Clinical Somatics Testimonials
“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!”
“Just wanted to send you a note to tell you that your Somatics course has absolutely changed my life! I feel like I have a new body – it’s amazing. It’s like my body is a puzzle that I’m unlocking, piece by piece. In 3 weeks I’ve made the kind of progress I’ve been trying to make in my yoga practice for 3 years. Your explanations are so clear, and I love the way you send reminder emails every day. I feel so accountable. I appreciate you so much!”
“In 2003, I was in my early 20’s. I weighed 150 pounds and was in phenomenal shape. I had no history of back issues and was leading a normal life.
One day I was doing some landscaping at my parents’ house and decided to go full superman while creating a rock staircase. I was at the bottom step, and knew I needed a big base. So I chose a rock that was way too heavy and decided to just go for it. That’s when I heard the pop. The first pop that changes our lives as back pain sufferers.” Read the rest of Greg’s emotional story of how he recovered from chronic pain in My Journey to Hell and Back.
“My daily Somatics practice with Sarah’s instruction has changed my life. I cannot remember a time my muscles have felt so relaxed and loose. I’ve tried chiropractic care and physical therapy in many modalities. Nothing has made a difference like Somatics has. My current chiropractor says she can feel my body unraveling due to my Somatics practice and she has adapted how she treats me due to the incredible changes Somatics has made in my body. Recently, I told my husband that my Somatics practice is a meditation for my mind and body.
It’s hard to describe the incredible release I feel in my nightly Somatics practice. While my pain over the years had not eliminated physical exercise for me, I now feel a new freedom in my body when I hike, walk and snowshoe. For years, my legs, hips, back, shoulders and neck would alternately hold tension and I would experience pain. My pain was so frustrating, because it constantly moved around and seemed to go wherever it wanted. Over the years, my chronically tight muscles raised my anxiety and feelings of depression as I searched for a solution. Believe me, I’ve tried everything – including having volcanic ash shot into my chronically tight muscles – by a doctor. Now that I’ve discovered Somatics for my body, I also know to practice it to help alleviate my emotional stress (especially during COVID and our country’s political turmoil).
I am a healthy, 59-year-old woman who was in chronic pain for almost 15 years. Because no professional could provide me with any lasting relief, I couldn’t help but feel that much of the pain must be “in my mind”. My daily Somatics practice has shown me how I can retrain my nervous system and relieve the tension in my muscles on my own. Somatics is a practice I can continue throughout my life. Honestly, Somatics is my “golden ticket” to feeling good and youthful. Besides alleviating my pain and tension, my practice of Somatics has created a new love and appreciation for my body. I more proud of it now than I’ve ever been in my life.
Words cannot express my gratitude, Sarah. Your careful, specific instruction helped guide me to a new, happier, healthier life. I will always be grateful and I will always practice Somatics for my body and mind.”
“After two years of level 6 pain daily and a very compromised lifestyle, I was absolutely at the end of my rope when someone posted a link to Clinical Somatics in a Facebook back pain support group.
In early 2018 I had torn my hip labrum. I spent a year lost in the dysfunctional Kaiser system and finally had a TJR in February 2019. I recovered quickly but was knocked on my keister by disc pain as soon as I went back to work. The months from April until November were a blur of doctors, MRIs, spinal epidurals, physical therapy, painkillers, ice, heat, and TENS, and nothing helped. It seemed as if I was headed for multi-level fusion surgery, and having had a failed lumbar laminectomy a few years back, surgery was not at all what I wanted to happen.
The Level One Course description made sense to me, and in 5 minutes I had enrolled and was doing the first day’s practice. That night I noticed I could reach things on the tables on both sides of my bed. Over the next few weeks all the pain, which I had been spending most of my life trying to manage, went away. I could hike with my dog on trails again, do gentle yoga, carry things, bend to reach things, and even dance. I have gotten my life back, the life I thought was gone for good.
I had been so discouraged after making the rounds from the surgeon’s office to PT to the pain clinic, seeing the same people in the waiting rooms month after month. Every time I hear someone talking about back pain now, I want to grab them and say STOP! Try this first.
I love the format of the course as well as the content. It’s easy to understand, and I love that you offer audio and video files for the movements. I appreciate the daily emails and the schedule that allows you to unlock the instructions for the movements as you progress. I’m pretty disorganized in general, but I have stayed on track with this without a hiccup. Incredible bang for the buck for my $45!“
“I’ve been an athlete all of my life, not at the elite level but perhaps some would say right below that. Growing up, very little emphasis was put on strengthening modalities, and all kids are invincible as you know. Baseball was my jam, but I did it all. When I was 16, I blew my shoulder in the championship game and that was that, for baseball anyway. There went my hopes and dreams! Never rehabbed it, actually just kinda doubled down on being more stubborn about my pain levels. I was told it was normal for a ball player like me, and that I’d get over it eventually. I played for another 2 years but I was never the same player.
A few years later (2006) saw me in boot camp, USMC, another two years after that began my single deployment overseas. Young military men are not known for showing pain, weakness, emotions, whatever, and I of course was no different. It was very hard on our bodies, but we were young and dumb, and we liked it that way.” Read the rest of Chris’s amazing story Recovering From 19 Years of Chronic Pain.
“I found your Somatic Movement website last winter when I was in the midst of a pretty serious back spasm. I’m a former professional ballet dancer who has always thought they had extremely tight hip flexors. I still might, but there are other structural tightness issues that may have contributed to the regular 3-4 back spasms a year I experienced as a dancer. I thought yoga would help, and after getting my 500hr certification with a teacher in NY, I thought it was. Then, a year before finding your website I had the most debilitating spasm of my life. I couldn’t put weight on my right leg at all. The whole of my pelvis and lower spine would scream in resistance and then give out. I had to crawl to the bathroom, which was excruciatingly painful, and cause me no end of feeling helpless. I was having regular contractions inside my lower pelvis that even when I was lying supine with my legs propped up, the only position with even a modicum of release, were throttling my nervous system with pain on each wave. Thankfully, I have a partner who was able to help me get to a chiropractor who refused to adjust me until he’d taken me through weeks of physical therapy to try and alleviate the pain. After about six months of working with him, doing bridges, stretching the bottoms of my feet, and training my body how to do a proper squat (I never quite mastered it as my ankles are also quite tight), I thought I was out of the woods.
Then, a year later while on vacation visiting my parents, the spasm I started this story with happened. Again, walking was difficult, but not impossible. I thought, this is it, I have to find some way to get out this. I thought of some alternatives to the yoga that wasn’t working, the PT that wasn’t working, and the painkillers that were no longer strong enough, that would have been permanent for me, and after nearly 20 years of regular spasms, where now they seemed to be reaching a crescendo, felt like my only options, because living with that kind of pain was beginning to defeat me.
After the first exercise I did of the Somatic movement, almost all thoughts of ending my struggle were over. I stood up and walked around the room, and for a few steps, had less pain that before I started. I stuck to the exercises, doing them several times a day at intervals, and was able to walk again with minimal pain. Now, ten months later, I have not had a single new spasm since January.
I can’t begin to tell you the gratitude I feel for you and the work you’ve put in to make these exercises accessible. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say you’ve helped save my life.“
“I have completed Level One. I have no words. At the beginning of this course following each short and super comforting movement I was frequently in tears – most likely trauma release – but holy smokes this is the most life altering thing I have done for myself since I began meditating 4 years ago. I can’t thank you enough for this super accessible series. I look forward to it all day. And sometimes do the videos multiple times a day because I’ve never felt such quick release before – specially in my lower back and hips…and I’m QUEEN of rolling on lacrosse balls, rollers, you name it! But this would only give me temporarily relief and I would wake up the next morning as if I had not stretched or rolled. Now, although I feel much better when I do Somatics daily, the release stays with me MUCH longer. My next phase is to figure out how to incorporate more movement and exercise while maintaining my Somatics practice and the progress I have made. Anyway – just wanted you to know you are making a difference in my life :)”
“3 years ago, I hobbled off the golf course after 5 holes, simply unable to carry on, the pain was too intense. For the next 2 and a half years, try as I might, I couldn’t swing a club and wore a brace for everyday living. I tried physiotherapists, acupuncturists, masseurs, chiropractors, doctors, surgeons – none of them helped. In fact some of them made matters worse.
I came across Sarah’s Somatics course purely by accident. I read her story and it seemed to coincide with all the exercise I had done over the years. So, with nothing to lose, I started on Level One. For a few weeks, it didn’t seem to make a difference, but then, about 3 weeks in, I noticed a little less pain. I took a golf club into the garden and found I could swing it. I kept up with the exercises. I overdid it at one stage but Sarah soon put me straight, by pointing out I could relax whilst exercising, It didn’t need to be hard. With that knowledge, progress sped up. I returned to the golf club and played a full game.
Yesterday, instead of ferrying myself around in a cart, I walked the course and played well. I have to pinch myself. I still have some pain, but it’s nothing compared to what it was and each week that goes by I’m reclaiming my life. In time, I expect my pain to disappear completely.
This Somatics course has been a Godsend. I can steadily regain control of my mind and body, of my life. Each afternoon, I listen to Sarah’s voice as I do the day’s exercise and I grow stronger. I love the sessions, they’re a highlight of my day. My life has been so wretched, but now at last I can live again. Sarah – thank you so much.”
“It’s taken me a while to write this testimonial because I’ve been so overwhelmed with the experience, I wanted to make sure I did it justice with my words but still fear I will not be able to. Being a Massage Therapist/Bodyworker for 20+ years, I’m no stranger to chronic pain conditions that I see in my clients and unfortunately in my own body. In addition to reading books and professional publications, I’m always searching on YouTube for new information from reputable sources on various conditions. When I came across Sarah’s video on “Why stretching doesn’t work”, I was immediately intrigued because of my own frustration from injuring myself years ago while practicing yoga as my main form of exercise, stress and pain management; causing what I believe to be fascial adhesions and scar tissue in my hamstring.
I had other occasions of minor injuries, pain and even motor skill disruption, all originating from a spinal curvature that created uneven hips and functional leg discrepancy. I understood that pathology to be the cause of my injuries and pain but lacked the tools to unwind the deep-rooted pattern that caused the “idiopathic” scoliosis in the first place. Along with my own training and education, I sought out advice and help from doctors, received MRI’s, X-rays and PT referrals; none of which ever offered insight or education on the root cause of my scoliosis or any encouragement that I had the power to reverse its effects. I then watched Sarah’s video, “How tight muscles cause and contribute to scoliosis” and I immediately signed up for her Level One & Two Courses. Light bulbs of understanding went on and on with each new exercise and as my body became more fluid and felt less pain.
