Transform Your Health
Move Without Pain
Lesson 1: Releasing the Front and Back of the Body
Welcome to the Essential Somatics Mini-Course
In today’s lesson you’ll learn:
– What causes chronic muscle pain in the front and back of your body
– Safe gentle movements to release tension in the front and back
– Why Clinical Somatic Education works
Releasing the Muscles of the Front and Back
Green Light Reflex
Involves the large muscles of the back responsible for moving you forward in walking, running and standing. When those muscles remain overly-contracted, they pull the back into an exaggerated arch like a soldier standing at attention.
When you’re running for the train, sitting at the computer for hours, picking up a child, or standing all day, these “green light” muscles are working to help you “get the job done.”
But if the Green Light Reflex becomes habituated, conditions such as these can develop:
- Herniated discs
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
Red Light Reflex
Involves the muscles on the front of the body tightening to pull you forward, which presents itself with rounded shoulders, a depressed chest and the head jutting forward.
This slumping reflex is a protective mechanism found in all vertebrate animals as a response to fear, anxiety, prolonged distress or negativity. For example, an unexpected loud noise can cause the muscles of the front of the body to contract suddenly as it pulls inward into a slumping posture.
If the Red Light Reflex becomes habituated, it can lead to conditions such as:
- Chronic neck pain
- Jaw pain (as with TMJ)
- Hip pain
- Mid-back pain
- Shallow breathing
Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA)
Many cases of muscular pain—sciatica, scoliosis, frozen shoulder, uneven leg length or plantar fasciitis—are viewed by most doctors as structural problems. However, Clinical Somatic Educators view these conditions as functional problems that can be treated by improving the sensory motor system.
That’s what this free course will teach you how to do.
Most pain relief methods such as physical therapy, massage therapy, surgery, stretching, acupuncture, or prescription drugs, focus on the one specific area of pain (e.g. the neck, hip, shoulder, back), while Clinical Somatic Education understands that pain in one part of the body is part of a larger pattern of muscular dysfunction.
That means Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA) cannot be reversed through passive bodywork such as massage, Rolfing, chiropractic work or stretching.
The good news is that SMA is learned through habituation, which means it can (thankfully!) be unlearned by practicing a new way of sensing and moving.
Clinical Somatic Education not only actively teaches you how to retrain your brain using movements called pandiculations (more on that later) but it also helps you become aware of how your posture adapts to habits and stress.
Now, let’s begin our movement practice!
Before we begin, find a firm surface to lie on such as a carpet, rug or yoga mat. Make sure your arms and legs can stretch out without bumping into any walls or furniture and that you can still see your laptop or mobile device from where you are.
To get the most out of this lesson, wear loose clothing, and avoid noise and distractions for the next 10 minutes. After completing Arch & Flatten, remain lying on the ground for about 30 seconds to let your brain register the changes you’ve created.
These movements are not exercises! They’re slow, gentle movements. Do them calmly and slowly, and have fun doing them. This is one time in your life where less is definitely more, so don’t overdo it.
All Somatic Movement routines begin by taking an inventory of how your body feels. This is known as a Soma Scan. Settle into your comfy spot and let me guide you through your first Soma Scan now.