Clinical Somatic Education™ (often called simply Somatics or Clinical Somatics) is an approach to renewed control of the muscles through use of the voluntary motor system. This method takes two forms — hands-on sessions (available by working with a certified Clinical Somatic Education™ practitioner), and self-care through Somatic Exercises™. You can do Somatics Exercises™ by attending a group class in which a certified practitioner guides you through them, by learning them from a book of exercises, or by following exercises on tape.
If you can’t attend a class or a session with a certified Clinical Somatics practitioner, you can experience many of the same benefits through using exercises in the book Somatics, the Cat Stretch CD and Somatic Exercises™ CDs.
You can gradually work your way through an audiotape series, 5-15 minutes a day, or set aside 3-4 hours to experience a special Somatic Exercise™ series. If you do a brief session, always end with the elbow-to-knee exercise (Somatics, p.99, #4). The benefits of the exercises are cumulative: The effects increase and you develop greater flexibility and ease of movement as you repeat them over time. Read more about the suggested sequence for Somatic Exercises™ to achieve optimum results.
Typically, a person will buy a set of Somatics Exercises™ CDs and follow this routine to achieve ideal results: Hanna’s series of CDs are sequenced carefully so that each lesson builds a certain foundation to prepare you for the next, improving one area so that you can then improve the next. Thus, it’s a good idea to follow the intended order of a set of CDs. Read some suggestions and guidelines for a schedule for doing your Somatic Exercises™ to achieve optimum results.
After this, all you may need to do to maintain optimum flexibility is the Daily Somatic Essentials routine of brief refresher exercises, also known as the “Cat Stretch”, which takes only 5-10 minutes to do once you learn them. You may want to add specific Somatic Exercises™ to your daily routine from time to time to address special stress areas, trouble spots, or particular areas you wish to work with in-depth. The goal is for you to become your own somatic educator and help yourself out of stress, strain, or pain as you encounter the rough and tumble of your lifestyle, job, hobbies, and pursuits.