Healing Chronic Fear With Somatic Therapy Exercises
Trauma places the body into a state of hyperarousal, where its natural protective instinct shifts into a state of high alert.
For many trauma survivors, this experience is embodied as the constant anticipation of danger. This can trigger overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety within the body, which dysregulates the nervous system and depletes the body and mind to the point of exhaustion.
Chronic fear is a persistent state of anxiety, immobilizing the body with a pervasive sense of danger and overwhelming feelings of dread.4 Over time, this state of chronic fear manifests into physiological symptoms, such as:
- Increased sense of hypervigilance2
- Heightened anxiety and stress5
- Physical discomfort, pain, and illness5
These debilitating symptoms hinder our ability to process and regulate our emotions, affecting our capacity to cope with day-to-day activities and experiences.3
While traditional talk therapy can be helpful in healing the lingering effects of trauma, talking about a traumatic experience often feels very challenging when living in a crippling state of fear. Thankfully, there are ways to release what may feel like the unspeakable. Somatic therapies work directly with the nervous system itself, allowing us to work with our trauma symptoms and triggers in a safe and contained way, empowering us to move towards a place of emotional stability where we can find a sense of relief from the constant fear that we may be living in.
Our Healing Chronic Fear Program is a self-paced, online program that draws inspiration from qigong, drama therapy, movement and dance therapy, Polyvagal Theory, self-hypnosis, and neuro-linguistic programming which can help us to reconnect to the body as a site of healing, strength, and resilience.
- Gain a deeper understanding of how trauma and fear are expressed in the body.
- Learn how to use somatic exercises to create a stronger connection with the body.
- Utilize somatic exercises to release fear expressed in the back and shoulders.
- Explore somatic and trembling exercises to untangle and release trauma and fear stuck in the pelvic region.
- Draw inspiration from somatic and drama therapy to create a sense of safety in the body.
- Nurture your inner child to heal from fears of abandonment.
- Utilize movement and self-hypnosis to dissipate fear and create a sense of safety.
- Use somatic exercises inspired by qigong, drama therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, movement and dance therapy, and hypnosis to transform heavy sensations, emotions, sadness, and grief.
- Restore sensations of power, self-agency, and choice within the body.
What makes somatic therapy exercises helpful in healing chronic fear?
Somatic therapy exercises work directly with the nervous system to create a sense of awareness around our bodily sensations to draw attention to the stress and tension we hold in our body.1 Somatic therapy exercises support us in learning to how to release the physical manifestations of fear through mindful, slow movements and breathwork, supporting the nervous system in moving to a calmer and more regulated state. The regulated state of the nervous system helps to dissipate feelings of worry, panic, and fear, creating a sense of safety in the body.1
Rewire Therapy offers a Healing Chronic Fear Program with over thirty 10-minute-a-day, expert-guided, somatic therapy exercises to release the lingering fear, paranoia, and negative predictions that you may find yourself living with.
1Grabbe, L., & Miller-Karas, E. (2018). The trauma resiliency model: A “bottom-up” intervention for trauma psychotherapy. Journal of the American Psychiatric, 24(1),
2Jahnke, R., Larkey, L., Rogers, C., Etnier, J., & Lin, F. (2010). A comprehensive review of health benefits of qigong and tai chi. American journal of health promotion : AJHP, 24(6), e1–e25. https://doi.org/10.4278/ajhp.081013-LIT-248
3McLaughlin, K. A., & Hatzenbuehler, M. L. (2009). Mechanisms linking stressful life events and mental health problems in a prospective, community-based sample of adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 44(2), 153-160.
76-84. Doi: 10.1177/1078390317745133
4Porges, S. W. (2014). The polyvagal theory: New insights into adaptive reactions of the autonomic nervous system. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 81(10 Suppl 1), S4-S6. https://doi.org/10.3949/ccjm.81.s1.02
5Yeung, A., Chan, J. S., Cheung, J. C., & Zou, L. (2018). Qigong and Tai-Chi for mood regulation. Focus, 16(1), 40-47.