49 thoughts on “Website

  1. I have just read your article on Susan the runner and I was so happy for her. I have a very similar problem and over the years with my compensations I have developed a foot that I drag whenever I attempt to run. My sychronization is out and I exhaust myself within minutes. I have studied Thomas Hanna’s book but it seems to focus more on walking. I can walk well using his guide line until I start to leave the ground with both feet which is what running is all about!!
    Do you have any suggestions or material that may be of help to me? I do all the exercises in his book which is very time consuming each day and I’m not sure which ones are the most helpful for running.
    Thank you very much, Sue.

    • Hi Sue,
      Susan, my runner client, came to me for one on one clinical sessions in order to figure out what her muscular holding patterns were. Hands on clinical sessions are very powerful and rapidly effective; we work step by step to de-habituate the three somatic reflexes (red light, green light, trauma reflex) over the course of several weeks. The exercises you learned in Thomas Hanna’s book are the “homework” for the private sessions. Certain people (like Susan, and, I suspect, you) need more in depth work with a practitioner in order to really reverse their muscular habituation.
      Despite the fact that you live in Canada, I think you could get a lot out of working with me one on one in several online video sessions (http://essentialsomatics.com/index.php?/hanna-somatics-sessions-workshops/online_video_session). This way we could hone in on what patterns of movement/contraction you’re stuck in that you’re not aware of. Hanna’s book focuses on the basic patterns of movement, and then how to “put it all together” to walk properly…but if there’s an imbalance in your walk, or in the center of your body that you’re not aware of, then your running will be “off.”
      Being exhausted after only a few minutes makes me suspect that you might be somewhat “red light” in your posture (hunched/rounded forward) with tight ribs. Feeling “out of sync” makes me suspect that you have a bit of a trauma reflex on one side of your body. Did you have an accident of some sort in your past?
      All of the movements in Hanna’s book are useful; however, I’m finding that many people do the exercises in the book, and then when they learn them from my DVD, or in a class, or during an online video session, they realize that there were things they weren’t understanding, or doing properly.
      May I also suggest that you purchase my DVD (which is extensive and very clear in its instructions – much better than learning out of a book!).
      Once you are really aware of where your sensory motor amnesia is, and you reverse it, then you would do well to attend a ChiRunning seminar. This method of teaching running is very somatic and sensible. However, if you have unresolved sensory motor amnesia, their instructors will not be able to help you, as this is not their expertise.
      I hope this helps! Please feel free to contact me to make an appointment or to ask any further questions. I firmly believe I can help you get back to running, just as I did with Susan!
      Best to you – and thanks for commenting.

  2. Hi Martha,

    Just found your website. Wish I had found it sooner, as I’ve tried a lot of relaxation techniques etc. with no results. My bum and thigh muscles are constantly tense and contracted, causing hip and knee pain.I know it’s myself that causes it(stressed), but cant seem to relax. Think I will have to purchase your dvd, looks very promising. Really hope I get results as even walking now is a chore, never mind exercise.

    Regards, Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback about my DVDs. If you’re stressed and have painful, contracted muscles the best place to start is with my “Pain Relief Through Movement” DVD. The Pain-Free Legs and Hips would be the next step if your walking is compromised by your tight muscles. Once you begin to learn about how sensory motor amnesia develops and how to release it, you might find that just the basic Somatic Exercises (from the first, “basics” DVD) do the trick.

      Yes, I wish I’d found Hanna Somatics sooner, too! I’ve learned by experiencing the effects of sensory motor amnesia…and then how Hanna Somatics can teach you to “fix” yourself. This is why I teach this work. It’s a life-saver for chronic muscle pain. It helps you remember how to move the way you once did.

      All the best,

      • Hi Martha,

        I know this might sound silly, but I’m so delighted you replied and it wasnt an automated reply like some other websites. It means a lot when there is a human side to websites. Can I ask you one more thing, I’ve developed bursitis in both legs just under my bum. I can’t seem to shift it, and my doctor wants to inject with steriod which i don’t want. I think it’s down to me tightening my hamstrings and thighs when I walk, does this make sense to you???

        Many thanks,


      • Hi Mike,

        You’re very welcome! It’s important for me as well to have a connection with the people for whom I write my blog. That’s just another aspect of what it means to be “somatic.” When you lose somatic awareness and control all manner of symptoms develop. Your symptoms tell me that your mechanics and posture are such that the hamstring attachments are highly contracted and tight and causing pain. Yes, it makes sense to me.

