1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

Erica W. Am I doing somatic tracking in the right way?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Guest, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    I am having a little trouble with Somatic Tracking. I know it’s supposed to communicate messages of safety to the brain, and Alan writes: "It feels wonderful just to be checked in on." My problem is that I check in on myself too much, and it just gives me anxiety.
     
  2. Erica Walker LMFT

    Erica Walker LMFT TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Great question! It sounds as though you may have developed a habit of monitoring the pain as a way of checking in on yourself. Are you noticing sensation with hypervigilance, through a lens of fear and danger? Are you preoccupied by the pain? Your thoughts might be repeatedly asking, “Is the pain still there?” “Is it going to come back?” “Can I make this go away?” “Am I going to be ok?” and so on. This way of paying attention is a high alert state that is agitating to the brain and actually fuels the pain. The habit of checking in on yourself from this perspective may not change overnight and that’s ok. You are on a healing journey so try to exercise some patience with yourself. Even as you are reading this you may be experiencing some anxiety so I'd like to invite you to slow down for a moment and breathe.

    Somatic tracking is paying attention to the sensation(s) in your body in a NEW way. It is observing with curiosity and ease. This is a specific technique that is designed to teach your brain that the sensation is actually safe. By setting aside fear and the agenda of trying to force sensation away and, instead, pivoting to an intention of effortlessness, you create an opportunity for the brain to assess that all is safe and well. You have the power to teach your brain to respond differently, which is pretty cool! As Alan stated, we don’t want to attend to sensation as an analytical scientist, but with the ease of watching clouds drift by. The INTENTION is key. Being gentle with yourself, even if just for a moment. Slowing down, even if just for a moment. Smiling inwardly because YOU have chosen to respond to yourself in a new way, even if just for a moment. Can you choose to mindfully notice with a sense of ease? Can you observe without trying to wish it away? That may seem challenging or even daunting, but I'm confident that, with practice, you can do it!

    Start by trying somatic tracking for just 5 minutes. No need to be forceful or demanding. If it feels awkward and you are wondering “Am I doing this right?” That’s ok! It means you are learning a new way of paying attention to yourself.

    I hope this helps. Keep listening to Tell Me About Your Pain podcasts. You got this!

    Warmly,
    Erica


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2020
    EileenS and Alan Gordon LCSW like this.
  3. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Great response! Even more important than the technique itself is the energy with which you do the technique.

    Alan
     

Share This Page