Studio Australia Blog
How do you release your fears and phobias with holistic therapy?
Our interview with Reiki Master Alex Prehn.
Holistic therapy may come in many forms; Reiki, cranial sacral biodynamic treatment, cranial sacral osteopathy, acupuncture, but they all share a common connection – they allow an individual to experience their own healing journey. This journey can awaken and help bring about a new sense of flow and aliveness from within.
This week Alex Prehn, our gifted Reiki Master and holistic practitioner at Studio Australia Barcelona, explains more about the healing therapy he uses to help people re-establish mind-body communication, release emotional blockages and reconnect with their true inner selves.
Alex has been practicing Reiki since 1998 and has most recently become certified as a Somatic Experiencing practitioner.
What is Somatic Experiencing?
Somatic Experiencing was created by Dr. Peter Levine and is based on releasing the emotional and energetic blockages trapped in the body’s nervous system due to traumas experienced in childhood or as adults. This un-discharged survival energy stays stuck in the body and can cause various symptoms such as anxiety, fear, phobias, ticks, etc.
Somatic experiencing aims to heal this trauma trapped in the body.
This can be more easily understood by looking at animal behaviour. For example, when a lion is chasing a rabbit, the rabbit enters into a state of shock and it lies paralyzed or “dead” on the ground knowing that the lion doesn’t eat dead meat. When the lion has continued on its way, the rabbit’s whole body starts to shake vigorously in order to re-establish balance in its body and nervous system.
All animals (humans included) have this innate and important reaction to trauma. The nervous system gets balanced immediately after trauma thanks to this mechanism, however we as humans tend to prevent this natural occurrence from happening because the rational part of our brains shuts it off. We rationally don’t want to experience a shock and start trembling while standing in line at the supermarket or walking down the street.
Through the guided exercises used in Somatic Experiencing, the person is able to reconnect with the moment of trauma or shock previously experienced (whether consciously or unconsciously), and re-establish the reaction that couldn’t happen at the moment when the trauma occurred. People are not reliving their traumas, but are rather renegotiating them, allowing the aroused survival energy to be released.
How is the Somatic Experiencing treatment done?
The client sits on a chair or lies on a treatment bed, and I guide them, telling them what to do, how to bring them back into their bodily sensations instead of going to the rational brain and repeating fears or traumas. We aim to reconnect the past event that happened with the reality of now, for example, “Ok, that happened, now you are safe. Look around and see that nothing is happening here now.” The client can re-orient themselves to allow the body to feel the sensation of fear instead of collapsing into it.
I recommend very little steps to start the exploration of the sensation. We are dealing with the art behind a traumatic event. The important thing is to not re-traumatize the client, so we use gentle ways of exploring the energy and releasing blockages in the memory of the nervous system.
We don’t worry about the “why” it happened or the story behind the cause, just the reconnection and eventual release of that energy.
What brought you to following this method?
I like that this therapy works on healing and resolving trauma directly.
Throughout my other healing practices, I have found that many people have confusion, blockages, fear, loss of creativity, etc., and all of this comes from previous trauma. By directly accessing and releasing this source of pain or fear, the person can deepen their sense of self and reconnect with the world. This practice is also an interesting complement for the work I do at the Learning Love Institute.
It is important to note that this blocked energy may not only be caused by an acute traumatic event, but can also be the effect of what might be seen as just part of everyday life for some, your father yelling at you frequently as a child, for example.
These things we hold inside of ourselves for many years. Oftentimes, as the person lets all this anxiety and trauma go, they quickly begin to overcome those trapped fears – scared of the dark, scared to drive, scared of elevators, whatever it may be.
Who or what situations would you recommend this treatment suitable for?
Any person can benefit from a Somatic Experiencing treatment. I work with a wide array of trauma-induced symptoms. People with phobias as previously mentioned, or perhaps people who have recently found out they have cancer. People who are afraid of speaking in public, or walking outside on the street because they were once robbed, post-war traumas, childhood traumas, people who fear having a child, etc.
Do you recommend a series of treatments or is the process more organic depending on the client?
It really depends on the level and intensity of trauma for each client. Sometimes we can resolve the issue in one session and sometimes we need to do multiple sessions.
In any case, this healing technique is a safe and gradual form of treatment that helps people discover their blockages, release them, and develop their own natural immunity towards trauma.
Mandy's Somatic Experiencing Story
I had my very own release of a fear with Alex using Somatic Experiencing recently. I was preparing to go in for an operation and found that I had a troubling anxiety in my mind about the idea of having to go under anaesthetic. I thought this was very strange as I have had numerous previous operations in my life that required anaesthetic and I had never before been scared, or not that I remembered.
During the first Somatic Experiencing treatment with Alex, I had a moment that I was unable to breath during the session. He calmed me down and explained that he believed that the fear was from a long time ago in my childhood. He asked me if I had ever had an experience as a small child with drowning or suffocation. I explained that I could not recall anything but had suffered with chronic tonsillitis as a child and had to have them taken out when I was four years old.
A couple of days later I spoke to my mother and asked her more about the circumstances around my operation. She explained that I had been unable to breath when I was admitted to hospital and they had wanted to do a tracheotomy but instead operated immediately. Unfortunately when I came out of surgery they were unable to wake me out from the anaesthetic and needed to revive me. I had no idea that I had had this experience and my mother had put it away because it had been such a frightening experience for her.
I had one more treatment with Alex after finding out this information and was able to go into my recent surgery with confidence and without fear.
It was truly empowering to understand that I have the ability to confront, unblock and resolve these fears that have been in my body for more than 45 years.
If you would like to know more about Alex you can go to his website or contact us to book a healing treatment!