Nate talks briefly about how when we conform it can lead to behaviors that don’t serve us.
Nate discusses how our attachments show up when we feel like we don’t have choice.
Meditation can seem like a daunting task at times. Often, we don't think we have the time to meditate, or the chatter in our mind just won't pipe down. Sometimes there are too many distractions, or we don't notice the instant gratification immediately afterwards, so we feel like the benefit isn't really there. Some might think that meditation is just some new-age hype, and it doesn't have any real value (although I would argue that science proves otherwise). If you are just starting your meditation practice, know that these thoughts and frustrations around it are common and completely normal.
Our advice to you is to start off with something short and simple. Like deeply focusing on one breath in and one breath out. Notice the cool air going in through your nose and the warm air on the exhale as you release. Notice the expansion and contraction of your chest and belly. Notice the temperature in the room. Notice the points of contact between your body and the floor or chair. Can you simply notice how you feel in this present moment?
The body benefits from movement. The mind benefits from stillness. And it is called a meditation 'practice,' not a meditation 'destination.' The chatter of your mind will often interrupt because that is just the nature of it. However, the more you commit to this practice, the more you will begin to notice ease of letting those interruptive thoughts go and the longer gaps will be between them. We have been conditioned to be bombarded with to-do lists and worries and having our attention pulled in many directions. Let those thoughts know that you see them, you acknowledge them, and you will address them later. For right now, you are doing something for your well-being.
Give yourself grace and patience. It is ok to feel frustrated with the process at first. There is a lot of 'undoing' with the conditioning around needing to constantly be doing something. Don't judge yourself and whether or not you're doing it 'right.' Give yourself credit for attempting to just be, and not do. Your value and your worth don't come from the things that you accomplish. Just being here is enough. You are enough. You are worthy and valuable because you exist.
We challenge you to commit to trying this out for just 2 minutes a day for a week. We are all given 1,440 minutes in a day. You can dedicate 2 of them to your wellness :)
If you prefer to be guided, there are many free apps you can download and many of them will be categorized by a topic or a length of time. Choose something short or choose a topic that seems beneficial to you. Some of our favorites are Calm, Insight Timer, Headspace, and Ten Percent. Give it a try. Let us know how you feel. Tell us what works for you and what doesn't. We love to hear your thoughts!
Traumatic experiences, such as physical or sexual abuse, natural disasters, accidents, or witnessing violence, can have devastating effects on the mind & body. When we are faced with a traumatic event, our brains go into survival mode and release a surge of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. This is known as the "fight or flight" response, and it is designed to help us protect ourselves from danger.
These experiences can cause the body to go into a state of high alert, which can lead to a range of physical symptoms, including increased heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension, and a heightened startle response.
In the short term, these symptoms can help an individual to survive a dangerous situation by providing a burst of energy and enabling them to fight or flee. However, if the traumatic experience continues or is repeated, the body can remain in this state of high alert, leading to chronic physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems, and muscle pain.
Traumatic experiences can also affect the nervous system, leading to changes in the way the body processes and responds to sensations. Some people may experience a numbing or disconnection from their body, while others may have heightened sensitivity to touch or other sensations. These changes can make it difficult for individuals to regulate their emotions and can lead to problems with trust and intimacy.
Somatic therapies, such as massage, breathwork, somatic experiencing, grounding and centering, can help individuals to heal from the effects of traumatic experiences. These therapies focus on the mind-body connection, recognizing that the body holds the memories of past experiences, and that healing must involve both the mind and the body.
Somatic therapies can be a helpful way to address the physical effects of trauma. These therapies focus on the body and aim to help people become more aware of the sensations and feelings that are stored in their bodies. By doing this, they can learn to release tension and better regulate their stress response. Each of these approaches has its own unique benefits, but they all share a focus on the mind-body connection and the importance of addressing the physical symptoms of trauma.
Massage therapy can be a powerful tool for releasing tension, reducing stress and relearning safety with sensations in the body. By gently kneading the muscles and applying pressure to specific points on the body, bodyworkers can help to relax the body and promote a sense of calm. Which promotes healing on very deep levels.
