Clinical Somatics Testimonials

“Kudos to Sarah and Somatic Movement Center!

After suffering several injuries to my body, including a back injury, my S-curved spine became more severe and painful. I tried various exercises, physical therapy and an online posture course for scoliosis. Short of having back surgery, recommended by an orthopedic doc, nothing worked. I started seeing a chiropractor three times a week for six months, now I’m down to once every two weeks. He helped relieve the severe back pain so I could function, but it was always a temporary fix. He wasn’t able to help with the sciatica pain.

Continuing my search for scoliosis courses/exercises, I hit the jackpot with the Somatic Movement Center. After the first month of doing exercises in the Scoliosis Course, my back and sciatica pain are basically gone. The sciatica pain only flares up occasionally if I lift a heavy object or sit on a hard surface. If the pain persists, I immediately do one of the somatic exercises with fairly quick results. My chiropractor told me to keep doing the Somatic exercises, which I have incorporated into my daily routine. In fact, after three years of chiropractic treatment, I no longer need to continue my visits. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Sarah, for this gift that keeps on giving!

Roz

I just wanted to express my gratitude for giving me my life back! After suffering from sciatic pain caused by a chronically tight iliopsoas muscle and uneven hips for almost a year, I have finally gotten relief. After about two to three weeks into the program, I started noticing a reduction in pain, and it just continued to decrease from there. I’ve spent thousands of dollars seeing chiropractors and multiple physical therapists, none of which were able to figure out my problem, let alone help me recover. Your program is truly remarkable and the results I got from such simple movements still astonishes me. I’ve been able to get back to running three to four times a week as well as strength training. I wasn’t even able to go for a mile or two walk with my wife and our dog after work prior to your program.

Thanks again for an amazing program – I can’t thank you enough!”

Brian Beaumont

Well, of course, the first thing I love about Clinical Somatics is that it works! Before taking Level One I had parts of my body I just ignored and worked around, never mind all the movements I could no longer do, I was functional. Now I use those parts of my body as they were intended–to help me move through my day more easily, gracefully and with less discomfort. I am 68, I live and work on a farm, and having my body work with me is big!

And the first thing I like about both the Level One and Level Two classes of Clinical Somatics is Sarah! She is truly the perfect teacher–she knows her subject, imparts it with love, precision and patience and is always encouraging. And her regular directive–let your one side of the body learn from the other side–offers astonishing possibilities.

But Clinical Somatics and Sarah have done more than just help me to get my body in a better working order. This process and Sarah’s approach to it has given me a kind of moving meditation that has permeated all parts of my day, I am in my body and in my day in an entirely more present and more fluid way. No wonder I am sleeping better at night. Thank you, Sarah!

Myrna Schlegel

“I have lived with significant pain all my life after a near fatal hit and run accident. No amount of yoga, physio or pilates ever really enabled me to access the muscle tension and lack of alignment in my body as years of compensatory movement patterns had covered over the original trauma. This course has been life changing for me on many levels. The design of the course is perfect for introducing your body to the experience of releasing tension/stress layer by layer in such a way that you begin a whole new dialogue with your body and a brand new life experience. I now wake up refreshed and ready for the day instead of dreading it. I hope everyone who may be pushing themselves to achieve a life of ease and comfort finds somatic movement and in doing so gets to enjoy a healthier life and greater peace of mind. Thank you so much for such a wonderful course.”

Sarah Gummer

“In February I was diagnosed with ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome). I’ve been suffering with a build-up of stress over a number of years, suffering from very frequent and chronic headaches and migraines and frequent and severe neuropathy all down the right-hand side of my body, in particular in my neck, shoulder and hip but also in my arm, hand, little finger, knee, ankle, foot and little toe.

When I was finally referred to a specialist CFS practitioner she suggested somatics to me and I found your website and course. I signed up straight away.

I can honestly say that I’m getting a significant number of pain-free days now, and even on days when I have pain it’s less than it was. My hip and lower back have ‘unjammed’ and often my movements feel fluid in a way that I can’t ever remember feeling. The pain in my upper right rib-cage (from reading your blog I think it’s thoracic outlet syndrome) is almost 100% better as well.

