Friday, December 5, 2014

Is somatics for you?

Is somatics for you? I'd enthusiastically say "yes!" Everyone could benefit from some somatic education, but really it's solely up you.

At the beginning of every training course, when students get wide-eyed and are blown away by how powerful somatic education is, inevitably someone says, "Somatics Education is so effective! Why isn't it more well known around the world?!" Martha Peterson (my teacher) responds with:

 "Hanna Somatics is not just about pandiculation, muscles and bones! It is about giving yourself permission to get to know who you are....from the inside out. That can be scary and threatening for some people. It can stimulate uncomfortable change and, for many, elicit emotions that have been stuck."

I'll use a personal experience as an example. Usually when someone starts doing somatic exercises they love some of the moves and others not so much. When I started doing somatics I thought the back lift was just the suckiest move ever. I avoided it. But then while at my teacher training, and as I was doing it in class, I started to cry. Not blubbering-baby style, just silent streaming tears. One of my teachers quickly came over to make sure I was ok, and I was. I wasn't in pain, just felt like crying. We soon took a break and another teacher came up to me and said, "crying is ok, and you're actually a head of the curve, because once you get to the clinical training you'll find a lot of folks have some emotional responses too."

Instead of just blowing it off, or feeling embarrassed, I thought about what triggered those tears.

Since my bike accident I had been pissed a lot. Pissed that I got hit and wasn't healing like I expected, that my insurance company screwed me, that I had to hire an attorney who totally dropped the ball, and very sad that some of the people that I loved and trusted to help me heal had moved away during mid treatment and one even died. Top it off with a traumatic brain injury that took months to heal. Every time I started to think about things related to my accident I could feel my body coil up like a ball.

So! While I was doing the back lift, I was partially in a position that I was in when I got hit. Leaning forward with my head turned to the right, seeing a car barreling at me. Totally vulnerable. Fight-or-flight overdrive. My body had been avoiding moving that way for 3 years. It wasn't super painful, but didn't feel great. Not undoable, but I just didn't want to "go there". but this time I let go. I cried, I trusted myself, and I moved forward. It was at that moment that I no longer held anger in my body or let my thoughts overwhelm me.  It was a huge turning point for me in so many ways...

That's not to say that only those who are emotionally stressed can benefit from somatics! There are three standard reflex patterns that a Somatics Educator looks for: green light reflex (imagine military posture, chest up, tight low back), red light reflex (also called startle reflex. Imagine rounded, slumped shoulders, head protruding forward) and trauma reflex (the torso bends and/or twists to one side). So many people have these postures but may not be aware of them or how they came to be. It can be from an injury, lifestyle habits, attitude, stress, or surgeries.

So, like I said, everyone can benefit from somatics. You can break through poor habits and faulty functional patterns. You can release emotional tension stored in your body. From there, who know's what else can shift in your life!

Somatic movement changes everything.

Are you ready for it? If so, consider attending one of my classes, workshops and or meet privately. 

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