What is Clinical Somatic Education?

The traditional way of thinking is….‘I have a tight muscle in my neck.’

The somatic way of thinking is….. ‘I actually have a muscle that is being tightened in my neck, by me, by my self….by my brain.’

Clinical Somatic Education is based on neuroscience........and uses the motor cortex of your brain to help you release pain and tension in your muscles and joints.

Habituated muscular contractions and inefficient movement patterns tend to develop over our lifetimes in response to everyday stress, injuries, repetitive movements, or emotional situations. These muscles can remain tight and painful 24/7, even when we are completely at rest, having a detrimental impact on how we function; limiting how we sit, walk, stand, run, etc. Your muscles are basically stuck on ‘cruise control’ (constantly tight / painful) and the switch to relax them, is malfunctioning. This state of dysfunction is known as Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA): a term used to describe faulty connections between your brain and your muscles.

Clinical Somatic Education (CSE) is a form of neuromuscular (brain-body) movement re-education that addresses and reverses Sensory Motor Amnesia. The “habit” of stiffness & pain can be unlearned through active movement. Somatics focuses on teaching you how to release your chronic muscle tension and pain to restore natural movement patterns that are more coordinated, balanced and efficient.

A short video explaining what Somatics is.

The Three Reflex Patterns

Habituated- Involuntary- Patterns

Green Light Reflex– muscles of the back of the body

  • back pain - low/middle/upper
  • tight hamstrings and calves
  • plantar fasciitis
  • neck pain
  • tension headaches
  • sciatica
  • piriformis syndrome

Red Light Reflex – muscles of the front of the body

  • shallow breathing
  • a head forward position
  • neck pain
  • tight hip flexors / psoas
  • rounded shoulders
  • hip & knee pain
  • jaw clenching / TMJ
  • G.I. Issues

Trauma Reflex– muscles of the sides of the body

  • one shoulder raised or forward (carrying a purse on one shoulder)
  • standing with weight primarily on one leg / hip (carrying a baby on one hip)
  • pain on one side of the body
  • sciatica
  • piriformis syndrome
  • uneven leg length
  • scoliosis

How do muscles become tight in the first place?

“Muscles never move unless directed to do so by the brain. The brain controls the entire muscular system. The only thing that can really change a muscle's tone is engaging one's brain through movement.”

Martha Peterson –CHSE / author of ‘Move without Pain’