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  • "The Psoas Muscles and Abdominal Exercises for Back Pain"
    ABSTRACT

  • "Gaining Grace -- a Somatic Perspective"
    ABSTRACT

  • "An Expanded View of the Three Reflexes of Stress"
    ABSTRACT
    MP3 AUDIO

  • "The Relationship of The Alexander Technique to Somatic Therapies"
    ABSTRACT

  • "Save Your Hands and Wrists"
    ABSTRACT

  • "Understanding and Improving Breathing"
    ABSTRACT

  • "Why Massage Therapy?"
    ABSTRACT

  • "A Critique of the Strategy of Ineffectuality"
    ABSTRACT

  • "The Incarnation Taboo"
    ABSTRACT

  • "A Letter to the Somatics Society from a Somatic Educator on the Use of the Word, 'Somatics'"
    ABSTRACT

  • PREVIEW Free Yourself from Back Pain - audio program with illustrated, step-by-step guidebook


    "An Evolutionary Advance of Health Care"
    (click underlined words to view)
    "A Functional Look at Back Pain and Treatment Methods"
    This essay presents a radical departure from the conventional viewpoint of clinical therapeutics. It states that to resolve back pain often requires neither strengthening, rest, electrical stimulation, nor skeletal adjustment. In many cases, it requires nothing more than improving the link between kinesthetic-awareness and motor control, the benefits of which, in some cases, can be augmented by soft-tissue manipulation. Both traditional and newer treatment methods are discussed.

    "Clinical Somatic Education, A New Discipline in the Field of Health Care" by Thomas Hanna, Ph.D.
    Somatic Education is the use of sensory-motor learning to gain greater voluntary control of ones physiological process. This definitive essay by Thomas Hanna describes the theoretical underpinnings and origins of clinical somatic education, a discipline for the treatment of regional muscular illnesses and chronic pain that is as consistently effective as any branch of medical science.

    "A Critique of the Strategy of Ineffectuality"
    It's time to move on from traditional, ineffectual ways and actually get the job done.

    "Defining Somatic Education"
    As the word, "somatic", gains prominence in the health field, it becomes increasingly important that we use the word properly to distinguish "somatic education" clearly from its predecessors, "bodywork" and physical therapy.

    "Hanna Somatic Education® -- Abbreviated Body of Theory"
    Hanna Somatic Education ("Hanna Somatics") consists of systematic methods of sensory-motor education that improve kinesthetic awareness and control of muscular tension, coordination, and posture. This "cousin" of biofeedback produces substantially more rapid improvements than previous methods without need for electrical instrumentation or mechanical devices. Participants experience rapid and lasting improvements in movement, relaxation level, and physical comfort.

    "Kinesthetic Dystonia or Sensory-Motor Amnesia?"
    Thomas Hanna coined a term to describe residual muscular tension and distortion of self-awareness of muscular activity: sensory-motor amnesia. The term indicates a loss of voluntary control of muscular activity, where no diagnosable neurological damage is present. The description of sensory-motor amnesia (SMA) could also fit the experience of Kinesthetic Dystonia.

    "Pain Control, Sensory-Motor Functioning, and Somatic Education"
    A large percentage of chronic pain results not from tissue damage or disease but from chronic muscular hypertonicity maintained by the central nervous system (CNS) as a state of habituation. In most cases where no lesion is involved, somatic education can end chronic muscular hypertonicity, restore normal voluntary muscular control, and eliminate the need for drugs or therapy to alleviate pain. This essay contrasts manipulative methods of pain-control with learning-based methods, using the analogy of "hardware" (living tissue) and "software" (brain-mediated, learned responses); and it introduces the clinical use of the pandicular response as a way to relieve pain and improve voluntary muscular control.

    "Pain Control through Movement Education (Sensory-Motor Integration) -- Hanna Somatic Education"
    A common response to pain associated with movement is to squirm or shift positions. This response is at once an attempt to avoid pain, to find a comfortable position, and to "work out" or eliminate the pain itself. One form of movement education, Hanna Somatic Education, transforms this natural response into a decisive maneuver that succeeds at what it intends -- elimination of pain associated with certain movements or body positions.

