Can we calm the world by calming ourselves?
Stress is a public health crisis. Our bodies are designed to handle stress in small doses. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and protests against racial injustice entered the equation, Americans were dealing with chronic stress related to pressures of family, work, finances, environment, climate, digital media, and more. When stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can have serious effects on our bodies. As a Clinical Somatic Educator I see more and more new clients presenting with higher levels of pain, exhaustion, anxiety, inability to focus and an overall low sense of personal agency. Somatic Education helps people better understand how their brains, nervous systems and bodies react to stress. All humans and animals have a fight/flight/fawn/or freeze response to fearful events with full-body muscle contractions called reflexes. Reflexes keep you safe, like when you reflexively pull your hand away from a hot burner or, eons ago, ran from a sabertooth tiger. Once safe, your nervous