I can only say how grateful I am to now feel fully empowered in my own healing journey and inspired to share this knowledge with anyone who will listen. My massage and bodywork practice has shown me again and again that however profound and helpful a session with a practitioner can be, true, lasting healing and change can only be made from within. I am so grateful and excited to continue this journey by enrolling in Sarah’s certification courses so I can bring this simple but sophisticated movement therapy to my clients. Thank you, Sarah for creating such a concise and comprehensive collection of courses!”
Best money I spent all year! I learned I had chronically tight psoas muscles after a minor car accident greatly aggravated the existing condition. The sciatic pain, discomfort and numbness were debilitating. After practicing the first exercises…on the first day…my pain was reduced by 50%! Going through the exercises I discovered that my body started to crave or let me know it was ready for the next exercise; my muscles were telling me ‘now that I remember how to move THIS way, I want to learn how to move THAT way’. For me this experience has been life changing.
After reading some of Sarah’s blog posts and experiencing emotional release while performing the exercises, I realized my chronically tight psoas was due to childhood trauma. As a result of this program I feel more stable emotionally and physically, and can now see a future into “old age” which doesn’t include a decline of quality of life related to my physical movement abilities. Thank you!”
Since 2011 I have had treatment from podiatrists, physio’s, Osteopaths, acupuncturist, Bowen practitioners and tried a range of different exercises, mainly stretching. I have spent hundreds of pounds on orthotics and support shoes, although symptoms were relieved for a time they always came back, deep down inside I knew that the whiplash injury was to blame somehow.
The whiplash injury happened in 2007 which led to 8 months rehab, I thought it was over until 2011 when I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. Things went on over the years, my muscles building tightness, I developed lateral pelvic tilt which caused me to be totally debilitated with piriformis syndrome. Walking was so painful, I could no longer compete in Dog Agility competition which I love.
Then by a miracle…. I typed into Google “what causes muscle tightness” and this life changing course came up. Slowly over the weeks my pain disappeared, my body and the way I move has completely changed. I am now back competing in Dog Agility. We won our class this weekend, I can now run on full power!
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR GIVING ME MY LIFE BACK.”
“I have been diligently doing your programs for almost three months now. And even though I have tried Somatics before (even read Thomas Hanna’s books), I have to say, the results are absolutely stunning and spectacular. I am literally 100% pain free again and starting to bring more athletic activities back into my life. Sometimes during the day tears started to come up because of a bodily feeling that I thought I would never feel again! I will be forever grateful.”
“Somatic movements are such an amazing self help technique!! I was in a constant state of severe lower back pain for half a year, when I was lucky to find one of Sarah’s Somatic movement videos on YouTube. I had these lower back problems on and off for about two decades, but had somehow learned to live with them. Practicing Hatha Yoga daily, exercising several times a week, plus occasionally getting chiropractic adjustments and Bowen treatments helped me keeping the pain at bay. Lately, however, nothing seemed to work anymore. On the opposite: the stretching exercises I was given were extremely painful, aggravating the pain even more. I even gave up my beloved Yoga, as I couldn’t tolerate the pain anymore. The pain was so strong, it restricted my daily life heavily. I was desperate: a healthy diet, sleeping well, exercising, what did I do wrong to get to this point? So when I came across Sarah’s Arch & Flatten video, I lay down on my yoga mat and did the exercise along with her. The result was nothing short of a miracle! My pain level had come down by 50%! Unbelievable! And so simple!
So I practiced just this exercise for about 2 weeks twice a day. By the end of week two, my lower back pain was pretty much gone. Now convinced that Somatics would get me to zero pain, I signed up for the Level One and Two Courses, and I am so glad I did! By the end of Level One, my posture had changed completely. The uneven hips I had since my childhood, piriformis syndrome since I was a young woman, knee pain since my teenage years, scoliosis, tight psoas muscle, shoulder & neck pain, all of this discomfort I had been living with and tolerating most of my life, and having been told by doctors, chiropractors and physio therapists that my condition was not curable, needed constant treatment and was likely to worsen as I would get older, just gone within 2 month’s time! Thank you so much, Sarah, for all your great work! Learning from you why stretching doesn’t work plus all the other valuable insights make so much sense! I am now halfway through the Level Two classes and I just love Somatic movement, as they not only work on the level of pain relief, but the exercises are completely pain free, deeply relaxing, releasing negative emotions in a gentle way, strengthening the core and toning the muscles to name just a few positive side effects. Some of my family having the same postural problems I had before I learned the Somatic movements, got surgery, being impaired in their lives now or still in constant pain. I feel blessed to have found such a precious tool I can put into practice anytime anywhere. So empowering!“
“I have just finished the Level Two Course, including the individual downloads at the end of the course, after almost a year. There are really no words to describe the benefits I have received both physically and emotionally. I am so grateful to Sarah for offering such unique and personalized courses that allowed me to do the exercises at my own pace. Sarah was also always available to answer questions, help with accommodations to specific exercises, and encourage me to take my time, which was so helpful and necessary considering my special needs. I am 70 years old, and now I know how to release the pain in my neck, upper back, shoulders, arms and wrists. It’s quite amazing that I’m learning this wonderful skill at this late age. My stress and anxiety has reduced considerably, and I am able to see the benefit in my day-to-day interactions. I am walking straighter and with more ease, my posture has improved, and my pain decreased. Somatics has become part of my daily routine, and I’m learning to recognize how relaxing my muscles is key to my health and well-being. I am becoming more and more aware as I continue to practice; and I am eternally grateful.“
“I am 48 years old and have been an athlete my whole life. About 7 years ago, my right leg started to go numb when I was standing or walking. I went in for an MRI only to discover I had a scoliotic curve of about 60 degrees. I was not at all interested in surgery, so I was referred to a chiropractor who specialized in scoliosis. She put me in a hot, cumbersome brace that I was to wear for as many hours as possible (including sleeping hours). I was devastated. My life as I knew it was over. It was a very difficult adjustment for me. No more sports, no running, no more playing catch with my kids. All I could do was walk. I am a teacher and having to wear the brace to school was embarrassing.
After many weeks of feeling sorry for myself, I decided that I needed to change my thinking. I had a tough span of 5 years. Many days where I would scream out in pain when getting up from sitting or lying down. It hurt to wash my hair and put lotion on. Every movement hurt. Then I would have days where the pain would subside. Many people tried to talk me into having surgery. I met with a surgeon who calmed my fears a little. He told me that until my pain was happening every day and affecting my every day activities, he saw no reason for surgery. I switched chiropractors and she helped me a lot. I found a physical therapist who gave me some exercises which helped a lot too. I was seeing both of these people 2-3 times a week.
I came across Sarah’s Somatic Movement Center by accident. I was searching for what to do for a tight QL muscle. I was elated to see the scoliosis movement exercises. I thought, “What could it hurt?” I had tried so many other therapies. I was encouraged by Sarah’s blogs and testimonials. I paid for the course and felt results almost right away. My back seemed to even out. The tight muscle spasms on my right side lessened. My back felt stronger. Movements that were painful before, were not any more. I went from wearing my big, bulky brace almost 24/7 to only wearing it when I walked. What a relief.
I switched chiropractors again – this one was amazed at how my back was changing from the exercises. I started by seeing her twice a week and have slowly reduced that time to once every 3 weeks. She has given the Somatic Movement Center website out to many of her patients now who have all reported feeling better after the first week.
I also found a new PT who gave me one new way to think about engaging my core. He told me to try walking without my brace – SUCCESS!! I have not worn by brace at all now for about 2 months.
With the help of Sarah’s scoliosis exercises, my chiropractor, and physical therapist I have my life back. I am still not back to playing sports, but I am walking 2-4 miles a day brace free. I can wear cute clothes again! I am back to feeling strong instead of fragile like if I moved the wrong way, I would break. I am doing planks and pushups. I am kayaking and paddle boarding brace free. I am planting flowers and carrying things I couldn’t carry before. I know I still have a significant curve, but I feel confident that I can reduce it with Sarah’s help. Even if the curve stays the same, I am a stronger, more confident person. Thank you, Sarah, for offering these courses online. You were my life saver!!“
“I can’t thank you enough for your dedication to sharing these incredibly self healing exercises with the world in such an easy to follow and understand video and audio format!
I’ve had progressively limiting bilateral hip cartilage loss and joint space narrowing that I skirt my way around with all sorts of stretching, yoga, etc. When I hit a low point last October, I could barely bend over, had to lift my legs to get into the car, snd definitely was writhing in pain all night as I tried to sleep. I finally went to an orthopedic surgeon who told me in five minutes that I needed both hips replaced and that I was not going to get any better and that I better not gain any weight! That was it!
Well, I thought I had to at least try to work on releasing all of the chronically tightened and weakened muscles before any surgery so I searched the internet until I found Hanna Somatics and your Somatic Movement Center. At first I was not committed to doing the exercises every day, but when I decided to keep a log and track my progress, I saw and felt the shift in reversing all the problems that were resulting from altered gait, the lack of mobility from the locked hips, and the weaknesses in muscles that were no longer being used due to altered postures and pain avoidance movement patterns. By listening to your clear instructions as I watched and learned each exercise, and by finally doing them diligently, I saw a steady improvement in my range of motion, decreased pain, and improved ability to sleep. I started swimming laps to keep my cardio activity up and whole body feeling toned and pain free. I’m walking without pain and without my hiking poles and when I get out of whack from doing heavy yard work and sometimes neglecting my somatic movement exercises, I can always restore my function and mobility after I start doing them. Even just the mindful Arch & Flatten releases back spasms better than any foam roller or massage! It is now 8 months after that dreadful visit to the surgeon.
I’m saving surgery the bilateral hip surgeries for the absolute last resort and certainly shopping for a different surgeon while remaining faithful to your program of self healing exercises! I must add that listening to your audio cues make the practice much more effective than just speeding through the movements on my own. Thank you for everything!!!”
“Nerve pain is gone!! Absolutely gone. I am a 60-something female who’s been a couch potato most of my life. I have raised 9 lovely children and now that the last one is about to turn 18, I have been slowly transitioning to an empty nest. Getting more active has been paramount but since I have been relatively inactive, my body hasn’t known fitness. I have attempted different forms of exercise throughout the years but didn’t enjoy any of them for very long. I have had chiropractic adjustments throughout my adult life as well.
