A body-based deep relaxation practice


Relaxing the mind through relaxing the body.

This article from Lion’s Roar, an online Buddhist magazine, leads you through a simple three-step meditation process. The practice given is based on Buddha's teaching to not only become aware of our mind, but also the body, “...visiting each part with awareness, acceptance, care, and without judgment.”

This gentle, supportive, exploratory approach to the body is also an integral part of Somatic Experiencing (SE™) and Somatic Touch trauma resolution therapy. Through contacting and simply noticing what is present in our physiology, we begin to heal:

At Bodhisattva Bodywork, I offer a variety of stress reduction and trauma resolution therapeutic services in my Chapel Hill office and online via a secure video link. I’m also affiliated with a trauma-focused group psychotherapy practice in Japan: Trauma Treatment Center and Resources (TTCR), which offers body-based therapy sessions and educational seminars in both English and Japanese.

Fatigue? Mood swings? Memory lapses? Physical aches and pains? It could be dehydration.

I hadn’t realized how used I’d gotten to the pain emanating from both hip joints until a visiting relative asked me, “Why are you walking like that?” My usual morning stiff-legged gait had caught his attention.

X-rays ruled out arthritis. I tried chiropractic and acupuncture, but neither provided long-lasting relief. I wasn’t sleeping well, and was tired and cranky. In desperation, I scheduled an appointment with nutritional health coach, Rachel Khani.

glass of water.jpg

After completing a very thorough diet, exercise, and lifestyle intake, Rachel suggested a few very simple dietary changes. At the top of the list was her recommendation that I drink at least 70 ounces of water, pure water, every day.

That’s two liters of water a day! I protested, but I was in pain. I did as Rachel recommended. Within two weeks, I was sleeping through the night and my hip pain was GONE. To say I was surprised would be an understatement--I was stunned. I couldn’t believe that simply consuming more water could make such a difference.

After this experience, I now routinely ask clients about their water consumption habits. For more information on why water is so important for our well-being and for some ideas on how to increase your own water consumption, please click here to read Rachel’s post: “Are you depressed….or dehydrated?”


At Bodhisattva Bodywork, I offer a variety of trauma resolution therapeutic services in my Chapel Hill office and online via a secure video link. I’m also affiliated with a trauma-focused group psychotherapy practice in Japan: Trauma Treatment Center and Resources (TTCR), which offers body-based therapy sessions and educational seminars in both English and Japanese.

Looking for Stress Management? Body-based "trauma therapies" can help!

We’ve discussed that trauma isn’t only defined by big, overwhelming events; it can also be the end product of cumulative stress (click here for more information). Even so, I have some clients who don’t feel “traumatized,” but they ARE stressed out and want to feel better! Not a problem! We can use many of the same techniques to help.

If we accept the standard definition of stress as “a state of physical, mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances,” we can see that any method which serves to release this strain or tension would be beneficial. Another important point is that if we choose to work with, for example, physical tension, we'll often register a reduction in our mental and emotional tension as well.

bamboo flower.jpg

I'm a massage therapist, and massage has long been used to relieve muscular tension. Most of us have had the experience of feeling completely and utterly relaxed after a good massage, and we therefore know first-hand the state of physical, mental, and emotional well-being that follows such a session. (If it’s been a while, please click here to make an appointment!)

Meditation is another helpful tool in our stress reduction arsenal. As with any tool, we obtain the most benefit from consistent, regular practice. Even just a few-minutes-a-day meditation schedule can offer a sense of being more grounded, more present, and more readily able to handle the highs and lows of life. I have a teacher from whom I receive instruction, and I often lead clients in short guided meditations, but simply selecting from among the plethora of meditation apps on your smartphone and downloading and following along will be helpful.

Somatic therapies are also effective methods for relieving stress because they too emphasize and utilize the mind/body connection. Somatic Experiencing (SE™) and Somatic Touch are sensation-focused, and are perfect for those who wish to learn more about how their body physically responds to and stores stress. A specially-trained therapist serves as a guide through this process, offering verbal and hands-on support and encouragement as the client accesses and discharges tension. For those who are experiencing stress as a form of emotion, Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP) offers a method of physically connecting with and processing these feelings.

