Have you seen the trends, and wonder somatic hip release trauma?
Same here! And when I went to Google it, I was surprised I couldn’t find much info. So, I researched a bunch of sub topics to put this post together for me, and for you 🙂
Here’s how emotions may be stored in the hips, and what to do about it.
Trauma profoundly impacts our overall well-being, affecting both our mental and physical health. And I don’t want you to be afraid of the word “trauma”. The fact is that we ALL have trauma stored in our body. Big “T” trauma (sexual assault, natural disasters, racial discrimination, violence, neglect, etc.) And often little “t” trauma (fender bender, stressful dental appointment, loud startling noise). We have can unresolved trauma physically, but also emotional trauma. Even simply stressful events or chronic stress that we ignore –> can lead to unprocessed emotions.
Traumatic experiences simply include anything that happens too fast for us to process.
The good news?
We often focus on the psychological aspects of trauma. But it’s important to recognize the somatic or bodily manifestations as well. Our bodies contain a remarkable capacity for holding and storing trauma. Particularly in areas such as the hips and hip flexors. In this article, we explore the connection between trauma and tight hips. Then we look at the role of trauma releasing exercises. And lastly, how these practices can contribute to emotional healing and well-being.
Finding the TikTok Videos!
Tiktok contains TONS of videos from creators with actionable tips and exercises on somatic hip release.
Some hashtags for finding the videos…
Understanding the Mind-Body Connection
The mind-body connection is a fundamental aspect of our human experience. When we experience trauma, whether it be from a traumatic event or ongoing stress, the human body responds by activating the autonomic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response.
This physiological response triggers various physical reactions. Examples of physical symptoms include increased heart rate, muscle tension, and shallow breathing. These bodily sensations are often overlooked, as our focus tends to be on the psychological impact of trauma.
The Role of the Hips in Trauma Storage
The hips, as one of the largest joints in the body, play a significant role in supporting and stabilizing our movements. However, they can also become a storage vessel for emotional stress and trauma. Many individuals, particularly women, hold energy in their hips due to societal roles and the nurturing qualities often associated with femininity. Additionally, when we struggle to move forward in life, the hips can become a site of tension and restriction.
What are ‘tight’ hips and what causes them?
‘Tight hips’ is a term often used to describe tension or even pain down the top, front or the sides of the legs that feels as though whatever’s in there is so short it will never loosen or lengthen.
In Western cultures, tight hips are common. This is partly due to our excessive sitting, rather than squatting regularly like many Eastern and indigenous cultures do. But whether we’re sitting, standing, walking or running, our legs are always working to support our upper bodies and this constant effort can make hip muscles chronically tight. (Source)
The Hips and post-traumatic stress disorder
The connection between PTSD and trauma stored in the hips is not well-established.
While some TikTok trends suggest that trauma is stored in the hips and can be released through stretches, experts caution against oversimplifying the issue.
Trauma is a response to life-threatening incidents and can result in long-term mental health effects. While there is limited research on how trauma is stored in the body, some evidence suggests that emotional memories, including trauma, are stored in the brain.
The mind-body connection means that memories of trauma can trigger physical pain or discomfort in various parts of the body, including the hips. However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between trauma and the hips.
Unraveling Trauma Through Somatic Exercises
Somatic exercises offer a powerful tool for unraveling trauma and releasing stored emotions in the body. These exercises focus on cultivating body awareness, allowing individuals to connect with their physical body sensations and gently release tension. By engaging in gentle movements and specific exercises, we can bring attention to different areas of the body, redirecting energy and facilitating the release of trauma.
The Power of Awareness
Bringing awareness to the body is the first step in somatic healing.
By consciously acknowledging bodily sensations, we create a safe space for exploring and releasing stored trauma. When tension arises in the hips during somatic work, practitioners encourage individuals to shift their attention to non-activated areas of the body. This redirection of focus helps loosen the hips and promotes a sense of release.