About 5 years ago, I began to notice that my left pinky finger seemed to go lame while typing. As well, I began to feel a great deal of pain in my right heel. This progressed over the next several years to the point that not only was the pinky lame it was getting tingly on the outside of my left hand. and the pain in my heel was compounded by numbness and tingling in my right toes. This had been scaring me to the point that I sought help from my physical therapist who gave me several movements to try (non-somatic movements). They helped only temporarily.
About two months ago I was perusing Facebook and an ad for Sarah’s book or course came into my feed. I didn’t hesitate to click on it. I bought and read the book partway before I looked up her site. I bought the course even without finishing the book.
Let me just say, I sat on the course for a few weeks after which time I saw my NP because of my increasing alarm over the wooden feeling in my right toes. She heard my complaints about the nerve pain and she recommended I look up what turned out to be another Hanna Somatics instructor. Long story short I immediately began Sarah’s Level One in earnest. I am one week in and I have experienced nothing short of a miracle, in my opinion. First day, pinky tingling GONE. Lameness is gone and the pain in right foot gone by 50% after the next day. This is the 8th day in a row I’ve done Daily Practice 1 and the numbness in right toes is mostly gone. I still think I need to favor the heel after so many years of limping but I know that will disappear soon.
Another lovely side benefit is that the tightness that I have in my pecs is changing as well. My posture has improved by leaps and bounds and I am encouraged that I won’t end up with a kyphotic upper back like my dad and grandmother.
The human body is amazing! Even after 60 some years, it can learn. Thank you Sarah for giving me more functional years to my life.“
“I am 13 years old and recently diagnosed with right Thoracolumbar Idiopathic Scoliosis. My mum and ! came across Somatic Movement Center sometime in August during the Pandemic as we were looking for treatment options for my scoliosis. Based on how I was feeling and the fact that I was determined to get myself to a journey of healing, I began the course and for sure from the 1st day, I knew I was on the road to recovery. Never did I miss to do my daily course, I began feeling and experiencing a difference in my feeling. The course has made me feel amazing. Since the first time I tried it I felt a huge difference with my posture, pain and I felt soo relaxed that all my stress was gone. I have had such an amazing experience and I am grateful that I got to find Somatic Movement Center.
Thank you so much Sarah for this course. I feel more even and symmetrical and have been feeling even more relaxed and whenever I feel pain I do the somatic exercises and it relieves all the pain I feel. I have even become more flexible and my muscles are not as tight as they were before, Thank you so much Sarah you have no idea how much you have improved my quality of life and I am looking forward to continuing with Somatic Movement Center exercises to eventually aspire to have a normal spine again and more relaxed muscles. I am yet to do an X-ray to check on the spine angle but I know for sure there is some improvement.”
“THANK YOU. You’ve given me my body back.
I adore my Level One practice. I do the full program each morning. I play around with micro movements and my breathing. Sometimes I focus on how slowly I can go, and other times I just flow with the natural rhythm of my breathing.
I love how my body feels and enjoy touching base with it each day and letting it show me how it’s doing. Then I adapt my reps of each exercise depending on how I feel or what I’ve asked my body to do in the previous 24 hrs.
It makes me smile each day when I hit the mat and my body just arches off the floor in its own version of a pandiculation. I just go along for the ride and feel what it does. Then we begin the formal moves.
I’m three months in and haven’t needed to see my Bowen therapist or any therapist since I started your program. I love that the movements require no props or special equipment, and that I can do them on the carpet in a motel room or a friend’s spare room.
I now have about 98% range of motion in my right shoulder, which was how I stumbled onto you…..trying to find ways to fix it, after both surgery and physio garnished sup par results.
Anyway, could rabbit on for hours but it just all boils down to THANK YOU…Eternally in your debt.”
“I know I’ve still got many exercises to go to help release my muscles but I’ve recently experienced HUGE release in my buttocks and I cannot believe how much that impacted the rest of my muscles. I cried in such gratefulness to feel like I have gained control of my body again. I cannot thank you enough for making these affordable for how much it helps. You are an answer to so many desperate prayers. I can only pray that many more try them.”
“I’m a massage therapist and by helping other relieve their pain I’ve increased my own. I was getting chiropractic care, massage, foam rolling, stretching, icing, massage gun, anything to relieve the pain. It was all temporary! After giving a couple massages, all the pain came back. I was throwing money out the door! The pain was so intense in my right leg (leg discrepancy and scoliosis) it was difficult to walk without limping, the pain so bad I couldn’t sleep more than a couple hours at a time. It was when both my psoas went into spasm and I could barely move, even after 3 trips to the chiropractor and a couple massages, that I found Sarah and Somatic Movement Center. What a Godsend!!! Just after a week, my pain had greatly reduced and after completing Level One, all my leg pain is gone, I’m sleeping all night, my posture has improved, my body feels balanced, I’m aware of how I’m moving and I’m able to do my job better. I HIGHLY recommend using pandiculation and the Somatic Movement Center to anyone reading this. I even tell my massage clients. Thank you, Sarah.”
“I felt compelled to reach out and offer my sincere thanks for two videos I found on your website… the one about how to release the iliopsoas, and the one about how to release a frozen shoulder. To provide some history, I have had low back pain that has ranged from inconvenient to debilitating since October 2019. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for a year, and while the pain has improved a bit, that improvement is nothing compared with what I’ve experienced in less than a week practicing the movements from those two videos every day.
The first injury I remember to my low back occurred when I was 9 or 10 years old. I attempted a cartwheel and landed squarely on my bum. My tailbone hurt terribly, and I remember that I couldn’t sit directly on my bum for at least a week or two. I felt incredibly stupid about how I had hurt myself, so I never told my parents and was therefore never seen or treated for the injury. The pain mostly subsided within a month or two after that incident, but all the way through my childhood and into my mid to late teens, there were times where I would sit or move in such a way that I would feel sharp pain in my tailbone and need to readjust.
I had a random attack of low back pain when I was 18 or 19. It resolved after I saw a chiropractor twice and then took 800 mg of ibuprofen three times in a row. I was essentially pain-free except for occasional stiffness, but in April 2014, I fell roller-skating – I basically tripped over my own feet and flew forward like superman, bellyflopping onto the floor, hitting the floor in the order of left knee, left hip bone, right hip bone, right shoulder. I injured my right shoulder so badly that I could not raise my right arm above waist level. I couldn’t afford to be seen by a doctor for an MRI, so I’m not exactly sure what the damage was (I deduced that it was a tear or strain of some component of my rotator cuff based on research). I saw physical therapist twice, but I had never had PT before so I was convinced she was trying to kill me. However, I purchased an arm bike and an arm pulley, and performed those two exercises along with walking my fingers up and down the wall every day at home, and then iced my shoulder, until I regained basically full function of my right arm (about two months later).
Then in September 2019, I was rear ended and suffered a case of whiplash. I didn’t feel like I was in a lot of pain until I attended a myofascial release course for my massage therapy license continuing education in October 2019. One of the instructors released my neck, and I felt like a million bucks… until the next morning, when I woke up with excruciating pain in my sacrum. The worst of that pain lasted about 3 days. I used myofascial release techniques I learned in the class to relieve the pain, but it would flare up every few months or so and knock me out of most physical activity for a week or two each time. By the summer of 2021, at age 39, I was waking up in terrible pain almost every day. The pain had begun to interfere with my life, so this is when I started seeing a chiropractor. As mentioned earlier in this message, I have received a bit of relief doing that. But after a recent flareup (that I also believe involved emotional distress), and also after noticing that my new insurance plan barely covers chiropractic, I realized I better start trying harder to take my healing into my own hands.
I knew from the x-rays from my chiropractor that my pelvis is twisted and tilted higher on one side. I researched online what often causes this, and learned that a chronically tight iliopsoas is often the culprit. I’ve been performing the exercises from the iliopsoas video and the frozen shoulder video (on both sides) for less than a week, and I am not exaggerating when I say I feel better than I have felt in my entire adult life! This work, and what you’re teaching, is life-changing!!! I have already shared the videos with multiple people I know that have complained about low back pain, or shoulder pain, and I feel elated thinking about all the people who are in pain that this work could help… without surgery, and without narcotics!
I felt immense relief after the very first time I followed these videos, and the improvement that has continued to happen each day is nothing short of remarkable. (I had heard of somatic movement for the purpose of releasing stuck emotional trauma from the body, but ironically, I had never considered it for releasing my chronically stuck physical ailments.) Thank you so very much for the work that you’re doing! I appreciate it more than I can express.”
“I imagine my story is likely much the same as anyone who is looking into Somatics as a possible solution. I have used so many stretching programs/techniques to improve my flexibility that I can’t even count them. I own 2 stretching machines as well and have never really made any lasting improvements with my flexibility. I am very active and play many sports, so flexibility is very important.
I found typical stretching to be a pain. It wasn’t something I looked forward to because it usually hurt and only helped me loosen up enough to do whatever activity I was participating in that day. I usually woke up the next day tighter and needed to do it all over again just to maintain my current level of flexibility, which by the way, was diminishing each year. I am now 58 and was desperate to find a better solution. It was then that my searching led me to Sarah’s website. I wrote Sarah and she shared that she also hadn’t had much success with typical stretching and briefly explained her story. She told me that she’d never felt better than she does using Somatics and I decided to give it a shot.
It’s been 6 weeks now where I’ve practiced everyday but 3 days. When I first began, I must admit I was still trying to feel a stretch (even though Sarah warns against that) and wasn’t going nearly as slow as is suggested. About a week in, I started to feel a bit better in a major problem area for me which is my hips. This got me excited and I decided to focus solely on my core and hips before moving to my legs which are worse than my hips as far as flexibility goes. I also decided to keep my eyes closed the whole time and go even slower than Sarah suggests. Since that day, the progression has been nothing short of amazing and it’s inspired me to make my sessions longer and longer because I almost find the practice to be like a kind of meditation. That might sound strange, but when you practice with your eyes closed, you really feel things internally that you wouldn’t with your eyes open and it’s also very relaxing and allows me to focus on the movements which slows my mind down too thus why I say it’s like meditation, at least to me it is.
The movements are so easy to do that it makes it fun, unlike stretching which was a struggle and I NEVER looked forward to doing it like I do with Somatics. The cool thing is the looseness you feel doesn’t diminish like I experienced with basic stretching so each day I’m able to improve ever so slightly. That’s exciting and inspires me to get to it the next day. Even when I missed the few days I missed, all I needed to do was stretch in bed like you do when you’re a baby and any tightness I had just melted away. It almost sounds too good to be true, and I even think it sounds hokey writing it, but that’s what happens.
