Somatic Psychoeducation, also known as Perceptual Psychoeducation is a therapeutic and educational method that aims to prevent and deal with physical pain and psychological distress and to nurture the balance and creativity of the individual. It has its roots in Osteopathy and Psychopedagogy. Its theoretical and practical structure is the result of Dr. Danis Bois and a group of practitioners and researchers from the fields of medicine, science, education and the arts. Through cultivating somatic awareness, the goal of the method is to broaden the individual’s perception, thus transforming his relationship with pain, stress, physical and mental tensions. In order to achieve the harmonization between the physical and psychological plein of the individual, it uses 4 modes of action:
- Fasciatherapy, a non-interventional manual treatment
- Sensorial Movement, a movement harmonization practice
- Full Presence Meditation®, a simple Sensorial Introspection
- Harmonization in the verbal dialogue that accompanies the above procedures
We learn to feel and follow a constant, autonomous internal movement of the tissues within the body, which organizes its functions and is pivotal to the self-regulation of the organism. This movement feeds the sense we have of our body at all times and reacts directly to the physical and emotional stimuli of our environment. Thus, it is a bridge between our physical and psychological reality and at the same time a means to deepen our relationship with ourselves. The internal movement shapes the density and elasticity of physical matter. The purpose is not only to balance its rhythm, but also to guide the patient / student to perceive the movement accurately herself. In this way she will begin to recognize physical or psychological habits that are dysfunctional.
It is a form of manual treatment aimed at balancing the web of connective tissues in the body (Fascia). This web encloses, connects and separates all parts of the body (muscles, bones, organs, circulatory system, etc.) forming a tensional network of the body. Connective tissue is very sensitive to any form of physical or psychological stress. These tensions are often trapped and change the body’s balance, affecting physical movements and causing pain and functional complications.
Fasciatherapy affects the movement of the tissues, allowing the body to follow its normal rhythms again. It eliminates unnecessary tension, stimulates blood and lymph flow, relaxes muscles and organs, and softens joints. The body rests, breathes in its true range and is emotionally and mentally discharged. During treatment, the person is lying down with his clothes on. The practitioner follows the inner movement with his hands with great precision and at appropriate moments he verbally guides the attention of the patient, in order to cultivate her sensory perception. The practitioner does not try to impose his own rhythm, but supports the movement of the tissues as given to him in his hands, which is also the expression of the physical and psychological potential of the person at that moment. Gradually the patient comes into contact with the deeper reality of matter and herself.
Which conditions would Fasciatherapy be most helpful for?
- Muscle and joint stiffness and pain
- Mobility challenges
- Stress, insomnia, digestive problems
- Anxiety, phobias, panic attacks
- Fatigue symptoms
- Depressive states and post traumatic stress
- Chronic fatigue – including ME
- Headaches, migraines, nausea
- Chronic pain management solutions
Sensorial movement complements manual harmonization by giving the patient / student a tool that will offer them more autonomy in their relationship to internal movement. Through simple movements, first in a sitting position and then in an upright position, the connective tissues are stretched in a deep and harmonious way, restoring the natural cohesion of the body parts. External movement is always explored in relation to internal movement. This depth of perception allows us to consciously experience the body’s ability to flow effortlessly. We learn what it’s like to slide in motion without undue muscle effort and tension. We find the coherence between intention and action, attention and purpose, thought and experience. We learn to be the movement.
Sensorial Introspection – Full Presence Meditation®
Sensorial introspection is a simple form of meditation that allows us to come into contact with the vital movement within our body while we are immobile. The procedure is done in a comfortable sitting position and lasts 20 minutes. We gradually turn our attention from the outside to our inner environment, and observe the effect that internal movement has on a physical, emotional, and mental level. It is a moment that allows us to realize how present we are in our deep self and over time it becomes a barometer of how we move forward in our daily lives. It helps us recognize when we are losing touch with our center and makes it easier for us to return to a sense of calm, purity, alertness, coherence, completion and a renewed sense of self. The more present we are, the more energy we build up and conserve and the less energy we lose.
Harmonization in verbal dialogue
Verbal dialogue accompanies all modes of action of Somatic Psychoeducation. The goal is for the patient / student to make sense of what she is perceiving. It is another harmonization between what she experiences, what she perceives she is experiencing and what she says she is experiencing. Often these three aspects are at a distance from each other making it difficult for the individual to communicate with herself and others. The somatic psychoeducator helps bridge this communication, which will turn the subjective experience of the individual into something tangible, real and not imaginary. As the inner experience acquires an objective substance through dialogue with the teacher or through the student’s personal written notes, it becomes a point of reference and inspiration for the path to change and self-renewal.
Somatic Psychoeducation helps to:
- Treat physical discomfort to act on mental discomfort
- Relieve different forms of somatization by acting simultaneously on the body and the psyche
- Trigger positive experiences of the body to strengthen motivation, mental strength and resilience when facing problematic situations.
- Better manage stress, anxiety states, fatigue, Burn-out or chronic pain
- Restore self-esteem (self-confidence, self-love, self-image)
- Develop motivation for change, including an approach of quest for meaning, existential and spiritual.