Book/DVDs

Click here for a detailed description of the Essential Somatics instructional DVDs and how to buy them!

Regardless of age, many of us suffer from chronic pain. Our muscles are “stuck” in the “on position” twenty-four hours a day, continually commanded to tighten, due to the brain’s response to stress. Using the Hanna Somatics approach to muscular pain relief, Martha Peterson explains how to become aware of teh way you move and adapt to stress. You’ll also find that fifteen minutes of performing the fully illustrated somatic exercises can result in more efficient and pain-free movement.

Click here to buy my book.

Martha Peterson shows us a path to genuine physical education, awareness, and pain relief. This is a profoundly important book.
- Frank Forencich, author of Exuberant Animal and Change Your Body, Change the World

33 thoughts on “Book/DVDs

  1. I just tested out both my website Book/DVD page (http://www.essentialsomatics.com/index.php?/hanna-somatics-book-dvd) and my blog Book/DVD page (http://essentialsomatics.wordpress.com/buy-the-dvd/). They both worked just fine to bring me to PayPal to buy the DVD. Please let me know what happened when you attempted to buy the DVD. If it still doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll send you a PayPal invoice so you can buy the DVD. So sorry you’re having trouble!
    Thanks for getting in touch.
    Martha

  2. Hi, I live in the UK. Do you ship to the UK, and also will the DVD be in a PAL format which we use here in the UK?

    Many thanks

    • Hi,
      The DVD is not in the PAL form, but I’ve sold many DVDs to folks in the UK and they’re having no trouble viewing it. Perhaps they’re watching it on their computers? Shipping is included in the price, so it’s still free to the UK.
      Any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
      Martha

  3. Hi Martha,

    Will your book “Move without Pain” be available in the UK when it is released next January, and if so where will I be able to buy it?

    Thanks

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to buy my book in the UK. I’ll post more information once I get it from the publisher. I’ll also have it available through my website. I’m planning to be in the UK in October to teach a series of workshops and take appointments for private clinical sessions as well. Depending upon where you live you might want to participate and learn about Somatics in one of these workshops.
      Once I get more definitive information about my book sales overseas I’ll let you know. Thanks for asking.
      Martha

  4. What is the best thing I can do to relieve IL band pain? Book? DVD? Stretches?, etc……65 yr old male cycler

    • Hi Richard,
      Are you asking about the inguinal ligament? Please clarify and I will be happy to help you further. If it’s the inguinal ligament I have some ideas. The DVDs are very good for learning the basics, which you need no matter what your specific issue may be. I would not stretch. Read up on my blog and website about the difference between stretching and pandiculation. Stretching could only make matters worse. Pandiculation will help.

      Please give me a bit more information and I’ll be back to you with an answer.
      Thanks,
      Martha

  5. Thanks for the quick response. Sorry……..I meant the IT band in my original email and have found several resources on your website. Of your books/DVDs, which would you recommend for IT band pain?

    • Hi Richard,
      My advice would be to do three things:
      1. read my book for more in depth understanding of Hanna Somatics, and how it addresses muscle pain and movement differently (you can also read the book, Somatics, by Thomas Hanna. It’s excellent).
      2. Purchase my “basics” DVD (Pain Relief Through Movement). It has all the basic exercises that I feel are important for everyone to learn. IT band pain develops due to an imbalance in the pelvis – created by the large trunk rotator muscles working differently on one side. Learn to release those muscles and regain balanced muscle function (which includes an even gait), and the IT band disappears.
      3. Consider purchasing my “Pain-Free Legs and Hips” DVD as well. The exercises on this DVD are terrific for releasing the muscles of the hip joint/waist/legs for more effortless walking, running and moving in general.

      I hope this helps. Where are you located, by the way? If there’s a certified practitioner in your area perhaps you can attend a class, workshop or clinical session to increase your learning so you can feel better faster.