I would describe the difference as being similar to how a spider web moves. If you pull a spider web from once end, the whole web moves in relation to the pulling on the other end. That’s the feeling I’m starting to get in my body after just 6 weeks. If I reach my arm over head as an example, I can feel it all the way down to my knee… like my muscles are in sync instead of isolated like they were using typical stretches.
Sarah has been very helpful, and her program is well done and easy to follow. I hope my experience with Somatics helps you decide to give Somatics a try…you won’t be disappointed!!!“
“I am LOVING your Somatics Level One Course!!!!! I am a dance teacher and have been living with constant pain and tension for the past 4 years that has been throughout the left side of my body. (I had a right knee injury in my 20’s that resulted in 4 surgeries, and I am now 48 years old.)
I have tried chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, ayahuasca, EFT, Healing Touch, Reiki, Positive Thinking, Yoga, Hypnosis…and NOTHING has worked to relieve / reduce the tension and pain for more than 1 hour. A few friends had suggested fibromyalgia may be the cause and I absolutely REFUSED to accept that death sentence.
And then, by some sort of synchronous chance, I came across Thomas Hanna’s Somatics book and I knew I found the key. It was the answer to why I was so tired all the time, and why I woke up in pain, spent the day in pain, and went to bed in pain, and why I was not improving.
I just completed day 22 of your course. In the waking hours, I am feeling better and better every day. My neck doesn’t click anymore. I am walking more upright. I can BREATHE deeply again!!!! The pain and tension have DRAMATICALLY improved and continue to do so and I can’t thank you enough for your online courses!“
“I thank God for having led me to your classes! I have had nothing short of miraculous results. Numbness in the left hand disappeared practically overnight. The nagging pain and numbness in my legs have reduced significantly. I have a consistent strength in my core that allows me to continue my caregiving job with confidence. I haven’t visited my chiropractor in months. I don’t need to! Oh, by the way, I am 60 years young! and plan to live well for many years to come. Thank you, Sarah, for such excellent teaching.”
“I know I was divinely led to your website when I was desperately looking for something I could do to naturally heal a hip injury. I had tried several other modalities with no success. When I started Somatic Movement it was an answer to prayer. The hardest thing for me to learn was to slow down and take my time. Now I relish it. Thank you again for putting Somatic Movement out here. It has saved my body.“
“I landed on your website after typing “thoracic outlet syndrome” in the search engine. I started somatic movements in Dec 2019 by doing the movements included in your book, The Pain Relief Secret. That book is very informative and insightful, so it kept me motivated and confident about Clinical Somatics. I started feeling the benefits (albeit small) about a month after my very first Somatics session (Jan 2020). Being convinced that Somatics works for me and looking for more benefits, I decided to enroll in the Level One and Two combo by Feb 2020. I am glad I enrolled in your course before the lockdowns because it kept my mood regulated during these trying times.
Here are the benefits that gradually became more palpable while doing the courses and doing my regular practice:
· I am significantly more sensitive to my movement and proprioception.
· I also have a better mental picture of my dysfunctional movement patterns.
· My joints are looser and I can feel parts of my body that were previously difficult to control.
· I can breathe better with a lot less nose and throat congestion.
· I have less water retention on my extremities.
· I have better quality sleep.
· My nasal allergy symptoms have significantly lessened.
· I find it easier to talk/speak.
· I can control my mood better and I am less stressed.
· I am less fatigued in the evening.
· I can sit with little to no tension.
· I feel stronger, more balanced and relatively more symmetrical.
· I have better posture. I guarantee that anyone who uses smartphones and computers will greatly benefit.
Yes, all of those happened to me, who is 29 and male (younger than most of the people in the testimonials). I decided to only share my testimonial now because I know that frozen shoulder takes a long time to treat. After almost 14 months of doing somatics, if there is any pain, it is very small (scale of 0.1-1 out of 10 vs a previous 4-6 out of 10), so that is very close to an elimination of pain. My right shoulder feels almost normal now (if I am not doing something strenuous) thanks to the exercises for trauma reflex/scoliosis, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome. The blog posts for those conditions were very helpful for me. The lower extremity exercises were also helpful at relieving my left hip pain. Sometimes the calf release and seated hamstring release will relieve my shoulder pain. I can sense my hip and thigh muscles much better, especially the glutes. Due to the effectiveness of the movements, I feel I don’t need to take pain medications at all (never taken them since the onset of pain); and I have become allergic to static stretches.
Here are some of the reasons I was in pain before having heard of Somatics: On my left leg, I fell in the stairs of my school when I was 14 — which may have given me a sensory motor amnesia pattern of the trauma reflex/scoliosis posture on my left side. I feel that SMA pattern led to minor pain on my left hip and discomfort on my right sacroiliac joint. I had also adopted poor posture while swimming and running because my right side of my torso was always tense as a right-handed person. After aerobic exercise, I had a static stretching routine. I also have done a yoga-like program (Foundation Training) in a way I didn’t implement properly (which I only realized while doing the Somatics courses).
I found that the more somatic movements I do, the more I enjoy involuntary pandiculation in bed. The variety of movements in the course will eventually make the impulse to release something feel complete, so I allow my daily practice to change if needed. Not only there is a variety of movements but as you progress, the individual movements will feel better if you keep yourself aware, so do not be discouraged if it feels like there is no progress (I had only less than 8 “down” days, the rest are “up” days). As I keep doing the movements in the Level One and Two Courses, I feel I am still improving. This is a stark contrast to static stretching and the way I practice the yoga-like exercises, which lasts up to 12 hours for me with feeling I am cumulatively getting tense. With regular sessions, I witnessed the gradual release of the “master” tension pattern in my body. I can say as a whole that before doing Somatics, my body felt like a bag of tension, but now it is almost as if I am as light as a feather and I feel I am moving younger.
With what I have experienced above, the courses have a lot of value for money and are well crafted. Sarah’s voice is calming and helps you stay in the mood to do the somatic movements. The emphasis on making movements small is also helpful. The courses are easy to navigate and the theme of the website is pleasing to the eye. The Level Two course was intense. I finished the Level One and Two courses on time, including all the long audio classes. The long audio classes will leave your whole body feeling relaxed! Since I finished the course, usually I do 2 sessions a day sometimes once or 3 times, each session 30-50 minutes. There may be days you don’t feel like starting a session but once you do a simple movement you will feel calm enough to finish a session.
Regarding muscles, I notice that in the fitness world, the words “activate” and “stretch” are commonly used, but I find myself thinking of the words “release” and “pandiculate” every time. This means Clinical Somatics is a paradigm shift to muscle management. As a mechanical engineer, I can see that muscle tension affects the shape of blood vessels, nerve transmission, the lymphatic system flow, and oxygen distribution. Due to my experience of the cumulative effects of Clinical Somatics, I can say that movement is also medicine!
Much thanks to Thomas Hanna for establishing Clinical Somatics. The Level One and Two Courses are a great tool to help me solve the puzzle of pain relief. A lot of thanks too to Sarah for helping provide that tool! You won’t regret enrolling in Sarah’s amazing courses!
Best wishes and support from the Philippines!”
“It took me a while to get here but your Clinical Somatics course has been nothing short of life-changing for me, both in postural remediation as well as biomechanical recalibration. Having suffered a number of major separate injuries in the past few years alone, your course has been instrumental in helping to ‘reset’ me. My sleep, movement (including my yoga practice) and pain management has all been helped from what I’ve done on your course.
As mentioned in other correspondence, in the shorter-term I am intending to send my counseling clients to this course to help with pain management and down-regulate stress, but I think in the longer term I would really like to return and do the certification course – it really is that good! Thank you again.”
“Ever since I have started somatic movement my body and life has changed.
I have c-PTSD and hyper mobile EDS with scoliosis and a leg length discrepancy. Since primary school I have been wobbly and weak in most of my body and yet been so stiff I couldn’t even remotely touch my toes. I was mocked as a child that I was a crippled old lady. I would collapse and faint and felt that I could barely carry my body around. Doctors told me I was lazy and weak and clearly didn’t want to participate in life. My body was in so much pain and my pelvis was so turned under I couldn’t even sit on my sit bones. Sitting still in class was painful, better if I could sit on my foot. If a teacher wouldn’t let me sit on my foot (many didn’t) I’d be in blinding cramps and pain. I sucked it up and pretended I was ok. As you can imagine, my days were incredible hard and I started with suicidal ideation. I found myself in massive depressions throughout my life. In my 30s I got a c-PTSD diagnosis and in my 40s I got my EDS diagnosis. Now I am getting help and am believed. I only have 7 percent digestive capabilities so I was also malnourished most of my life. I now have a lot of compassion for my childhood self.
Here is a blog post from a flareup https://lisaismightybrave.wordpress.com/2019/10/03/art-saves-my-life-every-day/
Last year I spent over 4 months completely in bed, only being able to stand for maybe 15 minutes twice a day. I moved my studio into my bedroom and I had two helpers do everything for me. Two things really helped me recover my life the Curable Pain App and your daily somatic movement course.
Somatics felt like an old lost best friend, and I started a daily practice. I do an hour in the morning two of each movement and 20-40 minutes in the evening on my tighter side. I’m different. I’m me. More me than I have ever been. The time also completely clears my mind so it’s like a lengthy meditation each day. I’m going to purchase the next level, but want to keep doing the delicious basic moves for at least a month or two before I add more.
I’m three months in, and even the day I had to spend at the hospital, I came home and did a full hour. My body craves it and in less then three months I have a better body than I ever have. By the time I’m 50 I’ll have the best body of my life. Thank you.
I’m a performance artist and last year we planned my performances so that they could be done by another person if I wasn’t able to. I like having this as a back up, but I now feel that I will be able to do my own performances moving forward.
Here is a blog post from three years ago, https://lisaismightybrave.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/road-to-human-realignment/ I’ve been craving this muscle release actively for many years. I had googled “leg length discrepancy” hundreds of times and I so glad three month ago it sent me to your website.
I’ll be in touch again and look forward to taking Level Two.
“Short version: This course in Clinical Somatics has helped me reduce my pain and gain awareness of my own body in a way I have never felt before.
I have always struggled with exercise, sometimes enjoying it, sometimes forcing myself with discipline, and long periods of not exercising at all. A few years ago I started having pain in my left shoulder and it just got worse. I had a physiotherapist who gave me a gym plan to balance the strength in my back. It was good to activate muscles I guess and the pain was relieved when I did work out, but it always came back and my initial motivation faded. In the end besides hunching forward I also tensed my shoulders now. Two wrongs don’t make it right.
