I have suffered pain in my spine all of my life - in my childhood, I was told that it was growing pains, as a sporty teenager, who loved high jump and long jump, I was told that I did too much sport. Surprise, surprise when at age 23, and newly married, I suffered " a slipped disc" and had to be in a surgical corset for eighteen months. This time I was told that I was too young to be suffering slipped discs. The surgical corset only served to weaken the muscles in my back and eighteen months later not only was I in pain, but I was dragging a very painful and weak leg around and needed surgery to remove the bone which was pressing on the nerve. This is only the beginning of a long, painful story involving discs slipping and pressing on nerves during child-birth, disc fusion and several surgeries, which have been necessary as each crisis evolves. Suffice it to say that at the very least I have disc degeneration and vertebral osteoarthritis, and have not had a day free of pain since I was 20.
I have tried Alexander Technique, yoga, pilates, osteotherapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic, Bowen Therapy, hydrotherapy, self-hypnosis, radiofrequency denervation, cryotherapy and massage in my efforts to alleviate the pain. All were successful to a degree until I met Sarah Guest. Now approaching the end of my sixth decade, I had given in to the pain and was relying on continuous morphine, which my doctors happily prescribed. From the first time I had a consultation with Sarah, I found that I can be without pain - only very short periods right now, but somatics made so much sense to me from the very beginning that I knew I had to learn everything about it. How can you not participate in a therapy, which tells you that if you are giving yourself pain, then you are going too far? Sarah has so much patience and is teaching me and helping me to understand fully what is happening in my body. Somatics is such a fundamentally sound system of treatment. In the space of one session, I was able to get out of bed in the morning and be pain-free for ten whole minutes! Next morning, it lasted for thirty minutes!
During a workshop, I went from not being able to walk without specially-made insoles for my feet, which had been variously diagnosed as having plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, flat feet, (I don't), and leg length discrepancy - to throwing the insoles away because they were agony. I had worn them into the workshop with no pain, but during the workshop something in my body changed, and I no longer need them - I can wear normal shoes again. I can only recommend Sarah's patience, knowledge and enthusiasm. She has helped me regain some of my life and I look forward to a much brighter future, all through the practice of somatics, and I am extremely grateful. I hope that we will be able to work together for as long as it takes.
V. Piris, Gibraltar.
My name is Valerie and I am 51 years old. In August 2015 I woke up with lower back pain. I had suffered from back pain before but this pain was different. It was sharp and reflected down my leg making it impossible to stand or walk. The GP referred me to a Spinal Surgeon who after reviewing the MRI advised that an operation would not help. He referred me to a psychologist for pain management as he said that I would have to live with chronic pain. This made me very depressed as I could not lead a normal life. I suffered from a crooked torso too.
I tried physio, acupuncture, chiropractor but nothing helped. One day I met a friend and suggested I tried Somatics. I was then referred to Sarah who assessed me on my first one to one session. She heard my story and after my first session with her, my body was straighter and not feeling so tensed up. She gave me various exercises to do at home. Every day that went by I could feel my body changing.
I can say I am pain-free. I still continue to do my exercises most mornings and nights so as not to go back to where I was when this started. Thanks to Sarah’s patience, perseverance and expertise I am a new person today.
“I have been doing Somatics for four weeks now and the benefits are evident from the very first class! From the best night’s sleep to feeling more relaxed overall which helps with everything else in life. Muscles in my neck, back, legs all feel more relaxed and the pain I felt before is much better. Sarah is amazing and so so helpful, I would recommend this class to anyone.”
A. Connolly, Ireland
I have been going to Sarah's Pilates classes (beginners) to strengthen my body, since January 2014, after I injured my lower back a few years ago. It was at one of these classes that Sarah introduced a few minutes of Somatics moves and straight away I wanted to do a full class of Somatics. Thankfully Sarah is running Somatics classes now every week.
I didn't know what to fully expect in the first class. Nor did I expect the effects of that first class - best night's sleep I've had in a very long time! The class is very relaxed and flowy, and all the movements concentrate on intentionally contracting and tensing specific muscles and slowly releasing them. It's a good idea to close your eyes and really key into the moves. I felt taller the next day - like my hips had lengthened and my lower back had stretched. I look forward all week to my next class. I'd recommend (and have been recommending) Sarah's Somatics classes to everyone - not just to people who are suffering from aches and pain as a result of an injury or bad posture. It allows you to have some 'me time' to de-stress your mind and body and you will feel a change in yourself even after the first class. Give Sarah a call today!
