How To Release Trauma Through Body Work

Trauma is a nuanced and layered experience that impacts both the mental and physical realms, extending beyond mere irritability. While conventional therapeutic methods emphasize the mental repercussions of trauma, there’s an increasing acknowledgment of the need to address its physical effects.

Bodywork, a collection of therapeutic practices that involve hands-on manipulation of the body, offers a unique avenue for releasing stored trauma and promoting holistic healing. In this article, we’ll delve deep into the world of bodywork for trauma release, drawing insights from reputable medical sources to provide a comprehensive guide on the subject.

Trauma and Its Physical Impact

Trauma Woman Taking a Shower

Trauma is not just a mental or emotional experience; it also has profound physical implications. Understanding the intricate relationship between trauma and the body is the first step towards effective healing.

According to the Apolloneuro, trauma is both psychological and physiological. This means that while trauma affects our emotional and mental well-being, it also has tangible effects on our physical body.

Psych Central, says that the body can remember trauma in various ways. This “body memory” can manifest as chronic pain, tension, and other physical symptoms that don’t seem to have a clear medical cause.

The Science Behind Stored Trauma

Feelings are energy in motion, often abbreviated as “E-motion.” When we experience traumatic events, these emotions can become trapped in our body, leading to physical symptoms.

As Healthline says emotions can get trapped in different parts of the body. For instance, anger might be stored in the jaw or shoulders, while sadness might manifest in the chest or stomach.

Bodywork Techniques for Trauma Release

Introduction: There are various bodywork techniques designed specifically to address and release stored trauma. These methods focus on the physical body, helping individuals reconnect with themselves and promote healing.

Somatic Therapy

According to Harvard Health, somatic therapy explores how the body expresses deeply painful experiences. It applies mind-body healing techniques to aid in trauma recovery.

Trauma can live in both the mind and body. Somatic therapy exercises aim to release these holds, helping individuals heal from traumatic events.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release can assist with emotional trauma. This technique focuses on releasing tension in the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds muscles and organs.

  • The inner resources to handle the experience
  • A safe environment
  • A skilled practitioner

Benefits and Considerations

Introduction: While bodywork offers numerous benefits for trauma release, it’s essential to approach it with an informed perspective. Understanding the advantages and potential considerations can help individuals make informed decisions.

Advantages of Bodywork for Trauma

  • Holistic Healing: Bodywork addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of trauma.
  • Reconnection with the Body: It helps individuals reconnect with their bodies, fostering a sense of wholeness.
  • Reduction of Physical Symptoms: Many people report a reduction in pain, tension, and other physical symptoms after bodywork sessions.

Things to Consider

  • Finding a Skilled Practitioner: It’s crucial to find a practitioner who is trained in trauma-informed bodywork.
  • Pace of Healing: Healing is a personal journey, and it’s essential to go at your own pace. Some people might find immediate relief, while others might need multiple sessions.

Integrating Bodywork with Other Therapies


Introduction: While bodywork is a powerful modality on its own, integrating it with other therapeutic approaches can amplify its effects. Combining bodywork with traditional therapies can offer a comprehensive healing experience.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

According to Psych Central, EMDR works to reduce and clear the emotional charge associated with a specific traumatic memory. When combined with bodywork, individuals can address trauma on multiple levels, ensuring a more profound healing experience.

Integrating EMDR with bodywork can help individuals process traumatic events more holistically, ensuring that both the mind and body are aligned in the healing process.

Breathwork and Meditation

According to Apolloneuro, supporting trauma recovery often involves practices that center the mind. Breathwork and meditation can be powerful tools in this regard.

Making friends with your feelings is essential. Breathwork and meditation can help individuals connect with their emotions, allowing them to process and release stored trauma more effectively.


What is trauma-informed bodywork?

Trauma-informed bodywork is a therapeutic approach that recognizes the impact of trauma on the body and tailors treatments to support and respect the unique needs of individuals with trauma histories.

Can bodywork trigger traumatic memories?

Yes, bodywork can sometimes bring up suppressed or forgotten traumatic memories. It’s essential to work with a trained and trauma-informed practitioner who can guide you safely through the process.

How often should I undergo bodywork for trauma release?

The frequency of sessions varies based on individual needs. Some people benefit from weekly sessions, while others might need bi-weekly or monthly sessions. It’s best to consult with a practitioner to determine the optimal frequency.

Is bodywork suitable for everyone with trauma?

While many people benefit from bodywork, it might not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain medical conditions or severe trauma might need other therapeutic interventions. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new therapy.

How can I find a qualified bodywork practitioner for trauma release?

Look for practitioners with certifications in trauma-informed bodywork or those who have undergone specialized training in trauma. Professional associations and referrals from therapists can also be helpful.

Can children benefit from trauma-informed bodywork?

Yes, children can benefit, but it’s crucial to find a practitioner experienced in working with children and to ensure the child feels safe and comfortable during sessions.

Are there any side effects of trauma-informed bodywork?

Some individuals might experience temporary emotional or physical discomfort after a session. It’s essential to communicate any concerns with your practitioner and seek additional support if needed.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Introduction: As we conclude our exploration of trauma and bodywork, it’s essential to remember that healing is a personal journey. Each individual’s experience with trauma is unique, and so is their path to recovery.

Personalized Approach

  • Listen to Your Body: Your body holds wisdom. Pay attention to its signals and seek therapies that resonate with you.
  • Seek Professional Guidance: While there are many resources available, working with a trained professional can provide tailored support.
  • Remember, Healing is Non-linear: There might be ups and downs, but each step brings you closer to wholeness.

Community and Support

According to Healthline, acknowledging your feelings and working through past trauma is essential. Seeking support from a community or support group can provide a safe space to share experiences and learn from others.

According to Psych Central, trauma can live in your mind and body. Finding a community that understands this dual nature can be invaluable in the healing journey.