Hanna Somatics

Hanna Somatics is a system of movements refined from Feldenkrais method by Dr. Thomas Hanna. He worked with multiple people to help them recover from various type of pain, Scoliosis, Khyposis, lordosis, sciatica, slip disc, neck and shoulder pain, lower back pain etc. Many of these persons had attempted multiple treatments with different doctors and other therapist before reaching out to Dr. Thomas Hanna. Some of these case histories are discussed by him in detail in his celebrated book “Somatics: Reawakening The Mind’s control of Movement Flexibility and Health”

In this system all pain in the body resulting from muscular contraction is relieved through educating the participant to voluntarily release and reset the contracted muscules to their resting tonus or as close thereto as possible.  Dr. Thoma Hanna attributed the muscular contraction persisting to Sensory Motor Amnesia and argued that the only way it can be restored is by letting the upper cortex take charge of the muscle, wresting it back from the subconscious brain. The initiation of muscle contraction could be the result of  surgery, would, stress etc.  He further emphasised that in such situation the normal medical treatment or other therapies which do not involve the change in the brain may not yield permanent results.  He argued that only by letting the upper cortex take control of the muscles and let it relax back to its resting tonus, can one experience relief. On those lines he also helped many people who were told they had arthritis or rheumatism etc.

He set up the Novato Institute of Somatic Education and Research to train others to gain the knowledge and practice internationally. Participants go through a three year course in six modules to graduate and qualify for being a practitioner.

The approach involves asking the participant to voluntarily contract the impacted muscle and slowly release it and repeat the process more three to five time to enable the upper cortex to take back the control of the muscle and allow it to be restored to its resting tonus. Dr. Thomas Hanna named it pandiculation. In addition he devised a series of practices which he called myth of aging lessons and also a daily short practice called the cat stretch which is practiced first thing in the morning and last thing in the night.

In India this is hardly known or heard about.  Having seen the benefits a need was felt to spread the information about its benefits so that more people can take benefit of the same.  Towards that objective we periodically organise free webinars conducted by Ms. Eleanor Criswell who is founder director of Novatio Institute and has more than 30 year of expertise practicing Hanna Somatics.  We are already seeing the benefits of Hanna Somatics and some of the instances in our experience are:

  1. A Person taking spine injection every day, for more than three years and categorized as high risk being taken off injections and moving to low risk category in less than six months.
  2. Two 9 and 10 year kids recovering from knee and thigh pain and regaining their confidence
  3. A five year old kid with paralysis of the left hand showing considerable progress
  4. Multiple cases of people with shoulder and back pain experiencing relief.
  5. A person with knee pain prior to travel to Canada being restored to full relief in less than six weeks.
  6. A person with acute pain, freezing of movement abruptly, fibromyalgia being restored to full health including ability to practiced advanced asanas.
  7. A medical doctor sought out the treatment based on her own research for alternative therapy to heal her back pain.

Going from these experiences we hold that it has a great promise and we will be one of the first centers to formally introduce this in India. Our Managing Partner Ramesh Lakshman will be one the second graduates from India and will probably the first one to practice it professionally, helping those who may seek out this path to rehabilitation.

If you have any kind of pain or arthritis etc, you should try Hanna Somatics before proceeding to try other solutions.