What actually happens in a "hands-on" Clinical (Hanna) Somatics session?

 Here are two primary ways to reap the benefits of Somatics in the tradition of Thomas Hanna PhD. 

1. Practice the Movements of Somatics

First, you must have a personal Somatics practice that you do regularly. It's not like PT in which you do 3 sets of 20 repetitions of exercises for your achy, breaky parts. Somatic movements, referred to as pandiculations, help you rewire the way your brain controls your muscles. The movements address your whole body, from head to toes, because no part of your body functions in isolation.  

Little side note here: Forward head posture is a perfect example of how no part of your body works by itself. Typical approaches to fix "tech neck"— drawing and pushing your head back— aren't addressing the full body pattern, making reversing the pattern futile. Check out this video and feel it for yourself! 

2. Hands-on Sessions with a Certified Clinical Somatic Educator

A regular practice is great and can be very effective, but if you have the opportunity to work with a Somatic Educator in person, do it! 

Here's what happens when you have a session with Kristin. Your session will start by going over your history of accidents, injuries, surgeries, what are your hobbies, career activities, etc. Kristin will observe you walk, stand and take photos of you. This intel can help you gain greater aware of what tension patterns you may have, but might not truly be aware of, i.e. Sensory Motor Amnesia.

Next you'll lie on a firm, padded table that is wider than a massage table. You will be clothed. You will be guided through particular movements while Kristin applies very gentle pressure to parts of your body (a shoulder, a hip, feet, etc). This hands-on technique gives your sensory cortex greater sense of the tension patterns you have, and then you will slowly release them. There is no stretching, force or manipulation. This technique is very gentle. It's what we call going cortical. The neocortex, the part of your brain involved in learning motor patterns is lit up so you can start relearning new ways of being. The best way to change your patterns is to be in charge of making them happen, so your brain and nervous system rewire how your move and function.

If Somatics is new to you, here are additional posts to learn more.

If you are in Western North Carolina, schedule your Somatics session

Kristin is in Waynesville, NC, and she is also available for private online sessions too. Second best to a hands-on session. After the intake and screen shot portion of your online session, she'll tailor a Somatics movement lesson just for you. You'll get a recording for your personal practice. Book online and in person sessions here.


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