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Somatic Symptoms

Physical body symptoms can arise during times of illness and stress.  Some of the more are common physical symptoms include sleep disturbances or changes in sleeping habits (insomnia or sleeping too much), muscle tension, muscle aches, headache, gastrointestinal problems, and fatigue.  When physical pain or fatigue creates excessive thoughts, feelings or behaviors around the physical symptoms, and it severely impacts your life, it becomes a focus of clinical concern and all medical conditions must be ruled out by a Medical doctor.  A clinical diagnosis of somatic problems may include a history of anxiety or depression, having a medical condition or recovering from one, being at risk of developing a medical condition (like having a strong family history of a disease), experiencing stressful life events, trauma or violence, or having experience past trauma such as childhood sexual abuse. 


According to the National Library of Medicine, the goal of somatic treatment is to control your symptoms and help you function in life.  Cognitive  Behavioral Therapy is used to look at the feelings and beliefs about the symptoms, learn how to cope, and stay active despite the symptoms.  Mind Body Interventions such as breathing exercises (Pranayama), Trauma Focused Yoga, Somatic Experiencing and Yoga Nidra are supportive therapeutic techniques that create relaxation and reduce the stress often associated with pain, emotional distress, and other somatic symptoms.  Somatic Yoga Therapy improves mind-body awareness and helps to alleviate somatic symptoms through a series of slow and gentle moves that focus on reducing neuromuscular pain.

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