I found Somatic Movement Center online and decided to get both the Level One and Two Courses. I have a way more relaxed body now. Imagine the difference when I for the first time in my life can activate my deeper core muscles and do squats with the right muscles. I used to wonder if I lacked muscles in this region completely. This also explains my previous aversion to exercise. When the running trainer said ‘lift the hip, don’t drag it behind you’ and I just couldn’t change it.
The pain is not fully gone yet, but on the first day it got from unbearable to manageable. I think the shoulder is the tip of the iceberg and I need to work through all of the exercises. The exercises them selves are enjoyable for me, and the calm voice of Sarah helps me slow down. Now I’m excited to go skiing, to see how my hip work is today. Thank you for this, Sarah!”
“I’ve spent many years trying to understand why I had problems with the joints in my body. After a few years of triathlon training and working as a spin instructor, I wasn’t taking care of my body or joints in the way I was supposed to be. Sarah’s compilation of various resources into one book has completely changed my perspective on what it means to have a healthy movement pattern and life. I cannot recommend The Pain Relief Secret enough, especially for health professionals that are open to another perspective and a new type of learning. Being a personal trainer and athlete, this has changed the way I look at the body and healing, so I thank you for that!”
“I have been practicing the Level One Course since August. I started this journey with major psoas issues (iliopsoas syndrome) and pain in my lower back, hips, and SI joints due to arthritis, bone spurs, and slipped disks in L3 and L4. After a few days the pain began to subside, my posture was better, and I could walk for longer distances than a few blocks. At this time I live relatively pain free. When I feel pain I practice the necessary exercises and that usually does the trick. Some days now I can miss a practice session and still be OK the next day.
For three years I lived with high levels of pain and could not walk longer than a few blocks as stated above. This practice is amazing! I have practiced and taught Yoga for many years and feel that Yoga was not suitable to help heal the pain I was in, in fact I believe that Yoga hindered the healing process. I now practice the somatic movements exclusively, with a downward dog and child pose thrown in here and there.
Thank you so much for your teaching. The video and audio are top quality and make it easy to learn and practice the movements. I look forward to Level Two.”
“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!“
“I am 53 yrs old and have been highly active in playing many varied sports and exercising all my life. Since a child, I have had aching down the backs of my legs when sitting and running/cycling long distances along with aching shoulders – despite years of stretching, massage, Pilates, yoga etc. I also saw chiropractors, osteopaths, physios, you name it I saw it. Being fit I also noticed over the years that my body had very visible muscle definition, but not necessarily in all the obvious correct places (not that I cared, I just wanted to be active without pain!).
Two years ago a podiatrist said I walked/ran using my hamstrings so suggested going back to Pilates. I started seeing a physio/Pilates professional. For 18 months I did absolutely everything instructed and practices with her 1:1, group classes and diligently on my own every day. During this time I was getting incredibly frustrated because I felt certain muscle groups were stuck and just wouldn’t permanently release enough to find the correct muscles being instructed – it just wasn’t working.
So last October 2021, I enrolled in a certified online ACS Distance Learning course, Muscle & Movement. I just wanted to understand what muscles I was trying to work so I could imagine it. Honestly it was like my brain was desperately try to do what its somatics nervous system had designed it for! I am two thirds the way through my course and absolutely loving it!! The working of the nervous system and muscles is one of the most incredibly clever and fascinating worlds to have entered and I feel so privileged to have stumbled onto it.
Around the time of enrolling in the course I had googled “psoas release exercises” and the Somatic Movement Center website popped up. I read and then researched a bit more about somatics and pandiculation, then signed up. Though to begin with I only dabbled in the exercises, doing them here and there smattered in amongst my Pilates regime. The idea of letting go a lifetime of learned gung-ho habits of, “if it doesn’t hurt it’s not working” attitude, was hard to process and truly let my body chill and try.
Over a few months I really began to realize that it was the somatics that was making real changes and in learning from my ACS course, it was making the whole somatics movement make so much incredible sense.
Then at the start of the year I bit the bullet and dropped the Pilates/physio and went full on daily somatics movement and am currently halfway through Level Two. And I have to say the changes have been incredible!!!!
I’ve found Level Two to be of huge benefit as a follow on from Level One to continue the unraveling of my confused and tense muscles and help find natural postural muscular patterns. I realize this will be an ongoing process. I have a ways to go and this doesn’t fix things overnight, but the incredible part about all of this is that my body keeps improving and unraveling all the time and will keep doing so as I continue using my “tool box” of exercises. Finding this course has been my body’s lifesaver and I’m now not scared of getting older because I know if I take care of my body it will take care of me.
I have spent my life loving sport and exercise but in pain and I see so many contemporaries my age feeling the same thing. And I want to help people like me change that and facilitate in helping them to take charge of their body and minds for a pain-free and active existence. Clinical Somatics is so far ahead of its time and of anything that is available where I am living. I want to share that gift.”
“Hi Sarah, this note is way overdue. I started Level One 6 months ago and after my first Arch & Flatten I was hooked! I went out the next day for a 5 hour mountain bike ride and noticed a huge difference in how loose my body felt. I felt so good after a few weeks I decided to take my friend up on his offer to go back East for the summer to do tree work which had been my occupation for decades. I had semi-retired though because of how my body felt, so the fact that I was ready to commit to another season speaks volumes as to the effectiveness of pandiculation! I have had trouble with carpal tunnel for years from running chain saws and a slew of other issues from decades of climbing trees and extreme mountain biking in the off season. Anyway your program has changed my life drastically as I alternate between carpal tunnel exercises and a few other exercises one day and then about 7 of the other exercises on the next day for a total of about one hour a night. I haven’t missed a day in months and I continue to see great results all the while being extremely active every day. Thank you so much for creating this amazing product and sharing it with us all! I had been on Tom Brady’s TB12 method for 5 years prior to your program along with strict changes in my diet etc. but nothing came close to the effectiveness of your program! Thanks again, Matt.”
“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!“
“I AM BLOWN AWAY by these exercises!!!!!! I was a ballet dancer during my developmental ages through college. I do Pilates, yoga, PiYo, and workout with weights at least 3x/week. I have always had pain but recently it started getting to the point I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t sleep, had trouble breathing and started to have to take some sort of ibuprofen or whatever I needed for that day. I do outside sales so I walk a lot and have bag on my shoulder 90% of the day. It was becoming unbearable and I didn’t know what I was going to have to do. I am also a single mother on top of that. Stretching failed, back surgery failed, chiropractors failed, acupuncture failed. I was at a wall. My lower back, neck and my right hip were becoming excruciating painful.
My mother, who suffers from back pain and right hip pain, found you on the internet and told me try this program. She even paid for the first level because she could see the pain I was having with every step.
Since I have completed Level One, I sleep better, I walk better, I breathe better, I no longer have to take anti-inflammatories or pain medication. I still have a ways to go, but I now have my life back. I have given your name to my pain doctor and pray he gives your information out to as many people in the same kind of pain I was in. I have never been in pain like that in my life and now I feel blessed that these movements and your website fell into our laps. I do the exercises every day now and am slowly returning to a very light workout as I am beginning to understand my body more and what it needs.
This has been such a wonderful, spiritual, and enlightening experience for me. Your blogs are wonderful too. They also help me dive deeper into my depths so I can understand my body more and more.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart as tears roll down my face as I write this to you. I can’t thank you enough!! Much love and blessings to you and your family.”
“Thank you for the course! I was looking for the way to align my posture for a long time. Many years of yoga, taiji and Tensegrity didn’t really help on a long term. My shoulders were locked, neck was in pain, tired eyes, my lower spine in pain and I tried to live my life ignoring this pain, which was only increasing with time, making me nervous, unhappy and isolated. After following your courses, I finally have very flexible body, which doesn’t click loud every time after movement. Even taiji feels now like more pleasure! I know, I should continue in this direction further. I even want to take the next step and sign up for the CEI Level 1!”
“As a mature professional dancer I have pursued many different training and body awareness practices. Clinical Somatics has reacquainted me with the the body’s powerful transformative response to the gentle combined application of work, breath and focus. In the two months of daily practice in the Level One Course I have experienced the release of persistently tight shoulders and better sleep as a result, the expanded range of hip movement, the balancing of right and left side core action, greater ease in advanced athletics and strength training, a general sense of wholesomeness, as well as profound relaxation. In my experience as a life long professional mover Clinical Somatics is among those practices that require very little mental discipline to do the daily work. This is because it is the body itself that seems to prompt the desire to practice and the reward of the practice is both immediate and long lasting. The course material is delivered expertly and I am grateful to Sarah Warren St. Pierre for the thoroughness and clarify of her instructions as well as her availability for email exchanges on particular follow-up issues. Level Two here I come!”
“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.”
“I’m sooooo happy about the program and the exercises!
The stiffness in my lower back IS GONE!! And the sharp pain I was feeling at the left sacroiliac joint went away the first time I did the One-side Arch & Curl exercise! 15 years of pain and discomfort released! It’s really the first time I practice exercises that can go really deep inside the body to define a new awareness, releasing tension at the same time.
The upper back and shoulders have less tension and hip joints are getting better with the latest exercises. I still have some work to do to release the knees, quads, calves and feet, they’re on the way!
Thank you very much for this wonderful program!”
“The first day I started my Clinical Somatics course I knew it would be good for me. Within days I started to feel relief from a longtime lower back issue that had flared up. After a week the pain was gone. I also have had issues with a frozen shoulder for almost two years. The exercises started lessening the problem immediately, and I now have full range of motion with the shoulder. After expensive physical therapy and other attempts to remedy the shoulder, I was delighted to have actual help.
Other than help with problem issues, I love the exercises for how they influence my attention to my body. I accomplish tasks and other exercise throughout the day with more awareness and centeredness. I’m a longtime yoga practitioner, and the Clinical Somatics adds new focus and depth to my practice. Because the program is so gentle, I could even do the exercises throughout a lingering illness, which worked wonders on my morale.
I’m very grateful for this program with its well-presented videos, clear and thorough course layout, and of course the effective content. I consider it a huge bargain compared to other paths I’ve tried, and recommend it to anyone who has even a slight pain. Thank you for all the time and expertise that went into this. It’s a game-changer for me.“
“When I practice Somatics regularly, I really feel all my body relaxed and much more flexible. It’s a pleasure to be “in my body”. More and more often, there are moments when I feel no more pain and no more tension in my body. And if I overwork some parts of my body as a result of my daily life or work, I feel it immediately and I know which exercise I need to practice in order to get rid of that tension. Especially when I work hard physically. Actually, I was working hard when I was learning the Level One and Two Course exercises (9 hours of hard physical work every day) and I noticed that when I stopped practicing for a week, I was in pain and when I started practicing again, I felt immediately better. I think I was able to go through this work without damage thanks to Somatics exercises.
