A client recently asked me a very good question:
If Somatics is supposed to stick and create lasting effects, why is continual daily practice advised?
Good nutrition has long lasting positive effects on dental health. However, if you want to have healthy teeth you would never stop brushing and flossing your teeth just because you eat well. Somatic Exercises create long lasting change and can profoundly change one's ability to regain freedom of movement and pain relief, but daily practice is required for Somatic Exercise to maintain its effect.
Life is constantly changing, demanding that we adapt in a masterful way, or succumb to the eventual loss of voluntary control and physical mastery. A daily routine of Somatic Exercises will make you less to fall back into a state of somatic forgetfulness if you find yourself paying more and more attention to what is "out there" and less attention to what's happening inside you. This will have an enormously positive impact on your overall health, well-being and ability to function in the real world.
Top Three Benefits of a Daily Somatics Routine
- Somatic Exercises teach you to regain voluntary control of muscles that have become involuntarily tight. They restore sensory awareness and motor function at the brain level. They are movement patterns that are the basis for all human movement: flexion, extension, side bending, trunk rotation. If you want to walk, unaided, up and down the stairs and around the block when you're 80, Somatic Exercises will help you retain and maintain that ability. The basic Somatic Exercises also teach you to recreate the Three Somatic Reflexes that all humans respond to muscularly, so that when these reflexes are invoked during moments of stress, you can voluntarily de-create them. You will be less likely to become habituated and stuck in a reflex pattern (slumped shoulders or over-arched lower back) when you practice intentional, mindful somatic movement.
- A daily Somatic Exercise practice reminds you that YOU are in control. You are the one responding to stress, you are the one controlling your muscles and movement, and it is you who can change how you feel. Once you understand this and practice this, the benefits will last your entire life. Fifteen minutes a day for long-lasting physical independence is a pretty good deal, I would say.
- Keep those chronic aches and pains away, and feel awake, refreshed, in control, and energetic on a daily basis. Just like cats and dogs who pandiculate and stretch out their limbs 42 times a day, we too should be shaking off our stress daily so that it doesn't accumulate.
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.
To learn the basic Somatic Exercises, check out the Essential Somatics® store.