Transform Your Health

Move Without Pain


Lesson 2: Releasing the Sides of the Body

Welcome to the Essential Somatics Mini-Course

Lesson 2

In today’s lesson you’ll learn:

– What causes chronic muscle pain in the sides of your body

– Safe gentle movements to release tension in the sides

Clinical Somatic Education is part of an effective and sensible approach to long-term pain relief

Releasing the Muscles of the Sides of the Body

Trauma Reflex

The Trauma Reflex occurs involuntarily in response to accidents, injuries and the need to avoid further pain by compensating for those events. It can also develop in response to one-sided sports (like tennis, squash) or one-sided functional activity like holding a child on one’s hip or carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder. 

This reflex involves the muscles of the trunk, which hike the hip on one side and twist the spine slightly when contracted.  

Here are a few ways the Trauma Reflex occurs:

  • Changing your walk to compensate for an injured leg (e.g. twisted ankle)

  • Holding a young child on your hip regularly

  • Suffering from appendicitis

  • Slips/falls

The Trauma Reflex presents as side bending and/or twisting in the pelvis, trunk, shoulder, and head. To visualize this, imagine yourself walking like a car with one flat tire. Its postural compensation may be slight or very noticeable, but its effects can be damaging. 

Why hasn’t your doctor heard about Clinical Somatic Education?

With the exception of physiatrists and many sports medicine specialists, most medical doctors aren’t trained to work from a somatic perspective with muscle dysfunction, postural imbalances, and movement in conjunction with one another. They’re trained to handle medical emergencies, understand pathologies, perform surgery, and prevent diseases. In Clinical Somatic Education we address functional problems of the nervous system that only you can feel and then teach you how to change it by improving your sensory motor functioning.

The good news is that more and more doctors are learning about Somatic Education in an effort to provide their patients with the most effective and sensible approach to long-term pain relief.

They are finding that it is a safe and effective method to solve common problems related to muscle pain, posture, inflexibility, and recurring injury.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but Clinical Somatic Education is the missing link to addressing chronic muscle pain by reversing Sensory Motor Amnesia at its root cause: the brain.

Since the brain controls the muscles, it must be involved in training them to relax, release and remember how to move again. 

Just as the brain can teach us to ride a bike, throw a ball or eat with a spoon, it also teaches us to negatively adapt to stress by altering our posture, gait, or movement.

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.

Lesson 2: Releasing the Sides & Rotation

Soma ScanSide BendWashrag

(~12 mins)

Got Questions? We’re here to help!

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Tomorrow we’re going to discuss putting this altogether for a regular practice.

Can’t wait that long? Click here to access Lesson 3 immediately!