I really recommend it not only to all those who work physically hard or use always the same muscles but simply to everybody because we need to take care of our bodies if we want to be happy and Somatics is one of the best ways. It really works!
Thank you, Sarah!!!”
“I am a 54 year old woman who spent the bulk of her life playing high level sport (primarily swimming and rugby). Rugby was my passion, and for 15 years I abused my body playing the game I loved. I was a member of the Canadian Women’s Rugby Team who went to the first ever Women’s Rugby World Cup in 1991, my position loose head prop. I have had 3 knee surgeries, and have experienced chronic hip, neck, and back pain most of my adult life – extreme degeneration in my neck.
At 42, I was thrilled to become a mom, having given birth to a beautiful baby girl. After the birth of my daughter my chronic pain became almost unbearable – I spent a lot of money and time on different therapies and while some worked, the relief never lasted. I attended yoga classes for years and experience some relief from that but again not long lasting. Despite the chronic pain, I have maintained an active and healthy lifestyle.
About 5 years ago I mentioned to my husband, who is a kinesiologist, that I would love to find an exercise program that will keep me moving as I age – he found Somatic Movement Center! :). I started Somatic Movement Center’s Level One Course in February 2020!! A year and a half later, I am in less physical pain than I was in my 30s and 40s long after my rugby career was over, and my flexibility and physical functionality have greatly improved. I practice Level One exercises 4 times a week and it’s enough to keep my body in check – muscle memory.
Now when I get up from gardening, I know I will be able to stand up straight without pain. When I go for hikes, I feel like I’m using the appropriate muscles for the activity – my glutes are actually working now which is taking stress off the other muscles which used to compensate. I am able to perform yoga poses that I never thought my thoracic spine would be open enough to do. Plus, I have never had a core as strong as it is right now – I can feel and see my abdominal muscles (this has never been my reality, even though I have been active my whole life). I have so much control over these muscles now, and who doesn’t like control ;).
My daughter is almost 13, and I feel I will be able to participate in at least some of the physical activities she enjoys doing. This program has made my future brighter – I now feel that aging is not going to be the horror show I thought it was going to be. I have much more hope for a long active life. I have directed many of my friends to this program, all those who participate, have experienced improvement. It has been the most effective and affordable way I have found to keep my body going. IF YOU HAVE CHRONIC PAIN, I URGE YOU TO GIVE THIS A TRY!“
“I’m a 50-year-old ex-dancer, current pre-school dance teacher. I am a 1992 BFA Dance Boston Conservatory graduate. I started your Level One course 34 days ago and I just can’t believe how much it is already helping my pain. After about a week or two I started to feel the difference. This pandemic really did a number on my body and mind. I hold all my trauma in my body and as a dancer I have always been acutely aware of that.
The Boston Conservatory was a bittersweet time. I made some amazing lifelong friends in the dance department and received good training but for me it was a very emotionally unhealthy place and because it was just about 30 years ago there were no support systems in place to care for the dancers around emotional health, injuries or eating disorders. After graduating I went straight to NYC. I fell in love with the energy of New York and continued to dance on and off, taking classes when I could and teaching kids’ classes and waitressing to make a living. I worked hard and partied hard and my body started to break down. I just read your article in “Medium”-“Feel like your body Is falling apart? Here’s why” and you basically told “my” story. I was waitressing and I bent over with my knees straight and picked up a heavy tray and my back just went. I was in excruciating pain almost making me sick to my stomach. Acupuncture would help but usually once a year it would go out again and I would reinjure it and I would be a mess. I have always been on a healing journey sometimes one step forward, one step back. I never had a lot of resources or finances in NYC for chiropractic or doctors so I would always try to heal myself and similar to your article I would do my own exercises and stretches daily to help, but it would always be a temporary fix.
I have been living in Toronto since 2003. I have had a wonderful career teaching and creating curriculum for pre-school dance. Like I said there have been many layers to uncover and years of healing emotional trauma. I am 19 years clean and sober which is something that I really needed to do for myself. I was blessed with my son at age 41 after fertility issues and now he is a cheeky 9-year-old. Since childbirth my body has gone through lots of changes. In any case, halfway through this pandemic, I found myself in chronic pain as a result of stress, anxiety and repetitive movements. I have had continuous issues with my psoas and always knew it was what was causing my lower back problems. Every time I would visit a chiropractor or osteopath they would ask about my scoliosis and leg length differences. I have never done this and told my story to anyone like this… I just felt so compelled to tell you that I had that moment where it all made sense and I too have wanted to shout it from the rooftop.
I am just at the beginning of these exercises but I really feel I would like to start studying and hopefully someday teach this to others and help people live pain-free. You have built such a beautiful program. Your voice is so soothing and calm and I look forward to my practice each day. I am going to read your book and continue with my consistency and look forward to see where this takes me.
“At the age of 10 I had a lower back injury which I bounced back from. Then when I was 17 I had a concussion which led to pain throughout my whole body all the time. I couldn’t concentrate and was never comfortable. I have tried and been directly involved with many techniques including massage, physical therapy, yoga, and some Feldenkrais too.
Reading Sarah’s book was so relevant to me, so I started trying the exercises and it was like discovering a new level of understanding and clarity. Initially I was still doing stretching too, but after re-reading the book and commencing the Level One and Two Courses I haven’t done any stretching at all and I am having the best results of my life. I am getting function back in my body that I have never had the privilege of having as an adult. It’s all about retraining the brain. Sarah’s approach is a revelation for me. I have found the most important method that I have been searching for my whole life. It is like I am gradually unraveling the confused body I have been living in for 27 years. So grateful. Thank you!”
“I’ve had a stiff painful right neck and shoulder for the last six years. I’ve seen chiropractors, physiotherapists, acupuncturists, and doctors. I was in a car accident in 1983 when I was 23 and broke my right humerus, wrist, and smashed part of my right femur. I was in a coma for 12 days and in the hospital for 2 months. I recovered quite well as I was quite fit. There were complications when I had the plates removed from my femur in 1985 – meningitis and that was treated, then I had a brain cyst that was removed in 1987. A complicated medical history which is too long a story to go into here!
Doing Clinical Somatic exercises has solved the problem. I started about three and a half months ago. I do between 20 mins to an hour of exercises almost every day and now there is only a little stiffness left and no pain! I am relaxed and so is everyone around me! Thank you and thanks to Thomas Hanna!”
“I am just writing this because I want to say THANK YOU a million times. And I’m sure there are so many people out there sending you emails like this.
I am so grateful I found your website in the middle of frustration, negativity, depression and loss of hope. I have tried so many things in the past year and half, spent thousands of dollars in exams, scans, massages, chiro and physio sessions and the relief was only temporary unfortunately.
I was diagnosed with leg discrepancy since I was 15yo back in Italy (I am now 43yo) so the podiatrist recommended me to use a lift on the right so I could raise the hip, so I went on with that for years and my back was sore at times. Mind you, I was young and not really into sports back then so I could manage that easily.
I then moved to Australia in 2006 and got into gym, running, cycling and so on. I decided to go see a podiatrist here in Sydney so I could get better orthotics for my running but this podiatrist told me that I didn’t need any raise as it’s normal to be asymmetrical and that I would be fine just by be aware on what muscles to use and stretch properly.
So I managed to go on for years with no problems or just a slight back pain maybe 2-3 times a year that would go away in days anyway.
Comes December 2020 everything collapsed. It started with the usual lower back pain so I took the usual pills for pain and few days after the pain was still there so I went to the doctor and asked for stronger anti inflammatories but didn’t work. I started seeing a chiro that told me that my pelvis was out of place due to the leg discrepancy. Spent thousand of dollars for so many sessions and the pain was still there so I decided to see a physio so I could get some rehab and exercises so I could speed up recovery and finally after 6 months I was back at the gym with a PT so I could learn how to do proper form.
Comes September 2021, I am in pain again. Can’t walk, can’t lift even a box, can’t sit for long, sleeping only on one side. It was terrible. I was depressed and angry with the world. So I decided to see a chiro that was recommended to me by my colleague. Went to see him and straight away I got told to wear orthotics. I wasn’t happy but got told by the chiro that if I didn’t use them, I would get worse. So I spent another $700 for new orthotics that gave me lots of pain when I didn’t wear them which was at home or at the gym or when I was wearing sliders only. Went back to the chiro and told him that I was still in pain and he said: if it keeps going like this we might have to do cortisone injections….and that’s when I decided not to see him anymore.
I went back to my doctor and explained my situation and the doctor suggested to see this physio who specializes in men’s health because I was having problems with nerve pain too. Anyway I started seeing this physio who told me to get rid of these orthotics straight away and he has given me few exercises to do which they were making me feel better but still temporary.
So I have decided to go on Google and doctor myself and figure what I was doing wrong till one day your website came up so I read a lot about it and decided to give it a go. And here I am after 3 weeks, feeling the best I ever felt in a long time. I can’t explain how I feel, I just know that I feel good. My body feels different. My muscles, my legs, my core, my pelvis. I am just happy. I look forward to do your exercises everyday. I also bought your book which I am devouring it as it’s good and it just all makes sense now.
Sorry for the long email but you really deserve to know that you are helping me a lot mentally and physically. THANK YOU SARAH.”
“Sarah is an excellent teacher as her approach is methodical and precise. She anticipates any issue the student may have preforming the Somatic movements. The web site format is succinct and thorough in its inclusion of video, audio and text – making for a more intimate virtual educational experience. I also appreciated that the movements were presented in a time line where you could not go ahead in the training. Having a few days for each exercise or daily practice helped me to focus and to stay on track.
The Hanna Somatics work is brilliant, and I am very grateful to have found this particular course that is taught by an expert teacher and at a incredibly affordable price! The Somatic practice has built my confidence, as I now have Somatic tools for bringing relaxation and alignment to my body. With this confidence I now push my body harder in life and in sports without hesitation. I will be 60 this year, and so I feel comfort in knowing that I can grow older while avoiding the usual issues seniors have. I am working towards my Hanna Somatic Equine Certification, and so doing this work on myself has brought a whole new level of understanding to the work with the horses. In addition, I am no longer ‘sore’ after riding horses! The horses are happier too because I am more balanced and at ease when I ride or work with them!”
“I’ve been to physical therapy on different occasions and these exercises have helped me immensely more than anything else I’ve tried. I have had back issues since childhood and it has been just a miracle not to be in pain daily, and I’m looking forward to feeling better and better and more at home in my body.”
