Dr. Levine was inspired to study stress on the animal nervous system, when he realized that animals are constantly under threat of death, yet show no symptoms of trauma. What he has discovered was that trauma has to do with the third survival response to perceived life threat, which is freeze. When fight and flight are not options, we freeze and immobilize, like “playing dead.” This makes them less of a target. However, this reaction is time-sensitive, in other words, it needs to run its course, and the massive energy that was prepared for fight or flight gets discharged, through shakes and trembling. If the immobility phase doesn’t complete, then that charge stays trapped, and, from the body’s perspective, it is still under threat.
Somatic Experiencing® works to release this stored energy, and turn off this threat alarm that causes severe dysregulation and dissociation.
Visit Dr. Levine’s website, Somatic Experiencing.com