Somatic Healing versus Somatic Education | What Is the Difference?

Published: Mar 31, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Woman practicing breathwork

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An important distinction in somatic therapies is that between somatic healing and somatic education.

Most somatic treatment modalities, and this also counts for Body De-Armoring treatments, consist of a mix of somatic healing and somatic education, and some modalities are either (more of) the one or (more of) the other.

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One could say that somatic healing is rather aimed at offering remedies, that is, a therapist gives treatments to clients or patients; individuals undergo the treatment. Think of treatment modalities such as Biodynamic Massage, Jin Shin Do, Pulsing, Chi Nei Tsang Massage, or Neo-Reichian Massage. It doesn’t mean that education is not part of these modalities, but education is not the main component or goal.

By contrast, somatic education is rather about educating (teaching) the client or patient so that they can come (by themselves) to better health, personal growth, and happiness. These modalities may apply treatments, including De-Armoring work, but are also very much aimed at cultivating mindfulness, conscious body awareness, and new breathing patterns, and giving individuals the tools for increased self-regulation and self-management.

All most all breathwork modalities fall in the previous category (education), but also treatment modalities such as Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Alexander Technique, Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE®), Somatic Sex Coaching, and NeuroAffective Touch®.

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