Somatic Exercise Movements
I run Somatic Exercise Movement workshops at The Monastery Manchester and also in Pickmere, near Knutsford (3 miles from Junction 19 of M6).
Please contact me for details of the current - next workshops.
Next Workshops running
September 21st (Pickmere) & 22nd (The Monastery Manchester) - An Introduction to Somatic Exercise Movements
October & November 2019 - Pickmere & The Monastery Manchester - 2 part series "The 7 Daily Cat Stretch Somatic Exercise Movements" - A series of Movements which when done regularly will help to release most of the general body - and maintain your freedom to move well and with ease.
Somatic Exercise Movements teach people to move well. This in turn will make everything you do – walking, lifting, your daily life – easier and to live your life feely.
They are gentle, safe and dramatically effective at eliminating pain, and increasing movement and flexibility. They are an inexpensive way to begin to learn to take back control of your muscles so you can get rid of your pain – for the long term.
They help release SMA (Sensory Motor Amnesia) and re-set back to a normal neutral length constricted, habituated, restrictive muscles.
They can be built into a treatment session along with massage; as stand alone sessions; or class or workshop based sessions. They are also given to be done at home for yourself – to help yourself improve and/or maintain your flexibility and mobility on an on going basis.
They are not standard exercises, but done in a very specific way, which may at first mean that people think they are yoga or pilates moves, but they have a very crucial difference – they do not use stretching, in fact they do the very opposite. The movements learned improve muscle function and sensory motor awareness, and are an excellent compliment to any workout routine, yoga practice or athletic activity because they free up constriction in the muscles and allow them to move freely – making your exercise of choice even more effective.
These sessions teach you techniques and concepts, the benefits of which include chronic muscle pain relief, injury prevention and increased flexibility and mobility. They are intended to be done by you – on a regular basis.
Benefits to Clients
When I started doing them I noticed that I had a tendancy to stand with one heel raised, which raised my hip and in effect shortened my waist muscles on that side. It also caused the shoulder on that side to appear lower, the other appearing higher and made my leg length appear shorter – not so! By being aware of what I was doing to myself – I could remind myself to put my foot flat on the foor and correct the habit – my habit – for myself. The Somatic Exercises then helped me to release the shortened waist muscles and rebalance my entire body, and as a consequence I have much more energy too - amazing!
A client who hadn't seen me for a while booked in one day with a recurrance of a back problem. He had thought it was a knee problem, so he has revisited his knee specialist who told him it was a back issue. When i watched him walk – OH MY GOSH – he was practically leaning at a 45 deg angle! WOW! What on earth have you done said I. He said his leg muscles were weak and he thought caused by his knee problem. It didn't become clear until a few sessions later when he suddenly sat in a way that I hadn't sen him do before. It turned out he sat on his sofa, with his legs outstretched, fully leaning his weight on to his arm which was rested on the sofa. His body them further slumped into that position – and worse still – when he stood up, his body didn't correct itself by standing tall and upright – but maintained it's slumped position as he walked. Result – SMA! - habituated postural position, which because of SMA (sensory Motor Amnesia) he was no longer able to feel anything but the discomfort in his knee! His leg muscle was wasting because he didn't plant his foot down equally. No amount of Physio, Chiropractor or Osteopath – or indeed Massage work – could help solve that problem – unless or until he bacame aware of what he was doing to himself – and correcting it – for himself. Sure it could help, but it won't solve the problem. He has simply developed an unfortunate muscular habit, which requires “un-learning” in order to regain the ability to self-correct their posture and move easy without pain. The first step in the process, however, is awareness. After one session of Somatic Exercises he could feel his weight more evenly on the floor - the first step to re-gaining his awareness, and something he can build on and notice for himself.
Another client had a “ah-ah” moment one day in a massage session when she suddenly noticed that as we had been talking she had involuntarily raised her shoulder. Wow she said – I didn't realise that i do that – I'm causing the problem myself. So now she too is more aware about what she is doing to herself!
Another client came to me with very painful back muscles and feeling that her stomach is very fat. BUT, her back muscles are so tight that they are tilting her pelvis forward which in turn is making her abdomen protrude out, giving the appearance of making her feel and look fatter that she is. If her back muscles are released so that they lengthen back to neutral, then that will then also allow the pelvis to move back into neutral, her posture overall will readjust and her stomach will not be as big as she thinks it is!
Another client told how to ease her lower back problems she pelvic tilts and holds her stomach in. Well that may ease the pain in her back, but it also holds the abdominal muscles in a state of permanent contraction. If she doesn't release both properly back to a natural neutral length she will also permanently contract her front of the body muscles too, and as a consequence will set up a fight between the front and back of the body for tightness supremacy. In a half hour session, instead of doing a massage I taught her 1 somatic movement exercise. OMG – WOW! The difference in her posture when she stood up and walked around was simply quite stunning, she truly looked like the dancer/performer that she wanted to become – it was amazing. She can now do the same exercise at home, on a regular basis, to help her to maintain her posture and freedom of movement.