I'm about to go on and explain some of the underpinnings of Somatic Education, but quite simply, this is the most effective and direct way I've found of resolving musculoskeletal pain.
What is it?
Somatic pioneers such as FM Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais, and Thomas Hanna discovered that by learning to become more aware and in control of our bodies, we can reverse the effects of habitual movement, tension and stress. Adding to this, the last 50 years of Neuroscience research has demonstrated that the brain and nervous system are able to form new connections and deconstruct old connections at any point in our life. So the old adage that you can't teach an old dog new tricks is no longer relevant. In fact, you can learn "new tricks" at any age.
How does it work?
When you learn any new task or skill such as swimming, bicycling or dancing, there is a lot of effort involved initially as you have to really focus on what you're doing. After a while, you gain competency as your system starts to learn and habituate that action. Pretty soon you're doing it without even thinking about it.
Similarly, you can habituate actions that are harmful, such as sitting at a desk for long hours, running with improper form, or squeezing feet into tight shoes. If you've noticed yourself getting stiffer and less comfortable in your body as you age, you're feeling this effect. Your system is likely working perfectly, it's simply being led to dysfunction and pain.
Somatics works by retraining your brain and nervous system to recognize these habituated behaviors and stop them. Through slow, controlled movement, you can access your body's master control center (the cerebral cortex) and learn to relax tight muscles while developing more supportive, pain-free movement patterns.
If you want that "new trick" to be moving freely, without pain, Somatic Education is for you.