        I’m suspecting you’re stuck in a slight “red light reflex.” I suggest reading my book and starting with the basic somatic exercises on my Pain Relief Through Movement DVD.

        All the best, Martha

  3. Going through your Move Without Pain book. 1) Confused by why you don’t give an explanation of why you deleted material from Hanna’s original book. I think that’s necessary information. It would have added depth to the book. 2) Script for Arch and Curl seems to be wrong or confusing to me regarding the inhale/exhale sequence. Pg. 48-49. Hasn’t anyone complained? it’s not a clear script.

    • Hi Philip,

      What material from Hanna’s book are you referring to?
      Hanna’s book is the original treatise on Somatics. His book stands alone. My book, on the other hand, simplifies what many find slightly complicated about his book. Read both. They complement each other. As much as you and I might love the details about neurophysiology and the sensory motor system that are in Thomas Hanna’s book, many people just want simplicity….which is what I give them.

      As to the breathing instructions for arch and curl, that entire sequence is done as inhale and arch, exhale and curl up, then inhale and slowly return to neutral.

      I actually haven’t had any complaints so far about that exercise. I hope this clears it up for you!

      Thanks for your questions.

      All the best,

  4. Hello: Your videos have already helped me in only one day. This might be off your expertise, but I wondered if there is any exercise that might help my restless leg syndrome. Thanks for your time. Thanks for your videos. Very much appreciate you.


  5. Hello Martha. I have a question. I don’t know if this is the placed to ask it; but, I’ll try here first. I have recently been (tentatively) diagnosed with a hip labral tear. I read that you have had a labral tear confirmed and are treating it (for now) with somatic exercises, though you might also consider getting surgery. Would you be willing to share with me which exercises you do for this condition? I have purchased your book and am looking into the dvd’s. I am also looking into surgery here on the East Coast. I guess you have heard of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and a Doctor named Brian Kelly. He is supposed to be one of the best on this coast. Also, a Dr. Martin at Brigham and something Hospital in Boston is considered an expert in treating hip labral tears. I thought I would mention it in case you were still looking. I would be grateful for any suggestions you might have. Thanks a bunch.


    • Hi Thay,

      I suggest the same thing to everyone: start at the beginning and learn all the basic somatic exercises that teach you to release and relax the muscles in the center of the body that, when habitually contracted, contribute to muscle pain and joint restriction. Then focus on the movements that involved the trauma reflex: side bend, washrag, human X, walking exercises. My legs/hips DVD is also quite good and has more exercises that will teach you how to move the hips/legs more easily and smoothly.

      In my labral tear blog post I describe the pattern (trauma reflex) at the core of how labral tears are created and develop (if not from a sudden accident, as in sports). Re-read that in order to get a good idea of how this kind of injury can develop.

      I am available for a consultation if you need that. Information on phone consultations is on my website. We can talk more about your specific condition and you can ask me lots of questions. I can then give better suggestions if I have more information about you and your history.

      No matter what decision you make, in my professional opinion, Hanna Somatics is the best (and most sensible) way to get to the root cause of the tight muscles that are restricting proper hip function. Remember that poor muscle function can lead to structural problems. Poor muscle function develops due to stress adaptation and is called Sensory Motor Amnesia.

      If you go the surgery root, Somatics is, to my mind, obligatory. I have worked with a lot of people who, after labral tear surgery, still have very tight muscles and movement restrictions that still cause pain. The surgery fixed the structure, yet hip discomfort still remained. Surgery will never “fix” muscle function or Sensory Motor Amnesia. In very short order every one of these clients is now moving nicely and out of pain.

      I hope this helps!

      All the best,

  6. I am so glad I found your website I recently had some dental work over a period of a month which resulted in excrutiating muscle pain in the jaw, earache, headache and neck pain .. the dentist gave me a fact sheet on tmj and suggested acupuncture. I visited my chiropractor who realigned my jaw but the symptoms continued and then my neck started grating and stiffening. Now I am a worrier and what worsened matters where that the local GP’s are clueless. I have now developed a stiff raised shoulder through anxiety and tension which I am going to try this pandiculation to relieve and seek out your dvd. I have been told I have a deviated jaw now and am visiting an expert on Monday for advice, but to be honest the shoulder is now more painful than the jaw muscles!!

