Defining the Soma through Thomas Hanna's Theory of Somatics “It is fundamental to recognize that the same individual is categorically different when viewed. somatics reawakening the mind's control of movement, flexibility, and healththomas hanna director somatics reawakening the mind's control of movement, flexibility, and health thomas hanna director of the novato instit. DOWNLOAD PDF. Welcome to our catalog. Most of these items can be ordered . BODIES IN REVOLT: A Primer in Somatic Thinking, Thomas Hanna. (#SER) $

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What Is Somatics? Thomas Hanna. 1. The Distinction between Soma and Body. Somatics is the field which studies the soma: namely the body as per-. The specific advantage seen in Hanna Somatic Education by referring physicians is .. By , I was a student-in-training under Thomas Hanna, developer of. Title: Somatics by Thomas Hanna. Page number ISSUU Downloader is a free to use tool for downloading any book or publication on ISSUU. By using this .

It is important to recognize here that the soma is the unified mind-body. So in this sense mental conditioning will directly affect physical conditioning, and vise-versa. I remember in my initial years of dance training when I was trying to aim for the center split stretch and was a considerable distance above the ground, my teacher told me that it was not that I was physically inflexible but that perhaps, mentally I was inflexible too.

I consciously started changing my limited thought patterns through positive affirmations a la Louise Hay. My dance teacher also suggested visualization and drawing pictures of the new physical possibility I wished to create for myself.

This mental work was accompanied by relaxation and release techniques borrowed from somatic practices like alexander technique. Through this work I began to achieve physically things that had once seemed impossible. It is only through the exclusionary function of awareness that the involuntary is made voluntary, the unknown is made known, and the never done is made doable.

Hanna talks of how we loose volition and control over different parts of the body due to reflexes both sensory and motor that have become habituated and involuntary.

This is called Sensory-Motor amnesia. Old age is not a consequence of time, but a degeneration of the vitality of the physical and mental system. Aspects to the self that are not consciously sensed or controlled from the start eventually become dysfunctional, rigid and useless. Important questions that came up for me personally- how do we move towards experiencing and functioning in life with authentic and direct clarity of intention instead of functioning from patterned past conditioning?

How do we step out of the reactive limited patterns that cause physical and mental illness, dysfunctional relationships both within the self and with the world at large and start to expand our repertoire to develop life enhancing strategies?

How do we regain our sense of control, over those areas of our being that stress, anxiety and flawed decision making has rendered useless and moved out of our realm of voluntary control? Martha Eddy and Don Hanlon Jonson Both Eddy and Johnson suggest that the common features that helped formulate a canon of Somatic Education are inclusiveness of exercises, philosophies, methods and systems of Inquiry that are a part of each practice.

Through somatic practices the first person can reclaim their self-regulation and healing process and nurse themselves back to health. If necessarily seen as one, she likens it to a field of wildflowers with unique species randomly popping up across wide expanses.

Principles are similar but the techniques are not, so it is often a cause of fragmentation. Johnson identifies a gap between experience and reality i. He relegates to the somatic field the potential to explore this dialectic explicitly or implicitly. Through a combination of these two principles the dialectic of the experiential versus reality is explored. Principle of Body Image and Personality- According to this principle how one experiences one's body is the foundation for his or her psychology and world-view.

Johnson breaks this principle of body-image into three categories 1. These reflections can be anchored in journal, drawings, movement explorations, photographs and poetry. Our behavior from how we think, love, obey, decide is within the body image. How we restrain or free our movement choices determines how we negotiate choices in life. Through my training in dance and somatic practices, I have come to realize that the state of the body influences the state of the mind and vice-versa.

I feel when we clench our jaws, fists or any other part of our body unconsciously; it immediately sends a message to our body, a message that creates a feeling of discomfort with the situation or the task at hand. This has often had immediate positive effects, as by eliminating this tightness, I shut off the fight or flight signal to choose a state of being that is more relaxed and thus more open to being able to absorb.

Somatic practices and dance, has not only helped me as a performing artist, but it has helped reshape my whole outlook to life and expand my repertoire of consciousness. Maneuvering my body in space has changed how I negotiate my pathway through life. Principle of the Public-body- The public body is described by laws that are common to all physical organisms such as- law of physics, cellular biology, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology.

