A number of years ago "Jeff" came to me feeling shut down. He was in his early 50s, and felt nothing in his entire pelvic floor and stated he felt his feet were like wood, numb. He also reported feeling very little sensations throughout his body. He was partnered with a man about 20 years younger than himself. There was no sexual life between them. Jeff also was in recovery for over 20 some years. He reported to me that, since he entered recovery, he gradually began to feel numb all over. "I have no life within me, it feels." Jeff also stated that he had been in talk therapy but knew he needed something more, something that included his body, if he was to live a life of "sober and free."

My approach with Jeff was coaching dialogue, questioning, and body work on a massage table as well as stand-up exercises between the two of us. We began with breathwork...teaching Jeff how to breath into his belly rather than simply into his chest. We began slowly and continued slowly throughout our time together in coaching.

Over a period of about five months, meeting for 1 to 1.5 hours sessions weekly, Jeff began to regain his 'senses', his ability to feel touch upon his toes, and gained the ability to feel his erections. He became assertive enough that he and his partner entered into couples' counseling. His life was changing radically and in a direction that he wanted to pursue.

During our first sessions we learned to trust each other. That was the key to our coaching relationship. He practiced daily with his breathing and touch exercises, trusting that his body had wisdom to convey to him about himself and his life. During the first several weeks Jeff laid on the table fully clothed and I slowly touched acupuncture points, refraining from touching anywhere near his pelvis, as he continued to breath into his belly. I coached him in several styles of breathing (circular, chakras, connecting his pelvic floor with his heart, etc), helping him to gain the ability to generate and channel his energy.

Despite his wondering if he would ever regain his sensibilities, he was persistent and ever ready to take one step at a time. After several weeks, Jeff began to approach the table in his underwear. After several more weeks, he decided to lay nude. At this point he would have an erection, but not sense it. I continued to provide him with non-sexual, but sensual touch, and began to guide him through a series of exercises using his breath and energy from head to toe, from belly to heart, from pelvis to head, and on. I continued to touch Jeff and ask him what he sensed, massaging his feet, his calves, his head, his arms, ... everywhere but his pelvis. Until one day, Jeff called me and told me had had an orgasm and he ejaculated. He reported feeling his feet and every part of his body. Jeff was weeping.

The power of trust, touch, and somatic work with another human being goes far beyond simple words or even any need to go backward into our past. As the body shifts, the body conveys wisdom. As the body is received lovingly, the body has insights. Beliefs, long held but no longer serving our best interests, change! I follow in the path of Wilhelm Reich using the principles of Ericksonian hypnosis in my approach to my clients. "The body knows the score" as someone once said. If we have the courage to give ourselves permission to listen to our bodies without judgment, our bodies will speak volumes to us.

Author's Bio: 

Ken is a Somatic Coach for men who want to embody their sexuality mindfully. He has over 25 years experience in men's work, both of mind and body, trained as an addictions counselor, Reiki Master/Teacher, Hypnotherapist, Sexological Bodyworker, and has been offering somatic coaching now for over five years. www.transitionpower.com.