“I have been a hairstylist for 60 years and still working. The last 4 years I suffer lower lumbar problems, discs and facet joints, in addition to that I also severed my Achilles’ tendon two years ago. I had radio ablation treatments and a steroid shot. The steroid injection worked, let’s say 50%. Luckily my pain specialist in the Nanaimo, Vancouver Island pain clinic took me aside and told me that this steroid injection most likely will help me, BUT if you want to be pain free, you have to do it yourself, with the Clinical Somatics exercises. I just finished the first course and must say I feel so much better. I went from 6 T3 and 12 Advils a day to 2 of each per day. Hopefully soon none. The exercises are nothing short of amazing. I spend 1 hour or more every day doing them, and I can’t wait to wake up. Unlike before when I exercised I truly enjoy any minute doing them. Thank you Sarah Warren.”
“I am very thankful someone asked me to check somatic exercises when I was in pain. I took strong medication the first week of December 2018. They made me pain free but I thought about my future under drugs and decided to quit the medication and exercise. I am a strong athlete but my spondylolisthesis diagnosis made me not do much. I was given shots early 2019 but it did not help much. I have lived in pain with only OTC medications. My Dr. had scheduled for ablation in May but due to COVID I could not go in. In desperation searching for alternatives I stumbled upon somatic exercises and immediately my life changed. I enrolled in the Level One and Two Courses. I have been sleeping and eating well. I have continued with my daily 2 mile walking and occasionally running. I am glad my pain has decreased from a 10 to 3. I am hoping it completely disappears. I have also read The Pain Relief Secret, Somatics 101, and thinking and doing books to help with my mind set. I am an aggressive athlete and hopefully the exercises will keep keeping me strong. I was 189 lbs in December 2018. I am down to 172lbs but the most success I am enjoying is less pain and peaceful sleep that I had yearned for. I am also hoping to gain more flexibility. Thank you Sarah Warren.”
“Where do I begin with so much to say about my experience so far with this course? I have just finished Level One and am now working my way through Level Two, into which I am excited to delve a lot deeper, get specific and see where it takes me.
I am 45 (although feel an old lady at times) and for many years now, have been in some pain throughout my life, some stemming back from 17 years old, and more recent over the last 5 years.
Over the years I have tried many treatments, therapies, techniques, massages etc etc…….. I have found several things along the way to help ease my symptoms, expand my knowledge and learning, giving me better understanding of my body, but still felt there was something amiss. I was at a real sense of loss as to what and how I could help myself and what may work, having tried so many things but not always feeling lasting change.
A lot of the time we end up putting our bodies, our healing, into the many hands of others, hoping that they can and will fix us! What I have found and love with Clinical Somatics is that you have more power than you think to create some amazing shifts and changes for yourself, by yourself, obviously guided by Sarah.
I am someone that has always charged ahead, tried to always do more and push!! All the time with my body too. I also am hyper mobile so my body naturally always seems to want to go further too. This practice helps me to really slow down, do less at times and never push, never create more pain. It’s helped me to become even more aware and present, with not only my body but my breathe and my emotions too. As someone that for many years has been disconnected on so many levels, especially with my body due to injury/trauma, this is something that I feel can and will bring you back in touch and in tune. It’s the key!!
We then all found ourselves in lockdown from March and I was completely all over the place and in massive panic and fear at the thoughts of no outside treatment!! No massage, of which I felt I could never do without, no other treatments to help ease my pains and no physio!!!
Also just a couple of weeks prior, my mum sadly passed away. The reason for me disclosing this is I want to give a full sense of how bad I felt. While my body was semi ok with some of the things I was doing, no pain while I spent the last 2 weeks of her life in hospital. My pain then come back with a vengeance.
In just a few short months, Level One has opened me up to a whole new world, my world!! And the possibility of a less painful and pain free one too!! It has been a consistent lifeline!! Not only has it helped ease pain, I have found something that helps ground me, brings me back to my body and my breath and also my pain to then help re-educate, ease and nurture myself through it.
I have had some amazing changes already! And it is a life skill that I can now help ease, adjust and change my life. It’s helped me to start unraveling a lot of deep tension, reconnecting to myself. It’s helped me to notice my patterns of tension and movement, and to work towards changing them, becoming more bodily aware, showing me what parts of my body I may need to explore more, what and where in my life I may need to change. It’s felt like a complete overhaul on my whole system!! And for that I couldn’t be more grateful!!!
Reading The Pain Relief Secret book alongside this has been of much benefit in helping me to understand pain more too. The course is super easily set out, exercises are sent with enough time to go at a comfortable steady pace, and slower if needed. You will learn lots about yourself, which can surely only be a great thing.
May this get out to more people, may you gift yourself this knowledge, may you find ease and peace in your life, free from your pain.”
“Sarah’s Somatic movement courses are fabulous! I highly recommend them to anyone who needs to think about and pay attention to how they move through daily life. Sarah’s presentation makes this work very accessible, even to the uncoordinated, like me. Her guidance is very clear and paced extremely well so that following along feels natural. Her cues and hints are right on — she is very knowledgeable about how this work feels, and I appreciate all the care and thoughtfulness that obviously went in to making these videos and audio recordings. Many of these movements will stay as part of my routine — it feels like a superpower to be able to slow my movements down, think about what muscles are working and re-train my nervous system. I only wish I’d started to learn this 40 years ago!! As a side benefit, I found these exercises feel meditative and mentally refreshing as well. Thank you!”
“I have very much enjoyed the Level One Course and plan in the near future to also take Level Two. I had no idea what pandiculation was until I ran across the word when researching Feldenkrais in preparation for an upcoming online workshop. I had recently begun treatment for a bulging disc in my lower lumbar. The more I looked into pandiculation, the more I was convinced this would be incredibly helpful for the healing process and beyond. This was mid July. After the very first exercise (done right before bed) the improvement in how my lower back felt was so obvious. Far less tension and pain. It was amazing!
I am so pleased to say that not only is my disc/lumbar recovery complete, but I was able to identify a very tight left psoas muscle because of your course. My range of motion and strength in regards to my left leg and iliopsoas is so much improved that it has become clear that it played a significant role in helping to create the disc injury in the first place. Add in too much stressful sitting in front of a computer all day and beyond for 2 1/2 months prior (something that is not normal for me) and the recipe for my injury this summer becomes quite obvious.
Currently, I am simply working through what I have learned in Level One and really working to solidly incorporate these exercises into my daily routine. Again, wanting to simply work with the current exercises and really feel the very gently positive impact they have on my body. I am moving better. I am sleeping better. My core is better aligned and stronger.
Thank you for continuing Thomas Hanna’s work. Thank you for your gentle and concise instruction. It truly was a God-send!”
“I’ve never followed through with exercise plans. But I actually looked forward to doing these exercises every day. I have experienced an uneven hip situation for many years, with no control from PT, regular exercises, chiropractic or massage. The difference now is that when I feel my hips need attention, I now know which exercises will help me. I feel like I am now in control, instead of being at the mercy of the pain, discomfort and fatigue. I also thoroughly enjoyed your book. I thank you so much. Also, I was amazed that you actually responded to my queries in emails. Thank you again.”
“I just wanted to give you my thanks and feedback on the Level One Somatics course. I started the program 2 weeks ago and have already made more progress on the chronic muscle tightness I’ve had all my adult life than I have in the last 10 years of doing regular yoga, stretching, massage and chiropractic. I tore the labrum muscle in my left hip about a year and a half ago and regained a lot of my mobility and strength through physical therapy, but I’ve never made any significant progress in releasing the extreme tightness in my hips, core and glutes. That was until I discovered your course. I had been looking forward to the iliopsoas movement ever since I started the course 2 weeks ago and I finally got to it yesterday. It was challenging to keep my back pressed against the floor but after just a few reps on either side I was able to feel so much release and relaxation once I stood up. I do deep breathing exercises as a way to stretch and often times struggle with deep diaphragmatic breathing but just this morning after one day of the iliopsoas movement, I was able to do deep diaphragmatic breathing with almost no effort or concentration. I am truly amazed with all the results I’ve seen in such a short time. I never really felt like living in a pain/discomfort free body was ever attainable for me until now. I’m sure you get messages like this all the time but I’m also sure it never gets old knowing that you’ve made a difference in other people’s lives and I just wanted you to know the difference you’ve made in mine. My only regret is I didn’t come across this program years ago!“
“I would just like to say how grateful I am to have been given complete care and understanding on how to care and bring healing to the body. I have learned how to listen to my body and how to take care of it when over-exerted in some way through work or play. I sleep well now and have better balance and better discipline in managing relaxing time each day. I look forward to continuing on in this new way of living life. Thank you for sharing this at a very affordable way.”
“I wanted to take a moment to tell how beneficial this work is for me. I am a 66 year-old contemporary dancer, creating, performing and training still. I have had experience with all sorts of movement work, and Feldenkrais patterns and processes are familiar to me, as is the Alexander Technique, and some others like the Mitzvah Technique which is a little more obscure and only in Canada I think. I certainly recognize and appreciate the simplicity, awareness and mental focus of the Feldenkrais method in Clinical Somatics. I think you have laid out the Level One Course in such an intelligent way. I love that you slowly introduce more sophisticated concepts and senses as the student executes the repeat practices. Your videos are so very clear, and your voice directions really help the student focus. I imagine many students feel expertly guided by your attention to detail. I have noticed all sorts of subtle improvements in the 10 days that I have been practicing. And it is a great pleasure to trust and give oneself over. Thank you for the quality that you bring to this important work.”
“Sarah, yours is the most complete course in the whole category of healing of body (and the mind follows). I’ve scanned and reviewed many and bought into courses on neuroplasticity. Somehow, I found the combination of Somatic Movement, timing my eating (that was inspired by your blog post) and just eliminating the junk in between meals, almost daily gym time, CBD oil, swimming and meditation + writing….to become a re-engineered guy of 75 years of age.
I believe that had I not tolerated the uncomfortable parts, I never would have come this far. I’m convinced I would have been in much worse shape, heavier by 10? kg and depressed about my chronic pain.
Sarah, you were and are a big part of the solution I had been searching for. My thinking had to change from what the doc or med can do for me to what I need to take on directly for myself.
Anyway, as we say in the USA: you da woman now.”
“I enrolled myself here because I was desperately looking for ways to get rid of my right lower back pain. I think I overdid myself and stretched too much when I bent to touch the floor with my fingertips. I didn’t want to prolong my agony so I took a pain reliever, but my pain persisted until I found this on Facebook. I was still quite hesitant, but I did try it. The pain was suddenly gone even with just my first try. Unbelievable but true. For this, I am truly grateful. Thank you Somatic Movement Center. I have shared my joy and the relief I experienced of being pain-free.”