      I’m here to help. Let me know how it goes.
      Martha

  6. Thanks again for the quick response. I will take your advice on the book and DVDs. I am in the Chattanooga, TN. Please let me know if there are practitioners in this area.
    Thanks….Richard

  7. Martha, I am having a problem with my left thigh, left hand and arm jumping with muscle spasms and shaking. I feel my muscles tighten and I have focus and make it stop. This is waking me up from sleep and very annoying. My mother died last Aug, i had no sleep in days, I collapsed and have had this problem ever since. Will some of your techniques help?

  8. Hello…I stumbled into your forum esp. since recently a good friend told me i might need somatics. I am hoping and praying u can help me. My name is Christy.
    4 yrs ago i pulled or tore one of my RT adductor muscles. i saw 10 MTS and 15 DC with no remedy. I am a massage therapist and was working on cruise ships so had limited health care and just kept massaging and doing yoga and it got worst. Then 2 yrs after that i woke up with a deep dent in my glut on the same side. Felt like a good thick middle chunck of my glut max threaded upward without any trauma or bruising. In the last 2 years though my gluts, IT band, TFL, and area over the throchanter and STIll deep in the groin ache CONSTANTLY and are only remedied by 800 mg of ibuprofen regularly for 4 years now. They cant find any muscle issues or abnormality on 2 pelvic MRIS and the dent has surely filled in with scar tissue so the few doctors ive mentioned it to sort of laugh at the idea. My hip mri showed however two labrel tears and both the ligamentum teres and fevorl ligament completely torn. I had hip arthoscopy 5.5 months ago and did 2 months of PT and have seen a pelvic floor PT as all the pain and ache is the same and now i have it from the buttock crease at the coccyx to the pubic area as well. I am desperate to get a true diagnosis and depressed the surgery was not enough. Can your dvds help me if there are still untreated tears and if they dont see them on mris what can i do? i am completely in need and willing to try anything …as i have been doing .
    Thank you!

    • Hi Christy,

      I couldn’t begin to give you a diagnosis based upon what you’ve told me. I would need to look at you,and watch you move. However, I can say with confidence that Hanna Somatics can help you learn to release and re-educate the muscles that have become tight and painful due to compensation.

      I also know from both personal and clinical experience that labral tears don’t just occur out of nowhere. There is usually a “trauma reflex” pattern of imbalance involved in this kind of injury, whether it develops due to a sudden accident (as with many athletes), or long term compensation (I, too, am a massage therapist, and I know that despite one’s best efforts at proper biomechanics, we can often massage with our body weight more on one side than the other and our torsos slightly twisted).

      I would suggest the “basics” DVD and the legs/hips DVD as the best place to start. I would also suggest reading the book, Somatics, by Thomas Hanna, and my book, Move Without Pain. Hanna’s book is the original book about Somatics (and is brilliant), and my book is a “user’s guide” to Somatics, with plenty of in-depth instructions about how to do the exercises.

      I would also highly recommend going to about 5-6 hands-on clinical sessions with a Hanna Somatic Educator. Hands-on sessions are very different from just doing the exercises and they confer more rapid learning and individualized, assisted pandiculations for the patterns of muscle pain contraction that you’re stuck in.

      I hope this helps!
      All the best,
      Martha

  9. Hi Martha,
    I am intrigued by your web site; however, I am not positive these exercises will work for me.

    In March of 2011, I suffered a head injury when a limb fell on me; I suffered a minor concussion and was uncomfortable for a few days (headache). I never thought any more about it.

    In January, 2012, I started running again; I had been off for several months. I also took a trip (long 12 hour drive-split in two days with minimal stops). After these events, I started having discomfort (felt muscular) in my right adductor, symphasis, psoas, iliacus, and hip area. The discomfort rotates among these areas, never really in one spot. They often feel tight; in fact I find myself saying, “if I could just get these muscles stretched out.” I stretch to no avail.

    I have had every test done (ultrasounds, MRIs); everything is negative (that is the good news). The bad news is that the muscles still feel tight–as if I needed myofacial trigger point release. I recently started seeing a chiropractor; I found out through x-ray that my right side pelvis was about 8mm lower than my left.

