• Karen

Soothing the Nervous System


Every single human being needs to know that they are:


  • Not alone (even surrounded by people we can sometimes feel terribly alone)

  • Safe

  • In charge.

I was away this week on training for Clinical Development and I experienced a powerful example of this.


Since the start of my NO HANDS Massage training in 2012 I was taught how important it was not to chatter during the treatment. It’s important not to disrupt the client.


But now that the latest neuroscience is becoming more available to us it almost seems as if it was developed simply in order to explain the potency of NO HANDS bodywork!

Adding the latest learning from Neuroscience to NO HANDS bodywork we understand why we’d been working the way we had. And is now allowing us to develop the way we work in a more powerful, trauma sensitive and healing centred way.


So, at the Clinical Development I was the ‘client’ during a session one day where my ‘therapist’ was providing a Trauma Discharge treatment. This particular Treatment recognises that modern life is overwhelming us so much that most of us are living with a traumatised Nervous System. Therefore it does require more of a two way communication in order for the client to stay safe.


During this training session we were reminded to check in with our ‘clients’ as a way to ensure that they have one foot still in the here and now. When my therapist paused briefly to gently ask if I was ok I raised just enough energy to say “Yup” and give a thumbs up.


And immediately my body gave a big involuntary, shuddering sigh.... you know, those ones where you feel such a feeling of release, of muscles softening....?


  • My Nervous System knew I wasn’t alone.

  • My Nervous System knew I was safe.

  • My Nervous System knew I was in control.


All because my ‘therapist’ asked me if I was OK during safe, appropriate touch.


The only way the Nervous System knows it is safe is through touch. But it is essential that this touch is safe and appropriate.


Too many of us have experienced wholly inappropriate touch and now cannot accept even the briefest touch, sometimes even from those closest to us. Some had such an absence of touch in the first few years of life that our touch receptors were not primed. It feels uncomfortable to accept it.

soothing touch is primal

So, how do we help our Nervous Systems feel safe if we stuggle to accept touch? If we can’t allow someone to give us a reassuring hug or stroke our arm? This could take time and working with a trauma sensitive therapist who makes you feel safe and in control.


If you understand the importance of touch and want to soothe your Nervous System contact me now.

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