Hanna Somatic Movement Education – What Can It Do For Your Health?
Somatics is not so well known as some other forms of gentle exercise, but is widely becoming accepted as perhaps one of the most comprehensive systems to keep the body healthy, supple and pain free. Here’s how it works…
Somatic movement education is a system of neuromuscular education that allows more ease and freedom of movement in our bodies. It teaches us to recognise and release chronic patterns of pain, caused by repetitive strain, bad posture, injury or stress. These simple, slow exercises are normally performed comfortably on the floor, and can unwind and unlock the holding patterns in the neuromuscular systems that can cause so many deep-rooted physical problems.
The great thing about somatics is that it is totally based on awareness. To be totally aware of all sensations arising during the movements can soon give you a tremendous insight into your own unique imbalances. Developing a deep understanding of your body and its needs instead of relying on others is always the first step to improving health.
Nobody can know your physiology like you can, and with the help of somatic movement you will learn to recognise and release even the most subtle and deep-seated imbalances, which can cause havoc in the body far beyond just aches and pains.
The various categories of movements can be practiced in many ways according to your needs at any given time. The daily cat stretch, a general maintenance routine of half an hour or so is wonderful for regular loosening of any little knots there might be, leaving you feeling rejuvenated for the day.
If however, you have any specific discomfort, such as shoulder pain, or thoracic spine pain etc, you can focus your attention on the specific routines for that area, returning to a more general routine once those imbalances are addressed and comfort returns.
For some it might seem like the exercises are just too gentle, as they did to me when I first discovered them through my good friend, osteopath and somatic movement educator Brian Ingle, N.D., D.O., with whom I have teamed up on my website to make these systems more widely available.
I had been involved in yoga for years, normally considered a gentle system, so I should have been more open than most, and yet I still had my doubts. Having practiced somatics for some time now I consider them to be utterly extraordinary, and wish I could find the words to express just how powerful these gentle movements are, and how deeply they affect the physiology.
So many of our ailments can be caused by breaks in the flow of energy in the nervous system caused by tense and locked muscles. Smooth out those kinks and be amazed at how many of your little niggles (or even big ones) might loosen their hold.
Combine somatics with the ancient Ayurvedic theories of body typing and diet, and you have the most amazingly comprehensive system for nipping any discomfort or illness in the bud and staying in wonderful health way into your later years.