    • Hi Rachel,

      I have a blog post about TMJ in progress! TMJ is a perfect example of Sensory Motor Amnesia. I’ve had to deal with it myself after excessive dental work. Stay tuned for the blog post, coming soon.

      Do you have any of my DVDs? In not I would suggest purchasing my Pain-Free Neck and Shoulders DVD and beginning to address the muscles of the Red Light Reflex. This reflex of worry, fear, anxiety, slumped shoulders (and now slumping over the computer for hours on end) involves all the muscles of the front of the body, up into the neck/jaw. It’s a full body pattern. You can pandiculate the jaw muscles just like any other muscles in the body. In my blog post I’ll show a few pointers on how to do that.

      No worries – there is an answer out there that doesn’t involved mouth guards or medication.

      Best to you,

  7. Wonderful, I will have a look for the pain free neck and shoulders dvd!! The anxiety has been so great with the lack of knowledge from my doctors, that I actually had to have my shoulder respositioned by an osteopath as one arm was hanging longer than the other!! Medication at the moment so I can sleep because of the muscle spasms in jaw but glad there is an answer out there 🙂

    • Hi Rachel,

      Go on to my YouTube video and look at “Office Somatics.” Begin to explore the very simple exercises for the neck and shoulders that you can do seated: all you’re doing is pandiculating (tightening INTO the restriction, then slowly releasing out of it, like a yawn) the range of motion of the shoulders and neck – up, down, forward, back, round and round.

      In addition learn Arch and Flatten, which is a free video on my website (and on YouTube). The “Flower” is one of the most important exercises you could possible learn to begin reversing the red light reflex. On my blog, in a post about breathing and stress you will find that video, again, it’s free, at the bottom. Explore and learn that somatic exercise.

      Finally, consider doing a series of Skype sessions with me. I can help you individually. These sessions are extremely useful and offer quantitative results. Information on those sessions are on my website.

      All the best, Martha

  8. I don’t see anything addressing sacral imbalances. I’m currently in great sciatica pain stemming from a sacral torque and have no lower back curve. Can your book or DVDs address this? Currently any sort of leg lift on the stomach is aggravating the extreme (can’t really walk more than a minute) on my left side.


    Jo Anne

    • Hi Jo Anne,

      Actually, a lot of what I’ve written here on my blog has to do with the three stress reflexes (red light, green light, trauma), which, when habituated by the brain and repetitive actions, can cause the pelvis to twist, or the back to be flat. Neither or those situations is normal; our pelvis should be balanced and there should be a gentle lumbar curve in our lower back.

      Sciatica develops when the waist muscles on one side of the body are tighter than the other. Here’s an article on my website about that: http://www.essentialsomatics.com/index.php?/articles/detail/effective_treatment_for_sciatica. Tight waist muscles only on one side is akin to pulling open venetian blinds and only one side opens. Everything is out of balance. This usually occurs in response to an accident or injury. We begin to walk differently and this can impinge the SI joint.

      My advise to you is the same advise I give to everyone, no matter what the functional muscle pain condition or movement restriction: begin learning the basic Somatic Exercises. When your brain has responded to stress to such an extent that you no longer know how you “got that way” and you can’t change it no matter what other practitioners do with you, you have Sensory Motor Amnesia. The voluntary part of your brain is no longer in control of your muscles or movement. To “fix” your situation is a matter of education.

      I would also recommend clinical sessions of Hanna Somatics or, if there is no practitioner in your area, a few online video Skype sessions with me. I can help you once I SEE you, watch you walk and see where you can and cannot move. Then, under my guidance (or that of a skilled practitioner), you can begin to “turn on the lightbulb” in your brain and sense your body/muscles and improve your sensory motor system so that your pelvis untwists and your back has more ability to extend and flex.

      I hope this helps!
      All the best,

  9. Thank you…that gives me somewhere to start. I’ll let you know how it goes and when I want to schedule a Skype appointment.

    Jo Anne

      • Hi, Martha.

        As you know my application of the Somatic movements you taught me has gotten and kept me out of pain. From about March of this year (2014) on this has been the case. This much time later and after your Somatic Educator Coach Training One in June, I just want to say that a pain free existence is not the only reward of the regular practice of Somatics.

