Somatic Experiencing is a body-awareness approach to trauma which restores self-regulation, and returns the sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to traumatized individuals who have had these precious gifts taken away. It was introduced by Dr. Peter Levine in his book Waking the Tiger. In it, Levine discusses at length his observations of animals in the wild, and how they deal with and recover from life-threatening situations.
"Trauma is neither a disease nor a disorder, but is rather an injury caused by paralyzing fright, helplessness, and loss,” Levine writes. “By enlisting the wisdom of the living, sensing body, and engaging our innate capacity to self-regulate high states of arousal and intense emotions, trauma can be transformed and healed."
"Among the major consequences of trauma are dissociation, chronic pain, existential despair, and a profound sense of alienation. These "broken connections" represent a fragmentation in the relationship to self, to others and to the larger matrix supportive of human life. This is similar to what Martin Buber called "...a wound in the order of being". Within these patterns of fragmentation one can find somatically encoded emotional and behavioral stress patterns that emerge over time throughout the physical body."