I'm happy to discuss any of these and other body-focused modalities, and how they may help you reduce the stress in your life! For clients in Japan, I'm also affiliated with a group practice (TTCR—Trauma Treatment Center and Resources) in the Saitama area. There, we have English- and Japanese-speaking therapists trained in mindfulness meditation, somatic therapies, and other body-based modalities to help with stress management.


At Bodhisattva Bodywork, I offer a variety of trauma resolution therapeutic services in my Chapel Hill office and online via a secure video link. I’m also affiliated with a trauma-focused group psychotherapy practice in Japan: Trauma Treatment Center and Resources (TTCR), which offers body-based therapy sessions and educational seminars in both English and Japanese.

"Children's Cafeterias" provide many types of nourishment

**In translating a post by one of my Japanese colleagues, I learned about the concept of “Kodomo Shokudou” or “Children’s Cafeterias.” I thought some of you might also be interested, particularly as we enter the season of giving.

“Good evening. It's clinical psychologist Shoichi Akimoto from the Trauma Treatment Center and Resources. This afternoon, I attended a forum on “Kodomo Shokudou,” pictured below:

Kodomo Forum entry.jpg
Kodomo Shokodo Forum.jpg


(Translation note: Kodomo Shokudou, or “Children's Cafeterias,” began in 2012 as a grassroots effort to provide warm, nutritious meals and dining companionship to disadvantaged children. This article in the Japan Times gives a brief history.

“I learned quite a few things during the forum, but was particularly struck by the fact that, while these Cafeterias are created for children, they are also becoming places where parents and neighbors gather and interact.

There are Children's Cafeterias that host a Christmas party on behalf of busy parents--children may attend and the parents can then join in after they've finished work. This helps the families form relationships with their neighbors. I think it would be great if this concept became more widespread.

Also, because the children have set times where neighborhood association members come to feed them or help them with their studies, the children learn that there are adults who want to spend time with them and who honor and treasure those time commitments.

As I listened, I was nodding in agreement. This is about attachment, isn't it? Attachment trauma can always be repaired. Research into brain plasticity is continuing, and I think proof of this is coming in the near future.

But this (whether we call it a “challenge” or a “risky venture”) can be a challenge for the adult caregivers themselves. Various unconscious emotions can surface as they interact with the children. Whether or not these adults are acknowledging and learning from this could result in greatly divergent outcomes.

At our Center, we also offer counseling for caregivers. As you address your own challenges, your activities will become so much more enjoyable!

We've opened a trauma-focused counseling center in Saitama City, Japan, called TTCR: Trauma Treatment Center and Resources: https://saitama-traumahealingenglish.jimdofree.com. We also offer lectures on trauma for groups and businesses—please enquire!”


At Bodhisattva Bodywork, I offer a variety of trauma resolution therapeutic services in my Chapel Hill office and online via a secure video link. I’m also affiliated with a trauma-focused group psychotherapy practice in Japan: Trauma Treatment Center and Resources (TTCR), which offers body-based therapy sessions and educational seminars in both English and Japanese.

Feeding Your Demons--a revolutionary meditation practice

A large part of my job is to provide clients with self-care tools.  Most of us can't afford continual trips to various therapists, and if we're serious about maintaining or improving our health, we need to create some time in our schedule to work with ourselves. 

Physical activity is important, and proper nutrition can't be overlooked.  But we also need tools to work with our minds, to deal with those things like illness, anxiety, depression, and so on that drain our energy and keep us from feeling fully alive. We can call these our “traumas;” another way to describe them is our “demons.”

One of my Buddhist teachers, Lama Tsultrim Allione, has developed a five-step method for "Feeding Your Demons." Although most of us would do almost anything to avoid these issues, Lama Tsultrim teaches that not only should we get close to them, but we should feed them to full satisfaction! This strategy of nurturing rather than battling our inner and outer enemies offers a revolutionary path to resolve conflict and leads to psychological integration and inner peace.

The following is a video of Lama Tsultrim explaining the origin of her "Feeding Your Demons" practice, and she actually guides you through it.  If you'd like to skip directly to the guided meditation, it begins at 21:40. Please let me know how it works for you!


At Bodhisattva Bodywork, I offer a variety of trauma resolution therapeutic services in my Chapel Hill office and online via a secure video link. I’m also affiliated with a trauma-focused group psychotherapy practice in Japan: Trauma Treatment Center and Resources (TTCR), which offers body-based therapy sessions and educational seminars in both English and Japanese.