I’m looking forward to continuing the exercises and hoping that as they progress they’ll ease the pain in my neck more than already, but I have to say that day-by-day you’re slowly changing my life. I have tried everything from medication to acupuncture, osteopathy, hypnotherapy and massage to get better. You’ve helped more than any of these things.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Lucy P.

“Recently I’ve suffered pain in my arms that was limiting my movement. Shortly after I signed up for your Level One Course, I received an email from you about Thoracic outlet syndrome. I recognized immediately that was my issue! The exercises have brought major relief, I’ve regained full movement in my arms; my posture is exceedingly better, I am more in touch with and appreciative of my 67-year-old body. I look forward to exercising daily, and experience heartfelt gratitude to you after each practice! Also, I have a deeper understanding of Thomas Hanna’s saying, “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.”

Linda

“I just wanted to share how much I enjoyed the somatic exercises. I come to them as a yoga therapist with a long history of a personal movement/meditation practice, so I don’t have pain, but I have seen a release of tension in areas where I didn’t even realize I was holding and gripping, and this has led to even greater feelings of ease in my body. I also really appreciate the slow and attentive approach to practice–in yoga and in life in general, I fear that we rush from one activity to the next, with scarcely any time to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going. The somatic exercises are a real antidote to that haste and an invitation to be present and attentive to what is happening right now and to become aware of patterns of movement that may not serve us. From there it’s just a short step to examining patterns of thinking that do not serve us. So I believe in these exercises whole heartedly as both a movement practice and as a philosophical approach to moving through the world. I appreciate your clear and careful teaching, and the way in which you break down complex movement patterns into chunks that are easier to learn. I intend to do your certification course, as I think it will be hugely helpful in my work as a yoga therapist for clients with pain.”

Lisa Sack

I LOVE Somatics! It has helped my lower back pain immensely and if I do it regularly keeps my tense shoulders relaxed and at bay. I also feel my nervous system letting go every time I do exercises. And finally it has helped my shoulder blade pain where nothing else has. Not only that but as a massage therapist I can see where Somatics could help many people with relief from their symptoms. Thanks for this program. I plan to learn more!”

Jody Faulkner

“My great good news is that I have not yet even completed the first course and my high hip (“short leg”) has almost completely returned to normal positioning! After two years (this very month, oddly), I had forgotten how wonderful it feels to move around normally again. There is still work to be done, but with great promise!

What I really want to tell you is surprising to me because ironically the restoration of my hip and leg now seems the least of what I have gained from daily practice of these movements, and I do all the movements every day, including the standing awareness at the beginning and end of an hour and a half – best hour and a half of the day and best I have EVER spent or wanted to spend, and I do the Arch and Curl (the movement that seems to have my name on it) throughout the day and before bed too!

I have always been prone to anxiety, but in the past three years, I have had terrible anxiety over even the simplest of things, and these somatic movements have cured my anxiety well past ninety percent in just these few weeks. I suddenly have not only better control over my body but over my emotions as well. Best of all, I feel as though I have met a long awaited yet lifelong friend in these movements. I suddenly have a great faith in the future and a great faith in myself! I have finally met my own “functioning,” and at the same time, I finally see the flaws in much of what I have tried in the past, including Transcendental Meditation – I took the TM course directly from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi when he visited his health center in Pacific Palisades in 1990, and I took yoga instruction there too, and over the years, practicing on and off, I have never experienced the profound physical and metaphysical effects that I have experienced in just these few somatic weeks – now that really tells me a lot! I only wish that I had known about Somatics long before now, and what is really sad is that I could have known, but I never heard of Dr. Hanna until I visited your site a month ago. What a pity this movement system is not more widely known and practiced – in schools, hospitals, prisons, corporate offices – the world would truly be a better place for all!

I especially like the independence in Somatics, just me and my nervous system, no paraphernalia (Thera-Bands, balls, etc.) and no gym torture machines (“no pain, no gain” rubbish). I even think that Somatics could eliminate acupuncture (acupressure/trigger points), which I now see is probably just piercing a contracted muscle with a needle (by the way, I had some digestive problems, which have cleared up also, and certainly the hip-pelvic area incorporates many significant meridian points).

