What is Somatics?
‘Somatic education’ refers to a practice of movement, developed by Thomas Hanna (PhD), that enhances awareness of the body, leading to more efficient and pain free movement. Somatic movement works by training the nervous system to be able to feel and sense the body, which in turn enhances the ability of the nervous system to improve functional movement.
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 movement patterns that improve our everyday mobility.
There are three basic reflexes in the body that are unconsciously created through our experiences in life. These reflexes when unnoticed become chronic patterns that can lead to unhelpful, awkward movements that create pain in the body and agitation in the mind. Hanna termed this ‘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