Cohen utilizes neuroendocrine system. I believe that knowledge of the public body is equally important to aid and inform the somatic practice. Studying the anatomy of movement and the muscular-skeletal structure as a part of my recent Pilates certification has opened up a whole new way in which I can access my body.

Through the study of anatomy, I have begun to recognize how understanding the range of motion in a ball and socket joint can completely change how I access my arms and my legs. Learning to recognize a bad posture, or misaligned structural habits, or how to efficiently distribute our weight into the floor while we stand, sit or move through biological study can go a long way. An example from personal history to substantiate how bad posture can have several implication- In my teenage years I started slouching forward, this slouch put unnecessary pressure on my abdomen, my stomach muscles and other organs in my body, and soon no matter what the situation my experience was one of unease or fatigue.

Usually contracting in is a signal to protect ourselves, the hormonal activation in relation to that is also one that if unnecessarily used, blocks our access to the world. Opening up the chest instead sends a signal to be open to the world. Thus it can be seen that it is highly beneficial to develop an understanding of both the personal as well as the public body principle, to allow them to inform each other.

This is holistic route that the somatic practice has to offer. Movement includes the subtler movements of the breath, the voice, the face, and the postural muscles, as well as any large movement task, event, or expression.

Skin is the largest organ of the body, thus the use of touch amplifies sensory experience and helps awaken the awareness quickly. Professional practitioners of somatic movement disciplines use a variety of skills and tools, including diverse qualities of touch, empathic verbal exchange, and both subtle and complex movement experiences. The original scope of practice for somatic movement educators and therapists, as defined by the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy is to enhance human processes of psychophysical awareness and functioning through movement learning.

Eddy Benefits Of The Somatic Practice: Intentional Rest Somatic Practices have been important to me because its roots are in a quest for autonomy over what our priorities should be if we want to live a holistic and balanced life. We are driven by a world that measures our worth on models that feed on money, fame and power.

Our lifestyle is hijacked by consumerism, materialism and working overtime. We have replaced cyber-time over alone time or personal time with loved ones.

We are enveloped in an era overstimulated by technology. I find myself to be in a time when there is a severe lifestyle disorder, overload of multitasking and imbalanced work- rest schedules that affect both the potential as well as the experience of the individual.

I believe that the choices we are making, as a civilization is a direct reflection of how out of touch we are with our mind-body experience. Stress and Anxiety levels are on the high, pain and stiffness are tolerated as normal, immunity is highly reduced and diseases are creeping into the younger generation.

Somatic practice has the potential to offer us a way to reclaim our mind-body paradigm. Through it we are not only able to alter our physcho-physical health but are also able to recreate a new learning model for ourselves that allows for ease and releases pain.

Somatic education helps us unravel our self-image that changes our approach towards how we treat ourselves and wish to experience life. Somatic approach is a learning model that helps the individual recognize the self and how it learns and makes its choices.

Sensing how I organize my learning helps me create new pathways to learn better. In somatic work I have learnt that unlocking the patterns in our body unlocks new possibilities for us.

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When we create multiple possibilities for ourselves we increase our potential. The integration of rest into Somatic Practices and its method of doing little consciously instead of doing a lot unconsciously has been a prime feature of attraction for the work I wish to do in the future both as an artist and a facilitator.

Employing rest and conscious practice have helped me achieve quicker and faster results in a shorter span of time in an organic way. The somatic practices have very successfully incorporated the essence of this philosophy.

The concept of constructive or intentional rest has been interpreted in various ways in different schools of somatic practice e. In resting, a student is encouraged to observe themselves with attention to residual sensations, novel organization of their self-image, and a general state of open awareness to their present experience.

Resting phase is between thirty seconds to one minute or three minutes of verbally guided movement. This rest makes room to integrate kinesthetic feedback from movement, and thus help release reactive patterns, acknowledge new movement options and consolidate the new learning.

It was a workshop organized by an upcoming contemporary dance forum in New Delhi, India, and so I went in expecting a purely physical experience. Prior to that I had spent a continuous month of intense yoga teacher training at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai, and was seeking a new approach to myself and to life.