One last thing to tell you also is that this practice has helped my self-esteem enormously in the sense that I have always been a slow, contemplative person – born for these movements! – but wow, does the world ever despise slowness and contemplativeness. If a person is not fast and forceful and multitasking, there is no respect! Well, I feel as though I finally have the last laugh – it is the fast and forceful multitasking that got me into this situation in the first place but then led me here too!”

Mary Jo M.

Somatics has brought back my quality of life. I have a spinal condition called spondylolisthesis with pars fracture (Grade II). The vertebrae between L5 and S1 sacrum has a stress fracture causing vertebrae slippage. What it entails for me: back pain, sciatica, protrusion of vertebrae (bump sticking out approx 1/4″ L5/S1), etc. My mornings and evenings would be the worst in terms of pain and discomfort. So I got into yoga to help manage the pain. It has worked, but always temporarily. I have been using the daily Somatics exercises consistently for the past two months. I can say without hesitation these exercises work. All the benefits as described here online and in my readings have been enlightening. Moreover, living without the pain and discomfort is life altering.

Bill McKinney, SMC® CEI Level 1 Instructor

“I have greatly enjoyed and benefited from the Level One Somatics course. The issues I faced with severe pelvic rotation were endless, however, it is helping straighten the pelvis and I went from no walking at the beginning of the course to walking 15km a day at the end. I learned that some exercises I should only do on one side and others can be done on both. With help and advice from Sarah, I tailored the course to suit me (as I am at the moment) and it works wonderfully. Learning to ease down and take it slowly was probably the most difficult but now I look forward to my 30 – 45 mins a day, integrating meditation into this time and having finished the first course, I will head enthusiastically into Level Two after I return from holiday. Thank you so much Sarah! Your course is beautifully presented and easy to follow. I would recommend it to anyone!

Virginia

“I found Clinical Somatics through my Psoas Release practice (a form of somatics) that I started doing on myself on a regular basis since January 2018 after a low-back disc injury (caused by a chronically tight psoas muscle). When I realized how much chronic pain I was in versus now (a year later) and that it was part of a bigger picture and the mind-body-soul connection/reintegration, I became passionate about teaching this to others.

I did not realize the level of chronic pain I had been in for about 10 years. I pandiculate on a regular basis (every morning now)! I feel it is moving me into a new somatic awareness of embodying my body. I want others to feel good in their bodies. I want to help others with whatever challenges (be they physical or emotional/mental) they face due to not knowing about somatics (yet). I want to heal others. I’m envisioning a world without back pain and anxiety!”

Cara Duryea, SMC® CEI Level 1 Instructor

“I just want to say that I’m so grateful that you have shared your expertise online, as I have no practitioners near me, and Somatics has proved to be a huge benefit to me even in these early stages. Actually, it is the only thing that has worked in helping me to walk and stand again! I have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome which makes my joints loose with frequent full and partial dislocations, causing terrible muscle contractions, spasms and nerve pain. I basically get no help from my health service as they say there’s nothing that can be done for me but, after a very long search, Somatics has finally helped. I have a really long way still to go of course, but I’m so grateful because Somatics is helping me so much. I always believed I could get better and control my condition (health professionals disagreed and told me I needed a wheelchair), as before my symptoms exacerbated I led an extremely active and healthy life, but it’s been so difficult and painful that I had started to give up hope. I can’t cure my condition, but with Somatics I can finally get my life and health back and be a physical, active person again. Like I said, I’m just so grateful you have made this programme accessible online. Thank you!”

Katy

“I have been doing Somatic exercise for over 10 years on my own and with a physical therapist. I have books and tapes from Thomas Hanna and other experts in the field. These from Somatic Movement Center are the very best I have found. The instruction is really comprehensive. I like the way the exercises are broken into smaller segments so you’re able to really focus on each one before moving to the next. Using video, audio and written descriptions is really helpful.

I have had many different types of physical therapy as the result of a moped accident thirty years ago. Somatics is the only approach that has any lasting effect.

