Somatics

What is Somatics?

‘Somatics’ refers to a practice of movement, developed by Thomas Hanna, that enhances awareness of one’s body, leading to more efficient and pain free movement in our everyday lives.

Somatics works at the level of the nervous system, and can help us to get in touch with our inner bodily sensations and movement patterns or reflexes that often go unnoticed.

Thomas Hanna discovered that there are three basic reflexes in the body that are unconsciously created through our experiences to life. These reflexes can sometimes lead to unhelpful, awkward movements that create pain in the body, and agitation in the mind.

Somatic movement uses simple techniques that teach the nervous system to relax held tensions allowing us to begin to move in a more coordinated, functional and pain free manner.

The Greek word ‘soma’ from which ‘somatics’ derives, refers to the body as it is perceived internally by the individual, or from the first person perspective. The student of Somatics is encouraged to sense from within, to begin to notice what they can and cannot feel, and to learn how to unlock habitual distorted patterns of movement and replace them with more efficient functional patterns. 

Benefits of Somatic Movement

  • Release and reverse neuromuscular pain (chronic and acute)
  • Improve mobility, strength and coordination
  • Improve posture and appearance
  • Eliminate the need for guarding to protect injured areas
  • Improve physical fitness
  • Create a new freedom of movement
  • Ease of breathing
  • Improve athletic skills
  • Long term pain relief from a host of common conditions
  • Life long skills that teach you how to regain voluntary control of habitually tight muscles
  • Greater physical independence and mastery of your movement
  • Increased flexibility, coordination, stress relief, balance and proprioception
  • A safe, easy and common sense alternative to drugs, and surgery

Somatic Movement Classes

  • Learn simple movements to relieve pain in the body and to bring about coordinated movement
  • Improve the brain’s motor control of the body to enable you to function better in everyday movements.
  • Suitable for those with chronic muscular pain and stiffness.
  • Suitable for those with existing medical conditions, injuries or limited mobility.
  • Specialist class limited to small numbers for more individual attention.
  • Receive an audio recording of each class for you to keep
  • Classes run in 6 week blocks

Try it out with this video below

The movement above, 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.