        In addition to relieving my sciatica, I’ve noticed feeling lighter, breathing easier, and flowing down the hallways at work. But, just today I had an experience I can only attribute to my practice of Somatics-I ran down two flights of stairs in a museum….I mean the kind of spontaneous bounding down the stairs that one does when you’re about 10…well, maybe 14 tops with no fear of misstep. Thomas Hanna has talked about the freedom gained in one’s body through Somatics, and I get it! These are just a few of the specific freedoms I’ve experienced. Love to hear from others about their experiences.

        Jo Anne Bowman
        San Antonio, TX

  10. Hi again
    I had written you last week about my chronic (9 years) it band, back, knee and foot issue. I limp and would love to get to a point where I can go for walks. You mentioned that it would be good for me to see a somatic therapist. I live in Victoria , bc Canada.
    Could you help me in locating a therapist here?
    Please and thank you muchly
    Lavonne Owen

  11. Hi, Martha. I am 27 years old (male) and have had chronic hip problems for 3 years resulting in “tight” psoas muscles in both hips and painful gluteal muscles/IT bands. I have been through chiropractic, multiple physiotherapists, and most recently an Osteopath. I essentially have pain from my abdomen all through both quads, IT bands, and hamstrings. I don’t feel “tight” but I feel stuck and because of that, my hips and hamstrings/IT band are always snapping when I move around and I can’t dream of running or doing any of the weightlifting exercises I love for fear of aggravating my injury. I’m very young and this has been an awful experience.

    I know that I need muscular retraining, but physiotherapy has been ineffective as they provide nothing but core strengthening exercises (squats, stretching, planks, etc). SMA makes a lot of sense given the frequency of my pain.

    I live in Toronto, Ontario. Would you be able to point me to a practitioner near me who may be able to help, and secondly, what DVDs would be best for me? Thanks in advance!


    • Hi Joel,

      I have a clinical practitioner-in-training in Hamilton, Ontario who can help you. Her name is Elaine Steers and she’s quite skilled. Her email is elainesteers@cogeco.ca. I’m quite sure she can get you on the right path to reversing your sensory motor amnesia so your hips can move more freely and the IT band “snapping” goes away.
      I would also recommend that you begin to learn the basic Somatic Exercises (which are the “homework” for the clinical sessions, and the linchpin to maintaining brain level muscle control) even before you see her. It can only help.

      All the best,

      • Thanks a lot! I will definitely contact her. I feel like this is the answer (or close to it) because I have not had any broken bones, surgeries, previous joint pain, or anything prior to these issues. It does not feel arthritic because the pain is too localized and soft tissue work has helped, but not cured the problem. I just want to get my body more realigned and “loose.” Then the functional strengthening I was doing before should be effective. Does that sound right? I am trying to provide any relevant information. I also have a right shoulder that feels “chunky” and causes occasional pain. Osteopathy has helped with that. Can the somatic exercises “unwind” it? It’s like a knotted rope kind of feeling. I’m sure you know what I mean.

        Anyway, I will contact Elaine and get something set up. It’s a bit of a journey for me but I’m sure she and I can work something out. Thank you.


  12. Thanks! I just wanted to leave you some quick feedback. I have been doing the exercises on your website (side bend, washrag, hamstring release, and so on), and I have to be honest: this is the fastest improvement I have seen in a long time. Between these exercises and the osteopathic manipulations I have been getting (only 2 so far), about 80% of my pain is gone! These exercises are fantastic for pain relief. I ordered the basics and legs/hips DVD. I have one question though: do either of those DVDs cover hip flexor (and really, hip function in general) retraining in terms of movement? My guess is “yes.” I’ve found there’s a big difference between doing something on the floor or a mat and then applying it to movement.

    I will definitely see Elaine, but I will want to have the reinforcement for home as well because I won’t be able to go see her all the time, as it’s a 2 hour commute. Thanks for all your responses!


  13. Hi Martha,

    I live in the Cleveland, Ohio area…I have been struggling with low back (sacroiliac pain) and hip pain on the left side for a while now. I believe they are related. I have been improving with somatics, but it seems like I can’t seem to get to a point of daily maintenance which is my goal. I’d like to be able to play more golf without having to back off if I play too much.