    The chiropractor has gone through a series of adjustments to straighten my pelvis, and apparently, these adjustments have helped straighten the pelvis. However, the muscle discomfort is still there with the same general intensity–it comes and goes in these 5 areas (sometimes it feels great); I don’t notice it when I sleep; discomfort seems greatest in the evenings. I also do not notice it when I exercise (run).

    My question is: do my symptoms sound like something that might be ameliorated by pandiculations? I am obviously frustrated; my discomfort is not debilitating, but it is annoying. At no time have I ever noticed a limp.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

    • Hi Nathan,

      In a word, yes, your symptoms sound like sensory motor amnesia! In fact, they sound like those of a lot of people I work with. If you’ve had all the tests, you know that nothing is ripped or torn or broken and you have no pathology…you probably have SMA – habitually contracted muscles that are involuntary and outside your brain’s conscious control. Hanna Somatics can help you.
      My suggestion is to read either my book or Thomas Hanna’s book, Somatics, and start learning the basic Somatic Exercises on my Pain Relief Through Movement DVD (and in my book).

      All the best,
      Martha

      • Martha,

        Thanks for the prompt reply. The DVD and books illustrate movements for those particular muscles? Thanks again.

      • Hi Nathan,

        Yes. What’s really important to understand – and you can read about it again in my blog post from yesterday – is that when the core muscles of the body (back/waist/abdominals/trunk rotators) are in a state of sensory motor amnesia, joints and muscles hurt and don’t move well. Learn to release the entire body and you’ll begin to notice some huge changes. However – Rome wasn’t built in a day, so patience and time are also important. It can sometimes take a couple of weeks for your brain to integrate the changes your muscles and movement will go through.

        All the best, Martha

  10. Hello, I just happened to stumble upon your site and found it interesting. I had my second child 6 months ago and half way through my pregnancy I was diagnosed with osteitis pubis. After the birth it got much worse and left me using a walker for 6 weeks. Since then my pelvic pain has somewhat diminished but my legs on the inside of my thighs and from my hips down to my knees are incredibly sore..even to touch. So much so that this has completely altered my life and my ability to mother my two young children. I had done physio, massage, accupuncture. My leg pain didn’t start until about 8 weeks post part up when my first physio person gave me wrong exercises to do and I haven’t been able to get them to calm down. I live in BC Canada, is there anyone close that you would recommend and do you think these exercises could help me? Thanks so much. Jamie

    • Hi Jamie,
      I have been working recently on Skype with a woman with osteotis pubis. If you look at the anatomy involved, all the muscles that pull on the pubic bone are also the muscles involved in the “red light reflex.” Pregnancy and childbirth can cause so many muscular challenges and sensory motor amnesia in the pelvic area and inner thighs isn’t a complete surprise.

      What have the doctors recommended for you? How have they explained it to you? How did the physio explain it? I think the only person we have in BC is Brian Ingle, though I’m not sure. You can try and contact him through his website – http://www.livingsomatics.com.

      Otherwise I would consider doing an online video Skype session with me so I can instruct you in a series of Somatic Exercises that will begin to teach you how to release the muscles involved in this pattern of pain. I would be very happy to help you get your life back and start moving freely again.

      All the best,
      Martha

  11. Hi Martha

    I bought your book and I am having trouble with the exercise, touch your toes, lengthen your hamstrings.

    When I fold over at the hip joint andt hen contract my back muscles to come up, my hamstrings stretch and i dont know how to contract the glutes and hamstrings because of this.

    I have done the back lift and everything is released when lying down, it seems when i am folding at the hips i cant contract the glutes and hamstrings along with my back muscles.

