I am happy to be including, the beautiful practice of Soma or Somatic Therapy into your experience. This practice can be blended with Therapeutic Yoga techniques or taken as a separate course of treatment. I offer it On-Line for classes, and I offer either On-Line or I will come to your home at no extra charge, for Private Sessions.
"Somatic" means what it feels like to be in your body. These gentle easy movements will teach your brain to learn to relax your muscles through easy painfree movement. Reminding your muscles that they need to flex, and reminding the body that it needs to bend, extend and twist is crucial in relieving muscle pain. Simple movements, even when done while seated, refresh your brain. The brain teaches our muscles to adapt while either sitting for long periods at a desk or in a car. One example would be how working on a computer all day can contribue to tight back muscles which contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, neck, shoulder and back pain.
Over the course of our lives , our muscles can become so tight due to stress experiences as a result of surgeries, accidents or ongoing stresses, that no matter what you do, massage or stretchng, those muscles won't relax for the long term. The muscles become tight and painful and most people think this is the result of aging. It is not. It is referred to as Sensory Motor Amnesia, and it happens to everyone, regardless of age. Sensory Motor Amnesia simply means that the brain, the control centre for the muscles, has taught those muscles to stay tight, and has simply forgotten how to relax them.
It is important to understand that the brain controls the muscles, so just as the brain teaches us how to ride a bike, swing a golf club or dance the tango, so to can it teach us to hold ourselves tightly in response to stress, for instance the need to sit for long hours or ride in a car. Even if one part of our body, your shoulders or your hips for example, are painful, there is always a full body pattern of contraction that occurs and makes it difficult to relax that part of the body. You will also learn 360o breathing, which tremendously enhances your sense of your unique body. Breathing is one of the ways in which we can make movement easier or harder, it makes a huge difference to incorporate the breath in a positive way to decrease physical effort to move.
Somatic movements will help you relax these patterns. They are simple and will teach your muscles to lengthen without stretching. When you stretch, you pull the muscle into the length you would like it to have, but this can cause the muscle to tighten back against this.
You will learn something that cats and dogs do when they come up from a rest. You will contract into the tight muscle first, then slowly lengthen. This is called Pandiculation. You will learn how to take your muscles off of cruise control, then lengthen and relax only as far as is comfortable. The concept isn't about having long muscles, it's about having relaxed and easy to move muscles. If you have read the previous Blog on the Feldenkrais Method, you may begin to hear similarities.
Anything you do consistently becomes a habit, for your muscles and your movement. Sitting for long hours , slouching, or arching your back trying to sit straight to correct the slouching. Habits Can Be Reversed!
These gentle movements are the key to reversing pain in the body, Be patient as you learn, and experience your body become more self-correcting, more balanced, and the muscles more relaxed. It all comes back to finding ways to step out of your habits, and explore the possibilities.