Marcia Thomas

“I have now completed the Level One & Two Courses. Having studied both Yoga and Pilates, I find these Somatics exercises absolutely incredible. Both courses are brilliantly run by Sarah who I have found to be extremely helpful and accommodating. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending these courses.”

Lindsey

“You know, it’s one thing for a type of body work to have an effect on recent pain and dysfunction. Powerful enough, but it’s a whole other realm of beauty when it starts working on the older stuff. Even more when it starts doing that as quickly as somatic movement does.

I am so very much enjoying the somatic movements Level One. I am a post breast cancer lumpectomy client, who had many issues with neck and scapula afterwards, I think mostly from positioning and what was in the tissues prior to procedure. I am benefitting greatly, and interestingly, the connection seems to be more about what is going on in my sacrum than anything else.

I am a 25 year bodyworker and an exerciser, and I hope to do the CEI Level 1 course so that I can teach these exercises to other breast cancer clients. Thank you for being such a fabulous facilitator and for doing the internet available instruction. That takes effort! And, to make it so accessible and affordable to us is just a treasure!

K.

“WOW!!! I am soooo thrilled to have stumbled on this yesterday! I was only recently diagnosed with severe scoliosis and yesterday I turned 57! I never knew! I have a huge lumbar C curve that then rotates the thoracic causing a rib hump (extended ribs on one side.) Long story short-you don’t really notice it other than the hump that has appeared in the last 5 years.

I’ve been through all kinds of therapies, and yesterday I worked hard and was in a lot of pain. I purchased these scoliosis classes, did one for an hour and had the most pain relief and best night’s sleep I’ve had in weeks!! I woke with only slight stiffness….compared to ‘Ok, how bad is it this morning?’

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I will get the word out! The best birthday present!!!”

Carol R.

“Upon completion of both Level One and Two Courses I can’t overstate how impressed I am both in terms of content and ease of use. I’d recommend these classes to anybody wishing to be free from chronic pain whether due to repetitive movement habits, poor posture and/or injury rehabilitation. As a yoga instructor, I fully concur that musculoskeletal release created through pandiculation rather than stretching is more permanent in nature and much less likely to incur adverse effects such as over-stretching and resulting injuries. Thus, when combining somatic movements with yoga poses the sum of the total by far exceeds the sum of the parts promoting optimal wellness physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Anne Hoffman, E-RYT 500, YACEP, nowhappyyoga.com

I find that the work that you’ve done with Somatic Movement Center is absolutely phenomenal. I’ve begun to incorporate your work into my classes. My students love it, as do I. So thank you, and much much gratitute for your work.”

Anne Hoffman, E-RYT 500, YACEP, nowhappyyoga.com

Somatics has totally transformed my life. It started with back and anxiety problems. After my first class I didn’t want to move. I felt totally at ease and peace. I wasn’t anxious and my back pain was almost nonexistent. After a couple weeks of classes my back pain had subsided. After that I started doing the Level One and Level Two courses here and my body and mind has never felt better. I practice every single day, almost every morning but always every night. It has helped not only my back pain but has completely calmed my nervous system. Between my regular yoga practice and somatic movement my anxiety has completely disappeared.”

Brittany M.

“I am so thrilled to be learning Somatic Movements from you. I have been in the healing field since the late 90’s on a personal mission to heal and help others heal. I am experiencing such deep relief with these movements and was able to move out of extreme sciatica pain down both legs, to experiencing only aching sensations and tightness. This is remarkable!! I certainly did not need proof that Somatics could help me in pain, but now I do have a direct experience.”

Lori LeBlanc, LMT

“I have been taking the Level One online course and greatly enjoying it. I really look forward to my daily practice, and am quite amazed at how consistent I’ve been with it. I have done the exercises every day for a month, and have found great relief from my chronic headaches. I also have been experiencing a lot of mental shifts and insights, and feel like my practice has something to do with it. Thank you so much for your program. It has been a huge gift in my life, and I have been telling others about it!

Lauren Mayhew, SMC® CEI Level 1 Instructor

“This is the best program I have encountered. I am a military veteran, with 2 tours to Afghanistan and have scoliosis which became much worse due to all the heavy lifting and carry overseas. These exercises have released the muscles and I am almost back to normal.