Breathwork involves focusing on the breath as a way to calm the mind and release tension from the body. By paying attention to the breath, we can become more aware of our physical sensations and learn to control our stress response. Throughout history, cultures worldwide have provided a means for people to access deeper levels of consciousness for healing and spiritual growth. Breathwork is a means of inducing these altered states through full and connected breathing. An energy charge is created in the body, and as the energy disperses, it serves to release and cleanse blockages, both physical and emotional. Breathwork can be done on its own or as part of a larger therapy program.
Somatic experiencing is a type of therapy that focuses on the body's natural ability to heal from trauma. It involves a range of techniques, such as gentle movements and breathing exercises, that can help to regulate the stress response and release tension from the body.
Grounding and centering techniques are simple exercises that can be done anywhere and at any time. These techniques involve bringing the attention to the present moment and focusing on the sensations in the body. By doing this, we can become more aware of our physical sensations and learn to regulate our stress response.
It is important to remember that healing from trauma is a process and may take time. Somatic therapies can be an important part of this process, but they should be used in conjunction with other forms of support, such as talk therapy or support groups. It is also important to work with a trained and qualified therapist who has experience working with individuals who have experienced trauma.
Traumatic experiences can have significant effects on the body, but somatic therapies can provide a safe and nurturing way for individuals to heal and find relief from the physical symptoms of trauma. By focusing on the mind-body connection and providing a supportive environment, these therapies can help individuals to rebuild their sense of safety, trust, and connection with the world around them.
At Somatic Synergies, we provide this space for our clients to experience their bodies, minds and emotions in a safe and healing container, so they can learn to trust their sensations and heal those old patterns of behavior that come from their traumas. For more information on how we can serve your healing journey, please email us or give us a call.
There are many words today associated with wellness. Many of those terms are new for readers, and some of the terms are interchangeable between fitness, wellness, and health. So, let’s take a minute to explain some of the terms you may see from time to time.
Wellness itself is defined as the condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise, and habits. Well-Being is one of our top values at Somatic Synergies. We see well being as the balance of all the parts of life in alignment with each other and when one area comes out of balance that steps are being taken to bring back into harmony. These areas can include our physical, mental, emotional, relational and energetic needs.
Meditation, an exercise recommended for everyone, but especially those of us with hectic, stressful lifestyles, is defined as an engagement in contemplation, especially of a spiritual or devotional nature. Meditation has been shown to be an effective method of lowering blood pressure, relieving stress, and promoting overall good health, by simply reflecting upon our day, and finding happiness within ourselves. The benefits have been widely studied and proven, and it is a wonderful compliment to any practice to promote mental and emotional health.
Fitness refers to the condition of our physical body and mental fitness would of course be addressing our mental state. Many fitness centers provide personal trainers, and stationary fitness equipment that can be used with or without guidance to maintain a level of physical fitness. There are numerous pieces of equipment available that perform many different exercises to address specific areas of the body. There are so many forms of exercise that we can only try to cover some of the more popular and well-defined programs. There are aerobic programs that focus on heart rate and your cardiac health. Cardio activities like running, swimming and cycling are great for our aerobic fitness. Weight training and free weights are used for building muscle mass and body-sculpting. Even just simply walking is one of the best exercises available, as it doesn’t jar our bodies, but uses all parts for toning and building heart rate.
Nutrition refers to all the things you choose to consume. This can be the foods and drinks or supplements like vitamins and minerals needed in order for you to sustain optimum physical health. Much discussion is centered on this topic right now, because our nation faces obesity problems of epidemic proportions. Almost all nutrition specialists would agree that a well balanced diet of proteins, complex carbs and good fats can help maintain a healthy physique and prevent many diseases.
Alternative therapies refer to the care options such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, herbal cures, and holistic medicine. Of the examples given here, chiropractic and acupuncture are more widely accepted as complements to the traditional form of western medicine.
Herbal cleansing and healing are terms used by many of the natural healers to describe what ingestion of certain herbal combinations can provide for the body in the effort to bring it back to optimal health, or to sustain optimal health. Things like juice cleanses and The Master Cleanse are very popular for resetting your gut health and metabolism. The Master Cleanse is a combination of Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar, Maple Syrup and Cayenne Pepper in water. You consume if for 24 to 72 hours to clean everything out.
Today, wellness is used not only in conjunction with health and fitness, but also wellness of the mind, body, and spirit. There is an ever-increasing movement among the health-conscious citizens, that wellness should include not only our physical being, but our mental and spiritual health. The only true form of wellness must include the entire person.