We began the class by lying down on towels to explore minimalistic movement performed very slowly. I remember slipping in and out of sleep and wakefulness, and found it highly fascinating when I began to find connections between my torso and limbs that I had never experienced before. The teacher through soft vocal directives guided us from one movement to another. At times I felt like I was doing the movement when physically perhaps I was not really doing it.

A possible explanation for this is that the brain map lights up in the same manner for imagined action as it does for performed action Bateson, Each day we focused on different sections of the body, as a dancer I began to sense and make connections in my body like I had never sensed before. But there was something else that accompanied this mere integration, my brain felt as if it were massaged and stimulated into a state of total comfort, openness and freedom.

I examined Harley's knee and found that it moved quite freely; and, when I manipulated the leg, it could straighten completely. There was no interior obstruction nor any grating sound, and there was no looseness in the capsule when I put lateral pressure on the knee joint.

It was a perfectly sound knee, except that, while standing or walking, Harley could not straighten it. Already I knew that his problem was functional, not structural. In standing, Harley tilted strongly to the left, with his head tilted back to the right in compensation. I asked him if the muscles on the right side of his neck were always sore, and he said yes.

All the muscles on the left side of his trunk were rigidly tight, especially those in the left waist. These pulled his rib cage so far over to the left that it was touching his pelvis.

It was as if these muscles were still cringing in response to the fall on his knee. In fact, this was precisely what was happening: The painful trauma of the fall had triggered in the brain a reflex muscular contraction on the left side, which had lingered on ever since the time of the fall.

The shock to his left side-and to his right brain hemisphere-was, as it were, frozen in time.

The muscles of Harley's left waist and hip were so spastic that he could neither move nor straighten his Figure 8 leg in a normal fashion. His left pelvis and knee were Harley's Posture Harley 60 Years : The Retracted Landing Gear "frozen" in a bent, cringing position-like an airplane landing gear half retracted. Because medical technology allows doctors to focus only on the small picture, his doctors, in looking at the knee for structural damage, had missed the larger picture of what was actually happening to his entire left side.

I began to reacquaint Harley with the powerful muscles of his left side, which at that time he could not sense. The center of his sensory-motor amnesia was on the left of his body in the muscles attaching the rib cage to the pelvis. While he lay sideways on my work table, I moved his pelvis for him in the same way it would move if he voluntarily did it himself. As he began to sense movement in that part of his waist, I asked him to try to do it himself-voluntarily contracting the already tight waist muscles even a bit tighter.

Consider this from a functional viewpoint: Harley's waist muscles on his left side were constantly receiving a signal from the involuntary part of his brain to contract at, perhaps, 50 percent of their capacity. I asked him to contract them at 80 percent or more by sending an even stronger signal from the voluntary part of the brain. The electrochemical signal from the cerebral cortex, the voluntary part of the brain, was stronger than the signal from the involuntary, subcortical portions of his brain.

In electrochemical terms, the voluntary signal was "overriding" the involuntary signal and reasserting its control of the waist muscles. In this way, once Harley learned that he could voluntarily control his waist muscles, a magical event happened: They began to soften and lengthen for the first time in a year and a half.

Harley and I continued to practice this, until he became better at it. As he became better, not only did his ability to contract and release these muscles improve, but, equally, his sensing of this area of his body began to improve.

thomas hanna somatics pdf file

As his hip relaxed down to its normal position, he was able to straighten his knee while walking. In fact, his brain was waking up; that is, the cerebral cortex, the seat of the brain's voluntary actions, had begun to take charge of his body again. It is a wonderful neurological fact that increasing bodily awareness means increasing neurological sensory awareness, and that this sensory awareness of the muscles goes hand in hand with voluntary motor control of the muscles.

This is because the sensory-motor system is a "feedback loop": in other words, if you cannot sense it, you cannot move it, and the more you can move it, the more you will sense it. This is a rule of the sensory-motor system, one solid part of the neurophysiological foundation of somatic education.

I do not wish it to seem like I never spend more than three sessions with a client, but, as it turned out, Harley and I saw each other twice more and that was all. In the first session, I taught him control of his waist muscles; during the second, we focused on his hip muscles; and during the third we focused on coordinating his ankle and knee with his hip and waist muscles.

