Somatic Education in the Tradition of Thomas Hanna

What is Hanna Somatic Education (HSE)? 
Through HSE you learn how to relax contracted muscles that may feel tense, sore or painful. You learn to relax them with slow, safe and gentle movements, done within your own comfort zone.

The movements are specific to your own naturally occurring body movement sequence, so you cannot ever do yourself any harm by practicing them. Gradually, with practice, your movements help you find how to feel more comfortable and better from the inside. This enables you to consciously attend to the way you are moving, so that you notice how you are responding to environmental stress, and then know what to do about it.

HSE can be helpful no matter what age you are, whether you have had an accident or surgery, or if you are experiencing stress, insomnia, headaches, muscular pain and tension, fatigued joints, back pain or shallow breathing.

What to expect? 
Individual or small group private sessions, where you are guided through slow-motion movements that relax tight muscles, strengthen weak ones and improve overall coordination. In all sessions you can wear loose, comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing for ease of movement.

You will be given specific movement sequences to do at home so that you can develop your own personal practice, which usually takes around 15-20 minutes each time. This enables you to continue your improvement and help you prevent the recurrence of problems.

Whether you learn and practice these movements lying down, sitting or standing, you will feel as though ‘the cobwebs have been blown away’ and that you can move with more ease, balance and calmness through life; there will be a lovely accompanying feeling of refreshment.

Once you discover where you have been internally holding muscles in contraction without knowing it, you will know how to release and relieve the tension you held there.

How does Somatic Education in the Tradition of Thomas Hanna Work?
Muscles contract and can become “held” tightly, in reaction to stress, injury or pain and emotional stress, without you being aware of it. This learned habit of continually contracting muscles, unconsciously, causes the Voluntary Cortex of your brain to forget how to sense or experience the muscles in your body. And your muscles function improperly, because strong reflex messages from the Cerebellum of your brain cause them to automatically overcontract.

This chronic contraction of muscles, named by Thomas Hanna as Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA), makes muscles sore, weak and fatigued. And like all other learned habits, SMA can be unlearned. The good news is that with Hanna Somatic Education you can unlearn pain and discomfort and reverse the effects of SMA to restore freedom of movement and replenish your general feeling of wellbeing.

Comments by Individuals who have Experienced HSE
“the pain under my right shoulder blade that never goes away, has gone”
“I feel more upright”
“I’d forgotten that I can remember how to walk”
“now I allow myself to do less each day and I don’t get worked up about things that used to work me up”
“when I go home I will be able to talk to my children”

Hanna Somatic Education can…
~ improve your mobility and posture
~ replenish your strength and energy
~ release and relieve any neuromuscular pain, both acute and chronic
~ ease your breathing
~ increase your enjoyment and performance of physical activity
~ create a new freedom of thought, sense of awareness and movement in your life

If you would like to know more about Hanna Somatic Education or have any specific questions, please contact;

Karen Douglas de Fenzi
Somatic Educator in the tradition of Thomas Hanna

Mobile: 07515 884 640

Hanna Somatic Education and…
The University of Cumbria & Lancaster University
Karen Douglas de Fenzi is currently working in collaboration with the Active Ageing Research Group, University of Cumbria and Eleanor Criswell Hanna, cofounder of the Novato Institute, California, in planning scientific research so that Hanna Somatic Education may be recognised in the UK as working well alongside conventional medicine.