Our focus is to help people bring their wellness back into balance between body, mind, emotions and spirit. We do this by using hands on massage techniques for pain and nurturing of the body, guided meditations and breath practices for the mind and emotions, and energy techniques and breathwork for integration of all. Many of us face imbalances due to injuries, past traumas, and beliefs about our behavior patterns that can keep us out of balance. Wellness in these areas is about creating presence and awareness in how we interact with each of them in our lives. Let us know if we can help you find that harmony!!
Cranial sacral therapy, also known as CST, is a gentle and non-invasive form of massage therapy that focuses on the bones of the head, the spine, and the sacrum. It's a type of therapy that's growing in popularity, thanks to its many potential benefits. If you're curious about cranial sacral therapy and what it can do for you, read on!
One of the most notable benefits of craniosacral therapy is its ability to reduce stress and promote relaxation. The gentle touch and soothing movements of CST helps calm the nervous system, which can in turn lower blood pressure and heart rate. This leaves you feeling more relaxed and at ease, both during and after the session.
CST is helpful for people dealing with chronic pain. By releasing tension in the head, neck, and spine, it alleviates discomfort and improves mobility. This can be especially beneficial for people with conditions such as headaches, back pain, and fibromyalgia.
In addition to its physical benefits, cranial sacral therapy may also have psychological benefits. By reducing stress and promoting relaxation, CST can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. The gentle touch and soothing atmosphere of a CST session provides a sense of comfort and nurturing, which can be especially helpful for people who have experienced trauma or are dealing with difficult emotions.
Cranial sacral therapy is a helpful tool for athletes. By releasing tension and improving mobility in the head, neck, and spine, CST can help improve athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury. In addition, the relaxation and stress-reducing effects of CST can help athletes recover more quickly from workouts and competitions.
Overall, cranial sacral therapy is a gentle and non-invasive form of therapy that can offer many potential benefits. From reducing stress and promoting relaxation to improving athletic performance and reducing chronic pain, CST is a therapy worth exploring if you're looking to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. So why not give it a try and see how it can benefit you? Our amazing practitioner, Ciara, specializes in cranial work. You can book a session and try it out!
If you are finding yourself nervous, scared, or worried and don't know why you are feeling this way, you may discover that you are suffering from symptoms of anxiety. To receive a formal diagnosis, we suggest that you see your medical doctor. However, anxiety is fairly common and is not something to be ashamed of, nor is it something that necessarily requires medication to treat. There are some people who only find relief from anxiety by prescription drugs, and we don't want to minimize the importance of that, but many others find natural solutions in home remedies that are extremely effective. Working to find the best solution for you can be a rather trying experience, but there are plenty of great home remedies that can prove to be extremely effective.
1. Alcohol Reduction: It is largely reported by people suffering from anxiety that they feel much more anxious after they have consumed large amounts of alcohol. This points to cutting back the intake of alcohol as one of the most effective treatments that you can do to reduce your anxiety level. If we must be brutally honest though, this will have a limited effect. After all, if you are only a slight social drinker there will be very little you can do to reduce your intake further. This means this particular method is much more suited for those who tend to drink at least a few drinks a week.
2. Quality Sleep & Vitamins: Getting as much sleep as possible to ensure you are well rested. A lack of sleep has been attributed to increasing the occurrence of anxiety attacks. In addition to the additional rest as needed, taking some additional B vitamins such as can be found in most vitamin supplements has also shown great promise to help relieve symptoms. An additional benefit to the vitamins is the ability to allow you to pick up any additional nutrients that you might be missing out on due to your typical dietary habits.
3. Sugar Reduction: Many people have had great amounts of success by limiting their intakes of sweeteners. This includes natural sugar, as well as the artificial sweeteners. In order to really obtain the biggest benefit, you should try to watch your reactions to certain sweeteners. There are some that can make the problems worse for you, while others may not bother you. If there is a sweetener that you can safely use, it is important to stay with it, while avoiding the others that tend to aggravate your anxiety.
4. Caffeine Reduction: It is recommended that you avoid any products that are extremely high in caffeine. Because caffeine is extremely likely to spike anxiety, many people who are anxious tend to suffer much more than necessary. Reducing caffeine intake can often provide some rather rapid differences that might otherwise never come. If you are in a habit of drinking coffee each morning, you can simply switch to decaffeinated in order to reduce your caffeine intake while still enjoying your morning cup of coffee.
