Somatics is a neuromuscular movement therapy which uses specific movement techniques to re-educate the sensory motor system in the brain for the release of chronic muscle tension and to re-train natural, efficient movement patterns.
If you can’t feel it, you can’t move it! In simple terms, the brain moves your muscles voluntarily. If your muscles have become tense through ‘life’ then over time the signal between the brain and the muscle becomes weakened. This gives a sensation of not being able to move the muscle resulting in discomfort and eventually pain. This is known as sensory motor amnesia. For muscles to function correctly they should be able to voluntarily contract, and then release until they completely relax out fully to their entire length. A chronically contracted muscle is like a motor than cannot turn off and it continues to run and burn up energy.
Somatic movement is designed to send a stronger signal to the brain to override the weaker signal which is holding the muscle in involuntary tension. The movements are very gentle and very slow. It is completely different from other exercise programmes as it is not about stretching and strengthening it is all about releasing. Stretching sends sensory information only as far as the spinal cord to indicate that the length of the muscle has changed. The brain is not involved in this process.
Movement Intelligence: Bones For Life
Movement intelligence is a training system for re-educating your posture and extending mind and body suppleness into active old age.
It has been developed by Dr. Ruthy Alon who recently retired at the age of ninety. Her work is based on Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’s approach to somatic learning. In line with current research on neuroplasticity, Movement Intelligence recognises that overcoming physical limitations and dysfunctions is as much a matter of working with the ‘software’ of the brain as with the ‘hardware’ of the body.
Its focus is on natural movement to develop and improve posture, flexibility and stability that can transform habitual patterns into healthy ones that can support strong bones.
Bones For Life is one of the programmes of Movement Intelligence and it focuses on improving natural movement to develop better posture and support strong bones. If bones are not aligned well, the forces that should travel through them (i.e. gravity and ground force) cannot do so properly.
It consists of ninety movement processes which can undo incorrect movement patterns in the body and replace them with healthy ones.