Somatic Movement & Dance Therapy

Managing Stress & Trauma with Somatic Movement and Dance Therapy

In today's world, where stress and trauma often take a toll on our mental and physical well-being, finding holistic approaches to healing and self-discovery is crucial. Somatic movement and dance therapy, a practice deeply rooted in the integration of mind and body, offers participants a transformative journey towards inner balance, self-awareness, and optimal health.

What is Somatic Movement and Dance Therapy?

At the heart of somatic movement dance therapy is developing a sense of agency in a person, through self-regulation and co-regulation of the nervous system. It’s a contemplative therapy inviting heart-centred consciousness, self-enquiry, compassion, non-judgement, non-duality and embodied awareness into the therapeutic or creative space.

Unlike traditional "top-down" talk therapy, somatic movement and dance therapy is a "bottom-up" approach, engaging the brain-body connection responsible for the body's response to trauma and stress. This involves key components of the nervous system, including the brainstem, hypothalamus, and limbic system, which control automatic responses such as breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.

Although there are deeply scientific roots underpinning the practice, the nature of the sessions are creative, restorative and simple. Participants are invited into processes of self-enquiry that enable them to tap into their body's natural intelligence and wisdom using it as a resource to heal and support themselves. A session may involve:

  • Developing sense-perception of movement awareness
  • Deliberate slow-time
  • Breath awareness
  • Sense-perceiving heart
  • Moving into gravity
  • Soft-tissue rolling & myofascial release
  • Experiential anatomy
  • Guided movement meditations
  • Improvisational dance and expressive movement
  • Somatic touch
  • The active imagination
  • The transpersonal witness
  • Art/mark making

These processes create a safe and creative interplay for genuine self-enquiry, inviting individuals to honour their lived- experience and reflect on their emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Profound insights and personal growth are cultivated, empowering participants to navigate their inner landscape with authenticity and clarity.

The Holistic Benefits

Chronic Pain Management:

For those dealing with persistent pain, this therapy can provide relief by addressing the root causes of discomfort.

Emotional Processing and Regulation:

 It helps individuals process and regulate their emotions, offering a path towards emotional healing and balance.

Blood Pressure Control:

Somatic movement supports the regulation and managment of blood pressure, contributing to overall cardiovascular health.

Trauma Integration:

It supports the integration and healing of past traumas, empowering individuals to move forward with resilience creating somatic agency.

Chronic Stress Relief:

Somatic movement and dance therapy is effective in releasing chronic stress, promoting relaxation, and reducing the detrimental effects of long-term stress.

Managing Health Conditions:

 It can be particularly beneficial for those dealing with conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other autoimmune diseases.

Menopause Support:

Many women find relief from menopausal symptoms through this holistic approach.


It offers a way to manage the lingering effects of long COVID, helping individuals regain their health and vitality.

Feeling Safe, Grounded & Connected to Self:

In a world that often feels overwhelming, somatic movement and dance therapy helps individuals to release sympathetic holding and feel safe and grounded, enabling them to find joy and navigate life with confidence.

Healing the Whole Self

One of the distinguishing features of this therapy is its holistic perspective. It views the body-mind and soul as interconnected aspects of a single whole, challenging the societal tendency to compartmentalise them. By re-rooting individuals into their bodies and awakening sensory perception, this practice encourages them to expand their sense of self to include the wider web of life.

This expansion leads to a profound appreciation of all aspects of life, from the human world to the more-than-human world, recognising our place within this intricate tapestry. As we experience our living bodies as valued parts of the web of life, we develop a felt sense of self. This self-awareness allows us to find creative solutions on a cellular level, make choices that promote healing, discover somatic agency, flourish, and ultimately support all of life.

In a world that is becoming increasingly challenging, somatic movement and dance therapy is not only beneficial but also necessary. It fosters trust in the body, promotes non-judgment and acceptance of all types of bodies, and motivates change against injustice.

Somatic movement and dance therapy holds the key to unlocking wellness on multiple levels, offering participants a transformative journey towards healing, self-acceptance, and a deeper connection with the world around them. Whether you seek relief from chronic pain, emotional healing, or simply a greater sense of self-awareness and connection to yourself and others, this holistic approach can be a powerful tool on your path to well-being.

Contact me today to discuss how somatic movement and dance therapy can help you.

Vanessa Tucker Registered Somatic and dance therapist
I am a Registered Somatic Movement Practitioner & Therapist at UKSMDT, I meet the high Standards of Practice and uphold the Code of Ethics. For more information visit
vanessa tucker ISMETA-Badge-RSMET24
As a Professional Member of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association, I meet the high Standards of Practice and uphold the Code of Ethics. For more information visit