When we are feeling stressed out in our minds, we often sense it physically as well. One of the most noticeable symptoms is body tension, often accompanied by weakness, fatigue, and sometimes muscular pain. When these physical sensations are combined with the mental weariness brought on by too much stress, the last thing many of us want to do is go exercise, which we’re all told will help us feel better. Isn’t it frustrating that no matter what ails you, the world rushes in with a solution that sounds so opposite of what you feel like doing? Well, there is another option. I’ve found when doing somatic movements that not all pain requires aggressive movement (often followed by more pain) to solve the problem!

As part of my training to become a certified Hanna Somatic Educator, we learned about the human stress response, the physiological changes that occur, and why these actions are taking place, and how somatic movements can help relieve the effects of stress that you feel in your body.

This was very exciting for me personally, as my years as a marketing person in technology startups were filled with deadlines, especially difficult when you must “create” on demand. While in my thirties, I often felt my body temperature fluctuate in ways that caused me to wonder whether or not I was developing a fever, with no other signs of sickness. And, then I noticed it happened more when I was feeling very stressed. I was very interested during my somatics training to learn of the sympathetic and parasympathetic sides of the nervous system. It seemed like a logical place to start in terms of understanding stress. To reach equilibrium in your body, you need a balance between sympathetic (flight or fight) and parasympathetic (relaxation, healing).

Click here to read more about the sympathetic vs. parasympathetic response