Personal experience with somatic tracking

I thought I’d share the story of how I began to understand what somatic tracking is and how it can help with pain.

I few years ago I went on a 5-day meditation retreat. I really wanted to “succeed” at meditating, so I was really intense about it. I made myself go to all of the sessions even though they were really long and I didn’t have a lot meditation experience. A couple days in, my neck started to hurt when I meditated. It started getting so bad that within a minute of sitting down to meditate, my neck was hurting. I’d force myself to sit through a 45 minute session, trying to push through the pain, feeling like I must be doing something wrong, and getting afraid that I’d never be able to be a meditator because of this neck pain.

Even after the retreat, every time I sat down to meditate I’d start noticing pain in my neck (and sometimes in other parts of my body). I still had this sense that I “should” meditate but whenever I tried to meditate it left me feeling trapped.

Honestly, I started to think that me and meditation would never work out.

It was only when someone introduced me to somatic tracking that I understood how much my approach to meditation was reinforcing my pain.

Somatic tracking is about being mindful to bodily sensations while reinforcing messages of safety.

Before, I would try to “power through” and ignore my pain (while in the back of my mind, getting frustrated that the pain was still there, and getting afraid that it would never go away). Once I learned how to do somatic tracking, I had an alternative to pushing through the pain, to trying to ignore it and getting afraid of it. I could pay attention to it, acknowledge that it was there, and at the same time, remind myself again and again that I was ok. That the pain didn’t mean anything was broken in my body, that I was safe.

(In this regard, learning the neuroscience of pain was also super important. I needed to learn the science to understand that pain doesn’t necessarily equal damage, and that pain can be unlearned.)

I needed the framework for somatic tracking to understand that there is a better alternative to denying, ignoring, pushing through pain - that instead I can acknowledge and soothe my pain by using a lens of safety. To this day when I meditate I use the mantra “I’m safe.”

I would love to hear other people’s experience with somatic tracking, and if/ when it clicked for you.

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That’s strong stuff. Thank you so much for sharing @Amital

So for me, this was the key to get running again. I get all kinds of aches and tweaks and niggles when I start to run. I used to think this meant I was hurting myself. But I’ve learned that’s not the case. If instead of worrying about getting hurt I just have this curious way of saying “hi knee/hip/ankle. I’m just watching what sensations you’re bringing on today” and then kind of 1/2 watch the feeling and 1/2 enjoy my music, almost always that discomfort starts to settle down. Pretty crazy!

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Does anyone have a difficult time feeling safety or safe. Even when I tell myself that I am safe, my body does not feel like it is, even if pain is on low side I still get very scared by how bad it can get. Open to ideas

**Hi Amital ! Glad you reached out regarding somatic tracking. I stumbled upon it when I somehow came across the Lin Health organization. Now, I had never heard of somatic tracking but did have some neuroscience knowledge. As I have done EMDR( for PTSD)… and I knew of the neural pathways that EMDR works through. **

My introduction to Lin was due to 2 years of chronic pain that developed as a result of COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME ( after 3 orthopedic surgeries within 1year). I had never heard of CRPS::I totally educated myself about it and HOW NOT TO TREAT IT( nerve blocks that wear off and then become required more & more often/ also using narcotics:: 2 things I would never consider, along with ketamine treatments and others.
I was on LIN’s sight I believe ( this all happened by chance !), when I saw ALLAN GORDON’S SOMATIC TRACKING SESSION WITH A WOMAN WHO HAD A FROZEN SHOULDER. I had been in touch with Lin, because I wanted to know more. Well, during this woman’s somatic tracking session ~ I somehow inserted myself into the session/ did everything Allan asked, listened INTENTLY::: I was propped up on my bed watching this session… and the CRPS has affected my right foot :foot:, which over that 1 year of surgeries was brought on by most likely my 3rd surgery which was a tendon repair/ it was almost torn all the way through.
After getting the diagnosis of CRPS/ I knew that I would not do the treatments mentioned above & could definitely not live with the chronic pain it caused in my foot & actually through out other parts of my body:: lower back, hands, elbows… the pain & burning was intense.
As stated:: I put myself in that woman’s tracking session:: and totally immersed myself in it.
When it ended I gave my foot a test/ walking was always extremely painful after the foot surgery.
I got off my bed very slowly & put both feet on the floor. Now I didn’t expect what occurred ! I actually had a great deal of relief to my amazement : )
I then called Lin Health and spoke with wonderful Alissa ! I was off my bed & walking around our house with decreased pain ! So I signed on with Lin & our relationship has been wonderful !!! And the results incredible:: the somatic tracking for physical pain has helped beyond any expectation I ever had & when introduced to somatic tracking for emotions I was thrilled !! I have successfully done both & continue to do so.
That was my ultra-positive introduction to somatic tracking///!!! It’s been about 5- 5 & 1/2 months and I’ve read Allan Gordon’s book:: THE WAY OUT::: a very informative & helpful resource.
And I am a true believer that your brain tries to control almost everything if you allow it. Your brain learns pain & gives you signals & symptoms/ you need to teach your brain to unlearn the pain:: by not panicking & learning how to rewire your Central Nervous System… which controls everything. It’s not easy at first, but gets easier the more you practice it( somatic tracking).
Because I am a musician & artist my fingers, hands & arms are important:: the burning :fire: sensations I had has subsided with somatic tracking as well.
I hope this information helps you Amital/// keep up the hard work & know you are not alone. Reach out as much as you need to …ask as many questions and always continue to learn. I also do other somatic exercises on YouTube which have proven to be very effective & helpful.
Thx :blush: for sharing and I hope what I’ve written helps you & all the other people out there that are in the same position and perhaps for different reasons/ symptoms/ experiences. Keep up the good work. A small step forward is better than not taking it. Sincerely. Jodi C-M. :grinning:

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