    Any help would be appreciated

    many thanks
    Steven

  12. Hi Martha, I am a runner who has strained my adductor muscles on the right, 6 weeks out from a marathon. I have your first dvd pain free movement. What exercises will help release the muscles as massage is not helping?
    Deborah

    • Hi Deborah,
      Bad luck! How did you strain your adductors? I would do the side bend, washrag and walking. I would also learn the invert/evert from my DVD “Pain Free Legs and Hips.” It addresses the relationship between the feet/knees/hips/back and shoulders.
      Also, with one leg straight, the “bad” leg knee bent, slowly tip the leg outward as far as is comfortable, then slowly bring it back in. Go in and out slowly and play with that movement. Then go inward over the opposite knee, then back out to neutral. This is a gentle pandiculation of the adductors/abductors. See how that feels.

      If you live near a practitioner I would do a private clinical session as well – or do a session with me on Skype. I can teach you how to “self-pandiculate” your adductors in relation to the rest of the body. There’s a compensation pattern going on elsewhere – remember that it’s not just your adductor. You want to get the entire pattern if you’re going to race and feel good.

      I hope this helps.
      Martha

      • I was running and hit a patch of ice and tried to “catch” myself so know probably have the trauma reflex going on. I have 5 weeks left and not sure if I will be able to get the invert/ evert dvd in time. Do you offer a link online? I will look for a practitioner but not sure if there are any. I am in Canada. Ontario. I will do the other movements diligently over the next 5 weeks and hope for the best.

    • Hi Kim,
      Have you read this article about pandiculation on my website:http://www.essentialsomatics.com/index.php?/articles/detail/pandiculation_-_no_stretch_stretching

      Pandiculation is a reflex action pattern in all vertebrate animals. It’s what cats/dogs/animals do when they look as if they’re “stretching” themselves out. Pandiculation starts with a contraction of the tight muscles tighter than what is presently there (going INTO the tight muscle, rather than attempting to lengthen OUT of the tight muscle). This “wakes up” the brain/muscles at the level of the central nervous system. It adds new and different feedback to the brain so that you (or rather, your brain) can slowly release/lengthen the muscle PAST the point that it was tight before.

      Pandiculation is akin to updating the system on your computer. You’re adding new sensory (feeling/awareness) feedback to the brain so the brain can produce new motor (movement) output. It works easily and safely and is truly the best way to release muscles that are in a state of Sensory Motor Amnesia.

      Thanks for the question. Remember that I am available to help you via Skype sessions if you would like to begin relieving your hip pain. I have osteoarthritis in my hips; Somatics keeps me feeling pretty darn good…

      Martha

  13. Hi Martha,
    I was looking up info regarding tight hamstrings. I have had multiple knee replacements in my left knee. Before my last knee replacement my hamstring was giving trouble. I told the Dr. to make sure they checked it all out. Top knee guy! worried about rush jobs in surgery. Working for many Drs., I have learned how over booked lots are. Any suggestions for my dilemma???

    • My suggestions would be to begin learning all the basic Somatic Exercises on my Pain Relief Through Movement DVD and then move on to my Pain-Free Legs and Hips DVD. Problematic hamstrings and knees develop due to loss of proper muscle function. Long term muscle dysfunction (sensory motor amnesia) can create structural damage due to excessive stress on joints.

      Begin to release and relax the muscles of the center of the body that move the hips, knees, shoulders, neck. Regain symmetry in the waist muscles so you can stand and walk with balance. This will help your knees. Doctors know nothing about muscles and movement. Orthopedists are carpenters (and you want a good one when it come to surgery! I’ve had several knees surgeries and I love my orthopedist!), not movement people.

      Retrain your function and your structure will begin to take care of itself.
      I hope this helps!

      Martha

  14. Martha – I’ve had numerous knee surgeries on my right knee (10 to be exact). As of right now my knee is considered structurally fine – no apparent issues. My orthopedist isn’t sure what else to try at this points However, my original pain remains despite all the surgery – sharp pain with loading of the joint. Going up/down stairs is painful and I’m limited in what I can cardio/weight wise with my knee.

