A Somatic Approach

“The mind is like the wind and the body like the sand: if you want to know how the wind is blowing, you can look at the sand.”
― Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen

I am in the process of completing a 500+ hour program in Body-Mind Centering (BMC), a somatic approach to healing and inquiry.  When complete, I will have the title of Somatic Movement Educator.  BMC as well as other somatic approaches guide my work with clients.  Some definitions listed below to help you understand my philosophy and approach.

 What is Somatics?

The term “somatics” was originally defined by Thomas Hanna in the 1970s as the study of the “the body experienced from within.”  Many approaches to the study of the body treat the body as on object to be observed and healed from the outside.  Somatics focuses on our subjective (internal) experience of our embodied selves, integrates findings from hard science, and empowers us to become more active agents of our own healing and growth.

What is Somatic Movement Education?

In our sessions, I will help you direct your attention to subtle aspects of your physical, mental, and emotional processes in order to gain more awareness and choice. Through touch, education, and movement, clients can begin to “re-pattern” habits that are no longer serving them.  A Somatic Movement Education empowers the client to be an active agent in their healing as opposed to a therapist “fixing” a problem.

What is Body-Mind Centering

Body-Mind Centering is a vast body of knowledge developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen and a large community of students.  One branch of the work focuses on human development from conception to walking as well as the parallels between that process and the greater evolutionary process in which single-celled organisms evolved into mammals.  The other branch focus on the embodiment of the various systems of the body (muscular, fluid, nervous, endocrine, ligamentous/fascial, organ, skeletal).  BMC brings anatomical and physiological science together with a deeply experiential approach which uses touch, movement, imagery, and sound to create more health and choice in the system.

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I am deeply grateful to be a part of a lineage of powerful healers. Here are some quotes which guide my philosophy of change. We all stand on the shoulders of many who came before. Thank you to my teachers and my teachers’ teachers.

Quotes from my Somatics Heros

“In order to change our mode of action, we must change the image of ourselves that we carry within us.”
— Moshe Feldenkrais

“In order to recognize small changes in effort, the effort itself must first be reduced. More delicate and improved control of movement is possible only through the increase of sensitivity, through a greater ability to sense differences.”
— Moshe Feldenkrais

Practitioners of SI do not feel ourselves to be therapists. The gravitational field is the therapist. What we do is prepare the body to receive the support from the gravitational field which gives a greater sense of well being.
–Ida Rolf

“Go around the problem; get the system sufficiently resilient so that it is able to change, and it will change, It doesn’t have to be forced. It’s that forcing that you have to avoid at all costs.”
— Ida Rolf

“When the body gets working appropriately, the force of Gravity can flow through, then spontaneously, the body heals itself.”
— Ida Rolf

“It is in the mind, it is not the body: my job is reaching the mind.”
— Milton Trager

“Touching hands are not like pharmaceuticals or scalpels. They are like flashlights in a darkened room. The medicine they administer is self-awareness. And for many of our painful conditions, this is the aid that is most urgently needed.”
— Deane Juhan

“The skin is no more separated from the brain than the surface of a lake is separate from its depths; the two are different locations in a continuous medium…The brain is a single functional unit, from cortex to fingertips to toes. To touch the surface is to stir the depths.”
— Deane Juhan

“Movement is the unifying bond between the mind and the body, and sensations are the substance of that bond.”
— Deane Juhan

“Soothing touch, whether it be applied to a ruffled cat, a crying infant, or a frightened child, has a universally recognized power to ameliorate the signs of distress. How can it be that we overlook its usefulness on the jangled adult as well? What is it that leads us to assume that the stressed child merely needs “comforting,” while the stressed adult needs “medicine”?”
— Deane Juhan

“The principals in elegantly simple. We learn to love by being loved, we learn gentleness by being gentled, we learn to be graceful by experiencing the feeling of grace.”
— Deane Juhan