    My left hip is hiked up and there is also some rotation so that my right leg is further back in space if that makes sense. The side muscles on that left side are tighter than on the right side. I broke my right leg playing football back in 1989…it may have been the catalyst for all these issues. I really believe that if I could level out the pelvis or at least improve it, that I could get back to playing without missing big chunks of time.

    In essence, I believe that the somatics that I have done on my hip have made some hip leveling improvements which have enabled me to play more, but I always seem to develop pain after too many rounds of golf. It’s frustrating.

    What would be your advice for me from this point? Would Skype sessions with you help? Should I see somebody locally? If so, can you refer me to somebody in the Cleveland area? Would your DVD’s help?

    I feel like I am close…I mean, before I started doing somatics, if I had a setback or a relapse, the amount of time it took to start feeling better was usually months…now, if I have low back pain, I can do the back-lift movements for a few days and it seems to calm the area down within a week…it’s uplifting.


    • Hi TJ,
      I’m so glad you’re feeling more balanced in your pelvis from doing Somatics. Certainly a leg break can cause you to habituate to the Trauma Reflex. It’s unavoidable. An habituated Trauma Reflex will definitely get in the way of your golf game because the waist muscles and trunk rotators are tighter on one side than the other. In fact, golf can create a Trauma Reflex at times if you don’t fully relax out of your swing. The good news is that you can “de-habituate” that reflex with properly done Somatic Exercises and, even more helpful – one on one clinical Somatics sessions.

      We don’t have a practitioner in the Cleveland, Ohio area. My recommendation would be to schedule 3 Skype sessions with me so we can go through the exercises and I can assess how you’re doing them, give you corrections and help you become aware of where your sensory motor amnesia might be showing up within those movements. You can purchase Skype sessions directly from my website.

      I look forward to helping you get back to your activities!

      All the best,

      • Hi Martha,

        I signed up for the 3 Skype sessions. I have been using an online service for the lower back. It has helped a great deal with day to day pain management, but it hasn’t fixed the root problem…I’m sure that is mostly my fault as I have been more active and jumping back into playing golf too soon. My impatience gets the best of me.

        However, I do believe that the lower back is NOT the source of the pain…I feel like it’s the left hip and groin tightness that pulls on the lower back and sacroiliac area. My left adductors are very tight. When I take my backswing, sometimes I can feel the left adductors saying, “Watch it!”. And February last year, before I knew about somatics, I tried some yoga in an attempt to loosen up the adductors and groin area. That was a big mistake as the next day, I went to turn around and I felt a sharp pain in the left adductor area. I was limping around for a long time, and every so often, someone will comment to me that I look like I’m limping. I’m thinking that that may be the “trauma” or at least the latest trauma that is causing the tightness and pain and lack of hip mobility.

        It’s also interesting to note that my left knee on the inner side feels pain at times…when I try to do a squat, once I get to a certain point in the lowering process, that left knee screams in pain on that inner side.

        So, I was looking through this site and I noticed that you have a DVD for the legs and hips that targets sacroiliac pain, leg length issues, and knee pain…I’m wondering if this would also be useful…but I guess we can talk about that during the Skype sessions.

        I’m sincerely hoping that you can help me out of this maze. 🙂

  14. Yes, you have a trauma reflex. This all sounds “par for the course,” which is, when you think about it, quite hopeful. The three stress reflexes (red light, green light, trauma) are universal and happen to everyone when stress hits. I look forward to helping you via Skype.


    • Great! Sort of…:)

      I’ve already purchased the sessions…what is the next step? Do you contact me and ssetup a time?

  15. Hi I have 2 labrel hip tears and am not keen on having arthroscopy to repair them. I am trying to find your DVD but am having no luck. I live in the uk?
    Kind Regards

    • Hi Sue,

      You can find my DVDs right here. I would also recommend a few Skype sessions. I’m all too familiar with the discomfort of labral tears, which result from overuse and a Trauma Reflex. There is much you can do to help relieve the discomfort.

      All the best,

  16. Dear Martha,

    I was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I am on a low dose prescription medication for inflammation but I am still feeling pain (neck, shoulders and hips mostly) and I was wondering if your Somatics program would work for someone with chronic inflammation caused by an auto immune disorder. Can I do the exercises/stretches with inflammation present? Can you recommend a specific DVD or book of yours that could help me with chronic pain caused by RA? Thank you.

