Mindfulness and stress reductions workshops offered


Clarion File Photo

An Experiencing Mindfulness and Stress Reduction session held in 2015 is led by Amy Nicolson, center.

Mandy Scheuer, Office Manager

When you see the phrase Somatic Experiencing Mindfulness, you might wonder, “What exactly is that?” No need to ask Google. Just check in with Madison College’s expert, Amy C. Nicholson, a therapeutic massage instructor at the college.

For starters, this form of meditation happens in the Autonomic Nervous System. All behaviour starts in the Nervous System, specifically the Autonomic Nervous System. The Autonomic Nervous System controls breathing, the heartbeat, digestive processes and internal organs including blood vessels. You can’t do anything without your Autonomic Nervous System, so there’s a connection to Somatic Experiencing Mindfulness helping your body. When people feel stressed out, they take a few deep breaths and imagine themselves at a calming place, such as a forest or a beach.

“Somatic Experiencing is a form of therapy that is a neurobiological approach for the treatment of shock and trauma,” Nicholson explained. “Somatic experiencing can be described as a neurobiological approach for trauma treatment and nervous system regulation. Developed by Dr. Peter Levine, it is a clinical mindfulness or somatic approach for trauma resolution and stress reduction. SE facilitates optimal nervous system function and thus a more resilient mind and body.”

Nicholson said the practice and technique helps with stress management.

“If you can change your state of mind, then you can have a different experience,” she said.

Nicholson is hosting twice a week Somatic Experiencing Mindfulness and Stress Reduction sessions. Any student or staff member at Madison College can participate. The sessions happen via Zoom. In order to join the group, you have to register and be given a specific password. These sessions will be happening Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 12:30 p.m. For more information about Somatic Experiencing Mindfulness and stress reduction, contact Amy C Nicholson at [email protected], or call (608) 628-0300.