Updated: Sep 7, 2021
Here is what I have learned from giving somatics classes and it might give you a clue as to whether these might be for you:
- The movements are mostly easy so it’s a great way of encouraging movement in people with long-term pain AND provides them with a self-help technique to help reduce pain.
- For people who have pain, or whose body has let them down by illness or injury, it’s a really gentle way of doing something good for your body that you might even enjoy…. It might even help repair your fraught relationship with the offending body part… go on, admit it, your ‘bad’ shoulder makes you angry…..what if it got to feel nice for an hour?….food for thought…..
- If muscle tension is a big aspect of your pain, it can really improve with somatics because it’s great for reducing muscle resting tone ( how tight your muscles are at rest)
- most people find it quite relaxing and meditative, even those who just CAN’T meditate or don’t know HOW to relax! I guess you are spending the entire class actually concentrating on the specifics of your movement, so you are not UNDER PRESSURE TO RELAX (which is enough to cause anxiety at the thought of it!) and it kind of lulls your brain into an altered state.
- People whose pain gets worse when they are stressed seem to find somatics beneficial, as it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which gives a lovely soothing effect.
- The most unlikely people like it! But equally, it’s not for everyone….some people just get bored….I guess there are different strokes for different folks…
- It improves body awareness: People who have had physical injuries or surgeries often have an changed relationship with the body part, minding it and not moving it freely and are NOT EVERN AWARE of this. Becoming aware, allows you to change it for the better.
- Somatics classes allow you to identify the areas of your body that are stiff, have forgotten how to move (!) and all those asymmetries you were not aware of. So, you can prevent future problems…..preventative medicine at its best….love it!.
- Afterwards, your body feels different and you move differently…for a while at least. It takes regular practice to have more permanent effects.
- It often takes 2 or 3 classes, to ‘get’ it.
So, all in all, it’s quite a challenge for the Type A, busy people. It’s also quite a learning process for us all to unlearn the push-push-push mentally that our fast-paced society has instilled in us… but I think that this is a good thing to learn. Read my other blogs on this subject.
Every few months I run a free trial Somatics class on Zoom, just to let people experience it and to help decide whether they want to sign up for a set of classes or not. Email me on email@example.com and I’ll let you know when my next trial class is running. I’d be for you to experience it, even if you choose not to do the classes.