5. Movement: Another suggested home remedy that has provided great benefits is getting up and starting to walk around or exercise whenever you feel anxious. By getting up and moving around, you are taking your mind off of the anxiety that you are feeling and allowing yourself to slowly clam down at your own pace. This is extremely effective for most people since it will allow you to refocus your attention to the activity that you are doing, rather than on the actual anxiety that you are presently feeling.
6. Book a session with us: We offer services that can significantly reduce your symptoms. Book a massage therapy session with us for instant relaxation! Join us our weekly breathwork sessions. Schedule a cranial-sacral therapy session with us. Join one of our workshops! If you are feeling ready to dig deep, book Dynamic Alignment. All of these offerings have the potential to minimize your symptoms for the day and/or completely transform your relationship to your anxiety. Most importantly, know that what you are experiencing is common and normal. You are not alone and we are here to support you!
By using discretion about the use of medication to treat anxiety, you may be able to avoid many of the harsh side effects that are otherwise experienced from them. It may take a while to find the right solution for your needs depending on exactly what factors are encouraging the stress, but a solution really is possible with the right effort.
Meditating is a practice recommended for everyone, but especially those of us with hectic, stressful lifestyles. Meditating is defined as an engagement in contemplation, especially of a spiritual or devotional nature used to focus the mind. It has been shown to relieve stress and promote overall good health, by simply reflecting upon our day and finding happiness within ourselves.
Our mind has varying levels of operation, known as brainwaves. As we pass through the different stages of our day, we enter various stages of brain wave activity. The brain uses this tool as one way to allow us time to rest our busy mind, and cope with all the pieces of information we’ve received, a way to kind of “mind file” for the day. Meditating can lead us into deep states of these brain waves, aiding in relaxation, higher brain function and cognitive abilities.
Modern alternative medicine and holistic healers believe in the power of the energy that flows through our bodies; this energy radiates from our mind as well. It is believed to be the chief form of transportation for our body’s nervous system to carry out communication. Breathing techniques, music, aromas, and candle therapy are all strategies of mediating we can use to reflect on our day, allowing our mind to rest and replenish itself for further use. But are these methods keeping us mentally fit? Yes! The great benefit in meditating, however, is the mind’s ability to transform itself into a vehicle for higher awareness. Meditating strengthens our minds to become aware that there is more to our being than just our physical activity. We have so much more potential locked away in our mind, resources that we never tap into until we have the chance to quiet the mind, quiet our surroundings and open the door to the possibilities we don’t examine on a day to day basis.
In a meditative state, thoughts that never have the opportunity to be heard during the bustle of the day are afforded the opportunity to come forward and be heard. Every step that we take is a step in some direction for our life. The opportunity to set our own destiny, develop our manifest of what we believe our life should be, are just some of the opportunities meditating provides. Every action we’ve ever taken started as a thought. The thought was then brought into reality by our action on that thought. So, are we able to produce new thoughts and new possibilities, in this time of quiet reflection?
It is in these small moments of creativity and higher conscious operation that our mind heals itself from the stresses of the everyday activities, and maintains a real level of healthy operation. Our mind is like our body, we don’t have to look unhealthy to be unhealthy, and sooner or later, the illnesses show.
Meditating and Meditation are not to be confused. Meditating is the action we do to achieve the state of meditation. Focusing on the breath, following a guided mediation recording, observing. flame are all things we do to bring our awareness back to when the mind wanders. Meditating is practice of focusing the mind. IT WILL WANDER!! It is designed to. The practice eventually leads to the state of meditation. This is the state that the magic happens. Sometimes it takes 30 seconds, other times you can meditate for an hour and continually bring your mind back to your focal point not quite reaching that flowing meditative state. Which is the point. Every time we catch the mind wandering and come back to our focus, it is like one rep in our set time of mediating. Sometimes we get in 5 or six reps, sometimes its more like 500 reps. At some point along the way, you realize many moments have passed and you did not have to remind yourself to keep your focus and a clarity or flow state sets in. This is meditation.
