Body Wisdom Blog

by Donna Brooks

What is Somatic Movement?

A somatic movement is made consciously with the intention of focusing on the internal experience of the movement instead of on the external appearance or result of the movement.

So, it’s very different from most physical or exercise training. It relies on our abilities to sense ourselves internally. This is sometimes called interoception. Perceiving yourself internally can also be an acquired skill. But once you have it you become more attuned to your physical, emotional and mental needs. This helps you make better and more clear choices about your well being.

How does somatic movement access the wisdom of body and mind?

Somatic Movement Therapy allows a person to access wisdom stored in the body by liberating the body from constraints and habitual tensions. These constraints and tensions are often created by adverse experiences, physical injuries,trauma, cultural and personal habits and even skipped developmental stages.

By engaging conscious and gentle movements we change our bodies and minds. There is research on this. The Laban institute has published work showing how sensing into improved posture helps mood and emotional expression. The Alexander Center has done work on internally based movement and feeling relief from Parkinson’s symptoms.

Much more academic and medical research is being done but so far the takeaway is that by using movement to deepen the brain -body connection you have nothing but advantage in meeting the challenges of life and in bettering physical and artistic performance.

Somatic Movement encourages brain plasticity.

Brain Plasticity is the ability of the nervous system to change patterns and habits triggered by internal or external states by reorganizing its structure, functions, or connections. This ability of the brain to be plastic allows us to learn new things, change habits, recover from trauma and adapt to new conditions.

Somatic Movement gives your brain tools to reorganize itself. This changes how you move your muscles, how you perceive balance, when you detect tiredness, hunger or any emotion. It changes how you respond to real or imagined situations and how you assess your environment. This is very relevant to those in any form of pain because this gentle movement can change how your body perceives and reacts to pain.

Somatic Movement is the secret ingredient to deepening our body – mind connection.

Often we feel our minds are cut off or irrelevant to our body. This causes us to feel ungrounded, anxious, out of control or even depressed. In fact, when we worry or are overactive mentally we often cause or worsen, digestive upsets, high blood pressure, tense muscles, headaches or just feel disconnected from ourselves.

When we have the tools to reconnect body and mind life flows more easily. We are more accepting of our difficulties and also come to more clear strategies of working with them. You decrease stress and find it easier to manage life. Because you are refining your movement as you change your brain, you find actually living in your body becomes easier even as your thoughts and emotions become more manageable.

Conditions Somatic movement can help with

I have been teaching Yoga since 1981 and Somatic Movement since 1992. I find it useful for many challenges. Here are a few:

• Pain and stress management or alleviation
• Sexual health and pelvic floor issues
• Balance
• Difficulties with smooth or fluid movement
• Nervous system calming and meditation
• Trauma and injury recovery
• Fitness training
• Anxiety, worry, despair and mental health concerns
• Alleviating Parkinson’s symptoms.
• Meeting loss and grief.

With the right approach, you can significantly improve your quality of life and maintain these gains over time. You can relieve your symptoms, reduce your pain, and feel confident to live life to the fullest. If you are ready to have some fun and feel better, I am ready to work with you! Please contact me for a free 20 minute assessment.
I have a wide and varied practice in person in Massachusetts and over Zoom.