Alisa

“I really want to thank you for the Level One course. All the different exercises really changed my life. I have had back and hip problems for over 20 years and it is almost gone. I tried so many things and nothing really worked for me except these somatic movements. I am sure that I will go on with the Level Two course. Thank you so much for changing my life in this positive way.”

Leon

“First I want to thank you so much for this program, it is truly remarkable. Up until doing your work, hatha yoga seemed to be the most beneficial for my scoliosis which unfortunately has gotten worse in the last number of years. But now with these exercises I feel I have a way to stop any progression and to help me live a more pain free existence. I could not be more grateful. You do such a wonderful job of instructing and demonstrating- it’s very clear, easy to understand and follow. Plus you have such a peaceful and calm demeanor. Its mindfulness and meditation in action- love it!”

Gail

“I have not yet completed the full Level Two course. I am doing a very slow rehab after a lengthy illness. My muscles atrophied and I have what seems to be permanent nerve damage in both legs (although I am still seeking treatment). I continue to do the Level One exercises and the Arch & Curl is the absolute best for relieving tight lower back muscles. Consistent practice helps get rid of the general stiffness I feel each day. If I slip, and stop doing them for a few days and the aches come back, all I have to do is about four Arch & Curls and the pain is gone. I can’t recommend Somatic Movement enough! Thank you Sarah!”

Elly Taylor

“I was first introduced to Somatics when a friend took me to a practitioner, who she said was a healer. She said everyone who went to her felt better and they took home exercises.

I tried it. I was intrigued. I had back and knee issues and I had given up. Over the years I had gone to PTs, acupuncturists, sports medicine doctors, etc. I even tried Feldenkrais at a friend’s suggestion. I liked it but I wanted something that I could do at home. It didn’t help to have someone working on me and then I would leave and the pain would return.

I felt a little better after the Somatics session but I was intrigued by the home program. I was traveling at the time. When I got home I started looking into it more. I looked at books. I did an online session with someone and I saw another person in person a few times. I liked it but I wasn’t convinced and then I found Sarah’s course on the internet and signed up for it.

After a few sessions, I really started to understand what this was about and I learned the proper pace of the movements and the proper way to do them. This was so much better than my individual sessions either in person or online.

Now if I feel pain I am confident I can get through it. I do Somatics and I see results right away. I do it preventively twice a day. It is so empowering. I can’t thank Sarah enough and encourage anyone to try her courses.”

J.S.

“I have completed your Level One Course and enjoyed it very much. Your way of teaching and the structure & design of the course provide an effective and fun learning experience. I’ve already been practicing Hanna Somatics for some years, and I’ve experienced very good results. Following your approach, I feel I received a deeper understanding of how this system works, as well as some precious “missing links.”

One of the highlights for me was a new understanding of the basic “Arch & Flatten”, i.e. your way of splitting it into two parts. Now it really feels like a gentle, safe and beneficial exercise to practice myself and to recommend to people with back-problems.

Thank you for sharing these great exercises with such clarity and dedication. I really hope I can join you for your Exercise Instructor Course at one stage!”

Anja

“Years ago I had an accident at a beach. After surgery and other treatments, I was told that I could never walk properly again. I was at the lowest point of my life. At the time, I read about a taichi class offered in the community and decided to take it. Slowly it turned my life around. Not only my physical body improves, I developed confidence on my recovery. Time passed, I was doing a lot better, but the injury and other long time misuse of my body still left me with aches and pains. While I was searching for some way to help my healing, I came across a short video of Somatics doing “arch and flatten”. I followed instruction and did it a few times. The next day, my low back felt better. So I started another phase of my journey and I can’t say enough how good it is. It awakened my body, I began to be aware of how some muscles work and how to use them properly. As consequences of my practice, I often have pleasant surprises. One day, my neck pain is lessened, the other day, I could walk barefoot, etc. Even my taichi practice improves. So I have two treasures: taichi and Clinical Somatics. They help me learn more about myself and reward me with health and happiness.

