Improve Shoulder Mobility with Somatics

In the video below I share a popular movement to help with shoulder, elbow and wrist range of motion. It's a common move to prep your shoulders for a workout, your sport or just putting a healthy movement break into your day sitting at your desk. :-)

But what if you can't do this move or it's really hard to shift your spine and shoulders around with ease?

To make this move-- and the rest of your daily activities -- easier and more enjoyable, do Somatics! 
With Somatics you will release tension patterns along the front, back and sides of your body and relearn to rotate your body with ease. Try the Daily Supplement playlist on my YouTube channel, or better yet, enroll in the Think Somatics Online Classroom for tons of recorded lessons created so anyone, anywhere in the world can learn Somatics.

The image below shows all the ranges of motion of the shoulder, elbow and wrist. There's a lot of potential movement, eh? But, we often limit our movement potential because we ju…

What is Clinical Somatics?

An online search defines Clinical Somatics as “neuromuscular reeducation, to help people get rid of pain.” Let’s dive a little deeper…
Everything your body does is controlled by your brain and nervous system. Everything your body does is controlled by your brain and nervous system. More specifically, your somatic nervous system (SNS) controls your conscious movements and what you feel as you make them. And it’s the SNS that is at the heart of Clinical Somatic Education.

Something as simple as standing upright is learned.
 No one taught you how to stand upright. Rather you educated yourself by doing and sensing.

When you learn to stand, walk, swing a golf club, knit, etc., neural pathways form between the brain and body to make those actions happen. Think back to learning to ride a bike. There were so many processes involved. And with repeated practice, you eventually were able to ride your bike, like magic! And as the saying goes, “You never forget how to ride a bike.” That motor p…

What is a pandiculation?

If you Google it, pandiculation comes up loosely defined as stretching and yawning, usually when upon waking up. But it's so much more than that.
What is a pandiculation? When your dog or cat (or any animal) wakes up and looks like they are stretching they are actually pandiculating.

You do it too, if you ever wake up, and reach your arms to the ceiling, yawn big, and then relax.

Humans (and all other vertebrates) are genetically programmed to pandiculate. By doing so, our nervous systems reset our muscle length so we can easily move after being sedentary (sleeping, sitting, etc) for a extended period of time.

When an animal or human pandiculates they are resetting the feedback loop between the sensory motor cortex part of the brain and the receptors in their muscles, to release built up tension.
Where does all my tension come from? We humans accumulate tension as we sleep, sit for long periods of time, arch our backs in an effort to work hard. Even things like repeatedly putting…

How is Your Mind Set?

I think about how to express what Somatics is, what it can do for a person, all the time. On a cognitive level, most new clients grasp what I'm talking about. But how they apply Somatics to their bodies and lives is another thing. Because every person comes to Somatics at their own pace and with their own mindset.

"Mindset" to me mean the mind can be "set", as in set in stone. Or the mind set, can be a set of tools-- or ways of thinking--for taking in new information.

Intellectually someone may have an appreciation for Somatics, but if they keep doing their lives exactly as they always do it, their mind is set, and nothing can really change. Only love, time, curiosity, and practice can create a light bulb moment, leading to longer-lasting changes. And only more love, time, curiosity and practice will keep a soma moving in that growth/changing direction.

I often find highly educated clients have a hard time getting out of the prefrontal cortex and into the senso…

It's not me, it's you

"You have magic hands, that doesn't hurt at all."  ~ client, as her shoulder moves without pain
"My knee doesn't hurt anymore. Whatever you did is amazing!"  ~ client, who's knee I never touched in her session
"I thought my left shoulder was my issue, since that's where I feel pain.  But it feels better after our session, and we focused on the right side of my body. Fascinating!"  ~ client, who is a bodyworker herself
"I've never felt this good, and I've been going to a chiropractor for 30 years."  ~Think Somatics class student
It's not me, it's you.When clients sing my praises, I tell them, "Don't thank me. Thank your brain!"

All I did was help your brain take back control of how you move and sense yourself.

Somatics is not bodywork.  When you get bodywork, like an adjustment, massage, or other treatment, you are passive. You've taken your body to an "expert," who does something to parts o…

Tips to help you get rid of pain with Somatics

Somatics is never meant to cause pain. If you start doing the moves, and are feeling pain, particularly later in the day or next day, here are helpful tips.

1) Are you working too hard at this? Somatics is not "exercise."  think of the movement as explorations, not “exercises.” Imagine you are moving like seaweed not a tightly wound contraption, or working out. This can be a very different way of moving your body, if you come from a no pain, no gain mentality of fitness/physical therapy world. You are working with your nervous system. Treat it with care.
2) Are you not contracting both sides of your body at once? I’ll use arch and flatten as an example: when you arch, notice if you are releasing the front of the body. Can you feel your belly muscles lengthen and be soft?  If not, you are literally using your body’s tension as a weight machine, pulling against tension. Instead, let the opposing side of the body release a you contract the focus side NO CO-CONTRACTIONS :-) Apply …

Alternative to Feldenkrais or Somatics table--Can you do Somatics on a bed?

Sometimes when new clients come to me they say they can't get down and up from the floor with ease, so they ask if they can do Somatics on their beds.

Yes, you can do your Somatics practice on your bed, but if it's a soft, squishy one, be warned: You can over do the movements and make yourself sore.

When I redecorated my home office I wanted a daybed of sorts. I actually got rid of my standing desk. I hate to sit at a desk or table for long periods of time. When I do sit, I like to sit on the floor. But this where you'll find me, when not on the floor. I sit on this bed to write newsletters and such. It's not really a daybed, but it makes a great little snuggly area to sit and work. I put my laptop on a pillow on my lap, legs crossed. It's SUPER firm! Perfect alternative to a traditional Somatics table, and actually less expensive than many of the folding tables.

It would make a great bed for doing Somatics if you can't get to the floor. I've just got a tw…