What is Somatics?
I am going to begin by explaining what is Somatics, as simply as I can to begin with and as you read through my blog and the page grows it will become more in depth.
A good place to start is with; what is a soma? it is the Greek word for ‘ the living body in it’s wholeness’ and I think that is a good way to sum up Somatics, in its essence it is the education of using the body synergistically.
Somatic education teaches a person how to relieve pain through movement of the body and understanding that by one muscle group over-performing or working harder then the rest of the muscular system on a daily basis, it can create sensory motor amnesia (SMA).
When we repeat a pattern of movement or a reflex, such as moving a computer mouse for a large percentage of the day, or perhaps using the thumb to scroll on your phone, then this can create a muscle contraction which the brain forgets to release because it believes you need it in constant use, and so stays flexed.
You will notice SMA show up as back pain, hip pain, leg pain, sciatica, tension headaches (if the neck is strained) pain in shoulders, elbows, plantar fascilitis, pinched or trapped nerves, scoliosis, poor or restricted joint movement....the list goes on.
Likewise, trauma to the body through an accident, injury or surgical procedure will also cause SMA.
This then consequently, means the brain forgets how to use the muscle freely ( which is the SMA) and can result in pain or at the very least, poor posture which may lead to pain or discomfort over time.
By using somatic movement and making it part of your daily routine, the brain can re-set, remember and begin to re-connect to the contracted muscle it had forgotten about and soma gets back the freedom of movement that was lost.
Somatic educator in training
All about me
Hello and welcome to Synergy Somatics.
This is my first blog that I have ever written and it has been an interesting learning curve just to work out how to get this far! but with a little help from some friends I have got here.
I began to learn about somatic education roughly a year ago when I was on an aerial yoga training course. I had been in pain with my upper back for years, but having a stressful desk job its not surprising. The left side of my shoulder, shoulder blade and neck was really sore and over time the pain got worse and started to transfer to the right side of my shoulder, in to my neck and down my arm. There pain would shoot through my head and even affect my right eye. Just before I discovered somatics my right arm was pretty much numb or had pins and needles.
In this time, I probably spent hundreds of pounds on various treatments, such as sports massages, and accupuncture which all helped for a short time but the pain kept coming back. I now know this is because I never released the muscle from being so contracted. Hindsight is wonderful!
On my training course, I was unable to bend my neck back because it hurt so much and the trainer asked me if I had heard of somatics and to consider it, so I did. I discovered that there was coaching training starting later in the year, so I researched what I could until then and patiently waited for October, when it began.
I spent the weekend in the company of Martha Peterson, founder of Essential Somatics and it changed everything for me. I walked away at the end of the weekend much more educated on my own body and more aware of how I use it and should not be using it, but most importantly…. I was free of any pain.
I continued to do my movement exercises each day and I began to share this with friends and family, to show them how they can take control of their own body to elevate pain.
It was all so interesting to me that I decided the coaching certificate was not enough, I needed to know more, and so I applied with Martha to study Clinical Somatics which began in February.
So here I am, one semester of 6 down and excited for what more I have to learn and share.
I look forward to sharing all my experiences of my ongoing training and practise with you.
For more information please contact email@example.com
The Green Light Reflex
The green light reflex relates to and is concerned with all the muscles of the back, from the neck down to the ankle.
All of our muscles work synergistically so a pain in the top of the back could relate down to a problem in the knee or the hamstring.
As you can see from the picture, everything is connected so it is important to maintain the muscle movement throughout the whole of the back. If one area is not moving due to stiffness or a habituated movement, such as lifting or pulling heavy objects every day, then it will cause other muscles to move less freely because the muscles are not talking to each other as efficiently any more.
Simple green light reflex movements will help to ensure that all the muscle groups of the back of the body work together and release any contracted areas where you may over work during the day or when you are exercising, maintain healthy movement
Back muscles and the green light reflex are often related to active personalities or lifestyles, as the body springs forward in to action, the muscles pushing you forward are your back and so they contract to make your surge forward strong. If this is a consistent posture of your body then naturally your brain thinks that these muscles need to stay contracted.
Back pain is a common ailment at some point in most peoples lives, whether it be fleeting or long term, and is one of the main causes of sickness in the work place. It is not much wonder when we consider what we put our bodies through on a daily basis, and although manual labour may not be as physical as it once was in times a yonder, we have new patterns of work that contribute to it instead, such as computers, desk jobs and mobile phones that we are consistently hunched over.