    "Save Your Hands and Wrists" - ADOBE ACROBAT PDF FORMAT (download Free Reader)
    Is hand and wrist pain starting to interfere with your work? Wonder why? Hereís an answer: You get better at what you practice. Every time you do massage, youíre practicing tightening the muscles of your forearms and hands. The muscles of your forearms control the movements of your wrists, hands and fingers. Have you noticed that theyíre getting tighter? Is it harder to open your hands than you remember? Itís probable that your work is cultivating tight muscles. Itís an occupational hazard for people whose work requires them to use their hands, a lot.

    "Sensory-Motor Amnesia
    -- One Explanation of Idiopathic Pain"

    As far as the general public is concerned, a mystery surrounds chronic pain and stiffness. If they don't come from aging, why do they appear so insidiously?

    "Therapy, Bodywork, and Somatic Education"
    The word, "somatic", is coming into vogue these days, particularly in the field of bodywork. Since the field of somatic education developed in parallel to that of bodywork, and since the two approaches were never before clearly differentiated, many people are now using the word "somatics" interchangeably with the word, "bodywork". Now that somatic education has come of age, with clinical effectiveness matching and exceeding that of many manipulative therapies, some clarification is in order.

    "The Psoas Muscles and Abdominal Exercises for Back Pain" by Lawrence Gold, C.H.S.E.
    Abdominal exercises are frequently given as part of a treatment regimen for back pain. However, an understanding of the inter-relationship of the abdominal muscles, the psoas muscles, and the continuing prevalence of back pain gives reason to doubt the efficacy of this approach. The effect of psoas function on visceral function, gait, posture, and back pain are discussed.

    "Gaining Grace -- a Somatic Perspective" by Lawrence Gold, C.H.S.E.
    - ADOBE ACROBAT PDF FORMAT (download Free Reader)
    The idea, "mind-body connection", still remains clouded by murky conceptions of its nature. This article brings clarity and directness to the subject and presents it in the context of somatic education.

    "An Expanded View of the Three Reflexes of Stress" by Lawrence Gold, C.H.S.E.
    - ADOBE ACROBAT PDF FORMAT (download Free Reader)
    Thomas Hanna described three neuromuscular reflexes of stress that underlie the habitual tensions accumulated by most human beings (particularly in industrialized/information societies) over a lifetime. These three reflexes have emotional and behavioral counterparts that relate the neuromuscular reflexes to ethics, personal responsibility, and general life-level competence. This article points the way to an integral life practice that goes beyond the clinical somatic applications of Hanna Somatic Education.

    "The Relationship of The Alexander Technique to Somatic Therapies"
    Over the last few decades a new field of inquiry has arisen called somatics. The field's development has taken a course opposite to many fields. Rather than branching into specializations from a common core of information as medicine and chemistry did, somatics began specialized and has gradually generalized as workers in one discipline have become curious about other disciplines...

    "Understanding and Improving Breathing" -- An Introduction
    This article discusses some the patterns of restricted breathing and presents coordination patterns that improve breathing.

    "Why Massage Therapy?"
    Massage has become a traditional therapeutic approach for the alleviation of chronic muscular tension and attendant pain. This essay provides a deeper look into the somatic underpinnings of the techniques and results of massage, a look that can enhance the effectiveness of massage as a therapeutic practice.

    "A Letter to the Somatics Society from a Somatic Educator on the Use of the Word, 'Somatics'"
    Terms such as "bodywork," etc., are very convenient and came to be used so people would know that we were not just working with the mind, which was the common case not too long ago. But as we imply that the body is the major vehicle with which we work, I feel we are really lessening and limiting the true quality an explanation of our work. We are reinforcing the very misconception we are trying to get away from -- rather than placing the emphasis primarily on the mind, now we are putting the emphasis on the body, whereas in truth we are working for balance. Our work, the work of everyone I know in these various, related fields, is directed towards the integration of the body and the mind.

    "The Incarnation Taboo"
    Each and all of us come into this life and world in the midst of a taboo that cuts us off from our own lives. Some of us escape it, others of us live it and end up enforcing and reinforcing it. It's a taboo we enforce primarily upon others, hidden in the phrase, "survival of the fittest," a self-defeating taboo by which we restrict freedom and growth, ours and others.

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