Body Therapy (LLM Technique)
A less commonly recognized but extremely powerful and highly effective branch of healing is touch therapy and somatic emotional release work. There are many different modalities that can be extremely effective in assisting you to break through your defensive armoring and get to the root of the pain you are currently experiencing.
Some touch therapy methods, such as neuromuscular therapy, deep tissue massage, and rolfing, can be quite painful yet as the tissues release their holding patterns, emotional blockages can be released. The emotions that are released can become intense and it is important to have access, sometimes even immediately, to a skilled therapist to help you through the early stages of healing. Some methods are more gentle, such as polarity therapy (which balances your energetic system) and trager (gentle rocking techniques).
Somatic emotional release work and body therapy utilize therapeutic techniques, body awareness and touch to help you understand why you are holding back and blocking the expression of your feelings and to facilitate expression and release of pent up emotions.
Body therapy methods could be divided generally between “hard” and “soft” techniques. “Hard” techniques are those that apply direct pressure on rigid muscles or on the connective tissue that is causing muscles to be tightly held. As the pressure of the therapist’s hands directly confronts the holding patterns, there may be some discomfort as the holding is released. “Soft” techniques can be equally effective. Rather than use forceful movement and pressure, many of them emphasize light touch, often without hand movement, that encourages greater sensing or awareness of bodily feeling. Another comparison is hard techniques tend to emphasize outward expression of feeling, while soft techniques tend to emphasize inner sensing of feeling, or some would say, of energy flow. However, as always, there are exceptions. Some methods, rather than employ direct touch, emphasize body-centered awareness. Such sessions may not feature touch at all.
Clients may work standing up, sitting, or lying down. They are fully clothed. Some body therapists will work directly with muscle tension, or with breathing. Clients may be encouraged to do specific physical actions (e.g., to move their shoulders or hips, to kick, or to hold a certain posture for an extended period of time). Meditative, mindfulness exercises, guided imagery, or some form of expressive arts (writing, dancing, drawing) may also be used. The client may be encouraged to notice the sensations in his or her body, and describe what is being felt and in what part of the body. Touch may be used when appropriate and agreed upon, but sexual touching is never permitted in any type of body therapy.
Traumatic memories are often stored within body tissues, resulting in contracted musculature, inhibited breathing, startle response, sexual inhibitions, and even ticklishness. Through this powerful mind/body awareness work, body therapy, clients can overcome even the most lingering traumatic memories and restore their mind and body to a state resembling their pre-traumatic state.