Surprisingly, it is something that the medical industry spend thousands upon thousands of pounds on drugs for, yet the pain is still in our lives. Even more surprisingly, it is because we cause our own pain. They we move about all day, sit, eat, watch television walk and all manner of movements are performed without us even thinking about it, without us even feeling it half of the time, that is until it hurts.
If we were more conscious of what we were doing and how we hold our physique, then we would be more conscious of what was the root cause of the discomfort.
Somatics education helps to connect with your soma and brings you in to a more conscious way of moving that leads to the freedom of pain.
The Red Light Reflex
The red light reflex concerns the muscles of the front of the body, like green light reflex its from the head down to the toes.
Many people may not be aware of their posture in red light reflex, but will almost definitely feel the effects of it upon the body.
Red light occurs in a number of ways for instance when shoulders roll forward, the chest compresses and the neck juts forward, the torso might collapse in at the diaphragm or the stomach, the pelvis may become more fixed, knees can turn as well as the feet.
A person could suffer all of the above, but on the whole there will generally only be a few of the above physical traits. The cause of these symptoms will vary from posture to your job, the way you sit at a desk, the way you sit when driving, self esteem, anxiety and mood.
When the body starts to gently curl over in to a red light position then it can really affect a person’s mood. As the chest compresses it can make breathing difficult, causing any existing anxiety to worsen or create anxiety where there was none before. The right light reflex can also be linked to depression and trauma as the body folds in on itself for protection.
By working with this reflex, the effects can be reversed and the contracted muscles that pull the front of the torso forward can be released to allow better posture and bringing with it an improvement on breathing, digestion, possibly appetite (if the stomach has been compressed) confidence can be gained as the body becomes more upright and any associated pain will be relieved.
If you feel that any of these symptoms relate to you then feel free to contact me on the details below for more information.
Trauma reflex is arguably the most common of the 3 reflexes. This is due to trauma being an inevitable fact of life and our bodies tend to absorb it in the same way, how we choose deal with it is down to the individual.
Trauma can come in a lot of guises, it could have been a tumble you had as a toddler, a teenager or an adult, it could have been grief, distress, stress, operation, illness, accident, sports injury… the list goes on. All the seemingly small events or the life changing-ly big obstacles that you have experienced over the course of your years, will still be held in your body in some way.
For example, this trauma can be held in a limp resulting from a broken leg, it could be a gentle curvature to the side of your body where you have slipped and had to save yourself, more obviously, a whiplash injury from a car accident or less obviously, migraine, tension headache or eye strain from a neck injury or stressful situation that can make you pull your neck tensely without realisation.
This list is not exhaustive, every soma is different and we can all feel experiences within our own bodies in varying ways and in varying degrees of pain or discomfort.
It is important to accept that this is just a trauma reflex and the pattern can be reversed with some simple re-training of how the brain is controlling the muscle.
Stress can be a major factor to discomfort within your muscles and the function of your body, as it stays within the muscle until it can be released and only you can release this. If stress remains in the muscle then it compounds, so more stress is added on top until it gets to the point where it is no longer bearable or the seemingly calmest of situations creates deep tension. At its worst, stress can contribute massively to poor health and the effects it can have upon a person can be devastating.
By learning how to re-programme you reaction to these situations and events you can alleviate the restrictions it is placing upon you, your soma and your body.
A happy, free soma is a healthy soma.
Special offers and sessions
A one to one appointment allows a full assessment of an individual to be made so that the session can be tailored to that persons needs.
The amount of sessions will be dependant upon the individual and could range from 1 to 5, or more if there is significant trauma.
Our aim is to free your soma so that you do not have to endure a lifetime of appointments. Once the pattern is corrected and we have achieved what the individual wants, then you are equipped with the knowledge to maintain good muscle health from home, or by attending weekly classes (see below), unless you feel the need to recalibrate every so often.
Consultation fee ( 1st App only) £15
A single session is £60.00.
3 Sessions £165.00
5 Sessions £270.00
£30 deposit required upon booking with 48 hour cancellation notice or deposit is non refundable.
All appointments are held in Crosby Chiropractic Clinic, 28 St Johns Road, Waterloo
Wednesday 12pm at Liverpool Yoga Studios, Lace Street, Liverpool
The classes work the body from head to toe and give you a chance to ask questions and talk to people who may have similar habit patterns.
Its a good way to relax and loosen up to start the working week.