What is Clinical Somatic Education?


Clinical Somatic Education engages the nervous system using an active learning process to help relax muscles and ease pain. First developed by Thomas Hanna, PhD, this process involves slow, focused and gentle movements known as neuromuscular retraining.  Clinical Somatic Education (also called Hanna Somatic Education) is a direct way to get rid of pain, tension and poor posture caused by sensory motor amnesia


Clinical Somatic Education teaches you how to relax muscles that contribute to pain and tension, allowing you to move past something called Sensory Motor Amnesia, a major contributor to chronic musculoskeletal conditions. 

Even though you and your practitioner move your body as part of a Clinical Somatic session, it’s BRAIN WORK and not traditional bodywork. The education of neuromuscular patterns differs from traditional bodywork, where the person receiving the bodywork is passive (e.g., massage). In Somatics, you are an active participant in the process.

Additionally, Somatic movement classes are different from other movement classes in that students are asked to actively control movements in a specific way. This allows tight muscles to release for more freedom of movement. As a result, you increase flexibility and improve posture without force.

Muscles don’t move by themselves; they are controlled by the brain (motor cortex). Changing the way the brain messages muscles helps change chronically tight muscles and relieve areas of the body and improve flexibility.

Clinical Somatics is an education process to help you become more self-sufficient in addressing your musculoskeletal patterns and issues caused by Sensory Motor Amnesia.

In individual Somatic sessions, the client is empowered by learning to actively participate in his/her own process of exploration and with that discovery, the client experiences a “re-learning or re-remembering” what the body inherently already knows how to do; which is to move freely without pain. It’s a bit like forming new pixels of information in the brain whereby the steps become clearer, like a crystal clear photo of felt sensations.


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