"Somatic Exercises can change how we live our lives, how we believe that our minds and bodies interrelate, how powerful we think we are in controlling our lives, and how responsible we should be in taking care of our total being."
Somatic Exercises are movements a person can do that are similiar in form and pattern to the hands-on sessions. Instead of the sensory input and contractions provided by a practitioner, the Exercises use gravity and the person's own attention and activity to create the sensory-motor signals sent to the central nervous system. Just as in the hands-on sessions, these signals provide the neccessry bio-feedback and other neuromuscular diagnostic information to the brain to enable it to correct chronic contractions, faulty movement patterns, and destructive musculoskeletal mis-alignments. The result is relief or even complete reversal of chronic pains, acute injuries, tensions, inflexibilities, and associated conditions such as inflamation. Despite the absence of a one-on-one practitioner, you will find Somatic Exercises to still be convenient, simple, and almost as easy and effortless to do by yourself as working with a professional.
Not only are negative conditions corrected, but positive movement goals are supported and enhanced... In fact, some athletes, dancers, yogis, or even just casual fitness buffs and weekend warriors may be able to realize critical or dramatic gains in their athletic abilities, some of which might be impossible without Somatics. For example, Somatics will provide maximal flexiblity and length of the muscles and range-of-motion of the joints, with no aggressive stretching or risk of injury. This will help all athletics, ballistic and otherwise; and it will also allow yogis, pilates exercisers, etc. to acheive postures and other motions they might not even be able to obtain from years of work exclusively with the yoga, pilates, etc. alone. Additonally, inneffective movement patterns and strategies (a bad tennis swing, an innefficient or ungraceful habit in dance or running, etc.) can be more easily identified by the central nervous system using Somatics, and remapped into "best movement practices" for the sport in question. Consequently, coordination and accuracy can also improve. Additionally, all these gains can decrease the risk of injury and improve recovery time as well as increase athetic performance levels in the moment of the atheltic event.
The same benefits can be seen in other movements requiring "athleticism", including musical performance, physical jobs such as shipping and moving, and even desk work, computer usage, and lab and technical work.
Certainly there are some conditions that may necesistate the assistance of a practitioner for maximum benefits, and others that could benefit significantly from the additional efficiency and expertise of a trained hands-on practitioner. However, Somatic Exercises can and should be practiced by everyone. They can be done as a therapeutic support to a course of hands-on sessions with a practitioner, a way to obtain help and improvement if you live too far away from or can't afford a practitioner, a great and fun stress-reliever, a workplace wellness tool, and/or as regular practice to maintain your Somatic health and well-being life-long as well as acheive dramatic improvements in the movement and athletic endeavors of your choosing.
One of the best thing about Somatic Exercises is that are so many ways to practice them: You can take classes or workshops with a practitioner, you can learn them and do them on your own on your own schedule, or you can obtain books and recordings and other tools so it's like taking a Somatics workshop at home for a fraction of the cost, or you can use recordings to help remind you how to do the exercises you've already learned.