Somatic Therapy and My Nervous System

by | Jul 5, 2024 | Baby Sleep, Sleep Deprivation, Toddler Sleep

As you know I am a Baby and Toddler Sleep Consultant, a Reflux Specialist and a Somatic Therapist. What that basically means is that I work with lots of different hats, and I have experience in helping babies to sleep plus reflux, and I’m also a qualified BACP registered therapist- https://www.bacp.co.uk.

I’ve been working with families for about 18 years and so I started my therapy a long time ago and I run a private practice which is separate to baby sleep, and they also overlap. However, the separate piece is a private clinic that I run for adults only in regards to therapy, and it’s a talking therapy, and I support clients with any and every emotional issue that they have, so it could range from separation, divorce or self esteem, losing somebody, bereavement, losing a job, struggling a relationship, or body image, issues of race.

The overlap is that I work with Mums who are suffering Sleep Deprivation or Anxiety, Stress, Depression and Overwhelm since becoming a parent. I wanted to focus on this topic because there’s not a huge amount of knowledge out there around Somatics and sleep deprivation. I have so many mums that come to me that are in tears, that are burning out, that are at a loss, that suffer from really high anxiety levels and don’t really know where to go. I started my own journey on Somatics when I was burnt out and suffered a huge amount of Anxiety during Lockdown. I started learning about the nervous system. It’s made up of cells and tissues and organs and it basically regulates the activities of the body, so receiving processing sensory information from around you, and then integrating all of that and analyzing the information and then responding to that in various bodily functions.

When we look at the nervous system, and it’s important to mention at this point, there’s a lot of mums I speak to on the phone that break down, they don’t realize why they’re feeling like that, or they think it’s not okay to feel like that, or that they’re a failure, or they should know better, and that they’re not raising children correctly, or they just can’t comprehend why they’re so upset.

There’s two ways that the nervous system responds:

Sympathetic nervous system: Where the body prepares for fight or flight responses, and it’s activated during times of stress and danger. So you can have, like, increased heart rate, dilated blood vessels,

Parasympathetic nervous system: which promotes breast and digest activities, and it conserves energy and facilitates bodily functions like digestion, relaxation and sleep. When this state slows down too much you can experience digestion issues, you might have more saliva coming from your mouth, decreased blood pressure, constricted pupils and a decreased heart rate.

How can I help you with Nervous System Dysfunction and Sleep Deprivation?

When a parent suffers from sleep deprivation, the nervous system and the physical body and the emotional and mental side of it, and the elements are absolutely through the roof, because they’ve been up close to the night. The daytime requires a lot from them, and there’s no let up or no rest in terms of the night, so if they’re rocking to sleep or if they’re feeding to sleep.

Firstly I would sleep train your baby. We would have an overall, clear image, or a true picture of the anxiety that you are suffering as your sleep will be completely fixed. This gives you a baseline of your exact emotions and once your sleep debt has shifted you have some pieces to work on.

Then we would look at 1:1 Somatic Therapy Sessions. When there’s higher levels of anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder or physical symptoms in the body that you can actually feel and experience, talking therapy struggles to shift the physical symptoms from the body so you could talk and talk and talk and talk however you’re going round having a conversation, and it’s not addressing the knots in your belly or the sickness that you feel, or the increased heart rate, or the sweaty palms, or the racing thoughts, or the frantic, manic nurse brain fog, lack of concentration.

Some things you can put in place:
Choose a safe space to talk about your feelings.

Make Self Care Non Negotiable.

Choose a physical activity for yourself; without the kids is better but if that’s not possible don’t delay! Swimming, walking, running, Yoga.

Keep a Journal; 5 mins a day. I am often told ‘I am too busy’. I don’t buy this! I run a full time business, study and look after 3 young children with no outside help so its about prioritising yourself!

Check our some Breathwork on You Tube or listen to Somatic Therapy Podcasts.

Keep your evening screentime minimal and get to bed early.
Quiet your mind, give yourself five to 10 minutes and take out my time to see check in with yourself, ask yourself what you need and how you’re feeling.

Take seven deep breaths through your nose and out from your mouth, hold each breath when you’re going in, count to seven, hold for four seconds and release for eight. Repeat.

If you are suffering from anxiety you can book a free No Pressure chat with me on 07581410015 to see if you would like to start therapy or how I can help. You can find me here:
www.counsellingkorner.com

If you are suffering from Sleep Deprivation you can also book a free No Pressure chat with me on 07581410015! To look at sleep training your child. You can find me here: www.babysleeptrainer.uk

 

Seema x



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