About Sarah Warren St. Pierre

Sarah Warren St. Pierre is a Certified Clinical Somatic Educator and owner of Somatic Movement Center. She has helped people with conditions such as chronic back pain, neck and shoulder pain, hip and knee pain, sciatica, and scoliosis become pain-free by practicing Thomas Hanna's method of Clinical Somatic Education. St. Pierre is the author of the book Why We're in Pain, which explains the science behind why learned muscular patterns lead to chronic pain and degeneration.

Mechanical Back Pain

By |August 14th, 2018|Clinical Somatic Education, pain & pain relief|

What is mechanical back pain? If you're suffering from back pain, you're not alone--between 50% and 80% of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.1 It's estimated that 97% of cases of back pain are mechanical in nature,2 meaning that the pain is a result of abnormal stresses placed [...]

Core Strength: How to get optimal strength, stability and flexibility in your core

By |July 11th, 2018|athletic training, Clinical Somatic Education, posture|

What does core strength really mean, and why is it so important?The most common misconception about core strength is that it means simply having strong abdominals—like the enviable washboard stomach achieved by developing your rectus abdominis muscle.In truth, optimal core strength means having balanced flexibility, control and power in all of the muscles in the [...]

Idiopathic scoliosis: The role of tight muscles in idiopathic scoliosis

By |July 26th, 2017|Clinical Somatic Education, specific conditions|

Approximately 80% of all scoliosis cases are idiopathic, which means that the cause is unknown. So 80% of the people who get diagnosed with scoliosis get no explanation as to what has caused it. Involuntary muscular contraction, resulting from injury, stress, or repetitive activities, can play a large role in idiopathic scoliosis. Clinical Somatics exercises [...]

Video: Your Pain and Injuries are Caused by the Way You’re Using Your Body

By |July 5th, 2017|Clinical Somatic Education, learn the basics, pain & pain relief, videos & graphics|

Recommended reading: Why We're in Pain: Why chronic musculoskeletal pain occurs--and how it can be prevented, alleviated and eliminated with Clinical Somatic Education by Sarah St. Pierre, CSE Somatics: Reawakening the Mind's Control of Movement, Flexibility and Health by Thomas Hanna

Releasing your Tight Psoas Muscle with Clinical Somatics exercises

By |April 10th, 2017|Clinical Somatic Education, specific conditions|

Releasing your Tight Psoas Muscle with Clinical Somatics What is the psoas muscle? The psoas muscle, formally called the psoas major, is a very important core muscle. The psoas attaches the lumbar vertebrae to the lesser trochanter, near the head of the femur. The psoas muscle is often grouped together with the [...]

Somatic Relaxation Exercises

By |June 29th, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, videos & graphics|

In this short Somatics class, you'll learn gentle movements that release chronic muscular tension in the lower back, abdomen, shoulders, chest, face and jaw. Did you know that chronic muscular tension is directly linked to psychological stress? Human beings are naturally well equipped to recover from short-term, life-threatening stress. Unfortunately, long-term, psychological stress stays with [...]

Chronic Muscle Soreness: The Cause and Cure

By |May 2nd, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, pain & pain relief|

Chronic muscle soreness is, quite literally, a pain to live with. Often, no amount of stretching, massage, heat, ice, or ibuprofen can provide much lasting relief. To understand the cause of chronic muscle soreness, we need to start by examining what's happening inside our muscles when they're actively working. Our brain sends a message to [...]

How Personality Affects Posture

By |May 1st, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, posture|

We like to blame our posture on our genetics, on job stress, or on long hours spent at the computer-but did you know that our posture can be largely determined by our personality? Our posture, facial expressions, and movement communicate the way we feel inside, whether we like it or not. We call this silent, [...]

Relieve Your TMJ Pain with Clinical Somatics

By |March 3rd, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, specific conditions|

What is TMJ pain? The temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the skull, and is it one of the most complicated joints in the human body. It can open and close the jaw like a hinge, and allow the jaw to slide from side to side and forward and backward. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain is [...]

Why We’re in Pain

By |January 29th, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, pain & pain relief|

It's not an understatement to say that we have a health epidemic in our country: an epidemic of lifestyle-related conditions that includes heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and chronic pain. By and large, these conditions can be prevented, alleviated, and often completely eliminated with proper self-care. So why aren't we taking care of ourselves? Until very [...]

Why Stretching Doesn’t Work

By |January 28th, 2016|athletic training, Clinical Somatic Education, neuroscience|

From the ages of twelve to twenty-one, I was a ballet dancer. It was all I did and all I wanted to do. Being extremely disciplined, I stretched for half an hour every night before bed so I could get more flexible. And it worked—I got pretty darn flexible. Even on vacations, I stretched every [...]

The Flexor Reflex and One-Sided Pain

By |January 26th, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, posture|

The Flexor Reflex and Injury Recovery Imagine that you've slipped on your icy front steps and sprained your ankle. On top of the fact that you don't have an exciting mountain climbing story to tell, you have to wear an ankle brace and use crutches for at least a month so that the torn ligaments [...]

How the Withdrawal Response Leads to Rounded Posture

By |January 24th, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, posture|

What is the Withdrawal Response? You're walking down the street and hear gunshots behind you. Within just fourteen milliseconds, your jaw muscles begin to contract. At twenty-five milliseconds, your upper trapezius muscles contract, raising your shoulders and bringing your head forward. At thirty-four milliseconds, the muscles of your eyes and brow contract, squeezing your [...]

Thomas Hanna Quote: The human body is not an instrument…

By |January 23rd, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, videos & graphics|

"The human body is not an instrument to be used, but a realm of one's being to be experienced, explored, enriched and, thereby, educated." -Thomas Hanna, founder of Clinical Somatic Education

How the Action Response Leads to Back Pain

By |January 22nd, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, posture|

How and Why We Develop the Natural Curves in Our Spine In the first few months of life we are entirely helpless, unable to crawl or even sit up by ourselves. We have spent nine months curled up in the fetal position and have yet to gain control of the extensor muscles of our neck [...]

Sensory Motor Amnesia and Muscle Memory

By |January 16th, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, neuroscience|

Sensory Motor Amnesia and Muscle Memory Most people are familiar with the concept of muscle memory. When we repeat a movement like swinging a golf club over and over, the neurons involved in controlling that movement develop increasingly stronger connections. Existing synapses begin to fire more efficiently, and new synapses are formed as well. As [...]

What is Pandiculation?

By |January 15th, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, neuroscience|

What is pandiculation? Pandiculation is generally defined as the act of stretching oneself and yawning, especially upon waking. However, our automatic pandicular response has far more significance than simply prompting us to stretch and yawn. Pandiculation is the nervous system's natural way of waking up the sensory-motor system and preparing for movement. Humans, along with [...]

The Myth of Uneven Leg Length

By |January 14th, 2016|Clinical Somatic Education, specific conditions|

The Myth of Uneven Leg Length Doctors and chiropractors like to tell people that they have one leg longer than the other, and that it is the cause of their back, hip, or knee pain. The truth is that while it is certainly possible to have one leg longer than the other, the odds of [...]

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