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Why the Keys to Healing Come From Within

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holistic therapies-medicine-wellness-somatic-embody lab
Dr. Scott Lyons

Dr. Scott Lyons is the creator of The Embody Lab, an online learning platform that helps people access information about body-based trauma therapies. We talked to him about what interested him in holistic therapies and how people can leave healthier, happier lives.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the transformative wellness and holistic medicine field?

As a child, I had a lot of physical ailments (migraines, stomach aches, etc.), significant learning disabilities, and attentional issues. I was often told by my teachers that I was lazy or not smart enough; one teacher even told my parents that I would be lucky if I graduated high school. 

Something in me knew they were wrong — I had a sense that there was a cloud of fog over me, but I wasn’t the fog. And if I could figure it out, I would be able to reach my potential.

My parents were really supportive after some pleading. I experimented with different vitamins and diets, started meditating, doing yoga and dance, and explored what at the time was considered alternative therapies, like somatic self-care, trauma therapy, dance therapy, neurofeedback, and even hypnosis.

With each approach, the fog began to lift. I could begin to think and behave from a place that was clearer and more authentically me. I recognized that each thing I did was helpful, but it was the combination of so many different perspectives that made the difference, which later came to know as a holistic perspective.

I was hungry to know more, and all my formal education just seemed like one small piece of a larger puzzle. So, I did every graduate program and every certificate I could get into until I felt like I could hold and understand the larger (complete) puzzle. I was driven by the lack of holistic resources and support available to me and vowed that I would make those resources available to as many people in an accessible format — and that still is a driving force in my life. 

Why do you feel it is important for Americans to ensure that they are taking care of themselves and healing from within?

Hurt people hurt people. We know that as people do the inner work, they gain a more solid sense of self, have better decision-making and higher self-esteem, and (even more importantly) have deeper and healthier relationships.

Stressors are a part of life, and our health is not just about getting rid of them, it’s about becoming more adaptive to them.

Life is hard and stressful, but doing the inner work can help increase our capacity to be with what’s happening and process it so it doesn’t flood and overtake us. We all have the possibility of living better, more fulfilled lives, and healing from within and radical self-care is a big part of actualizing that.

What advice would you give to people looking to promote their overall mental and physical wellness while dealing with all the stressors associated with modern life?

Stressors are a part of life, and our health is not just about getting rid of them, it’s about becoming more adaptive to them — reclaiming our power of choice and control over our bodies and mind in relationship to them.

One of the first things you should do is an intake in your life. Maybe start it for one week, check in with everything that you’re doing and thinking, then ask yourself if these actions, interactions, thoughts, etc., make you feel more alive, connected, and engaged.

When something is overwhelming, we must evaluate whether we need to build more resilience or change the circumstances. Ask yourself, “Is the majority of what I’m doing nourishing me?”

Life takes energy. Choose how you want to distribute and replenish it. We don’t have a choice in energy expenditure with some things in life, so make sure you have some in the reserves.

How can people who are dealing with or recovering from a traumatic event or situation use holistic wellness to process and cope with it?

Every person and every situation is different, but somatic therapy is a powerful option for many. The body keeps the score of trauma, meaning it’s stored in the body (underneath our volition) like a recurring nightmare you have no control over. To access the trauma stored in our bodies, and move it through and metabolize it, we have to use a process called somatic self-care.

Somatic self-care focuses on building up resilience through tools like grounding and repairing boundaries as a preparation for dealing with trauma, and then utilizes a sensitive and slow process of awareness/mindfulness of sensation and unpressed impulses, breathwork, movement, and some speaking to unravel the memory and restore the energy and vitality that the trapped memory had been utilizing. 

What I found over and over again was people had found it challenging to get access to these life-changing tools or find the right expert. So, I created The Embody Lab to make trauma healing and somatic self-care accessible to a broad, global audience — making it easier for everyone to access support while on their healing journey.

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