I am often told that meditating is hard, or that the mind wanders too much. Start with just 8 breaths. Breath in and out 8 times, focusing your attention on your breath. Count them. Feel the chest or belly rise and fall. If you lose count, start over. When you are able to get to 8 breaths without reminding your mind to focus, try for 12 or 16. You don't have to start by trying to meditate for 20 minutes. That is like running a 10k when you can't run around the block. It can take a little time and dedication, but I promise you it is worth it. It becomes a practice that you can come back to at any time. Even right now, come back to your breath, even if it's just one. We are always one breath away from our presence.
If you have had a chance to attend a breathwork class, it is probably safe to say that the experience, regardless of what kind, was profound and unlike any other. Who knew that something we subconsciously do throughout the entirety of our physical existence has more depth and power than we ever realized?
First, what is breathwork and how is it different from natural, day-to-day breathing? Breathwork is the conscious and intentional controlling of your breathing patterns for either short or extended lengths of time. It has the potential to influence a person's mental, emotional, and spiritual state and can be incredibly therapeutic. Breathing techniques can be used in a variety of ways. Some examples can be from simply warming or cooling the body, to easing the mind from stress and anxiety, to tapping into your ability to go into the subconscious, to even having a profound spiritual experience, such as, receiving messages from angels or loved ones that have passed on. The possibilities are endless, and each time is different than the one before. One thing I know for sure is that the breath always meets you where you're at and shows you what you need in that particular moment.
Here is just one testimony from one of our team members, Talia, who had never gone through a breathwork session before attending one at Somatic Synergies.
"I came into my first breathwork session without a lot of information about it. I have pretty extensive experience with yoga, and I took my Yoga Teacher Training, which both include simple breathing techniques and usually an explanation of what they do; but I'd never done any kind of breathwork for an extended period of time. I went into it with an open mind, but without a lot of information, and that was my intention - I wanted to have a genuine experience without any preconceived notions of what would happen.
I came into the studio and picked up any props to make myself feel the most comfortable to be laying down for an extended period of time. Nate began with an introduction to let us know what could potentially happen as not to be alarmed by some of the sensations that frequently come up. Even though I didn't do research beforehand, I am thankful that he started class this way so that I wasn't alarmed by what I felt. He did a demonstration of what our breathing pattern should sound and feel like. Then we laid down, got cozy, and started to breathe.
I didn't have a great sense of time, but I'd say about 15 minutes into it, I started to feel tingling in my lips, fingers, and toes. As I continued breathing in this way, my extremities continued to tingle until they started to become stiff and curl inwards, which I learned later on is called 'tetany' and has something to do with oxygenation of the blood. It was startling at first and brought up a lot of fear and anxiety until I decided that this wouldn't harm me, and I let it go. About 45 minutes in, we stopped the active breathing and went back to our natural state. I'm not really sure where I went for the next half hour or so. I wasn't asleep, but it seemed like I was in a deep state of relaxation as I had sent my brain into another frequency. After some time in that state, we were slowly and gently brought back into the room and into our physical bodies.
Over the course of the last year, I've continued to join breathwork classes and I can tell you that every time is different. Nate does a great job of creating the container and allowing the space for whatever needs to come up to come up freely. There are so few times in life that we have full permission to do that, without judgement.
What I've learned is that I have the power within myself to do deep, transformational work to heal what needs to be healed. I've learned that this work is incredibly important, not only for my own personal happiness (which is very important), but that there is deeper value there that extends much further beyond myself. There is a ripple effect and an impact we all have on the world around us, and it begins deep within ourselves, in our breath, and in our souls. We have the power to heal wounds inside of us, and in turn, opportunities to help heal the world. This makes me think of a powerful quote by David W. Orr which says, 'The plain fact is that the planet doesn't need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who will live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.'
How incredible is it to know that such transformation can all start with something as simple as breathing?"
The last few weeks, our blogs have revolved around overall wellness and wellness of the mind. Last week we spoke about meditation and awareness and this week we have a special guided meditation. With love in the forefront of our minds this week (Happy Valentine's Day!), we want to offer you a cord-cutting, heart attachment meditation guided by Nate Ewert. Cord-cutting is a healing technique that assists in freeing you from unhealthy energetic bonds and obstructions that are limiting you. Allowing yourself to let go and detach from these bonds, creates the space to focus your awareness on the things that serve you instead. Maybe practice some self-love today by listening to the meditation and referring back to it in the future when you find it helpful. This is our gift to you and you deserve it!
Click Here to Download or you can listen below.