How does it work ?

Somatic Principals

When our bodies learn something new we use a part of our brain called the motor cortex. The motor cortex receives information from the sensory nerves in our muscles. Then it tells the muscles how to move.

Once the action is repeated enough times, this information gets stored in the part of the brain called the sub cortex. And so we learn, perfectly naturally, automatically, to walk and move in different ways to accomplish different tasks.

When we suffer stress or injury, this same system responds by tightening our muscles to counteract the problem. Over time such contraction only exacerbates the problems it seeks to address.

This condition of constant, tight and painful muscle contraction is known as “sensory motor amnesia”. Put simply, the motor part of the brain has taught those muscles to be tight and has forgotten how to relax them fully. The muscles will not, cannot, relax.


The discipline of Clinical Somatic Education (also known as Hanna Somatic Education) was developed by the philosopher Thomas Hanna (1928 – 1990). He devoted years of research to exploring the linkages between physical and psychological well-being, and
to the capacity that we all have to alter both behavioural and bodily health through awareness and control of the way in which our bodies move.

He founded the Novato Institute of Somatic Research in 1975, specifically to study the impacts of “movement awareness”. He drew together the teachings of the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais, and CSE (insert what this stands for), and in so
doing identified the phenomenon of “sensory motor amnesia”.

Once identified, he developed the process of somatics, which enables an individual to replace sensory motor amnesia with sensory motor awareness. It is that awareness which lies at the heart of somatics, and which offers a permanent solution to
pain removal.