Never heard of Somatics before?!
No worries, I hear this a lot! I only first heard about Somatics (Hanna Somatics) in 2012 myself and I wondered then why I had never heard of it before then?!
I now feel I have found the missing link I had been searching for to rid myself of my back pain completely and help me to move better.
I am always so excited about sharing Somatics, I truly believe it is for everyone! I hope the information below is helpful. I can honestly say though, you need to come to experience a session to truly feel the amazing effect it can have on your mind and body.
It is possible to start feeling the effects of this wonderful work in your first session. Come and experience Somatics for yourself!
Thomas Hanna coined the term Somatics in the mid-'70s his work referred to the discipline of movement education. Somatics is neuro-muscular learning that improves our ability to move, we can regain greater voluntary control of our muscles by retraining the brain to let go of unnecessary tension (Sensory Motor Amnesia).
When exploring these simple gentle movements we focus internally on the sensations experienced to feel the changes taking place. You are the expert, no-one knows better than you what it feels like to live in your body, so rather than having someone move your body parts for you - In Somatics we guide you to move in a somatic way to get the best results.
When you go to the root cause of chronically contracted muscles (the brain) you are able to get relief and freedom of movement for the long term. Learning Somatics also gives you the 'tools' to take care of any aches and pains should they arise in the future. After all, we are creating tension patterns in our body every day, wouldn't it be nice to know what to do - so it does not accumulate and become a problem?
When you learn Somatics you are really investing in your health and you can save a small fortune too!
Our daily habits, the way we sit, stand and move contribute to muscular tension in our bodies. Every accident, injury or surgery we've ever experienced can all 'take their toll' over time if we do not fully address them. Even our thoughts can effect with way we move.
Our muscles can become so tight over time that no matter what we seem to do they simply won't relax. It becomes our 'normal' and we tend to blame getting older for the reason. When what's really happened is we have developed something called Sensory-Motor Amnesia.
We literally learn to how to stay tight and forget how to let muscles go! It becomes hard to sense ourselves anymore, muscles are 'on' all the time, even when we are asleep! It can become exhausting and painful at times.
We are the final product of all our movement habits, all the sports and activities we have played, all the accidents, injuries and surgeries we have been through.
When we learn a new movement pattern it happens in a part of the brain called the motor cortex and once we habituate that pattern it gets stored in another area called the sub cortex. That's great news, we don't have to learn to walk again or learn how to put the fork to our mouth every time we want to! But this also goes for all our poor movement patterns too, the brain doesn't know the difference between what is a 'good' or 'bad' movement pattern, it just knows if you've done something often enough it's 'got that' for you. The brain wants to be efficient for us. Over time, tension will layer up in the body and when we finally notice we tend to blame our age for the cause. However, this can happen at ANY AGE!
To undo these chronically held muscles and take back control we need to engage the motor cortex again - our 'learning zone' to 'wake up' those muscles stuck on 'cruise control'. By moving in certain ways you can take back control of the muscles and re-set their length and function, enabling freedom of movement once again.
Pandiculation is the main technique we use in Somatics. Pandiculation is what you see cats and dogs do after periods of rest. They are NOT stretching! They contract, lengthen and relax their muscles on the front and backs of their bodies. They are 'waking up' their nervous systems ready for 'action'.
Muscles only contract and relax they do not stretch, we can pull them into a stretched position. However, the brain controls them and once you have tried to pull your target muscles to a desired length the brain will just return them to the full contracted pattern they are used to. No one muscle works on it's own, there is always a full body pattern to consider and when we stretch we are trying to 'spot fix' an area and missing the bigger picture.
Our human version of pandiculation is the full-body yawn we do in the morning, you may think you are stretching your muscles as you move your arms and legs when you yawn but next time you do it notice that you are actually fully contracting your muscles and then slowly lengthening and completely relaxing them, feels great right?!
In Somatics we use this pandiculation technique to move through 3 main reflex patterns in a variety of ways to retrain the brain to fully relax and lengthen our muscles again.
When you focus completely on what you are doing you are able to free the mind of daily stresses giving you a great 'time out' and a sense of relaxation too. Somatics is often described as 'movement meditation' because it can be so relaxing!
