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Biopsychosoc Med. 2008 Feb 21;2:6. doi: 10.1186/1751-0759-2-6.

Somatic awareness in the clinical care of patients with body distress symptoms.

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Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.


The purpose of this paper is to provide primary care physicians and medical specialists with an experiential psychosomatic framework for understanding patients with body distress symptoms. The framework relies on somatic awareness, a normal part of consciousness, to resolve the dualism inherent in conventional multidisciplinary approaches. Somatic awareness represents a guiding healing heuristic which acknowledges the validity of the patient's physical symptoms and uses body sensations to identify the psychological, physiological, and social factors needed for symptom self-regulation. The experiential approach is based on psychobiologic concepts which include bodily distress disorder, central sensitization, dysfunctional breathing, and contextual nature of mood.

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