Somatics is a self-care movement practice that quickly lengthens tight muscles that cause pain so you can move freely and comfortably. It's practical, safe, and gentle with immediate benefits. Long-lasting results come with regular practice.
In Somatics you focus on the process of how you move. This consciously activates the sensory-motor cortex in the brain that's responsible for sensing and moving your body.
You relearn how to fully release muscle tension by adjusting the resting tonus of a muscle from contracted back to "normal" making movement easier, smoother, and effortless. This is achieved with the easily learned technique of Pandiculation and without stretching.
In addition to softening pain and releasing tension, you'll feel more relaxed and grounded after practicing Somatics.
By releasing muscle tension and restoring muscle function muscles become longer and posture and movement improve.
When the muscular system is functioning more fully this positively affects other systems in the body including cardiovascular, digestion, lymph, nerves, breathing, and more.
Free of muscle tension you can get back to participating in activities with ease and enjoyment.
With regular practice of Somatic movements you can expect to experience:
- Reduced muscle pain
- Relief from the physical effects of stress
- Improved breathing
- Improved posture
- Reduced anxiety
You'll also be able to apply what you've learned whenever new aches and pains show up. For example, if after working in the garden your back becomes stiff, you can do a few somatic movements to release the tension. And voila, your back is happy again!
Regular practice brings long-term lasting results. These are some of the conditions that Somatics offers relief for:
- Breathing issues
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS)
- Jaw tension and TMJ
- Leg length discrepancy
- Piriformis syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
- Psoas pain
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Stenosis Stress
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
Somatics also helps with reducing stiffness and releasing chronic muscle tension in painful areas:
- Back - upper and lower
Yes! Somatics addresses and unwinds whole body reflexive movement patterns that become stiff from stress and frozen in trauma.
When we feel stressed or are traumatized, the brain organizes our muscular system into specific patterns of contraction. This is a natural and reflexive self-protective response.
However, if the body is unable to release the tension and return to a normal homeostatic state, as is the case with unresolved trauma and prolonged stress, the pattern of contraction becomes chronic and won't let go. Not only does this tension consume a lot of physical energy it also affects other systems in the body.
In Somatics we gently release specific full body patterns of accumulated physical tension. This allows the nervous system to move in the direction of normal functioning again.
1. Rapid Progress. Somatics is based on neuroscience and how the brain controls our muscular or sensory motor system.
2. Stress Reflexes. This approach focuses on three major reflexes of the somatic nervous system. This is the "map" we use to identify and effectively release full body patterns of tension.
3. Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA). The term Thomas Hanna PhD identified as the brain's response to stress and trauma. SMA is the root cause of chronic muscle pain.
4. Education vs. Therapy. When you go for a massage, the practitioner is doing all the work while you passively relax. This can feel wonderful until the effects wear off. In Somatics you're actively learning how to release tension. This has long-term benefits because you're getting to the root cause of tension by activating new neural circuits in the brain.
5. Self Empowering. You learn how to regain control of your muscular system.
Somatics is a gentle path to restoring normal functioning of your nervous system.
Developing a new habit (how you move your body) requires repetition and regular practice over a period of time.
1. You can expect to experience relief after your first class or session.
2. Within the first week of daily practice you'll generally start to notice less tension and painful areas will begin to soften.
3. Over time, weeks, months, and even years as your practice develops and matures, you'll find that you're much more flexible, limber, relaxed, and at ease in your body regardless of your age.
4. The benefits continue to grow the more you practice.
Whether you're 18 or 80 practicing Somatics is safe for everyone.
However, Somatics is not a magic bullet approach. If you don't want to, or are unable to, spend 15 minutes or so a day with a home Somatics practice or attend regular classes, then Somatics may not be the best fit for you.
Changing our habitual patterns of tension takes time and requires regular repetition. It's like learning how to ride a bike or drive a car, it takes practice, persistence, and guidance to gain proficiency.