“Somatic exercise”, an ally against muscular tension and stress

“Somatic exercise”, an ally against muscular tension and stress

Lately, somatic exercise seems to be all the rage on TikTok. This practice offers a gentle approach to relieving muscular tension accumulated on a daily basis. Based on slow, purposeful movements, somatic exercise would also calm the mind by reducing stress and anxiety.

With the daily grind, our body is more prone to injuries and muscle pain. Between the office and the home, our body has become accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle, causing poor posture. What if you learned to release the muscular tensions accumulated by your body on a daily basis? This is what somatic exercise offers.

Derived from the Greek “soma” meaning “body”, somatic exercise allows us to connect to the body through exercise and become fully aware of our physical capabilities. In practice, it is characterized by thoughtful, slow movements and breathing work. The particularity of this discipline is that it combines different movements inspired by yoga, pilates, and dance. “Somatic exercises are used to increase awareness from the inside out and can help someone process and release stuck tensions, memories and emotions.”, explains Dr. Scott Lyons, psychologist and expert in bodily trauma, to TODAY. “Additionally, somatic practices can help a person become more efficient in their movements, making them stronger, and relieve pain.“.

This type of exercise focuses on releasing muscle tension located in different areas of the body such as the back, abdomen, shoulders, hips, etc. “Somatic movements should be performed as slowly as possible, preferably with your eyes closed, in order to get in touch with the body and understand what it needs“, specifies Gabriella Espinosa, professor of somatic movement and founder of Women's Body Wisdom in the columns of Glamor UK.

How to practice it? Concretely, there are different somatic movements. Among them is diaphragmatic breathing, which can be practiced alone or during other movements such as walking or yoga. We will consciously engage the diaphragm and fill the lungs with air, being aware of each breath. Otherwise, there is the “Body Scan”. We lie on our back, extend our arms and legs and release the tension in each part of the body. If you want to try other somatic movements, just type “somatic exercises” into the TikTok search bar.

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MESSAGE ME GUIDE and I will message you my Free Somatic Guide! 1️⃣ When doing vagal toning, we are looking to specifically help stimulate our vagus nerve. This is our biggest parasympathetic nerve, which is a part of our rest-digest-healing state. When we tone this nerve, we can help create a more resilient nervous system and help regulate our cortisol. 2️⃣ With somatic movement (vagal toning can be included in this category), are gentle movements that help reawaken and recondition the muscles, improve body awareness, reduce tension, and release trapped stress and trauma. ✨ This movement I share is something I have done for many years to help release my hips, help my diaphragmatic breathing, and regulate my nervous system + cortisol! ➡️ Let me know if you love these somatic movement ➡️ and MESSAGE ME GUIDE and I’ll message you to gain access to my Free Somatic Guide!

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The rehabilitation caused by somatic movements will thus improve our usual muscular patterns, leading to relaxation of tense muscles. According to Francesca Melluzzi, somatic movement therapist, also interviewed by Glamor UK, somatic exercise would relieve “muscle pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, as well as problems such as digestion, hormones and sleep“. While to date there are no studies on somatic exercise, tai chi, a somatic practice, has been shown to help maintain balance and prevent falls in the elderly and can reduce depression and anxiety Regarding mental health, somatic movement would also be effective in combating depression, stress and anxiety, according to the expert.