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Somatic Education
By Mary Francis Hoffman PHD, REACE, RSME

Somatic Education through the use of Kinetic awareness can provide a direct link to integrative body-mind experiences.

I personally believe that the body-mind is a storehouse of information about our present state of health. I use various approaches in my work that facilitate inner psycho-physical awareness and movement capabilities. Kinetic Awareness is one approach to somatic education that provides an opportunity to explore movement potential and develop movement possibilities. This is a system developed by Elaine Summers that focuses on increased movement efficacy and ease through heightened awareness of automatic and conscious movements.

This work often increases an understanding of how our body communicates with us. Kinetic Awareness is often referred to as (the ball work). Balls placed in various areas of the body increases sensations and help to unlock tensions held deep in the musculature.

One of the key tension areas of the body is the head, neck and shoulders. Use of small soft balls in this area increases circulation and releases tension. Gentle rotation of the head from side to side and using a simple breathing exercise can bring about this relief. My clients both in the office and during my Yoga classes enjoy this work.

I also work with the occipital-sacrum connection. In the Somatic field this is referred to as the head-tail connection. This work is developmental in nature and stimulates the brain stem and limbic system. The body’s ability to align itself with gravity is deep within our equilibrium responses and primitive reflexes. Initiation of core stability can also be achieved through various pelvic exercises done on a large ball. All of this work uses various breathing and sound techniques to open and increase the circulation of the lymphatic system.

My main goal is to help my students deepen their understanding of how they move in their bodies. The outcome is generally a richer understanding of how they move and perceive themselves. Tension in the neck and shoulders is greatly reduced and an increase of flexibility is always evident.

This article sounds very serious in nature, and by all means your health is a serious matter. I would be remiss if I did not add that the use of balls, both small and large, is fun. Yes FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!

So If your looking for something different to try for the Fall check out the classes I will be offering at the New Town Fitness Center.

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

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