At the end of the third session, Harley had no limp whatsoever. He walked with a smooth, 25 26 Somatics even stride, his trunk vertical and his upper arms swinging freely in balance with the lower movements of his legs.

Harley could straighten out his knee with total freedom, and he soon returned to his beloved weekly square dancing. Interlude: The Unconscious Levels of the Brain One of the most striking features about sensory-motor amnesia is that we are unconscious of muscle contraction while it is going on. It is a startling experience to discover that we are actively doing something without knowing it.

Every day I help my clients discover this aspect of SMA. For example, while a client with a chronically sore shoulder is lying on my padded work table, I lift her arm in the air and tell her to relax.

Then, when I let go of her arm, it stays in the air. I call her attention to it: "Look at your arm. Do you notice something odd? I cannot lift it because the posterior muscles of the neck are rigid. I say to him, "Relax the muscles in the back of your neck so that I can lift your head. I wait two seconds and try again. It will not lift-the posterior muscles have become contracted again, but he is unaware of it.

Without prompting, he is never aware of it. All day, every day, he tightly contracts the muscles in the back of his neck, totally unaware of them, and comes to me wondering why he has constant neck pain. The muscles are fatigued and sore from continually working-and he doesn't know he is doing it. My clients have been told by other health professionals that there is some simple, underlying cause for their pain-a nerve is being pinched, there is a bone spur, there is bursitis, arthritis, tendinitis.

In modern medicine, it sounds reasonable, so it seems equally reasonable to perform surgery around or to the pinched nerve, or to scrape the bone, or to inject various drugs into the area.

When these remedies fail to relieve the constant pain, however, the patients are informed that they have permanent conditions and must learn to live with them. Sustained muscular contraction will result in soreness or pain. Every athlete knows that, just like every soldier who completes his or her first mile march. Whether it is voluntary or involuntary, sustained muscular contraction produces soreness.

When SMA occurs in musculature, the involuntary contraction is sustained, not for one day-as with the athlete or soldier-but every day. It can continue unabated-and unnoticed-for weeks, months, years, or for an entire lifetime. It is common for SMA contractions in the lower back to occur in one's early twenties and continue unabated, with varying intensity, for the rest of a person's life.

Stop contracting your muscles and the pain will go away! I might say it for an entire year, or for 10 years, but it would not make the slightest difference, except to drive them to despair. They cannot sense their muscular contraction through their ears, from me-they have to sense it inside their own bodies. I have already discussed how our sensing and moving of muscles is a feedback loop, going from the muscle to the spinal cord and brain and then back again. This loop can also be a short route through the nervous system, going from the muscle into the spinal cord and back out again without involving the nerve routes up to the brain.

This is the sensory-motor pathway taken when a physician taps her mallet just below her patient's patella, evoking the knee-jerk reflex. The sensory impulse of the tap goes to a specific segment of the spine and is relayed back with an automatic muscular contraction. In SMA, the sensory-motor circuit becomes sidetracked from its usual route through the voluntary controls of the brain and then entangled in the reflex reactions of the brain's involuntary pathways.

Title: Somatics by Thomas Hanna

There is still the same sensorymotor feedback loop, muscle-to-brain-to-muscle, but, as the nerve impulses travel up the spinal column, they are, as it were, short-circuited: that is, the feedback of sensory-motor impulses takes place below the conscious level of the brain's voluntary functions. This is not difficult to understand once we take into account the evolutionary layers of the human brain. Humans do not possess a single brain so much as they possess three brains working in coordination.

Each level evolved out of the earlier level, and each layer has added refinements of function that were lacking in the operations of the earlier lower level. A breakdown in their coordination characterizes SMA. Paul MacLean described this three-layer organization as the "triune brain. Using the metaphor of a car, MacLean depicted this level as the "neural chassis. This intermediate level refined the essential functions of the first, organizing them into greater movement coordination, more organized attention to aggressive and defensive actions, and more concern for territoriality and social hierarchy "pecking order".

