Francis Hoffman, PHD, REACE, RSME is a somatic therapy and healing
touch practitioner. She calls her practice The Soma Connection.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mary Francis
and talk with her about her work and, more importantly,
why she does it.
Francis, what led you to become active in the field of somatics?
interest in this work stemmed from wondering what I, as
an individual, could to become part of the healing of our
planet. After seven years of training, I firmly believe
that being more aware of how we move, breathe and work in
our own bodies is where it all begins. Weve been taught
since infancy to distrust our senses. In so doing, we have
become disconnected from our bodys wisdom.
does the word soma actually mean?
means the body perceived from within. In working
with the soma, one begins to develop an understanding of
dynamic health, which is a process for integrating the body,
the emotions and the intellect for greater openness and
a feeling of connection.
do you do to help your clients accomplish this?
dynamic health model I employ comprises five elements; breath,
sound, movement, touch, and stillness. When I first consult
with a client, the client and I make an assessment regarding
the effects of stress on their immune system. I generally
begin by introducing specific breathing techniques and sound
to help open up four different diaphramic areas to improve
circulation and relieve bodily tension.
Next, I introduce simple exercises that the client
can take home and do. These enhance their sense of balance
and centeredness. The basic premise of this movement work
is to help in the restoration of neurological developmental
The use of somatic touch helps build the clients
sensory awareness of where connections are made in the bodys
systems. As the session comes to a close, I use guided imagery
to bring clients into a state of stillness which leaves
them feeling refreshed and very relaxed.
are some of the health issues your clients have?
have had people come to me who are experiencing anxiety
or depression, persistent headaches, jaw pain, hypertension,
arthritis, adrenal exhaustion, Fibromyalgia, joint and back
pain, and cancer.
your work strictly one-on-one, or do you give classes, as
I work with individual clients in association with Dr. Simon
Yu, M.D., at his office. I am also teaching a class at Meramec
Community College called Dynamic Health through Somatic
Awareness. In addition I am conducting a weekly Somatic
Yoga class at Dr. Yus office on Fridays.
Interview by David Gosnell
For more info
please call me, 314-443-0206
Mary Francis Hoffman PHD, REACE, RSME