What is Somatics?
The root word “soma” in Greek means living body. Somatic means: of or pertaining to the soma, that is the body. Hanna Somatic Education focuses on neuro-muscular (mind-body) re-education. In other words, teaching the muscles and associated brain signals how to contract and relax.
When kids are young they are constantly moving/sensing/feeling in a very fluid and graceful “somatic” way. Animals also are naturally somatic and live in the present. As we age we get older and move less we become stiffer and less flexible. In Somatics we seek to awaken the sensory-motor system from the brain to the muscles. The somatic movements are not stretches like in yoga, but rather re-education movements to re-train muscles which have sensory-motor amnesia (see below).
Designed as a set of movements that are naturally organic to our human skeletal system, Somatics works with the way we move and breathe naturally, like when we were young. Think of how a child moves up until about age nine. How many kids do you see holding a deep stretched position for long periods of time? Somatic movements will re-train your muscles through the brain and re-boot muscles that are atrophied, chronically tightened, habitually contracted and may be sore. We are reintroducing those childlike movement patterns to the adult.
What can I expect in a private session?
The session is conducted on a massage table. You are fully clothed. Linda (a certified Hanna Somatic Educator) will assess your posture. Linda (the practitioner) guides you through movement patterns with hands on technique. The practitioner works with you to teach you how to release chronic contractions. You are taught a self care program which you can do anywhere, anytime.
How many sessions are recommended?
Learning is different for every individual, it is recommended to commit to at least three and half hour sessions and the reassess. Somatics goal is to move you toward your own self-care program.
How much does it cost?
Click on Start to find out more about a variety of classes, workshops and private sessions.
Who needs somatic movements?
Virtually everyone over the age of 9-10years old. The movements patterns are naturally organic to our bodies. These movement patterns if introduced early will lead to improved flexibility over the years. Better breathing, walking and overall function and performance. When we lose these important movement patterns we gradually become more stiff in our trunk. Our posture gets bad and our gait can become dysfunctional. We then are more injury prone, have impaired coordination, joint stiffness, skeletal misalignment, muscular soreness, and fatigue. The longer we wait to do movements such as these, the stiffer we get and the more pain we feel later in life. That feeling of “ I guess I’m just getting old” can change when you start to take control of your own health and wellness.
“Somatic movements pave the way for a healthier future”
What is Sensory-Motor Amnesia?
Sensory-motor amnesia is when you no longer can sense or feel a particular muscle. The tighter a muscle is, the more sensory-motor amnesia it has, and the less you have control of it. It’s as if you’ve forgotten how to move it, and it has forgotten how to relax. We re-educate the muscle via the sensory-motor part of the brain and voila, you will have more range of motion, strength and flexibility in that muscle. Sensory-motor amnesia is replaced with sensory-motor awareness. As awareness increases your flexibility increases, coordination is enhanced, and posture is improved naturally.
How is this different from other modalities such as chiropractic, acupuncture or massage?
In most other modalities the practitioner is working on you, and you are passive. In Hanna Somatic Education® you are active and the practitioner is working with you to teach you how to re-awaken these areas. You are coached on posture, sitting, standing and walking patterns. You are taught movement patterns to do on your own to move towards a self- care program. We do not want you to be dependant on us. We seek to wean you off of dependence on others although somatics is highly compatible with other modalities.
Is this similar to Feldenkrais or Alexander?
Yes, both are somatic techniques. Dr. Thomas Hanna was a close friend and protege of Dr. Feldenkrais although he developed his own technique (pandiculation) and Hanna Somatic Education is a blend of all three techniques.
How will I find time?
They do not take long once you learn them. They would replace your normal stretching exercises. Two times a day is best. Fit them in you are worth it.
What if I have Tendinitis, Bursitis, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, CTS, Whiplash, TMJ, or chronic headeaches?
Click on functional disorders to see how Somatics can help.
“Remember your health is precious and you are in charge of it”