Somatic Therapy & Bodywork



Shauna is a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner and Somatic Touch provider at AIM. She specializes in treating the effects of chronic stress, early life trauma and inter-generationally transmitted traumatic stress through Somatic Bodywork. Her scope includes neonatal trauma birth trauma, syndromal patterns or unexplained illnesses women's health and stress illnesses, including the impact of compounded shock traumas.

Shauna uses Somatic Touch and Bodywork to address the layers of traumatic stress that becomes stored in our bodies. She brings to her practice over 20 years of bodywork and massage experience to help clients heal and regain access to more life energy. She also treats the effects of shock traumas such as motor vehicle accidents, falls and injuries and offers trauma informed lymphatic drainage and scar integration work for those who have had surgery/injury recently or in the past.You can read more about Shauna's approach and experience here. 

How can Somatic Therapy Bodywork support me?

The idea that emotions and trauma conscious or unconscious, store in our body and manifest in tension patterns and dis “ease” physically, psychologically emotionally and spiritually, has been well researched. Shock traumas such as surgery, pregnancy, assaults, traumatic birthing, chronic stress that compounds, traumatic stressors and MVAs create thwarted fight or flight patterns. Early traumas, intergenerational and ancestral histories embody in us and create dys -regulated patterns in our nervous systems that often do not have clear stories but show up in syndromes and dis ease, physically and emotionally. Once established our brain and body get stuck in survival patterns, activated through traumatic stress physiology and fight, flight or conservation in our nervous system. Many common physical mental and spiritual complaints are symptoms of imbalance and untreated traumatic stress. 

Somatic Therapy Bodywork at AIM

These unique sessions provide an educational element to learning about your nervous system through a “body centered” therapy that encourages a deeper exploration of what your physical body is experiencing as a result of our sense of being stuck in “fight, flight and freeze” and how mind body and spirit can exist in harmony. The practitioner may use Somatic Touch or Somatic “talk” that invites body awareness, sensation, imagery, emotions and narratives to support the client in gaining increasingly more regulation in their nervous system. The goal of this therapy is to resolve traumatic stress in our nervous system and restore our natural human resiliency. As many of us noticed during and after the pandemic, our nervous systems responded in a “survival” way, leaving many of us feeling bereft and experiencing an array of symptoms such as:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Weight gain & early onset metabolic disorders
  • Burnout
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic pain and inflammation
  • Unexplained illness or syndromes

Somatic Therapy Bodywork (STB) recognizes that trauma can be associated with many symptoms of dis-ease that can arise mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and can even be passed down epigenetically through our family lineages and experiences through the nervous system. Sessions can address unresolved trauma such as specific traumatic events or more complex early life and epigenetic or transmitted traumatic stress (including the felt sense of having experienced trauma without a clear memory or understanding why).

What can I expect in a Somatic Therapy Bodywork Session? 

Each session is different for each client due to their unique life experiences and nervous system. Sessions are eclectic and combine Somatic Experiencing® body based psychotherapeutic practice as well as Somatic Touch, which supports restoring regulation in our nervous system while clients are fully clothed and seated in a chair or laying face up on the table. Online sessions are also available.

What does Somatic Touch entail and how is this different from massage?

Somatic touch is a modality used in session that supports a clients nervous system directly by restoring regulation in a client’s nervous system and building capacity. The client remains fully clothed, seated in a chair or laying face up on a table. This can also be done in an online setting with intentional touch. Your practitioner places their hands at the neck, back, shoulder, arm, foot or an area that is agreed upon ahead of time and that serves as support for regulation or specific trauma work. Several sessions in the beginning may include discussion about the work, the treatment process and focus of the session. Informed consent is an important and active part of the therapeutic relationship as well as consent for touch work by the practitioner. This can begin the healing journey for many of us who have not experienced safe touch or have a history of not being able to stay embodied and present during other physical touch practices in the past.

What does the “Talk” component entail in a Somatic Session? 

