Doing Somatics Feels Good
“I just wanted to share this. I do my Somatic exercises on a regular basis. But, three times a week when I get home after riding my horse, I also do arch and flatten with variations just because it feels good.”
My Sciatica Pain is Gone
My client sent me a text that read: “Because of the hip flexor release move, I am new! I can do all my cleaning pain free!”
I called her to get the full story.
“Since mid-April I’ve been doing this leg movement Kathy taught me and it’s really working. I was so surprised today when I got through washing my 1,600 square feet of hardwood floors pain free for the first time. When I noticed a little tightening of my back, I stopped for a couple of minutes, did the move on both legs, and it went away.”
“I had an appointment scheduled for another cortisone injection into my sciatic nerve on May 22, and I called today to cancel it. Since 2009, I have had a pain on the side of my left thigh that travels down through the knee and into the inside of my calf. Sometimes it even bothers my foot. My doctor says it’s sciatica and I’ve been getting cortisone injections to help with the pain.
It sure is energizing to get relief. Constant pain and nerve issues are so exhausting! I felt like doing ballet in my living room today!”
KC, Substitute Teacher
May 9th, 2012
My Back Pain is Now Under Control
“My back has been a problem for many years. When I think about it, I guess the problem was always there, as I had terrible posture as a kid. My parents even took me to the doctor and he tried to teach me how to stand as straight as a piece of string hanging down. Well, that never worked,” says Sherry, a retired school teacher.
“Over the years, I have had frequent back pain, but a few years ago, I injured my back while out walking. By mistake, I stepped into a hole in the road, and it caused a great deal of pain in my lumbar area. I tried everything I could to relieve the pain. Since I started doing my somatic movements about 2 and a half years ago, I have finally found relief that lasts.
I did eight private lessons over three months and then an 8-week class with Kathy. Before, nothing worked for me for pain relief. Now, I can go all day and feel really good!
Sometimes lifting heavy things causes pain, but it doesn’t last long. I’m only stiff for a day or two, it used to be weeks or months of pain. I also noticed that since starting Somatics, I don’t have to think as much when moving. I used to have to watch every movement to protect my back. Now, I just do it. Also, after my walking injury, I found that I had to concentrate on where I put my feet with each step. Now, I don’t think about it at all, walking is more natural.
My daily routine is quite simple. I do about 5 minutes each day before I get out of bed. I do the movements I enjoy the most. The nice thing is the movements are available anytime I need them. I don’t need any equipment, even if sitting with people, I can do these small moves and they won’t even notice. I don’t have to swing my leg high up in the air, like some exercises. I have gotten good at feeling my back release, nothing hurts anymore, when I do my daily movements.
If you are new to Somatics, I have a tip for you. Just keep doing it, even if only a little bit each day. After awhile, it becomes natural.”
Soccer Player Resolves his Quadriceps Pain
“Sometime during my freshman/sophomore years in high school, I hurt my right quad and it never got better,” says Ryan, a college student and avid soccer player.
“It happened when running sprints during soccer practice. I went to physical therapy for many sessions, something like 4-8, during the winter of 2007. The sessions focused on a lot of stretches and I always felt better right after the session. But once I started working out, the improvement wore off, typically during the first workout after the therapy session. Even walking was tough, I was hobbling, I had a significant limp. I also felt the pain move from my quad to my hamstring to my calf.
I had my first Somatics session in January 2008. It was surprising how quickly it healed.
Most of my workouts involve running. I always pushed myself, even when having pain, but before Somatics I couldn’t run for more than 1.5 miles max before pain took over. After one session and doing the movements all week, I was able to take a nice long run. I felt sore and tired like you would after running 6.5 miles, and especially since I had not done that in a very long time, but it wasn’t debilitating pain.
I am in college now and playing club soccer and rugby. Since I haven’t had any big problems, I find that doing Arch and Flattens everyday works for me. I do have some shoulder pain from a recent injury, but it’s getting better.
When I went to my first Somatics session, I tried to be open-minded, but after the PT, I really didn’t believe that it was going to work. The results made me know it was working, within a week already. It was amazing to me.
At first, I thought of Somatics as PT exercises, but the PT was almost painful, I had to “work out” the injury, I felt more strain on the muscles to loosen it up.
But with Somatics, it was different. At first it didn’t make any sense to me that you could do something so gentle and actually release the body. Once I started, I didn’t want to stop. I thought, if I could go that far and the pain wasn’t there… I did five more sessions with Kathy over 6-8 months and learned a lot.
I see older people dealing with unbearable pain, it really hurts their life experience. I can see it by looking at them. I say go in and do it! Somatics will help you feel younger and it’s worth your time.
It did take me awhile to figure out the technique. I listened very closely to Kathy’s direction and followed what she said. It’s difficult at first when you’re taught a lot of things you should do and they don’t help. Slowness of release and focusing exactly on the part of the body you’re working with. It came through during the first session, after 3-4 tries, once I slowed way down and focused, I was able to figure out how to do the moves.
The most important thing is to go out and experience Somatics for yourself.”
