HANNA SOMATICS BODY THERAPY AND EDUCATION
Hanna Somatic Education is a safe, gentle and common sense method to reverse chronic pain. It is a neuromuscular training that goes directly to the root cause of most chronic muscular pain: the brain and the way in which it organizes muscles and movements.
His founder Professor Thomas Hanna developed an educational process that the brain can re-learn what it has forgotten: how to control and relax muscles. Hanna Somatics is based entirely on the principles of conventional neuroscience.
Hanna made two important observations:
First: Characteristic postural patterns in people of all ages, causing chronic pain
He classified 4 postural tendencies: the Red Light Reflex (forward-bent posture), the Green Light Reflex (arched-back posture), the Trauma Reflex (postural asymmetry) and the Senile posture (many muscle groups are co-contracted).
Second: Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA).
This is the condition of chronically- tight muscles that have “learned” to stay contracted due to traumas, injuries, surgeries, repetitive over- strain, poor postural habits and on-going emotional stress. Over time – the brain (as the government of the whole body) looses the ability to control these permanent tight structures which means it literally forgets how to relax the muscles. This phenomenon occurs in most chronic pain conditions: neck, shoulder, back, hip and knee pain, limited mobility, joint pain, poor posture, shallow breathing and uneven leg length. (Example for SMA in case of a shoulder problem: when the client lifts the arm up and then brings it slowly down there will be a jerking in the down movement.)
During his studies Hanna noticed that certain procedures were extremely effective in helping clients regain control of muscles that were holding them in these postures and restricting their movements. These processes became known as Hanna Somatic Education.
There are several complementary procedures to address the typical maladaptive postures.
Kinetic mirroring: bringing the origin and the insertion of muscles together that leads the muscles to relax
Pandiculation a unique technique in which the client is asked to contract a muscle against resistance provided by the practitioner. With feedback from the therapist, the patient goes through all the degrees of contraction and relaxation up to complete relaxation.
Somatic Exercises (“home-work” for the clients) are gentle movements to reset the resting tonus of muscles and help to maintain the flexibility and awareness of the patient.
Hanna Somatic Education helps to release continual contractions and helps to prevent their reoccurrence. The purpose of Hanna Somatic Education is further to regain awareness, sensation and motor control of muscles and movement.
In my practice of pain therapy I combine Hanna Somatics with Osteo Point Pressure Therapy, Myofascial Release and Deep Tissue work. Often only a few treatments are necessary and the positive effect is mostly noticeable after the first treatment.