D. O’Reilly, Ireland
Somatics helps me with flexibility and ease of movement which has been great for my golf game! It takes the tightness out and helps me swing with more balance and rhythm. It helped me with the body rotation I needed to improve on for a better golf swing. Also simple things like walking the course or squatting down to get the line of a putt are just so much easier. I didn't realize how tight my body was getting from sitting in front of a computer and a general lack of movement
I found that Sarahs Somatics classes unlocked my body from tightness and released it so that the body feels comfortable and at ease. I find Somatics is also wonderful for treating your body to a complete "zone out" No matter what stress levels you're experiencing a Somatics session with Sarah will get you grounded and relaxed. At the end of every one of Sarahs Somatic classes there is definitely a difference and my stress levels are diminished.
I would highly recommend attending Sarah's somatic classes. She loves what she does and it shows in her dedication to her profession and the well-being of her clients. She is always seeking to improve herself with continuous training, workshops and seminars. She is genuinely interested in you and improving your movement. It’s not a job for her but a vocation and there are many of us in Dublin that will miss her influence on our health and wellbeing.
S. Lee, Ireland
Somatics has been a natural progression for me after spending over two years attending Pilates with Sarah – I still love Pilates and the Somatics techniques are a real compliment to what I have learned in my time with her – Somatics adds a little something extra to my lunch hour in that it is very relaxing on both mind and body. I find I have no stress in the afternoon following a class. Having chronic neck and shoulder tension from sitting at a computer for many years I find what I learn in class is really easy to practice, either in work or at home, I can do just a few minutes or longer depending on what time is available. It brings a consciousness to how I move all the time which has led me to have better posture and less discomfort in those tense areas – I am hopeful of more benefits as I attend more classes and learn more from her. Sarah is a really terrific teacher, in the past I was never great in class situations but from the very start she made me feel like I was doing well, with great personal attention in small classes. I can’t recommend her highly enough as a teacher.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Sarah. Finally we have found an exercise program and instructor that meets our needs. I suffer from lower back issues that really responded to Somatics instruction. I have not had any issues with my back since starting the program and have been delighted with the increased flexibility the program has provided. My wife has enjoyed the stress free atmosphere and finds that it is perfect after a long day at work. Adding to the program is the instructor, Sarah. She arranges a relaxed atmosphere while guiding students through the exercise regimen. Gentle and careful instruction is provided to ensure that students do the exercises correctly to get the most out of them. Sarah, you will be greatly missed but we know that future students will benefit from your instruction. Take care Paul and Yen
M. Flood, Ireland
"I highly recommend Somatics with Sarah. I personally found it one of the best methods for loosening my shoulders. They were a problem area and I had tried several different techniques to loosen them. I found Somatics to be the answer. It's also very relaxing, releases tension in all areas of the body and best of all you can see the results immediately."
C. Smith, Ireland
I have been attending Pilates with Sarah Lloyd for the past two years. During that time I have moved through the beginners and intermediate level. My health and fitness are at a stage I would never have thought were possible. About three months ago I also started attending Somatics with Sarah. Taking one Pilates and Somatics per week. I have had a hip and shoulder injury that has required regular trips to the Osteopath at €80 a session for a number of years, since I have started Somatics I haven’t had to attend the Osteopath! I am pain free and if I do feel any twinges, I simply attend a class or practice the specific release method at home. Sarah is an extremely attentive instructor. She holds small classes so she provide you with one on one attention. I cannot recommend her highly enough and if she wasn’t moving to Gibraltar I would be attending her classes forever!!!
Both the Pilates and Somatic Classes are very well suited to other sporting pursuits such as Swimming or Running and Cycling events. And in particular the Somatics Classes compliment the Pilates Classes that I attend in Sarah's classes really well.
Sarah's is an excellent tutor and is attentive to all student's throughout the duration of each class. Personally I find that it's a benefit to students who attend Sarah's classes that class sizes are kept small that allow each student to ask questions about any of the exercises, and to get feedback from Sarah even during the classes. I would recommend to anybody to attend Sarah's Classes, who has an interest in learning about lifelong exercise methods that are possible to do at any time!
"I have only done 4 classes of somatics with Sarah but have been impressed so far, my 1st class resulted in a very heavy grounded feeling after class, slept like a baby that night and have on a whole been sleeping better since starting, a great way to relax for an hour and clear the mind. I am doing Somatics in an effort to take care of recurring pains and strains, since doing the class I feel looser in my body, especially straight after class I feel like I'm walking really tall, it's still early days but I'm looking forward to seeing what benefits a longer practice can bring!!"