About Hanna Somatic Education
Thomas Hanna, PhD developed Hanna Somatic Education over the course of two decades of work in the field of Somatic Education. He began as a Feldenkrais practitioner, and developed his own method of Somatic Education after studying neurology at the University of Miami Medical School. It was there that he did research into the muscular ways in which all humans respond to stress reflexes and how these full body reflexes can habituate at the level of the central nervous system, causing muscular pain that contributes to many common conditions.
Hanna Somatic Education (also known as Clinical Somatics) is a safe, gentle and common sense approach to eliminating chronic muscle pain for the long term. It is an educational process of muscular retraining - not passive therapy. It is the only sensory motor training method that teaches you to reverse the cause of most chronic muscle pain:
SENSORY MOTOR AMNESIA (SMA). Sensory Motor Amnesia is the condition of chronically tight muscles that develops due to accidents, injuries, surgeries, and on-going stress. These muscles have learned to stay so contracted, that no matter what you do - stretching, massaging, or drugging the muscles - they won't relax for the long term. Muscles that have learned to stay contracted must learn to relax. HSE goes to the root of the problem: your brain and nervous system, and its control of muscles and movement. Your brain has simply forgotten how to relax these muscles, so you must retrain the brain to retrain your muscles in order to reverse pain and regain mobility.
While most pain relief methods focus on the one specific area of pain (e.g. the neck, hip, shoulder), Hanna Somatics understands that pain in one part of the body is part of a larger pattern of muscular dysfunction. These patterns are reflective of typical responses to stress:
In his work with clients, Thomas Hanna observed that Sensory Motor Amnesia and its dysfunctions presented within three specific, full body reflex patterns, which he named the green light reflex, red light reflex, and trauma reflex. The methods and movements of Hanna Somatics teaches the client to change habitual postural adaptations and habits, which eliminates muscle pain while increasing mobility, coordination and balance.
The benefits of Hanna Somatic Education include:
- Long term pain relief from a host of common conditions
- Life long skills that teach you how to regain voluntary control of habitually tight muscles
- Greater physical independence and mastery of your movement
- Increased flexibility, coordination, stress relief, balance and proprioception
- A safe, easy and common sense alternative to drugs, and surgery
Hanna Somatics is profoundly effective at relieving the chronic aches and disability commonly associated with such complaints as:
- painful joints and muscles
- neck, shoulder and back pain
- hip, knee and foot pain
- repetitive use injuries
- poor posture
- accident traumas and whiplash
- breathing problems
- frozen shoulder syndrome
WHY SHOULD I TRY HANNA SOMATICS?
Hanna Somatics goes to the root of most chronic muscular pain: the brain. Just as the brain can learn positive things like riding a bike or learning to ski, so can it learn negative things, like holding oneself stiff and out of balance. Because the brain controls the muscles, the brain must be involved in teaching the muscles to relax, release and remember how to move again.
What sets Hanna Somatics apart from other approaches such as physical therapy, massage therapy, surgery, stretching, acupuncture or drugs?:
- The technique of PANDICULATION - the "aha!" moment of Hanna Somatics. Clients learn to reset muscle length at the brain level and regain voluntary control of habitually contracted muscles for pain relief and increased mobility.
- Somatics focuses on FULL BODY PATTERNS of muscular contraction, rather than just focusing on one area of pain. Tightness in the center of the body translates to tightness in the periphery (hip, knee, foot, neck).
- HSE is ACTIVE, NOT PASSIVE. Physical therapy, massage, trigger point therapy, and other methods, confer temporary pain relief because they are passive. The client is being worked on. Habitually contracted muscles can only release for the long term through active participation by the client. It is your brain that controls your muscles, therefore the best method for long term pain relief is through active improvement of your sensory motor system.
- HSE is EDUCATION - clients are taught specific skills that improve self-awareness, and self-monitoring to help them achieve long term pain-free, increased mobility, balance and coordination.
Learning Center Resources
“After trying many pain-relief techniques, the only lasting solution was from Hanna Somatics and Martha Peterson. After only two sessions I had immediate and extraordinary pain relief. I learned easy techniques that I now use to relax any painful muscles.”
- LM - Baltimore, MD
“I've had hip and low back problems for the last 10 years. I've been doing your Somatics DVD for a week and am getting great results!”
- G.P., California