In its full development, the intermediate level is the bearer of certain emotions: the fear that will make an animal withdraw, the anger that will mobilize an animal to attack, the sexual desire that will lead an animal to mating. These emotional functions show a higher sensitivity to surrounding conditions and what kinds of actions are appropriate responses. This level of brain function is powerfully present in the human brain and is a central source of involuntary, and thus unconscious, actions.

The highest level came with the emergence of the neocortex, which MacLean 27 28 Somatics analogized to "the driver at the wheel of the neural chassis. The neocortex, an immense collection of nerve cells, is the seat of the voluntary learning and control that takes place in the rest of the brain.

The source of conscious actions, this voluntary control center is a colossal organ of adaptation and learning. It possesses only primitive abilities at birth, but, as we mature, it gradually but steadily begins to learn all of the complex abilities and movements that we associate with growing up.

Maturation is the growth of greater and greater cortical learning. This process can continue indefinitely, improving and refining human actions, unless negative conditions force the brain into emergency actions in order to survive. Sustained stress and traumatic accidents are such negative conditions that sidetrack the voluntary cortex from its normal control of the sensory-motor system.

When that occurs, the lower and more primitive regions of the first and second levels take control. It is a regression to involuntary reaction. This is what occurs with sensory-motor amnesia. How much better it would be if we could always return control of our muscles to our voluntary cortex after moments of stress! Then the process of living would not be disrupted by the pain and disability associated with SMA.

We would continue to mature throughout our lives, instead of expending our energy fighting, and involuntarily sustaining, needless muscular contractions. We would reach closer to our full potential as human beings. That is the hope of Somatics. They are garbed in the loose white shirts and pantaloons of the peasants of the land around the city of Patzcuaro.

Actually, inside these costumes of white hair and white garments are young boys with very fast feet. At the beginning of the music, the "little old men" stand motionless, looking not even capable of standing upright. Then, gradually, they begin to shift their bodies with the rhythm, their knees lift, their feet shuffle, and, before you know it, they are dancing a little quickstep movement that's dazzling in its rapidity. Then, just when you think they have reached their limit, the tempo of the music suddenly doubles to an incredible pace, and the little old men are dancing furiously, their legs and feet blurred as they drum out the rhythm upon the ground.

During all of this, they never cease leaning forward onto their walking canes. The citizens of Tarascon know the myth of aging and its image of the old man walking on "three legs.

What a wonderful transformation when an old body, seemingly incapable of youthful movement, suddenly shows such speed and flexibility!

Alexander was a man of 81 years who looked exactly like a viejito: He walked with a cane and was bent forward about 50 degrees from the vertical. His son Figure 9 brought Alexander to see me, informing me in ad- Alexander's Posture 30 Soma tics vance that his father had constant pains in his chest and stomach.

He was locked into his curvature of 50 degrees, so that when he slept on his back he had to have three large pillows under his head. This extreme posture is the very image of the old person in the riddle of the Sphinx.

Alexander's son told me that, given his father's age, he did not expect that anything could change his stooped posture, but he hoped I could relieve some of Alexander's chronic pains in the front of his body. Except for his posture, Alexander was a feisty, highly alert, person with no complaints except for the frequent ache in his stomach and lower back.

His complexion was good, he ate well, he was interested in many activities, and he was, otherwise, quite healthy at His son said that Alexander's bending had begun in his mid-sixties, when he retired, and it had increased over a IS-year period. Once he got out of business, living on his investments and Social Security, Alexander apparently felt less in control of his economic destiny.

He continually fretted over inflation and loss of stock values. It seemed that the more Alexander worried about his vulnerable economic position as a retiree, the more he doubled over.

As I do with all my clients, I looked at Alexander carefully from every angle while he was both standing and walking. I felt the muscles of his trunk to determine what was causing his postural distortion. His abdominal muscle was hard and leathery.

The long abdominal muscle extends from the pubic bone and groin line all the way up to the center of the chest, covering over half of the front of the rib cage. When it is tight, it pulls the chest downward toward the pubic bone. When it is so tight as to be hard and leathery, it pulls the entire trunk forward into the typical curve of a viejito.

