Updated: Jan 29
Do you feel stiff and unable to move like you used to? Do you suffer from aches and pains anywhere in the body? If so, there is a chance you may have developed something called Sensory - Motor Amnesia.
Our brain and muscles are in constant communication with each other via something called our 'Sensory - Motor feedback loop.'
Our muscles can learn to become habitually contracted over time due to our daily movement patterns. There is nothing wrong with this - as long as our daily movement patterns are healthy functional ones! If we tend to sit a lot, use technology or enjoy a sport or an activity where we favour a particular way of moving over and over again we can develop tension that may not serve us well when we try to do something different. Also, any accidents, injuries or surgeries we've been through can contribute to muscular tension. Sometimes muscles can become so chronically contracted that no matter what we do to them, they simply won't relax. It's only when something starts to hurt that we suddenly wonder what's really gone wrong?!
As we accumulate muscular tension the brain starts to 'see' areas of our body as a 'block' and rather than 'seeing' the numerous movement possibilities it once had (visualize the difference between a healthy and a frozen shoulder). We start to lose our ability to move freely due to the lack of communication via the feedback loop. Sensory-Motor Amnesia (SMA) was the term Thomas Hanna the founder of Somatic Movement Education used to describe the loss of efficient muscular control.
Our movement skills, just like other skills will fade if we do not use them. This can happen at any age! When we lose movement patterns of any kind, we start to compensate - pain and tension can arise - we can develop conditions such as arthritis, back pain, frozen shoulders, headaches, insomnia, neck and shoulder pain, hip, knee and foot pain to name just a few.
Fortunately, 'SMA' can be reversed, to undo these chronically held muscles and take back control of our movement patterns, we just need to move slowly and with high awareness. We must engage the brain's 'learning zone' once again - Somatics is brain work! Many seemingly 'structural issues' disappear as they were actually functional in nature.
Engaging the 'learning zone' part of the brain again, we can 'wake up' those contracted muscles stuck on 'cruise control' The brain learns one thing at a time, and by moving slowly and gently, we can take back control of the muscles resetting their length and function; enabling us to move freely once again.
Somatics is known to be one of the easiest and most effective ways to regain control of movement patterns. This work stems from the incredible work of Moshe Feldenkrais; his 'Awareness through Movement' Method is widely known throughout the world today. Thomas Hanna learned much from Feldenkrais!
What sets Somatics apart from other gentle movement modalities is we simply explore three main stress reflex patterns using a technique called pandiculation.
You can learn more about the stress reflex patterns and the pandiculation technique in the other blog posts.
Please do contact me if you have any questions or would like to know how Somatics could help you.
Sarah 07907 22 60 60