    • Dear Marlene,

      One of the most powerful benefits of Hanna Somatics is that by learning to reduce accumulated muscle tension you also learn to bring your nervous system from the “fight or flight” sympathetic state to the more relaxed parasympathetic state. This is extremely beneficial to anyone suffering from an auto-immune condition, where the nervous system is in a heightened stress response.

      Also, movement – especially slow and gentle – helps to relax the muscles and the joints they move. Somatics can only be good for you! Movement is, quite literally, medicine. We need to move, feel our bodies, improve our self-awareness. We’re meant to move, so begin in any way that is comfortable for you at the moment – even if it’s just taking a daily walk.

      I would recommend a weekly class if you live near someone who teaches Somatic Movement (we have twice weekly classes at the Somatics Loft here in Maplewood, NJ) or you can start with my “basics” Pain Relief Through Movement DVD. I would also advise a few Skype sessions with me in case you feel you need extra guidance.

      I hope this helps.

      All the best,

  17. Hi Martha,
    I am a dancer trying to conquer my knee pain. Mostly on my right knee, but of course with this going on with two years it’s also traveled to my left side because of compensation. I have been doing your IT Band pandiculation and even after a few days I am noticing a difference, but my sartorius muscle wants to compete still. I was wondering if you had any recommendation for the sort of “tug-of-war’ that’s occurring on the sides of my leg. It seems to be my greatest feat within the journey to being pain free. The war has lead to quite pressure in my knee joint. I hope to hear from you soon. Any advice would be great. Would love to get back to dancing. Thank you!

    -Tyler James Mausser

    • Hi Tyler,

      It sounds like you’re stuck in the Trauma Reflex. Go back to the blog post about IT band pain and read it again. Note how there’s a full body pattern at the root of IT band pain that you need to learn to release. Once you do that, and teach the waist muscles to release, lengthen and function equally on both sides of your body your sartorious will probably stop bothering you.
      When there’s an imbalance in the center of the body the periphery doesn’t move as well as it could. There is co-contraction.

      Learn the “basic” Somatic Exercises (you can buy the DVD on my website), start to finish and slowly begin to regain control and sensation of the back, waist and abdominal muscles. Then see how your legs feel. I was a professional dancer and this work was the only work that got me out of chronic pain. Clinical sessions are hugely beneficial. Where do you live? I can refer you to a practitioner. Lastly I would consider a Skype session with me in which I assess you properly and guide you through movements that can help you.

      Best to you,

  18. Dear Martha
    I just want to thank you for giving me my life back! I had been suffering from back and side pain for more than 18 months when I came across your blog and videos online. I had seen about 10 doctors, had x-rays and an MRI scan, a steroid injection and tried pilates, physiotherapy, spinal manipulation, acupuncture … you name it! … all to no avail. But your videos and book changed all that – right from the start although I was in pain I felt as though your exercises were the right thing to do. And now after five months of doing them several times a day, I am virtually pain free and able to walk and swim again with pleasure, and live a normal life. I just wanted to pass on to anyone else who’s starting with somatics, that it may take some time but it really works.
    I would have loved a personal session with you, Martha but unfortunately I live in Europe where practitioners seem to be very thin on the ground.

    Many thanks and bless you


    • Hi Kate,

      It is improvements like what you have been able to affect in your body and life that is possible with Hanna Somatics. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

      Indeed, a daily practice of Hanna Somatics helps you sense and feel more in your body and, by extension, your life. The more you feel, the more you can do. Life is movement, so how well you move changes how you experience yourself and your life. Congratulations on devoting yourself to a solution that is both long term and sensible and safe.

      I am in Europe twice a year and have clinical trainings in the UK. There are some excellent Certified Clinical Somatic Educators and student practitioners-in-training. Where do you live in Europe? I can refer you to someone! Please email me at martha@essentialsomatics.com and we can discuss it.

      All the best,

  19. Hi Martha,
    I recently found your website and have ordered your book and DVD’s. I have suffered from back, hip, knee and neck pain -on and off -for years. I have scoliosis, and other structural issues. It is a challenge to have a consistent exercise program without pain. After a few weeks of exercising and starting to feel fit, I inevitable start to feel pain. I am open to learning about somatics and trying the exercises via the DVD’s, and hope that it will help.

