Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Should I do the exercises every day? A. Yes it is advised to practice the exercises for 10-15 minutes per day. If you only have a few minutes daily just pick one or two of the movements and do them well focusing on the quality of the movement and not on the number of repetitions.
Q. What does the word 'Soma' mean? A. the experience of your body, from within. No one else knows what it feels like to be in your body, except you.
Q. Is Somatics painful? A. No, it is not painful. You will be guided and encouraged to work within your comfort zone and to not push past into pain or discomfort. Somatics does not encourage the 'no pain, no gain' approach. If you keep doing something that gives your body a 'pain' message it gets really good at giving you pain. Whereas if you give your body a 'comfort ' message over and over, it gets good at that.
Q. How long does it take to see or feel a difference? A. In the beginning, the effects of Somatic movement may not last very long. Your brain reverts to established patterns of movement. The important thing to remember is that Somatic work is a process; the effects of the exercises are cumulative. As you repeat the movements regularly and over time, your brain re-patterns healthy movement for longer periods of time. With repetition, your brain becomes more efficient and effective in retaining healthy movement patterns.
Q. What do I wear to a private session? class? A. Wear stretchy comfortable clothing that you can move in for both private sessions and classes. You will be fully clothed at all times for your one-on-one sessions.
Q. What equipment is used? A. For a one-on-one session you will lie on a wide table similar to a massage table. For the classes you will primarily be lying down on a yoga mat on the floor. If you are unable to get down on the floor, the exercises can also be done while seated.
Q. Is 'Clinical Somatics' similar to 'Somatic Therapy / Experiencing'? A. No. The two disciplines are very different. 'Somatic Experiencing' focuses on the resolution of psychological trauma. 'Clinical Somatics' on the other hand is an active, movement based practice focused on building awareness of internal sensations in order to release habitually-overused tense muscles. 'Clinical Somatics' is 'education in movement'.
Q. Who developed Clinical Somatics? A. Clinical Somatics was developed by Thomas Hanna in the 1970's. After studying neurology at the University of Miami Medical School, he spent many years studying movement with Moshe Feldenkrais (the Feldenkrais Method) before he went on to develop his own unique method of movement reeducation known as Hanna Somatic Education, also known as Clinical Somatic Education (CSE).
Q. I don't have pain, would Somatics still be beneficial for me? A. Absolutely. Prevention is key to many things in life. A sound Somatics practice would help you recover quicker if injury, an accident or surgery ever sidetracked you. It would get you back to doing what you love faster.
Q. Are private sessions of Somatics complimentary to other modalites? A. Yes. Many find that they are able to relax more deeply when they go for a massage, for example, and that their chiropratic adjustments are more easily made , and last longer.
Q. Is Somatics complimentary to other forms of movement and exercise? A. Most definitely. It makes for a great warm-up and cool down. The improved body awareness gained through Somatics provides endless benefits for those that practice Pilates, Yoga or any athletic activity.
Q. Does Somatics have anything to do with muscle memory? A. Yes. We can have good muscle memory habits that allows us to jump on a bike and not need to remember how to ride a bike every time we hop on one, and poor muscle memory habits that develop when we do repetitive movements or brace ourselves to protect around injuries. Somatics helps us to first become aware of our poor muscle habits and then, to reprogram them to be more efficient.
Q. What is neuroplasticity? A. Watch the video below.
Q. Who else is practicing and/or studying Clinical Somatics around the globe? A. yoga teachers, pilates instructors, osteopaths, physical therapists, life coaches, athletic coaches, movement professionals, kinesiologists, personal trainers, and the list goes on...
Q. What results are being achieved with Somatics?
able to run again after not being able to for several years due to pain
improved comfort and mobility from a frozen hip /shoulder
ability to function normally again after spending many months bedridden
relief from four herniated discs and avoidance of surgery
decreased knee pain
better balance riding horseback
improved recovery from motor vehicle accidents