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LightSeed.com > Self-Empowerment Center > Articles > Getting the Most Out of Somatics

Getting the Most Out of Somatics

by Bobbi Gay

I have been studying the relationship between muscular contraction and loss of Self for about twelve years. Along the way I have read entire bodies of works by various pioneers in this area of inquiry. I have learned a great deal about the body's energy systems and healing. I have learned how to do bodywork and energy work and about the connection between the body and our beliefs. I'm excited to say that recently I discovered a system called Somatics that is vastly superior, in my judgment, to any others I have encountered. I'll explain why.

The gist of all this study goes as follows. Humans possess a subtle energy system in some ways similar to the nervous system. This system is constructed like a web like network and exists at a non physical level of vibration. It is energetic in nature and profoundly health giving. At a level of energy this network coexists with the physical body actually suffusing throughout the physical. When we humans resist our experience or even our own thoughts and feelings we contract. The accumulation of contractions over time or the emphatic "stamping " of traumatic contraction causes a disruption of our own healing source.

The reason why I'm so excited about Somatics is because the exercises are so self empowering. They can be done alone without a physical therapist. The results I've seen seem to outshine mainstream physical therapy for injuries. People can achieve deeply felt physical relaxation without massage or bodywork. The dominant theme that emerges from this work is consistent with one of my foundational premises. Each of us contains a personal healer within who can empower and guide us into greater and greater wholeness.

Somatics maintains that the accumulated tensions mentioned earlier result in the brain "forgetting" that it is the one maintaining various contractions. If we contract in fear, ever so slightly, every time someone raises a voice or the phone rings, the tendency is to continue holding rather than consciously relaxing. Most of us are walking around holding our muscles in various states of contractions, often for years. Our precious life force is being consumed in this process. Pain signals contractions of more than twenty percent. Thirty to forty percent contraction, most often associated with injury, produces burning, stabbing and aching. The holding goes on even while we try to rest and sleep, because the brain maintains the pattern of contraction and tension all night long.

People in contracted states are much more prone to stressful feelings, interpretations, and responses. A feeling of internal stress actually generates a stress response. It takes energy to maintain muscle contraction, it takes no energy to maintain a relaxed muscle. Recently, it has been discovered that endorphins, the body's pleasure and confidence chemicals, have receptor sites throughout the entire body. Prior to this it was thought that the brain was the only place where we generated and experienced such pleasurable chemicals. I'm predicting that within ten years it will be commonplace knowledge that bodywork, energy work, massage and Somatics all produce these wonderful sensations and attitudes of openness.

But none of us need wait for it to be official to feel younger, flexible in body and mind and powerful. FREE YOURSELF TODAY! As we set an intention to grow and entertain more expansive beliefs, we need to reclaim our subtle energy which heals and informs us. It is very difficult to hold expansive thoughts feelings and ideas in a tight contracted body.

Somatics actually retrain your brain, gently awakening control of the body. For that reason some of the exercises may feel particularly difficult or confusing. Please be gentle with yourself, go slowly... if something feels particularly difficult try to remember that you are countering a long held program and self lovingly reinstating a pattern of much greater wholeness. As with most transformation of patterns there is often a confusing time when both patterns coexist before the new pattern becomes dominant. This can feel confusing or overwhelming. So please be patient, rest if you need to, but persist. Drop all notions of perfection and trust the innate intelligence within you and this body of work. Do your best, it will be enough.

Somatics works best on a hard floor with a mat or carpet. Retraining a particular body area may take several weeks of daily exercises. Great improvement can be had with less frequent interventions. The brain needs the repetition daily to override or overwrite the old pattern permanently, however. The average time a series takes is a half hour to forty five minutes. It is important to do these exercises in a way that's present. Do the exercises slowly. The inner sensing of sensation as the exercises are done is what retrains the brain. These are NOT strength exercises. Don't push to the point of pain because the pain signal will override and drown out the new training. This means to pay total attention even resisting using music at first.

The body learns these types of things best right upon awakening or right before bed. The exercises will produce results at any point in the day they are done, however. For the serious self-liberator they can be done morning and night which greatly amplifies the learning.

A final word, it's been my observation that this stuff cleanses on many levels. If you feel sluggish, take a nap and understand you are releasing a lifetime of tensions. Don't judge it except to notice it's working. Drink six to eight glasses of water daily to flush debris out of the muscles and energy field. Hot baths and/or showers are wonderful especially after. Adding Epsom salts and/or flower essences to the bath water can enhance and heighten the relaxation and release. We created our Letting Go Bath Salts for occasions like these. I use them frequently myself after having done Somatics. It is very soothing.

Our Emergency Blend Solution is also very effective in assisting the letting go of old patterns. A couple of drops under the tongue five times daily will assist your body's innate intelligence to do it's thing. Or you can try Rescue Remedy flower essence which is widely available at health food stores, and can be taken orally throughout the process.

Emotions may also flush during this time. It's best just to breathe and allow whatever it is to come up be experienced and released, as you move toward greater wholeness. The obvious feelings of warmth, well being, and mobility will reassure you of the value self healing this way offers. It is useful to cultivate a deep appreciation for the feelings of streaming, warmth and integration as it tells the brain you want more of that. So enjoy breaks throughout your exercises and don't jump up when done. It's better to lie down and luxuriate in the pleasure of soft relaxed muscles. Enjoy!

We offer the book called Somatics by Thomas Hanna Ph.D. We also offer Somatic tapes for specific purposes. If you feel as if you feel as if you "live in your head" and feel emotionally detached, If you have neck aches, headaches, or TMJ you will most benefit from the series called Somatics - Exercises for Neck, Jaw and Skull. If physical sensations feel muted or your trunk feels painfully stiff or inflexible we suggest Somatics - Freeing the Whole Body from Center to Periphery. This series is also very good for anxiety and back aches. For those who feel that they can't get a deep breath or like there is a band in the chest area we recommend the CD called Somatics - Calm and Energize. This CD introduces a deeper level of relaxation and breathing. If you notice tightness contraction and pain frequently Somatics is for you.

If you notice tightness in certain parts of the body along with emotional suppression use the tape that addresses that part of the body. I recommend Somatics tapes to people who wish to reestablish a connection with their own emotions as well. For someone with injuries there are tapes for every part of the body. This is an extensive and impressive collection of healing tapes. Lastly Somatics is helpful for pain reduction and rehabilitation of old injuries as well.

In light and love, Bobbi Gay

Resources for Getting the Most Out of Somatics:

  1. For those who feel chronically tense or sore I recommend using the healing system called Somatics. In the Somatics section I make specific recommendations for common problems. I find the tapes more helpful than the book.

  2. Our Acorn Solution called Calm and Cozy can help your to achieve relaxation across all the levels, body, mind, spirit, and emotions.

  3. The Somatics breathing tape called Somatics - Calm and Energize will greatly help most people to achieve a notably deep state of "let go".

  4. It is important to identify beliefs that contribute to tension states, this allows us to change the belief. I recommend reading the article entitled Process for Shifting Limiting Beliefs.

  5. Pent up emotion can cause unease. We refer you to the articles entitled Emotional Factoids and Processing Emotion Effectively.

  6. A man called Emmett Miller MD makes wonderful, powerful relaxation tapes... highly recommended. Letting Go of Stress, Easing into Sleep, Change the Channel on Pain, Headache Relief, or Ten Minute Stress Manager would be a good place to start.

  7. The article entitled Relaxation offers fresh insight into this vital subject.

  8. There is a tape set called Brainwave Suite that helps the brain to achieve states of deep relaxation. This music can be played as background and is a very non intrusive way to achieve or maintain the state of "let go".

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