There are 3 main reflexes our bodies take on in response to stressors...
In Somatics we call them the Red Light Reflex better known as tension in the front of the body, The Green Light Reflex - tension in the back of the body and The Trauma Reflex - tension in the sides.
Red Light Reflex - The tightening of the muscles on the front of the body is not only the startle response to fear, anxiety and emotional upset it is today becoming more and more known as a muscular adaptation to excessive computer and mobile phone use, this slumped forward posture can lead to chronic neck, shoulder and back pain due to the rounding forward of the shoulders, the head jutting forward and compression in the chest area. It can also hinder a full breath. Shallow breathing can deprive the body of the essential oxygen it needs to function properly.
Green Light Reflex - The muscles on the back of the body contract to move us forward. When walking, running for something, standing up straight (think military posture) or sitting up 'straight' we can overly contract our back muscles and if these stresses become habituated they can help cause back, neck and shoulder pain, disc issues and sciatica pain. When suffering from these pains we can find ourselves easily suffering from depression, anxiety and sleep problems. A cycle of pain can develop.
Trauma Reflex - Is the reflex of pain avoidance, muscles on the sides of the body contract in response to accidents or injuries to further avoid pain. Also, daily stresses like holding a child on one hip or jobs where you use one side of the body more than the other can hike up and tighten muscles more on that side of the body. Sports like tennis, golf or rowing, playing an instrument like a guitar, anything where you may be rotated to one side more than the other. All of these habituated movements and postures can go on to contribute to pain and lack of movement through the body.
We all have a combination of all three of these reflexes happening all the time. There's nothing wrong the reflexes themselves, it's when we get stuck in these reflex patterns and are unable to move freely in all directions we start experiencing problems.
Thankfully, we can make long term changes with Somatics and release these chronically contracted muscles helping so many to become pain-free and move easily once again.
There are two simple plans to choose from. Basic Membership only £22 per month and Full Memberships only £33 per month.
There are no contracts, you can join and leave whenever you like. You will have access until the end of the month you have paid for. Come back whenever you like!
Payment will be collected the same time each month, as you know some months have 5 weeks - So it's an even better deal on those months!
If you are new to my sessions, I will contact you via email when you join so you may share with me any injuries or conditions you may have so I can assist you in getting the most from these sessions.
Please feel free to get in touch to see how Somatics can help you. I offer free 30 min consultations by telephone. 07907 22 60 60
I am available for phone/email support during your time with me as long as it's not in the middle of the night here in the UK! So, if you have any questions please do get in touch, I am happy to help if I can.
The Basic Membership includes access anytime of the day to hundreds and hundreds of recorded audios from live sessions. These sessions are available for streaming only (not for keeps!)
This membership is ideal for anyone who cannot make the live Zoom session in person, new classes will be added daily Monday to Friday.
Sessions can be taken on the floor or on your bed, some are seated and some are standing. You can experience single classes or follow a whole tailored programme.
If you are a movement teacher - this huge library will help inspire you to create your own classes. Please do not claim them as your own, be creative and make them even better! 😉
The Full Membership includes everything in the Basic Membership plus access to all the LIVE Zoom sessions!
Zoom sessions run every morning Monday to Friday and alternate 10am and 9:30am as we run through the week.
No need to book them come whenever you like, you will access the Zoom link through your membership page.
The Zoom doors open 10 mins before and close 2 mins before the class starts so we start on time. If you miss the doors, just choose a session from the library and know we will be with you in spirit!
There are also discounts available with this membership!
If you would like to focus on something tailored specifically for your needs. You will receive a £10 discount off all my 90 mins private Somatic sessions every time you book. Private hands on or private Zoom Somatic sessions are available.
You will also receive £10 off any private Emotion Code sessions you book. These 60 min sessions help clients release negative trapped emotions that may be holding them back from living the life they really deserve. Here is a link to my other website www.releaseemotionalbaggage.com if you wish to learn more!
After every live session I offer live Q&A for anyone who wants to ask or share anything. These Q&A's are not on the class recordings.
We have a lovely friendly community, friendships have developed through these Somatics sessions, I hope you can join us. 😉