    A question for you: Due to pronation, I have worn foot orthotics for 30 plus years and then stopped because I had a ganglion cyst under my one foot. I stopped for 1 yr , the ganglion cyst went away but I started feeling more neck, back, hip and knee pain. Not sure if the pain was directly caused by not wearing the orthotics or because of increasing my level of exercise. I just started wearing orthotics again. My question for you: In your years of experience with clients, do orthotics help or not?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Laurie,

      Thanks for your question. My experience, both personal and clinical, has been that orthotics are not generally helpful. They seek to “prop up” the problem, which many podiatrists, chiropractors and doctors believe to be the feet, when in fact, the problem lies in the center of the body.

      If the center of the body is tight and the hips and pelvis don’t move when you walk, then you may feel pain into your feet. This is sensory motor amnesia. SMA will also be to blame for your pain from working out. As you have read on my site and hopefully on my blog, SMA develops over time due to stress habituation. We simply forget how to move easily because we don’t practice it. Use it or lose it. Sore feet mean a tight center, tight hips and generally tight legs.

      I have a blog post about the feet. Check it out. I hope this helps!

  20. Hi Martha,
    How are you? I am 12 days post hip replacment. I am so relieved that my joint pain is gone. Now I need my muscles to stop red lighting me ;). I am looking forward to pandiculating very soon.

    I am hoping next year or next summer to attend one of your trainings. I would love to bring a general MAT introduction class to the gym where I teach. We have someone doing a stretch class and it makes me cringe!

    Anyway, I just wanted to check in with you and tell you I am glad I go the surgery, althought it was a tough decision.

    • Hi Simone,
      I’m so glad all went well with your surgery! Yes, Hanna Somatics is just what you and anyone needs post-surgery.
      It would be great to have a class at the gym where you teach and I would love to have you in a training at any point.

      All the best,

    • Hi Beryl,

      I always suggest that those with hip issues start with the basics (Pain Relief Through Movement) and then move on to the Pain-Free Legs and Hips DVD.

      That being said, what I think you could benefit from even more is working one on one with a skilled Hanna Somatic Educator (or practitioner-in-training). I teach in the UK twice yearly, and have quite a few very good certified practitioners available to help you. Go to the Find a Practitioner page of my site and look for someone in your area. Or let me know where you live and I can give you some suggestions.

      One on one learning will help you more than struggling on your own. Then, after releasing muscles and restoring full function of the muscles and movement through assisted pandiculation, it’s easier to do your own home practice and work with the DVDs.

      I am currently in York and will be seeing clients here on Sept. 27 & 28. I will also be seeing clients in Staveley, Cumbria, on Oct. 3 – 5 as well. Email me at martha@essentialsomatics.com if you’d like to make an appointment and I’d be very happy to help you in person.

      I hope this helps.
      All the best,

  21. Hi Martha,

    I have been so frustrated trying everything to relieve my tight trunk/back/hips and constant SI joint issues for 25+ years. Despite keeping myself in fairly good physical shape (I spin 3x week and practice yoga 2-3 times a week as well as walking a lot) I am so stiff! I took a hard fall spraining my right ankle as a teenager, and had a couple difficult labor/ deliveries, but otherwise have no other health issues. I have tried everything in the past, but the tightness just keeps getting worse as the years pass! Sitting and traveling are a challenge. Sleep is often interrupted. Seeing a chiropractor helps temporarily, but the SI joints slip out again after a few days or so. I am currently working with a myofascial therapist and an Iyengar yoga teacher and have become aware of my postural issues that I am working on, but the constant muscle tension remains with me. I have done private Feldenkreis lessons as well as yoga therapy in the past, and I realize now that a few somatic movements has been incorporated in those lessons, but has not been a focus. Since discovering your website I want to learn more!!! Which DVD would you recommend for me? Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a practitioner in my area (Chicago area). Thanks for your advice!

    • Hi Katy,

      It sounds like you have a real case of Sensory Motor Amnesia. We do have a practitioner-in-training the in the Chicago area. If you use our Contact page, my assistant will give her her contact information. I think it’s terrific that you want to learn more, and I’m quite sure that Hanna Somatics can make a difference for you. It’s all about you improving yourself; you just need some guidance.

      The Basics DVD is the best place to start – but work one on one with a practitioner if you want to get the best results for yourself.

      All the best,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s