What is “Somatics”?
Somatics refers to a broad field of movement-based practices and techniques for embodied awareness. The goal of Somatics is to bring awareness and flow to the body-mind connection. This in turn unlocks the inherent wisdom within the body and accesses the body’s natural ability to self-regulate, balance and self-heal.
Somatics uses movement and touch techniques as tools to reflect how we feel on the inside and to experience how our internal terrain of subconscious thoughts turns into external conscious actions. Therefore, Somatics can be as simple as a moving meditation to bring awareness into the body for grounding and calming the nervous system, and it can be as complex as repatterning your system to disrupt cognitive, behavioral and physical dysfunction.
There are a variety of Somatic Practices within the field of Somatics. Some examples are:
Somatic Yoga – a mindful and integrative body wisdom approach to yoga.
Somatic Psychology – a therapy that uses embodiment techniques for greater psychological understanding.
Somatic Experiencing – embodiment techniques used to recall pivotal experiences to heal and transform trauma.
Somatic Dance – dance that centers around how you feel internally rather than the shapes and lines you are creating externally.
Somatic Bodywork & Movement Analysis – a variety of bodywork and/or movement analysis techniques aimed at full body integration and healing restoration that include: Ideokinesis, Feldenkrais, Bartenieff, Laban Movement Analysis, Body Mind Centering, Alexander Technique, Hanna Method and more.
Somatic Movement Therapy – combination of Somatic Bodywork and Movement Analysis Techniques, anchored in: anatomy, biology and neuroscience, that are used to facilitate healing sessions that relieve pain and transform / heal blockages and traumas.
What is Somatic Movement Therapy?
Somatic Movement Therapy (SMT) is a hands-on healing practice that relieves chronic or acute pain, resolves issues caused by injury or surgery, transforms psycho-spiritual trauma (PTSD), calms the nervous system and re-patterns the body for efficient and pain free movement. The Somatic Movement Therapist uses Somatic based Bodywork, Movement Analysis, movement and touch to achieve this.
Anchored in the biological sciences, SMT draws on knowledge from biology, anatomy and neuroscience to work with all systems of the body holistically. Through touch and movement exercises, SMT activates, releases and/or supports: the muscles, fluids, organs, bones, nerves, glands, tissues, etc. to work optimally and free your body into its natural flow state.
Somatic Movement Therapy is an integrated body-mind therapy that is capable of disrupting trauma and chronic pain responses and restores the natural flow to the body so that you can rest, restore and heal. Looking at the body’s complex patterns, SMT can see what patterns have created blockages, pain and dysfunction. The Somatic Movement Therapist is trained in how to hack these patterns and release the client into a flowing state where balance and health can then be achieved.
Often times, Somatic Movement Therapists come from the field of dance (as did I) and offer movement classes or movement and stretching exercises as part of their therapeutic practice. Dancers have deep knowledge of the body in motion, how to create full body integrations and how to move with efficiency, alignment and ease. We are also experts at using guided imagery and have a keen eye for movement. Dancers who become Somatic Movement Therapists, are skilled at body observation and trained in how to recognize which body system is causing dysfunction or disruption. This makes us perfect candidates for movement therapy and healing through movement practices.