Touching the Unseen: Somatic Therapy’s Comforting Embrace for Grief 

Zoe-Anna Bell

Wellness Expert

Mar 11, 2024

Grief is an intimate companion that walks alongside us when we encounter loss. Whether it’s the departure of a loved one, the end of a significant chapter, or the fading of a dream, grief is a universal experience that unites us in our shared humanity. 

What is Grief?

Pioneer Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in the 1960’s identified five stages of grief as denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance. Even though this has been used by psychologists and psychiatrists over the years, grief is a complex and highly individualised response to loss. In somatic therapy rather than focusing on five stages of grief I’ve found it more beneficial to create space to feel the emotion of sadness, honour it and release it, as a path of acceptance. 

Honoring the Pain

Grieving is not a linear process; it’s a mosaic of emotions that may ebb and flow like the tide. Just as the rain nurtures the soil, allowing yourself to mourn nurtures the roots of healing. Embrace the tears as they fall and even if you don’t cry,  this does not translate to loving them less. A reminder that the journey is unique to all. 


Embracing Memories

In the garden of grief, memories are the blossoms that continue to bloom. Celebrate the moments shared, the laughter that echoed through time, and the unique footprint your loved one left on your heart. These memories are not confined to the past but serve as guiding stars lighting the path towards healing. Share stories, reminisce, and let the beauty of those cherished moments be a source of comfort.

Touching the Unseen 

Let’s delve into the meaning of ‘touching the unseen’, meaning what is under the skin. 

A process of releasing the emotions held trapped in the body, the breath, life force and spirit that penetrates every cell of your being. Each breath is an opportunity to touch and bathe the inner edges of your being with an invisible substance. In sadness, the lungs and heart are impacted and the pattern witnessed is breath holding and finding it hard to let others in. The lungs represent taking in life.

In Traditional Chinese medicine, the lung organ is believed to be connected to the emotions of grief and sadness. Sadness that is unexpressed or overexpressed damages the lungs, so it is important to honour sadness and bring it into acceptance. 


How can you describe something that cannot be seen? It has to be felt to be experienced and in being experienced, it is felt by courageously exploring the unseen. 

In somatic therapy guiding the breath, using acupressure points and body movements, a dialogue emerges, unearthing emotions and memories of significant loss, some stretching back decades.

A safe place to express 

In a somatic therapy session, emotions find expression in a safe, nurturing space, where grief is acknowledged and acceptance begins. We cannot change the past, yet we can shift our understanding to emerge hearts open to healing and the resilience to embrace life anew.

Amidst the collective grief humanity experiences today, it’s time to shift our approach.  In doing so, we not only honor the depth of our emotions but also invite the promise of hope to accompany us on this transformative journey

Together, let us navigate the landscape of grief, guided by the wisdom of somatic therapy as joy awaits your return. 



By Zoe-Anna Bell

Wellness Expert

With over 30 years in the health and wellbeing industry, Zoe Anne's expertise spans diverse modalities, from Registered Nursing and Personal Training to Somatic Therapy, Stretch Therapy, and various Yoga practices, including Raja, Hatha, and Kundalini Yoga. She is also a six times international published author and Deep Meditation Facilitator. You can find out more here:



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