We all respond similarly to injury: we tighten up (involuntarily cringe).
Stress (in life and relationships) and repetitive motions (e.g., in our occupation) have similar effects: we tighten or get tight so often or for so long that our brain — the master-control organ of our muscular system — learns to hold muscles tight indefinitely, automatically, habitually, and ultimately, beyond our ability to relax them.
For example, a car mechanic may develop back spasms or neck pain; a haircutter may develop wrist, hand or shoulder pain; a massage therapist may develop low back pain, and and wrist pain, or leg pain; someone with a stressful job or home life may develop headaches — and of course, joint pain due to overcompression by tight muscles is common among the general population; they call it, “arthritis”.
A person going through a life crisis may emerge with new tensions, restricted breathing, and low energy.
We forget how we used to be and get stuck in a strange new condition. The burn of muscle fatigue and stiffness become permanent. Inflammation, chronic fatigue, and joint degeneration commonly occur as long-term side-effects of that tension. Stress-related symptoms such as headaches or sciatica or other symptoms occur, seemingly inexplicably.
Despite these symptoms, including pain, we may have no injury. The injury may have healed, the life crisis may have passed, but we may remain stuck with the residue of injury and/or stress.
Because tight muscles cause pain and stiffness, because your brain controls your muscles, any therapy, to be effective, must address muscular activity at the brain (i.e., memory) level.
Somatic education has some advantages over drugs or therapy applied to soft tissue and joints: much less pain during therapy and faster improvement. For most cases of chronic musculo-skeletal pain, Hanna Somatic Education® is sufficient as a stand-alone rehabilitation method.