What is Somatics?
‘Somatic movement education’ is a method of enhancing body awareness and promoting efficient, pain-free movement, pioneered by Thomas Hanna, PhD. This approach involves training the nervous system to better perceive and sense the body, ultimately improving functional movement capabilities.
The term ‘somatics’ is rooted in the Greek word ‘soma,’ which denotes the internal perception of the body from an individual’s first-person perspective. Students engaging in somatic movement gradually discern sensations within their ‘soma,’ identifying areas of heightened or diminished perception. This heightened awareness allows individuals to recognize and release habitual patterns of tension and distorted movement, replacing them with more effective, functional movement patterns. The result is an improvement in everyday mobility and an enhanced sense of well-being.
Within the body, three fundamental reflexes are unconsciously developed through life experiences. When left unnoticed, these reflexes can evolve into chronic patterns, leading to unhelpful and awkward movements that cause physical pain and mental discomfort. Thomas Hanna termed this phenomenon ‘Sensory Motor Amnesia.’
Benefits Of Somatics
- Relieve pain in the body and bring about coordinated bodily movement
- Improve the brain’s motor control of the body.
- Improved mobility and strength
- Improved posture and appearance
- Eliminate the need for guarding to protect injured areas
- Improve physical fitness
- Create a new freedom of movement
- Improve ease of breathing
- Long term pain relief from a host of common conditions
- Regain voluntary control of habitually tight muscles
- Greater physical independence and mastery of your movement
- Increased flexibility, coordination, stress relief, balance and proprioception
- Simple, safe and suitable for all
Somatic Movement Classes
- Group online Somatics classes through Zoom
- Somatic Movement Classes in person in Sheffield
- Specialist class limited to small numbers for more individual attention.
- Especially helpful for those with chronic muscular pain and stiffness.
- Gentle, slow movement suitable for those that may not be able to attend more active movement classes due to medical conditions or injuries
- Participants receive an audio recording of each class for practice
- Classes run in 6 week blocks
Try it out with this video below
Arch and Flatten
The movement here, known as Arch and Flatten can be helpful for lower back pain. It involves a slow contracting and releasing of the muscles in the lower back, to increase awareness and improve the brain’s motor control of these muscles. Practice the movement slowly and gently. Do not force anything, and remain relaxed.
If you would like to learn more of these movements, click on the link below to find an Online Somatic class to suit you