following is the first 500 words of an article published in the
Spring 2008 Somatics Magazine.
All copyrights are reserved for Somatics Magazine and the author,
Silver Love. Permission is given to viewers by the author to make
a copy of this article for educational purposes only (that is
anyone who wants to read it and learn from it) and all material
used must be accredited to her authorship.
the Trauma of the Body/Mind Split through Accessing Instinctual
Gut Feelings: A Protocol for Facilitating the Somatic Reflection
Silver (M.C.) Love, M.A., M.A., PMA.
To my surprise last spring, an article titled Gut Almighty,
which briefly explained the latest emotion theories on how intuition
comes from the gut, was featured in Psychology Today (Flora, 2007)
at the same time that my article on gut instinctual somatic responses
and healthy life choices was published in Somatics Spring 07 issue
(Love, 2007). I wondered if two articles published on the gut
in one month might surely be a record, as the gut has not seemed
to have so much attention in the media since Gershons (1998)
book acclaiming it through his neurological research to have a
mind of its own.
In the months I awaited the publication of my article, I reread
Gershons (1998) book and it was again delightful to me to
read that a scientific investigation actually uncovered evidence
that the gut has a separate capacity to generate and record vital
responses and functions as what he calls our second brain. Gershon
outlines the biological functions of the gut as being its own
intelligent brain and having its own vitality that is in communication
with, but not dependent upon, the head brain. As I combed through
his book and shared emails with my colleague, Robert Sterling,
it became quite clear to us that Gershons work was supportive
of the clinical findings in the work we did as guidance counselors
in the 70s. Our work centered around assisting people to assess
the meaning of their experiences through an awareness on the empty-full
instinctual feeling responses that they identified in the gut
region of the body. We found with the people that we counseled
that these gut responses were linked to the dynamic struggles
of balancing the two needs of the person for acceptance and for
feeling in control of ones own responses (the freedom to
respond naturally), and that these two needs were instinctual
and necessary to fulfill on a moment to moment basis for continued
vitality of the person. Similar to Gershons findings, it
was also our conclusion that the gut area of the body contains
a feeling response center that holds a relationship to the thinking
processes of the person, but is a separate response center from
the thinking head responses and certainly not dependent upon it.
Feeling inspired by Gershons (1998) work and the attention
recently given to the gut in the literature and media, I decided
to write a second article for Somatics that further explains the
specific technique of the Somatic Reflection Process (SRP). The
intention of this article is to answer the questions about the
process that I have been asked in the past year by many friends
and colleagues who read my first article last Spring on the findings
of Robert Sterlings and my somatic work as guidance counselors.
I am including both the method and a protocol for facilitating
the SRP, as well as a brief summary of a recent research study
using the SRP protocol presented (Love, 2005).
view the rest of this article, contact
back issues, Spring 2008.