If you want to get rid of pain, start addressing the effects of Sensory Motor Amnesia with the simple, safe movements of Somatics. Unlike passive treatments, you learn how to fix your own dysfunction!
You may have Sensory Motor Amnesia.
Since birth our brains and bodies have been creating amazing neurological patterns. But as we age we literally get "set in our ways" and stop moving as much to the point where we develop what's called Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA). SMA happens when your muscles chronically contract in response to injury, pain and stress. Your muscles are stuck in reflex patterns that your brain no longer has control over because it has become so habitual you can no longer voluntarily relax them. No amount of stretching, massaging, adjusting, drugs or even surgery will change your muscle length until you learn to voluntarily release your muscles to a resting, relaxed length.
What causes Sensory Motor Amnesia?
SMA occurs in your brain. When we learn any movement pattern, like how to ride a bike, dance or knit, our brains are learning the movement patterns for those skills. At first it's voluntary, meaning you have to consciously develop the skills, but over time it becomes involuntary, so you can ride a bike without thinking about how to ride the bike, you just do it.
Human Reflexes and SMA
Over time our bodies adapt to daily stressors. The world around us demand our attention. We sit too much. Our shoulders slump over electronic devices. We even adapt to injuries. If you've ever sprained an ankle, you tilted your body and altered your gait while it healed, but once you walk on it again you very likely unconsciously still have a bit of a tilt to your torso.
Somatics addresses three primary, perfectly natural, full-body reflex patterns humans do with their bodies in response to daily activities.
green light reflex- or sometimes called military posture, where one stands with an arch in the lower back and chest lifted. This posture is a reflex to get-er-done, go-go-go demands in life.
red light reflex-- or sometimes called startle reflex, where one stands with rounded shoulders, head forward. A reflex in response to stress, fright, anxiety or depression. I also attribute it to lifestyle habits these days, like excessive driving, sitting, computer and device time.
trauma reflex-- where the body bends to the side in response to injury, surgery or sometimes abuse. (Imagine a sprained ankle. You will tilt your body away from the injured ankle to take weight off of it. Eventually you walk on it again, but you may very likely still have a bit of a tilt to your torso.)
Reflexes are perfectly natural responses to life. It's a problem when the brain can't relax the contracted muscles . Once you're stuck, you've developed Sensory Motor Amnesia, which results in pain and dysfunction throughout your body.
Start with Private Somatic Education Sessions in which I lead you through gentle movement patterns to help you sense and locate the muscles that are creating your pain. These exercises will help you break the SMA between your brain and muscles so you can find relief and reconnect with your long-lost, tension-free muscles. You will increase your proprioception and somatic awareness (how you sense your body from an internal perspective). These sessions are done while lying on a massage-type table and you are fully clothed. Many people sense immediate changes after their first session. The great thing about Somatics is it gives you the tools to create lasting change without ongoing "treatments". Somatics is an education in you. To retain the changes, you will be taught DIY self-care routine to practice at home.
Is Somatics for you?
Yes! We all need physical activity on a regular basis. But, if you miss the things you used to enjoy—hiking, gardening, playing with your (grand)kids—because of pain in your back, knees or shoulders, then I strongly recommend you explore Somatics. And if you are active and doing just fine? You'll discover that Somatics will make your morning run easier, your pilates training better, and your post workout soreness a thing of the past. With Somatics, you'll learn to move pain free and function well so you can live well!
Signs of Sensory Motor Amnesia include:
I wanted you to know how much of a difference somatic awareness has made in my life. I went to doctor today and I was an inch taller!! Incredible how much stress was impacting my posture. So grateful for the exercises, your teaching ability and knowledge of the body! ~ Christine, 64, Bellingham, WA
My doctor told me my hip pain was because I had had two babies, was over 70 and had arthritis.
It took me just a few days to really sense the moves you taught me and the pain is gone! ~ Sandy, 73, Cookeville, TN