HSC, Hawaii

“I was in a car accident about 20 years ago, and I still had pain on my left side and limited movement throughout my body as a result. I have done everything over the years: massage, rolfing, craniosacral work, myofascial release, you name it. I read Thomas Hanna’s book and it made a great deal of sense. I started having private Somatics sessions, but I could not get into the habit of doing the exercises at home. Finally after about two months I started doing them at home, and it has made all the difference in the world. My pain is now mostly gone and I am moving much more easily. I’m able to go on long walks again, which is a big deal for me. This is the best I have felt in years.

Anthony

“I injured my back last year, and since then I’ve had pain in my SI joint. I’ve been trying to stay really active but the pain was about a 7 out of 10. After two sessions and a month of doing the exercises, my pain is down to a 2! I can’t believe it. I was feeling sciatica pain and numbness a few times a week, and I hardly feel that anymore either.”

Michael L.

“I knew my back was a problem but did not realize how bad it actually was. I have a lot to accomplish & I am more than willing to do whatever. 40 plus years of dentistry & counting. I am still able to work & enjoy my office due to Somatics. I can’t say enough about the (Level One) workout & I have been referring my patients to the system.

Stanley D., DDS

“I’ve gone through some very traumatic things in my life, and I’ve also done a lot of intense and reckless physical activities. At age 55 my body was definitely the worse for wear. I had pain and arthritis in both knees, sciatica, and chronic pain in my neck. I read Thomas Hanna’s book and found Somatic Movement Center online. I had five Somatics sessions over the course of about three months, and my knee pain has improved and my sciatica and neck pain are completely gone. The daily practice has lowered my stress as well. Thank you, Sarah.”

Karen S.

“My 15-year-old daughter is a ballet dancer and she had developed lower back pain. It didn’t go away even after taking a break from dancing for six months. After three sessions, her pain is almost completely gone! Sarah taught her how to release her back muscles and stand without arching her lower back, and it has made a big difference.”

Theresa

“I started Somatics not really understanding what it was all about. After my first class, I realized that it would help me in many ways. By retraining my muscles, that in my day to day life had become very tight, I was able to get rid of my back pain. It has also helped me relax and refocus. I enjoyed it so much that I brought my children to class as well.”

Barbara Koshivas

“I truly enjoyed your workshop (Reduce Stress and Improve Sleep & Breathing). In addition to feeling great because of the movement and body awareness, it gave me a new perspective of being in the moment. I honestly didn’t expect such a profound outcome from a 2-hour workshop so it’s a very pleasant and welcome change!”

Kristine M.

“After taking several of Sarah’s Somatics classes and having several private sessions I have a new awareness of balance in my body. I had a lot of knee pain from osteoarthritis which was causing tension in my leg muscles. The Somatics process helped me to release that tension which has enabled me to walk more and exercise in general. I recommend Somatics because it is gentle, painless, and relaxing!”

Catherine

“I don’t live anywhere near a practitioner but was so lucky to find these recordings. I feel like I’m in a class! I know I’m doing the movements right because my back has gotten so much better. Thanks Sarah!”

Analisa M.

“I had pain in my hip for several months and it was starting to impact my life and my workouts. I got massages weekly and tried chiropractic a few times, but the pain did not get better. After my second Somatics session, my pain went away completely for a few days – it felt like a miracle. Now as long as I keep my hip loose with the exercises, my pain stays away. Somatics is the only thing I’ve found that really works!

Kevin

“I’ve had the pleasure of taking several of Sarah’s workshops, and listening to these recordings is just like being in her class. Her voice is so relaxing, and the recordings make it much easier to do the exercises at home.”

Mary Jean R.

“I’ve had bad posture my whole life, and over the past few years my neck and shoulders became very tight and sore. After learning the Somatic exercises and practicing them about five times per week, I am finally able to release that tightness. I feel much looser and less stiff overall.

Anita

“I had only learned the Somatic exercises from Hanna’s book, and using these recordings has made a big difference in my practice. There are a lot of nuances like pace, body position, and awareness that I just didn’t get from the book.”

Brian

“I’ve had just one session and have been doing the homework exercises for a few weeks now, and my pain is gone! I even invited my friends over and taught them the exercises in my living room!”

Beverly