As a rehab specialist, an injury skiing that wouldn’t heal forced Irene Lyon [@IreneLyon] to consider mind-body work. That led her to become a Feldenkrais practitioner herself. Years later she found herself searching for more answers, which led her to study somatic healing experiences with Peter Levine.
The premise of somatic healing is – what we experience gets stuck in our tissue and the way we think and connect with people.
Since then, she developed online programs and has helped close to 10,000 people in 90 countries learn to become their own medicine by reteaching them how to be with their body and their stress response.
Through research of her programs, people have been able to increase self-worth, feel less isolated, and decrease a range of symptoms.
Understanding how stress gets stored in our bodies and supporting our bodies to resolve it, allows us to heal from past trauma. When stressed, we go into a freeze response to protect us. The trouble with that, is the flight or fight hasn’t been resolved. Whatever emotion we haven’t been allowed (or allow ourselves) to express, can block the nervous system. That impacts the autonomic nervous – from hormones, digestion, cell cleaning mechanisms, and more.
Depending on your history and predisposition, it will express differently in different people. It can cause anything from migraines, to autoimmunity, to anxiety and depression. The symptoms are triggered from something that occurred and you have been stuck in protection mode ever since.
In this interview Irene and I connect about skiing in the Pacific Northwest, and about having joint hypermobility. I share that a year ago, due to physical and emotional stress, I developed an inflammatory condition that required surgery. Yet still, it was clear that I also needed to address the stress in my body to truly address the root cause.
If we never have a chance to reset from stress we were exposed to, it is stored in our bodies and can cause long-standing health issues.
I talk about these concepts in my book – Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health – so I’m so excited to dive deep in this discussion with Irene.
Important concepts we cover are:
- Somatic healing involves breathwork, movement, as well as emotional processing.
- Feeling safe is essential for healing
- Disassociation and how to bring your attention to being in your body
- Orient to your surroundings
- How talking to your body brings you into connection and communication from within
- Small, incremental steps can be used to gradually retrain the vagus nerve and stress response system
- It’s important to individualize the approach
If you are struggling and stuck in physical and/or emotional pain, I encourage you to learn more about Irene’s programs at IreneLyon.com.
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More Resources from Dr. Doni:
- Start with Dr. Doni’s Stress Quiz:
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