Learning Clinical Somatics online vs in-person vs streaming

If you want to learn and reap the benefits of Clinical (Hanna) Somatics you have a several options from which to choose. I've offered them all, so I'd like to share some tips, and humble opinions too. :-)

How and Where Can I Learn Somatics?

Private Session IN-PERSON with a Clinical Somatic Educator

This is the top-notch way to learn Somatics. The challenge? Clinical Somatic Educators aren't on every street corner like yoga studios or chiropractors. If you have the ability to work with a quality CSE in person, do it. There are a few caveats to this though. People hanging out a shingle offering Somatics can all have varying degrees of training. Anyone claiming to be a Clinical or Hanna Somatic Educator will have at minimum 3+ years training. They have hands-on skills that can provide you with results that are leaps and bounds beyond learning Somatics from a book or a sub-par somatics movement teacher.

Private Session ONLINE with a Clinical Somatic Educator

A private session online is first runner up to in-person sessions. Yes, when I work with online clients I can't seem them in 3D, from every angle, or touch areas of their bodies in ways that stimulate the sensory cortex. But my students have had great success from online sessions. Here's what I do with online clients, and hopefully other CSEs do too. I have clients complete an intake form so I know about past accidents, surgeries, work and hobbies, handedness, and more. I will take photos (screen captures), and share them with with the client during the online session. This can to help one start to recognize their personal Sensory Motor Amnesia. I'll assess gait, and then record a lesson for personal use. 

I prefer to initially work with new clients online first. This gives us time to establish rapport, and honestly, see if the client will practice their lesson recording. That is extremely important to the client's results. Anyone expecting a session with me will "fix" their bodies is seeking bodywork. Somatics is not bodywork. It is brainwork. A hands-on session can produce immense relief, but ya gotta practice to make lasting changes in your body and nervous system. :-)

Attend Live Somatics Classes in a Studio

If you can attend a live class or workshop, ideally led by a CSE or ESMT that is a great option for growing your practice and increasing your somatic awareness! Again, the teacher can see you easily and address your SMA in real time. Attending classes regularly can help you stay committed to your practice. Again, in-person classes don't meet in every town in every country. Check out the Think Somatics resources page to find teachers in your area.

Attend Live Somatics Classes Online

I offer online classes and will likely continue to do so, even after COVID is "over". I love that I can work with students from Finland to Hong Kong and everywhere in between. Since there aren't CSEs in every town, this gives more people an opportunity to work with one! It's wonderful for all of us to chat at the end of class and hash out questions and discuss what they've all learned and discovered about themselves during the class. 

Streaming Somatics Recordings

This option is good for people who have a basic foundation of what Somatics is and how to get the most out of their practice. It's also good for those who will carve out the time to actually log in and use the recordings. It's also good for folks who just can't find in-person or online classes to fit their schedules. I highly recommend scheduling a private session with a CSE to help you understand your SMA and get better acquainted with your streaming recording offerings. I offer a variety of streaming memberships plans that fit most budgets and needs. If you opt for streaming lessons I highly recommend you get a session or two to make sure you start off on the right foot

Downloadable Somatics Recordings

Most movement teachers no longer offer DVDs or CDs. Now, with a credit card and the click of button, you get immediate access to the recordings of your choice. I use to offer downloadable recordings, but found that students preferred streaming material so they don't have to store the recordings on their devices. Also, streaming material can be updated from time to time, so you get more learning opportunities. 

How to Find a Great Somatics Teacher

Not all Somatics teachers are the same. I am working more and more with folks who have completed online courses from a variety of "somatics" schools.  Some of them just take streaming lessons without any live interaction. Some have completed teacher trainings. They all tell me they find sessions with me --both in-person and online -- much more in-depth, educational, and provide results they hadn't gotten before. I don't say this to toot my horn. I want you to know that not all Somatic practitioners are the same. 

I've studied with different masters in the field of Somatic Education, so I feel comfortable recommending Essential Somatics if you are looking for in person training. 

ESMT is an Essential Somatics Movement Teacher. ESMTs go through strenuous, lengthy training to become certified. Essential Somatics is run by Martha Peterson, who makes sure ESMTs get an in-depth education to be effective Somatic Movement Teachers.  You can read more about the program here.

Certified Clinical Somatic Educators go through additional training to work with clients 1-on-1. The work they do is called hands-on. A hands-on session is done with you lying on a table (similar to a massage table), fully clothed. By applying a gentle amount of pressure to areas of your body as you move through particular protocols, your brain gains greater sensory-motor feedback and improve how you do your Somatics movements.

Somatics is a hot term these days and trending more and more every day. Which means there is a lot of confusion about what truly is Somatics. In fact, I've recently moved to Western North Carolina and have reached out to three different businesses with the word somatics in their names and they don't do anything somatic-based. Sigh. 

So ask questions when looking for a practitioner/teacher. Do your research. 

I hope you found this post helpful.  You can learn more about Somatics here on my blog, on my website and YouTube channel. I dive more in to the semantics of somatics in this post.

If you have any questions or thoughts, let's continue this conversation in the comments section below. :-)

If you have specific questions related to your specific issues, you are welcome to book a 30-minute consultation with me to find out how Somatics can help. I'd love to work with you!

take good care,


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