    I am of the opinion now that my root issue is severe tendonitis relating to muscle tightness – the symptoms seem to fit. I have always had low back issues – went to multiple chiropractors and I have low disc spacing between L4-L5. My lower back always hurts and along with that I have extremely tight hamstrings. I stretch every day, it feels a LITTLE better but I never see major improvements. My question is – would your book/DVD be something that could potentially help me? Somatics seems like it could but I’ve tried so many different things that have never helped. Any advice appreciated – thanks! – Chad

    • In a word, YES, my book and DVD can help you learn to release and relax the tight muscles that are contributing to (and possibly causing) your chronic joint pain, tight hamstrings and back pain. I would, however, highly recommend working one on one with a skilled Somatic Educator. Where do you live? If there is no one in your area I can work with you on Skype – to assess and guide you to do the Somatic Exercises that will benefit you most.

      Best to you,
      Martha

  15. Martha – thank you for the quick reply. I live near Cincinnati OH. I would be interested if there is an educator near me or if not to look into the Skype option. Thanks!

  16. Hi Martha,

    Hope all is well. I wanted to ask you which of your products would be best for my injuries and state. I have had a shoulder problem for over 2 years and have undergone a distal clavicle resection. While anatomically speaking, everything looks to be fine i still have pain and am unable to train pain free. i have been told alot by countless professionals and sport therapists that i have weak rhomboids, lower traps and serratus muscles with over-active traps and tight anterior muscles (pecs, anterior shoulder and tight bicep tendons).

    I have done countless rehab work and strengthening exercises yet my challenge remains to be feeling the muscles i am trying to work. I also have a winged and sticky scapula.

    My other more recent injury is to my knee. i feel that it is due to altered bio mechanics and unstable pelvis. i have always had tight hamstrings and no matter how much i try to loosen them up, it just doesn’t work.

    I wanted to ask you which of your products would be best for my case. I train and it is an essential core need in my life so please you are the last resort since i have exhausted all other options.

    long story short, my needs are to regain proper muscle balance and bio mechanics in:

    -shoulder and surrounding muscles
    - reactivation of rhomboids and realignment of my shoulder girdle
    - proper pelvic alignment

    thank you so much for your time and i am eagerly waiting for your reply

  17. Hi Martha,

    I’m excited to purchase your Combo Package #1 this weekend…and than your “Athletes” DVD later, when funds allow. I’ve done most of your exercises on youtube and must say…they’ve helped me quite a bit. As well as some other Hanna Somatics information and videos out there on the web. My biggest problem I think….is trying to go slow enough. I want to do more and go more than I think I’m supposed to. Like more traditional exercises. I drive a 5 million dollar haul truck in the Bingham Canyon Mine here in Salt Lake City. 12 hour shifts, so I’m sitting, sitting, sitting. At 55, I’m an avid racquetball player. Playing with guys half my age and younger. My recovery time is beginning to take longer and longer. Several days and sometimes as long as a week. I’m hoping somatics will help. After doing some of the exercises I am actually doing pretty good at recovery. I would take Advil before and after racquetball but haven’t lately. I attribute that to somatic exercise. My knees, feet, hips, etc. are doing better. I use to do a lot of mobility exercises to lube that joints as they say?….should I continue. I think they help. I think.

    Some questions: When do I do the exercises? Before or after exercise. In the morning? How long should they take.

    Thanks for all the info on the web. Been a great help. Hang in there and please continue….

    Eli

    • It’s best to do Somatic Exercises when you wake up and before you go to bed. Think of animals that “stretch” (actually, they’re pandiculating) every time they get up from rest. It’s the brain’s way of waking up your nervous system and “shaking off” the stress.

      When you’re driving take a few seconds after you’re stopped to hunch the shoulders up and lower them down, move your hips up and down, shift and fidget. This reminds your muscles that they don’t have to stay tight and “frozen.” Take every opportunity you can during the day (you don’t have to wait to lie on the floor!) to move in a pleasant way.

      All the best,
      Martha

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