Somatics is an effective form of mind-body re-education that goes directly to the root cause of most chronic muscular pain: the brain and the way in which it senses and organizes the muscles and movement. By learning to regain awareness, sensation, and motor control of muscles the brain can remember how to relax and move the muscles properly.
Sensory Motor Amnesia
Sensory Motor Amnesia is the condition of chronically-tight muscles that have learned to stay contracted as a response to stress such as accidents, injuries, surgeries, repetitive tasks, and on-going emotional stress. Somatics helps relieve pain associated with the resulting patterns of muscular contraction that develop such as chronic back pain, neck, shoulder and hip pain, limited mobility, joint pain, poor posture, shallow breathing, and uneven leg length.
Somatics will teach you to reverse chronic muscle pain as you regain sensory awareness and voluntary control of your muscles and movement. Doing so can enable you to enjoy a rapid and significant improvement in physical comfort, quality of movement, posture and overall appearance.
Somatics helps you to enjoy freedom from pain and more comfortable movement for the rest of your life.
Somatics uses a technique called pandiculation to release involuntary muscle contraction.
The slow, gentle exercises relieve chronic muscle and joint pain, restore natural posture, retrain muscular patterns, prevent recurring injuries and alleviate common musculoskeletal conditions,
Most chronic pain, recurring injuries, and joint degeneration are caused by the way we use our bodies – the way we sit, stand and move throughout our lives. And our nervous system is responsible for telling us how to use our bodies. Our nervous system tells us which muscles to contract, when to release them, and how to hold our bodies when we’re just sitting or standing still.
As we grow up, our nervous system actually learns how make us do these things. The more we repeat a certain posture or movement, the more deeply learned that muscular pattern becomes. After a while, our patterns become so deeply learned that we don’t even have to think about them. This is what we call muscle memory.
Muscle memory is a wonderful thing, because it allows us to get through our daily lives efficiently. But unfortunately, sometimes we learn patterns that damage our bodies–like sitting hunched over at a computer. The only way to change these deeply learned muscular patterns is to re-educate the nervous system.
And that is what Somatics does. It engages the nervous system in an active learning process that consists of very slow, focused, conscious movements. The movement techniques used in Somatics teach the nervous system how to release chronic muscle tension and stand and move in natural, efficient ways so that you aren’t putting yourself in pain or doing damage to your body.
Thomas Hanna was an original philosopher/teacher, who developed a theory of somatology and a field he named Somatics. He founded the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training, an institutute which he and Eleanor Criswell Hanna in 1975. He worked with thousands of clients and evolved the work in some highly effective ways, in part, by adding his understanding of the rules of biofeedback.
In 1990 Hanna offered his first training program in Hanna Somatic Education® to a group of 38 students. He transmitted the essence of his work during five weeks of intensive training, intending to spend the remainder of the coursework refining the fundamentals. Tragically the training took a different direction when Thomas Hanna was killed in a fatal car accident on July 29th 1990, leaving behind an amazing legacy. His work has carried on.