Practice Guide

Remember to do all Somatic exercises slowly, gently and with awareness. In this way you will affect a gradual  and lasting change in your muscles and movement.

Focus on sensations and muscle awareness
Start out with small cautious movements that are done slowly and attentively. It is important to focus your attention on the internal sensations of the movements and how you can gain control over the muscles used.  The following guidance notes give you prompts for what to look for as you do the movements.

Create the right environment

  • Ensure you have enough space to do the movements.​​
  • Wear loose clothing that does not restrict your movements.​
  • Where possible you avoid interruptions from the phone or other people.
  • Don’t have the TV on or other music that might detract your attention from the movements.
Always move slowly
Slow movements give your brain has a chance to notice what is happening in your body as you move.  Do not go onto the next exercise until your mind is clear about what you are doing and you can do it with ease and comfort.  The exercises are progressive so that later learning and movement builds on earlier movements.

Be Gentle: Remember with Somatics less is more.
In Somatics it is better to feel that you are doing too little than to risk doing too much and undermine the learning process.

Do not force movement.
Until you have re-gained control over muscles no amount of force and effort will release involuntary contractions in your body.  Pushing against your body is from the old form of physical training that makes tight muscles  contract even more. Forcing things doesn’t work and can cause injury. Do not strain or stretch so that muscles go into spasm.

Somatics exercises are not painful.
Somatic exercises are not painful and performed gently and slowly are harmless. If you have tight, sore muscles you will try to protect them by avoiding moving them at all.  These exercises are designed to enable you to move in ways that are anatomically and neurologically the least harmful. If you feel any pain when doing the exercises move more gently and slowly and use less effort, never forcing your movements. If you are suffering from Sensory Motor Amnesia you may feel soreness when these tight muscles start to lengthen.  But once lengthened the soreness will disappear, usually after two or three days.

Be persistent and patient
Somatic exercises change your body by teaching your brain and your learning grows steadily. Try to find time to do these exercises each day.  The benefits are cumulative. You are not looking for a quick fix, but a steady improvement.  The best times are either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. You can do them more than once a day, twice helps the brain to relearn more quickly. Let your body be your guide into how much you move. As you gain confidence and knowledge of each exercise you can begin to work at your own speed without instructions or the recording.