Somatic Experiencing® “talk” in a session is focused on creating more connection between our thinking left brain and our body right brain. The effects of traumatic stress in our developmental years interrupts the pathways that help us communicate between the two sides of our brain abd manage emotions. Consequently unresolved trauma at any point in our lives can effect this communication and our ability to regulate our emotional brain. Thereby leaving us feeling reactive and not well regulated. Somatic touch is especially helpful for those of us with early life trauma as it helps to heal the early foundations in our nervous system including attachment and safety. For many who are seeking relief from a specific trauma, the intention of “talk” in a somatic session is to invite body awareness while tracking or creating room for the client to safely feel sensation, explore imagery that arises, experience emotions from the body’s memory, that may be different than the labeling, thinking part of our brain has assessed. Noticing narratives that may not be serving the client in healing from traumatic stress and working on new meaning is an integral part of sessions. Somatic “talk” invites the client to support increasingly more capacity and regulation in their nervous system. While working through an event or shock trauma, your practitioner may pair aspects of “talk” as well as Somatic Touch work together in session. 

What is the goal of these sessions?

Clients will learn to become more aware of their breath, sensations, behaviours, emotions and narratives in their mind and body, while building capacity for noticing activation. Including where and how they may be holding tension patterns and what dysregulation in their nervous system feels like. This can be empowering insight into recognizing and supporting themselves in the healing process from being stuck in fight or flight mode. Clients will begin to notice their own nervous systems in these sessions and this work often leaves us with a relaxed and supported sense of self and an increased capacity to notice activation in our bodies. Building our capacity to be present with uncomfortable traumatic memory or activation in our nervous systems and emotions such as flight or flight and grief and loss.This insight and connection to our own body is the greatest resource for specific trauma work with client consent. The goal is to gently release uncompleted traumatic stress, integrate and improve regulation in your nervous system. 

Early developmental goals center around finding safety and more capacity to move out of conservation survival strategies that are costly to our bodies and contribute to dis-ease or syndrome patterns. Sessions support co-regulation and self regulation in sessions within the therapeutic relationship. 

How many sessions do I need to have?

4-6 sessions are recommended in the beginning for supporting traumatic event or shock trauma. With complex early trauma, we may be looking at biweekly or monthly sessions over a longer time frame (monthly for six months to a year).

Who can benefit from Somatic Therapy Bodywork?

Many of us are experiencing symptoms that stem from untreated trauma and chronic stress. Sessions are  especially indicated for clients who have experienced:

  • Chronic stress or traumatic stress (past or present)
  • Burnout / Dysregulation (physical, mental, emotional)
  • Unexplained illness and syndromes
  • Event trama (including PTSD, sexual assault, surgeries, accidents)
  • Lack of support / feeling unsafe in early years and adolescence
  • Early life trauma emotional / birth or surgeries

Somatic & Lymphatic Synergy Session

These sessions combine the benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage with Somatic Touch Practice. Offering trauma informed bodywork that is ideal for both self care and for those looking to recover from surgery or injury or chronic stress. Sessions aim to improve regulation and somatic or body boundary that is ruptured during these shock traumas.These sessions are often part of a larger treatment plan.

What can I expect in a Somatic & Lymphatic Synergy Session

This is a synergy session that includes lymphatic focused massage from a trauma informed approach. Clients have undressed to their comfort and have consented to a massage. Essential oils and carrier oils are applied to the clients skin in a gentle massage focused on improving the flow of the lymphatics and reducing stress. Some supportive somatic touch work for adrenals and nervous system is incorporated.

How do I know if STB is the right fit for me?

Complimentary Consultations are offered to ensure a good client/practitioner fit! These can be booked directly online, or through reaching out to us by phone (604-558-2288) or email (info@auroramed.ca).

All SBT sessions can be booked directly online, or through reaching out to us by phone (604-558-2288) or email (info@auroramed.ca). 

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