Exploring Somatic Therapy Exercises for Trauma Recovery

Somatic Therapy Exercises For Trauma

Somatic therapy, a therapeutic approach that emphasizes the connection between the body and mind, offers powerful tools for healing. By focusing on bodily sensations rather than solely on thoughts and emotions, somatic therapy helps individuals release tension, alleviate stress, and recover from trauma. In this blog, we’ll explore effective somatic therapy exercises for trauma that can assist in healing and provide a pathway to a more integrated sense of self.

Does Somatic Therapy Heal Trauma?

Does Somatic Therapy Heal Trauma?Somatic therapy can be very effective in helping individuals heal from trauma. This type of therapy focuses on the connection between the body and mind, recognizing that trauma can manifest physically in the form of tension, pain, or discomfort. By using specific exercises that emphasize noticing and managing these bodily sensations, somatic therapy aims to release the physical symptoms of trauma.

In practice, somatic therapy involves techniques like deep breathing, mindful movement, and guided visualization to help a person become more aware of their body’s signals and responses. These exercises teach individuals how to calm their nervous system and cope with stress more effectively. Over time, this can lead to significant improvements in overall emotional and physical health.

What Are Somatic Therapy Exercises For Trauma?

Somatic therapy exercises for trauma focus on reconnecting an individual with their body to promote healing and alleviate the symptoms of trauma. These exercises help patients become more aware of their physical sensations and learn to regulate their responses to stress.

Best exercises

Here are some commonly used somatic therapy exercises for trauma:

Grounding Techniques

These exercises help individuals connect with the present moment and feel more stable in their bodies. Simple actions like feeling the feet firmly on the ground, touching various textures, or holding a comforting object can help reduce feelings of dissociation or anxiety.

Mindful Breathing

Conscious breathing exercises encourage a focus on the rhythm and depth of breaths. This can help calm the nervous system and reduce the physiological symptoms of trauma, such as rapid heartbeat and hyperventilation.


This involves noticing the sensations in the body that come with trauma-related stress and then shifting focus to parts of the body that feel more relaxed. This back-and-forth movement helps the body learn that it can move out of a state of tension and into one of relaxation.


This technique involves gradually exposing the body to traumatic memories but in very small, manageable increments. The idea is to experience the associated bodily sensations in a controlled way, without becoming overwhelmed, thereby processing the trauma bit by bit.

Movement and Dance

Engaging in gentle, mindful movements or dance allows individuals to express emotions that may be too difficult to articulate verbally. This can be especially useful for those who are disconnected from their bodies due to trauma.

Body Scanning

During this exercise, individuals pay attention to different parts of their body in sequence, noting any sensations or discomfort. This promotes increased awareness of where trauma may be manifesting physically and helps integrate bodily sensations with emotional awareness.


Imagining a safe place or a protective barrier can help individuals create mental spaces where they feel secure. This exercise can be particularly helpful in managing feelings of vulnerability that often accompany trauma.

These exercises are part of a broader therapeutic approach and are typically guided by a trained professional. They aim to help individuals release physical tension, process traumatic memories more healthily, and ultimately regain a sense of control over their emotional and physical well-being.

What Are The Benefits Of Somatic Therapy?

Benefits Of Somatic TherapySomatic therapy offers several benefits, particularly for individuals dealing with trauma and stress-related disorders. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Enhanced Body Awareness

Somatic therapy helps individuals become more aware of their bodily sensations and how their bodies react to stress and trauma. This increased awareness is crucial for recognizing early signs of emotional distress and managing them proactively.

  • Reduction in Physical Symptoms of Trauma

Many people experience physical symptoms associated with trauma, such as tension, chronic pain, and gastrointestinal issues. Somatic therapy can help alleviate these symptoms by releasing stored tension and helping the body return to a more relaxed state.

By learning to regulate their emotional and physical responses to stress, individuals develop greater resilience. This equips them to handle future challenges more effectively and maintain their emotional equilibrium.

  • Increased Sense of Connection

Trauma can lead to feelings of disconnection from oneself and others. Somatic therapy encourages a reconnection with the body. This can lead to feeling more grounded and present in relationships and daily activities.

  • Empowerment

Somatic therapy empowers individuals by helping them realize that they can influence their physical and emotional states. This realization can be incredibly liberating, especially for those who have felt powerless over their trauma or emotional state.

Overall, somatic therapy supports holistic healing by addressing the physical manifestations of trauma. It also provides tools for emotional regulation and self-awareness.

How Can I Do Somatic Therapy By Myself?

How Can I Do Somatic Therapy By Myself?Engaging in somatic therapy on your own can be a powerful way to support personal healing and manage stress. While it’s beneficial to work with a professional, especially for deep or complex trauma, there are several practices you can incorporate into your daily routine to benefit from somatic principles:

1. Develop a Regular Meditation Practice

Meditation can enhance your bodily awareness and help you tune into physical sensations that you normally might overlook. Focus on the sensations in your body as you meditate, observing without judgment.

2. Practice Conscious Breathing

Set aside a few minutes each day to engage in conscious breathing exercises. Breathe deeply into your abdomen, hold for a few seconds, and exhale slowly. Concentrate on the rise and fall of your breath and the feelings of relaxation that follow each exhale.

3. Engage in Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This involves tensing each muscle group in your body (starting from the feet and moving upwards) and then relaxing them. It helps in recognizing where you hold tension and learning how to release it.

4. Create a Sensory Engagement Routine

Use your senses to ground yourself in the present moment. This could involve listening to soothing music, smelling essential oils, tasting a flavorful snack, or holding an object with a comforting texture. Hence, notice how your body reacts to these sensory experiences.

5. Maintain a Movement Diary

Keep a diary of how different types of movement affect your emotions and body. You might include notes on activities like walking, stretching, yoga, or more vigorous exercise. This can help you identify what makes you feel good and what doesn’t.

6. Utilize Affirmations

Pair physical movements with positive affirmations. For example, while stretching in the morning, you might repeat affirmations like “I release the tensions of yesterday” or “I am open to the experiences of the day.”

7. Explore Nature

Spend time in nature to help ground yourself. Activities like walking barefoot on grass, hugging a tree, or simply sitting under a tree and feeling the breeze can help you feel more connected to your body and the world around you.

8. Watch Somatic Therapy Videos

There are many resources online where therapists demonstrate somatic exercises. Watching and following these can provide guidance and inspiration for your practice.

Thus, while these self-guided activities can be helpful, they should complement, not replace, professional guidance when dealing with severe trauma or mental health issues. So, if you’re new to somatic practices or if your trauma symptoms persist, consider seeking support from a qualified somatic therapist.


Somatic therapy exercises for trauma offer a unique approach to healing from trauma by emphasizing the connection between the mind and body. Through exercises like grounding, mindful breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation, individuals can learn to manage physical and emotional stress effectively. Hence, whether practiced with a therapist or incorporated into daily routines independently, somatic therapy can lead to significant improvements in emotional regulation, physical health, and overall well-being.

For more information, please contact MantraCare. Stress can have both physical and mental effects on the body, leading to negative consequences such as anxiety, depression, and even physical illnesses. If you have any queries regarding Online Stress Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial Stress therapy session

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