Episode 29 – Somatic Movement with Joy Onyschak
written by Joy Onyschak (SomaSensing Somatic Movement Therapist, Numa Breathwork Facilitator) on 27/02/20
What type therapy do you offer here at Safe Harbour?
I offer group and private lessons in SomaSensing TM , which is a somatic movement practice created by Yasmin Lambat (www.somasensing.org).
What symptoms do people come to you with and what are the end results?
In addition to releasing physical tension, this practice can assist in reducing symptoms created (or made worse) by nervous system dysregulation (often caused by acute or chronic emotional or physcial stress). This means people show up with a wide range of issues such as:
- Chronic pain such as back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia
- Busy mind, can’t seem to slow down
- Chronic health conditions (I.e. Parkinsons, inflammatory disorders, autoimmune disorders)
- Those suffering from apathy/depressive symptoms
- People who are hypermobile and experiencing pain from overstretching
- Those looking for a gentle and efficient way to reduce stress and tension
- People wanting more mindfulness in day-to-day movement
The end result is often less tension and pain, feeling stronger and more integrated, grounded, calm and ready for life. Rejuvenated, supple, resilient.
What does the process look like and how do you help someone who is new to the process?
I guide clients to go within, sense what they feel within their bodies in order to develop interoceptiveawareness. I teach them how to pandiculate (an inner expand/release similar to a body yawn) and find their own intuitive movements that feel good.
What are the benefits? What are people most surprised by?
The practice rejuvenates the fascia (connective tissue) so people often feel less pain and tension after one practice. The movements and pandiculations stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (by toning the vagus nerve). There are sighs and yawns as a person’s state shifts from stress to calm. People are surprised that:
- This practice takes such little time and effort to get results (often in 5-20 minutes)
- They feel stronger even though it is a gentle, simple practice
- They find new patterns of movement
- Parts that have been numb begin to ‘wake up’
- The practice feels like meditation in motion
- They find themselves doing some of the movements in their kitchen, or in their office
- Sense of being more ‘in tune’ with themselves and their needs.
Why are people coming to this type of therapy more than before?
I think as a society, we are developing and valuing our own agency – making choices for ourselves, rather than being told what to do and how to do it, people want to find what truly works for them. We are also becoming more trauma informed – and choice can be an important part of trauma recovery.
As a yoga teacher and a gym enthusiast, I see and hear a lot of varying opinions about alignment and how to do things correctly. It can be confusing and keep us in our heads. This work is about finding your own intuitive movements, about going within and experiencing our felt sense. Making good choices from there. People are catching on that our ability to ‘sense within’ is connected to our physical and mental well-being. This practice is simple and efficient and can be applied to anything you do.
What is my story that led me to this work?
I stumbled upon this work while researching trauma resources to support my work as a Numa Breathwork Facilitator and yoga teacher. I have always been a movement-oriented person. I started martial arts when I was 11 (15 years), was a high school athlete, practiced and taught yoga for over 12 years. I thought I had a pretty developed ‘inner sense’, but now I know that something was missing. I’m more in tune with myself and my nervous system, and making better life choices because of this practice. I was looking for resources for my clients but turns out I needed this practice for myself, too.
To learn more about Joy and SomaSensing please follow her on Instagram @joysomatics