When it comes to cancer treatment, the emphasis is typically placed on the patient's physical recovery and ability to live. On the other hand, the diagnosis and treatment of cancer can have a significant impact not only physically but also emotionally and psychologically. Sadly, these effects are frequently overlooked, and as a result, they are not treated.
Somatic experiencing is a body-centered approach to healing the trauma and stress of cancer treatment. It acknowledges the connection between a person's physical sensations and emotional experiences. This is where somatic experiencing comes into play.
Over the past 50 years, Dr. Peter Levine developed Somatic Experiencing®, a naturalistic and neurobiological approach to healing trauma. He holds a doctorate in Biophysics from UC Berkeley and a doctorate in Psychology from International University. Those who have experienced PTSD as a result of their cancer treatment can benefit significantly from using this tool.
As Levine says, "Trauma is perhaps the most avoided, ignored, belittled, denied, misunderstood, and untreated cause of human suffering." A significant number of people who have cancer struggle with traumatic experiences stemming from the diagnosis, the treatments, and the uncertainty of their future. This can lead to a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Somatic experiencing provides a fresh approach to dealing with the psychological and physiological aftereffects of traumatic events. This method acknowledges that healing must involve both the body and the mind because they are inextricably linked to one another. Patients are able to release accumulated stress and trauma by working with their bodies and the sensations they experience, which results in improved physical and emotional well-being.
Healing the effects of PTSD brought on by cancer treatment in a way that is non-invasive, safe, and effective is possible with this method. Somatic experiencing helps patients connect with their physical sensations and feelings by using techniques such as gentle touch, body awareness, and breathing exercises. This gives patients the opportunity to process and let go of any repressed traumatic experiences.
Anyone who is looking to heal from a traumatic experience may find that somatic experiencing to be a helpful tool. If you are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of cancer treatment or any other traumatic experience, somatic experiencing can provide a new and effective way to heal and move on with your life.
If you're interested in learning more, visit our partners at Be Free Yoga for their Somatic Experiencing Support Group.