Gentle Movements and Boundary Setting
Movement is a powerful tool for self-expression and healing. Engaging in simple dance movements or gentle exercises can help individuals explore what may be preventing them from fully expressing themselves and setting healthy boundaries. By allowing the body to move softly and freely, without judgment or an audience, individuals can tap into their natural vibrations and release tension.
Cultivating Curiosity and Introspection
Somatic healing involves a deep sense of curiosity and introspection. By asking ourselves probing questions, we can uncover the emotions and experiences that may be held in our hips. Questions such as “What am I holding onto?” or “What do I need to let go of?” prompt reflection and self-discovery. Honest self-reflection coupled with forgiveness and self-compassion can facilitate the release of tension and promote emotional healing.
The Science Behind Somatic Hip Release
The efficacy of somatic exercises in trauma release has gained recognition in the scientific community. Somatic Experiencing, developed by Dr. Peter Levine, and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE), developed by Dr. David Berceli, are two prominent somatic therapy approaches that have demonstrated positive outcomes in trauma healing. These modalities emphasize the importance of releasing muscular tension and activating the body’s innate healing mechanisms.
Integrating Somatic Exercises Into Your Healing Journey
If you’re interested in incorporating somatic exercises into your healing journey, there are various options available. Seeking the guidance of a trauma therapist who specializes in somatic therapies is an ideal approach, as they can tailor treatment to your specific needs. However, if therapy is not accessible, there are self-help tools and resources available to support your healing process.
Somatic Exercise Programs and Online Courses
Somatic exercise programs and online courses provide structured guidance for individuals seeking to explore somatic healing independently. These programs offer a range of exercises, from gentle movements to more advanced techniques, allowing individuals to cultivate body awareness and release stored trauma at their own pace.
Yoga and Dance Therapy
Dance therapy and yoga are both forms of movement-based therapies that can be highly effective in releasing tension and trauma held in the hips. Yoga class is also a good idea if you want to create a more strong mind-body connection with many different parts of your body. This be because yoga has physical benefits, and also a huge mental benefit.
Hip-opening yoga poses, such as pigeon pose and hip flexor stretches, target the muscles and connective tissues in the hip area, promoting flexibility and emotional release. If you’ve never done yoga, make sure to let your yoga teacher know that you’re particularly interested in hip openers and hip stretches. They may be able to show you different ways of adjusting movements for beginners.
Dance therapy, on the other hand, encourages self-expression and embodied movement, providing a safe space for individuals to explore their emotions through dance.
Massage Therapy, Physical Therapy and Bodywork
Massage therapy and bodywork modalities, such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy, can also aid in releasing trauma stored in the hips. These techniques work with the muscular and fascial systems of the body to alleviate tension and promote relaxation. By receiving therapeutic touch and gentle manipulations, individuals can experience profound physical and emotional release.
A physical therapist can play a role in somatic hip release for trauma by addressing the physical manifestations of trauma stored in the hips.
The connection between trauma and the hips is not well-established. However, many individuals experience physical discomfort or tension in the hips as a result of trauma. (And they share their experiences on TikTok!)
Physical therapy utilizes various techniques for helping release tension and promote healing in the hip area. These may include targeted stretches, exercises, manual therapy, and other modalities tailored to the individual’s specific needs. It is important to note that physical therapy should be used in conjunction with other therapeutic approaches, such as somatic therapy or counseling, to address the holistic nature of trauma and its impact on the mind and body.
Mindfulness Practices and Breathing Techniques
Mindfulness practices and deep breathing techniques are essential components of somatic healing. They cultivate present-moment awareness, allowing for feeling more bodily sensations and emotions without judgment. Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the body’s natural relaxation response, promoting a sense of calm and facilitating the release of tension.
Recognizing the connection between trauma and the body is a crucial step in the healing process. Somatic exercises provide a powerful avenue for releasing trauma stored in the hips and cultivating emotional wellness.
- By bringing awareness to our bodies
- engaging in gentle movements, and
- fostering introspection…
We can embark on a journey of healing and empowerment.
Remember, each person’s healing journey is unique, and seeking professional guidance is always advisable.
With these somatic exercises, begin your path towards holistic well-being and emotional freedom.