Healing touch, energy healing, somatic movement therapy, contemplative dance, authentic movement, breathing, guided imagery, health and wellness, St. Louis, immune system, spiritual, cranial sacral, lymphatic
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The Soma Connection – How It All Works Together

Mary 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.

Mary Francis, what led you to become active in the field of somatics?

“My 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. We’ve been taught since infancy to distrust our senses. In so doing, we have become disconnected from our body’s wisdom.”

What does the word “soma” actually mean?

“Soma 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.”

What do you do to help your clients accomplish this?

“The 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 patterns.

“The use of somatic touch helps build the client’s sensory awareness of where connections are made in the body’s 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.”

What are some of the health issues your clients have?

“I 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.”

Is your work strictly one-on-one, or do you give classes, as well?

“Presently 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. Yu’s office on Fridays.

Interview by David Gosnell

For more info please call me, 314-443-0206
Mary Francis Hoffman PHD, REACE, RSME

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