The small intercostal muscles between Alexander's ribs were also excessively tight, depressing his chest wall, pulling his head forward, and distorting his neckline into a shape like that of a vulture. As all athletes know, muscles that are used too much will be sore the next day. In Alexander's case, the muscles in his abdomen, chest, and neck were constantly in use and thus were constantly sore and fatigued.

So were the muscles of his back, which were struggling to prevent his torso from completely collapsing. Because Alexander could not voluntarily release this contraction, he lived with constant pain and fatigue. He would wake up feeling full of energy, and then, within a couple of hours, he was dog-tired. Furthermore, the chronic contraction of his abdominal and chest muscles limited Alexander to very minimal, shallow breathing.

His oxygen intake was not sufficient to metabolize his food, and that added to his constant fatigue. Alexander's physician had explained to him that his feeling of weakness in the front of his body was due to atrophy of his muscles: They were supposedly degenerating. This, however, was the opposite of what was actually happening: Alexander's abdominal muscles were not weak at all, but incredibly powerful.

They could not help but be powerful, because they were working constantly. Alexander 81 Years : Los Viejitos Realizing that Alexander's problems were due not to a degeneration of his bodily structure but to a dysfunction, I began to teach him how to overcome his essential difficulty: sensory-motor amnesia of the affected muscles. Because I didn't have three overstuffed pillows to allow him to lie on his back, I had him lie down on his side. With him in this side position, I did not attempt to straighten his trunk but did just the opposite: I made him more comfortable by curving him forward to almost 90 degrees.

He liked that. I began to demonstrate what all his trunk muscles were doing while he was curled up. At first it was unclear to him what I was doing, but gradually he became aware of different areas in the front of his body. I asked him to contract his abdominal muscles a little harder than they were already involuntarily contracted. At first he complained that he was too weak to do so, but gradually he began to achieve a moderate degree of voluntary contraction.

As he did, he said, "I don't feel that pain in my stomach anymore. He protested, saying there would not be enough support for his upper trunk and head.

I showed him a large pillow I had placed on the table. It was slanted up about 30 degrees from the surface. He said it was too low. I told him to try it and find out. He turned over and found that he could lie with his head against it.

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In less than an hour he had straightened 20 degrees! I taught Alexander some Somatic Exercises to practice twice a day, at bedtime and upon awakening, and then sent him away. I didn't see him for a number of weeks, but I had reports from his son that the severe pains in his abdomen had disappeared, his sleeping was much improved, and he was considerably more energetic. He didn't become fatigued in the middle of the morning. Six weeks later I saw Alexander for the second time, and during that session we gained further release in his abdominal muscles and began to do the same with the muscles of his neck.

When, at the end, he lay down on his back, his head now came down to a lO-degree level. From that point on, he slept with only one pillow rather than three.

His energy and range of activities improved enormously. The viejito had begun to hear his inner music again and had started to dance. An even more significant change occurred in Alexander's life: He was less anxious. For years he had been cautious and crabby and fearful. Now, perhaps because he no longer felt constant pain, he was not as bothered by the things that used to trouble him. Consequently, he was clearer-headed in his thinking and decision making.

His wife told me something more basic: He was much easier to live with-like he had been before he retired. Alexander had been a captain of industry, with the power and perogatives of that position. Once he retired, he no longer felt the invulnerability that he had enjoyed throughout his working life.

He had changed his entire life-style and modified the economic basis of his livelihood. Rather than being active in the 31 32 Somatics affairs of the world, he was passive. Rather than being independent, he felt dependent on other forces.

Retirement was a change that was very stressful for Alexander, and this continual stress had its somatic manifestation in abdominal muscular contractions.

These contractions shortened his breath, pulled his trunk forward, and caused him to feel continual pain on top of his continual anxiety. It was not old age that afflicted Alexander; it was growing sensory-motor amnesia in response to his radically changed life-style. It was not aging that caused the creature in the Sphinx's riddle to go from two legs to three; it was the same thing that had happened to Barney, James, Louise, and Harley-the negative effects of stress and traumatic injuries.

When sensory-motor amnesia is avoided and the muscular response to stress and trauma are corrected, then "old age" disappears. There emerges from the little old men of Tarascon a concealed youth who begins to move in surprising ways. These problems are functional, not structural. In all five case histories, the problems, which on the surface looked to be irreparable breakdowns of the body, were, instead, malfunctions of the nervous system.

