trauma might arise. In this case, the physical healing process is helped by allowing the emotional healing to occur at the same time. In Somato Emotional Release, therapeutic imagery and dialogue are used to facilitate the necessary release of the body’s memory. The session enlists the support of the person’s Inner Physician or any other aspect of their body and belief system. Then full healing can finally occur. The recovery time is significantly cut down for you to return to fully enjoying life.

Somato Emotional Release has also proven helpful to transform life patterns. Many people come to a session at a period of transition, i.e., wanting to change careers or at the end of a relationship. Other clients come aware of a particular situation or behavior they wish to change. Unfortunately, their best intentions and efforts have not been enough and they seem caught in an endless and discouraging loop. Somato Emotional Release helps them connect the dots and make the change happen, sometimes with only a couple of sessions.

To go deeper

The knowledge of the body-emotion connection is not exactly new. Chinese medicine and acupuncture have documented this interaction for thousands of years. Popular language has recorded it in expressions such as:

  • I can feel it on my gut.
  • It makes my skin crawl.
  • A lump in my throat.

More recently, Dr. Upledger and Jean-Pierre Barral, D.O. have refined this understanding with their published clinical work. While love and happiness are uplifting and pleasurable, stress, frustration and anxiety are experienced as uncomfortable and they are known to reduce the body’s ability to heal.

In his book Somato Emotional Release and Beyond, Dr. Upledger proposes a metaphor of organs being like filters. When we experience a strong emotion, a specific organ is in charge of appropriately filtering, discarding or retaining the emotion for the person to be able continue to function. In your car, when the oil filter becomes full of dirt, it is necessary to replace it. If you only change the oil, the fresh oil would soon be polluted by the old filter and spoiled. In this model, the liver is a common filter for anger and frustration, lungs retain grief, kidneys hold fear and anxiety, the spleen remembers guilt, the heart, the master of the house, is vulnerable to betrayal and is protected by the pericardium. This heart protector is very diligent and at times may even over protect and suffocate the heart. So we must address the emotional filter as well as the physical issues to achieve total recovery.

Emotions matter for the healing process of the body. They also have a huge say in the type of future a person can build for themself. We have all experienced this simple fact: our emotions and feelings are determined by our past experiences. Then we use these emotions and feelings as essential information to construct our thinking and determine our future actions. We create a future based on the past. Not surprisingly, more often than not, the future is only more of the past.

Somato Emotional Release is a therapeutic process initiated by the client. It may reveal unconscious patterns and dynamics. SER promotes the letting go of past trauma and the healing of mysterious issues and challenging situations. When the person is finally free from these emotional hurdles, a new and different life can be designed.






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