Ryan McNutt, Sophomore
Simple Moves Stopped my Knee from Swelling, Aching
“My daily routine is 10 shoulder rolls and 10 Arch and Flattens every afternoon on my living room floor. My dog thinks this is the best time of the day and brings his toys out, ” says Gwen, a retired office administrator.
“My daily routine is 10 shoulder rolls and 10 Arch and Flattens every afternoon on my living room floor. My dog thinks this is the best time of the day and brings his toys out.
The most important thing I’ve learned is that if you do somatics regularly you are more agile, and when problems come up, it is a good time to try somatics to see if it will help. A few weeks ago, I slept on a mattress that hurt my back. But after lying on the floor and doing Arch and Flatten and shoulder rolls, the pain in my back left me. I don’t often have back pain and when I did all of a sudden, I wanted it gone. I was utterly amazed at how my back recovered in one somatics session with myself.
My bigger problem was with my knee. About a year ago, I developed a severe knee problem, causing water on the knee. I went to see an orthopedic specialist and he drained about 1/3 cup of water from my knee. I found relief, but it was temporary. This doctor wanted to do surgery, because he said that I had cartilage damage. He told me that I also had a Baker’s cyst behind my knee. He was not going to be able to remove the Baker’s cyst, because it will come back again. He believed the cause was a cartilage problem. I decided to get a second opinion. The second orthopedic surgeon said that there was not enough cartilage damage that he could operate and have your knee problem go away. He said, it will probably heal over time. He suggested wearing a brace, there really isn’t much I can do, if I remove the Baker’s cyst, it will come back again.
After this second appointment, I decided to give somatics a try. I was taught to do, what I call a leg lift. After a couple of weeks, the swelling started to go down and I regained some strength. You get to a point where you are afraid to depend on your knee. I didn’t trust my knee to hold me. After religiously doing the leg move, the swelling left and I regained confidence in my knee. This was last summer, 2009. Now, December 2010, my knee is asymptomatic. I still ocassionally do the moves, but not every day. I will tell you that there is a technique to learn. When I was first doing my knee moves, I found that during the release phase I could feel a good deal of jerkiness in my leg/knee, but after a few days, this jerky movement smoothed out. I was doing 10 movements a day on that leg twice a day, and it took only a few minutes. I also found that controlling the release for a good long time was helpful. I often counted to 15-18 during the release phase. I also learned to be careful not to let my leg flop down during the release. It does take awhile to get to fluid movement. After about a month of doing this simple movement, I didn’t need my knee brace and regained full use of my knee.
I also have a hammer toe that gets itself out of whack from time to time. Today, it looks really good. When it does flare up, I have this nifty move that I learned, and if I do it 5-10 times in one sitting, it goes away for about a month. It does really help it.
Thanks to somatics, at the age of 73, I can still lift my leg up to trim my own toenails!”
Gwen, a retired office administrator.
Entrepreneur and Church Organist Relieves Her Neck, Shoulder Pain
“I began my Somatics with three private sessions in 2009, over the summer. Then, I took Kathy’s six-week class at the community center the following Jan/Feb. After the class was over, I took some additional personal training somatics at the community center with Kathy,” says Theresa, a business owner and church organist.
“I began my Somatics with three private sessions in 2009, over the summer. Then, I took Kathy’s six-week class at the community center the following Jan/Feb. After the class was over, I took some additional personal training Somatics at the community center with Kathy.
My main problem at the time was pain/weakness in my hands and fingers, as well as back of neck and left shoulder. I play the organ at church and was noticing it was getting worse. Besides Somatics, in the past year, I made some dietary changes and found that the pain in my hands greatly improved. There must have been some inflammation from what I was eating.
My daily Somatics routine is doing the normal six moves twice a day. I get on the floor each morning and before bed and it takes about five minutes to do all of the movements. My favorite move is the washrag, it’s the last move I do and something I really enjoy.
I have an S curve in my spine. One thing I did notice for months after doing my Somatics is that when I got up, I would feel this kink in my back, kind of like that vertebra, which is part of my s curve, was getting irritated, and when I got up I couldn’t get rid of it. Then, at one point, several months ago, when I was doing the diagonal Arch and Curl, something shifted and that feeling that something’s caught, just disappeared, and hasn’t returned. My neck and shoulder issues also continue to improve.
Doing this routine on a regular basis makes such a difference. Often, while traveling, I don’t take the opportunity to regularly do the movements and always find that I’m feeling better when I get back to it again.
Some advice for people new to Somatics, be patient. It does take a lot of focus to pay attention to what your body is doing; be patient with the process as your body won’t change over night, but it will make a difference.
Because Somatics is such gentle movement, and Kathy stresses that in her teaching, to only move within your comfort zone, I have never had any pain after doing Somatics. The biggest shift in my thinking is getting used to going from stretching your muscles to contract and release. Our whole lives we’re told to stretch our muscles when they feel stiff, but Somatics is the opposite. It’s quite a shift to go through, but once you do, it feels natural and is so relaxing.”
December 12th, 2010