Viewed externally, they seem to be about five bodies that are degenerating; but viewed internally, these are five brains that have lost control of their bodily functions. To use my own terms, these are somatic problems-not bodily problems. These are functional problems-not structural problems. These are problems solvable only by the patient-not by the doctor. These are problems reflecting a loss of control from the inside of the human system-not a deterioration of bodily parts at the outside of the human system.

The functional problems are cases of sensory-motor amnesia. All five of these people were suffering from non-medical problems. They were outside the reach of medical help, whose services they had exhausted.

They were not suffering from infectious diseases or physical lesions or biochemical imbalance. They were suffering from a loss of memory: the memory of what it feels like to move certain muscles of their bodies, and the memory of how to go about moving these same muscles. Their memory loss was, to be specific, sensory-motor amnesia SMA.

I know this to be the case, simply because their being shown how certain muscular patterns feel, and how these contractions are accomplished, resulted in an end to their problems. They regained their normal functioning and normal bodily well-being without any need for antibiotics for infection or surgery for lesions or drugs to correct a biochemical imbalance. Alexander 81 Years : Los Viejitos 3. These SMA problems were caused by the quality of their life span and not by the quantity: It was not the number of years but what happened during those years.

Age, in itself, is neutral as far as health is concerned. Age has never harmed anyone, nor has it ever killed a single human being. It is what happens during the aging process that harms and kills human beings. Everything that happens to us during our lives causes a necessary reaction in our central nervous system.

Our brain responds to and adapts to the events that occur. If we live a restricted, narrow life, our brain adapts to it. If we suffer years of anxiety, fear, and despair, our brain adapts to it. If we suffer shocks, accidental injury, serious illnesses, or complex surgery, our brain responds and adapts to it.

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These are the events that bring on sensory-motor amnesia, causing us to believe we are helplessly deteriorating. On the other hand, if we enjoy years of contentment, confidence, and hope, our brain adapts to that.

And with very different effects. The brain is an adaptive organ. It responds to the events of our lives in whatever way is necessary in order to survive and keep going. But, because the brain directly or indirectly controls all of our bodily functions, this means that our entire body reflects what has happened to us during our lifetimes.

The bodily malfunctions in all five of these case histories clearly reflect an internal, somatic adaptation to specific events that had occurred during the course of these lives. SMA is the unfortunate result of specific adaptations made by the central nervous system in response to what happens to us during our lifetimes. Part 2 is a discussion of these specific adaptations. SMA always affects the entire somatic system and has its roots in the center of the human body.

Any imbalance in the sensory-motor system creates imbalance throughout the entire body. When the muscles in one single limb become spastic or clumsy or too flaccid, this loss of control and efficient coordination within the musculoskeletal system causes an automatic compensation within all the other interconnected bodily parts.

The brain brings about these compensations automatically and unconsciously, in an attempt to rebalance the entire system. Obviously, this compensatory rebalancing causes a distortion of the somatic functions internally and the bodily structure externally.

The entire somatic system malfunctions and becomes askew. Because it is genetically programmed to preserve the somatic system, the brain rebalances and compensates for this imbalance, but the whole system has now become inefficient, less supple, slower in response, habitually self-stressed, and operating with a significant loss of energy.Yoga physiology describes a system of interconnected bodies, having different but interrelated physical and spiritual properties.

His oxygen intake was not sufficient to metabolize his food, and that added to his constant fatigue. G , The somatic practice of intentional rest in dance education — preliminary steps towards a method of study.

It was a workshop organized by an upcoming contemporary dance forum in New Delhi, India, and so I went in expecting a purely physical experience. If the tonus is 20 percent, the muscle will feel tired, very firm, and sore. In this paper I readdress some of the personal realizations of practical research from the movement research paper and contextualize it in the theoretical study of the field.

It can continue unabated-and unnoticed-for weeks, months, years, or for an entire lifetime. Learning to recognize a bad posture, or misaligned structural habits, or how to efficiently distribute our weight into the floor while we stand, sit or move through biological study can go a long way.

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