“Sarah Warren’s book, ’The Pain Relief Secret’, was recommended by the pain clinic which I attend. After reading this book, I decided to enroll in the Level One Course. I’m 75 years old and have recently been suffering with chronic pain from sciatica and arthritis. I had Radio-frequency Ablation done on L3-L5, but this just seemed to make my pain worse. I started doing the daily Somatic exercises, and they have become a vital tool in helping me manage my pain. I have followed the exercises over the last 53 days and found them to be perfectly paced. Each day I look forward to being guided by Sarah’s calm voice and her clear and insightful instructions. The accompanying videos are also very helpful. Presently I cannot do the standing awareness at the beginning of the instruction, as it is too painful for me. I use this time to slowly start relaxed breathing on my yoga mat. At the end of the exercise session I am able to stand, pain-free. Thank you for introducing me to this healing program.“
“I am a 61-year-old male and have suffered from lower back problems, often quite severe, for over 20 years ever since I had a laser diskectomy on as prolapsed disc.
For most of this 20 year or so period, I have been able to manage my back problems with the exception of periodic flare-ups caused by one thing or the other – over-exercising, lifting heavy objects etc. My being able to keep my back pain “under control” has been in no small part I believe due to my having a very good Osteopath for the periods of acute pain and also through my going on a “journey of discovery” to learn how to look after my back better. This has led to me at various times practicing Alexander Technique, Pilates, Egoscue Method and Foundation Training. All of these have provided relief to me to a considerable extent and have helped me to some extent correct a very poor posture which I have had since I was a teenager. Nevertheless, through this whole period, I have never been able to get rid of a tightness I feel every morning and often though the day in my lower left side (hip, glute, and lower back).
About three months ago I was introduced to Sarah’s website and started to read about Somatic Movement. I read her and Thomas Hanna’s book and as I read this, I mentally felt as though a light bulb had gone off in my head. The explanation of why we have tight muscles that will not release seemed to describe my condition perfectly. As a result, I felt I had to try Sarah’s Level One Course and I signed up.
Within literally a few sessions, I suddenly found much of the tightness in my lower back easing and then almost disappearing over a period of weeks (I still get the occasional twinge).
I can honestly say that Sarah’s Somatic Movement exercises have taken my body out of pain in a way that has not happened for me before. I also generally feel much more rested and calmer after doing her exercises. I also generally feel I am getting back a greater range of movement and fluidity which is also helped by my doing Tai-Chi.
I would conclude by saying that for me Somatic Movement as a movement principle definitely works and has had a transformational effect for me. However, the results I have had are, I think, in no small part down not just to the nature of the exercises but how they are delivered by Sarah in her online courses. The extraordinary attention to detail in her videos and her calm voice makes it extremely easy and restful to follow.
Thank you Sarah for your simply amazing course. I am now going to sign up for Level Two!”
“I will be turning 80 years old shortly. Since I have been doing the Somatic Exercises for two months faithfully 7 days a week, I no longer have any back pain. In the beginning I was afraid to do the exercises because I thought I would hurt myself but at your suggestion I modified all the exercises. I no longer need to use the electric cart at my supermarket and I cancelled an injection appointment. My girlfriend and I are able to take walks again. My stress level has been greatly reduced and I am much calmer. Pain is no longer waking me up at night and I am sleeping better. The whole program was very easy to follow. Thank you so much.”
“I’d like to profoundly thank you for the difference you’ve made in my life. I’ve suffered from chronic muscle pain for over 10 years and I’ve tried just about everything to find relief. Early on in the pandemic, I discovered Somatics. After learning some basics and practicing the movement, I purchased your Pain Relief book. From there I discovered your website and signed up for the Scoliosis Course. Your instruction made a significant difference in my practice with regards to slowing each release and staying mindful during my practice. The response in my body is nothing short of miraculous. Each time I practice, I feel the relaxation of my muscles and a change in my nervous system’s response.”
“My experience with somatic exercises has been very rewarding so far. The most significant exercise has been the Washcloth, which has greatly improved the feeling and function in my shoulders. Some of the movements are very similar to things I have been doing for years (I have been in the fitness industry for almost 25 years), but this give me a different perspective from which to view some of what I have already been doing. It has already caused me to become more effective when working with people with chronically tight muscles and other issues.
The presentation of this information is wonderful as well and I have been consistently impressed with the quality of the information and the thoughtfulness of the class structure and resources. As much as I would have liked to learn some of the movements earlier, I greatly appreciate having to wait for each new movement. This process helps give enough time to give adequate attention to learning and practicing each new movement. Additionally, having the audio, video, and text content is great. So much content in the health and fitness industry these days feels slapped together as quickly as possibly, but you can tell that a lot of care was taken when putting this together and the user’s experience feels like it was important in the creation of this course.
I look forward to continuing to learn more of the movements and use them to improve my life and the lives of my clients.
“I have had chronic pain my whole life from a congenital birth defect in my right lower extremity, all the way from my hip to my foot. I have been able to greatly reduce and manage the pain using Clinical Somatics exercises. I also had a recent flare-up of pain in my neck, scapula region, shoulders and arms from polymyalgia rheumatica. Very debilitating. Well I was able to use exercises in the Level Two curriculum to manage pain there as well. So much so that I will continue doing them on my own without the aid of steroids or anti-inflammatories.
These exercises done daily is my best prescription to manage pain!“
“This course has changed my life. While finishing Level One, I found out I had a stress fracture in my L5-S1 vertebrae. I had been dealing with what doctors told me was plantar fasciitis for over a year, but 6 months of physical therapy had made no progress and I was in pain daily and could barely walk. It was not until I started doing Clinical Somatics and working on the entire kinetic chain and releasing chronic tightness throughout my back and legs did I see any healing. Committing to these two courses taught me so much, helped me heal, and gave me my active life back. I am still rehabbing, but I always feel my best when I commit to doing Somatics regularly. When I have pain in my feet, I know I need to take care of tightness in my back and legs and listen to and observe my body. All I can say is THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for creating this easy to follow course. I am so grateful.”
“The encouraging, instructive daily emails are my guardrails. This course is amazing and I feel the difference already! It’s a permanent fixture in my morning routine already. For years I had Thomas Hanna’s Somatics book but couldn’t make heads or tails of how to actually do the exercises. Getting to watch the video first and then listen to the instructions is perfect. Thank you for making this available at such a reasonable cost!”
“I signed up for Levels One and Two after this course was recommended to me by a friend who had also had prolotherapy done. Even though I completed my regenerative shots, my pain came back, and it was worse than ever. I have some health problems that complicate my recovery including chronic/persistent Lyme disease for over 40 years and a Fibromyalgia diagnosis. I can’t say enough about how much these classes have helped me, and will continue to help me everyday, as a part of my morning routine. My pain reached a peak this summer with a femoroacetabular impingement (right hip). Fortunately, a Kinesiologist who works with fascia was able to see that my nerve is trapped in the soft tissues that are twisted and tight. My problem, while extremely painful, is not something that can be fixed by surgery. Somatics has helped me get on track. Around the start of Level Two my body started moving on its own in response to the exercises to spontaneously loosen whatever needs to be loosened. The classes are amazing. The video lessons are easy to understand and the voice recordings are easy to follow. When I had questions I submitted them by email and Sarah answered within 24 hours. I would recommend this course to anyone who plans to stay active as they age.”
“First and foremost I would like to thank you so much for your dedication to helping others with the program you designed and provided. I know you have helped so many including myself! I have been searching for over a decade and have had so many different conditions in my body causing stress, pain, and a downward spiral of my quality of life.
I became a yoga instructor but this only brought more pain and discouragement. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica that I knew my body could and would heal itself if I kept searching for answers.
And then by the grace of God I found Somatics!! I definitely want to continue with my progress and healing. And I would love to become certified so I can help others!!
Thank you again!!”
“As a movement and yoga teacher I am aware of the importance of movement and structural alignment to manage my scoliosis, but nothing has been as beneficial and enlightening as this course. Somatic movement is a re-education for my body to release long held patterns and tension and allow greater ease. Like everything that is beneficial it takes regular practice and commitment but I can guarantee if you wholeheartedly practice this course will deliver.”
“Thank you Sarah. I feel so lucky that I stumbled across your site at a time I had been suffering with chronic hip pain for so many months. It was a time when I was at my lowest ebb and the pain I was experiencing was absolutely excruciating. During this time, despite having 3 MRI’s and seeing 4 different consultants/surgeons and countless physiotherapists, but was getting nowhere. Every one of them was telling me different things as to what was wrong, but there was never a definitive diagnosis. Until my pain started, I had always been pretty fit and healthy so it was a real eye opener to find out that the best medical professionals available could not even tell me what was wrong with me. This was until the last surgeon I saw told me I needed a hip replacement! I have always been very active and I was stunned to hear this news…I just wasn’t prepared to accept it and decided to do all the research I possibly could to find a better solution….and I am still thanking my lucky stars I came across your site. I am a Personal Trainer and at the time I was doing a course so that I could specialize in the rehabilitation of stroke survivors. Therefore, I was already aware of neuroplasticity, but hadn’t actually made the connection that this might also be key to helping myself out of pain. I’ve got so much out of the Level One and Two Courses – I still can’t quite believe I’m out of pain!“
“Two years ago, I was involved in a vehicle accident. I was in chronic pain and unable to move with the same ease as I did prior to the accident. I was unable to find relief until coming across Sarah Warren’s website. Within a few days, I began to see a notable difference in my movement. Nine months later I have gained back much of my mobility, and I am thrilled to be earning my certification, so I can share the exercises with my community. Thank you Sarah Warren!”
“My daughter’s symptoms seem to line up with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. She has been through 3 rounds of physical therapy, acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy, chiropractic care, osteopathic treatments, 5 sessions of SOMA massage, and dietary modifications to try to treat her pain and fatigue. The only thing that has provided consistent results for pain relief is your Clinical Somatics program.
As her mom, it has been difficult to see her suffer for the last 4 years and not be able to find tools to relieve her pain so I am very grateful that you have made this program available! I purchased your book and look forward to reading more in depth about it and we have been mentioning your program to other friends we know who have various chronic pain issues. I wish more people knew about your program and how wonderful it is!“
“I love this program. It has helped me a lot to regain my strength and energy after a period of illness/burnout. This approach was exactly what I needed as there was a lot of tension in my body and muscle pain. I started very slowly at first, and gradually built upon it. I feel a great difference now, having become stronger, more relaxed and mostly pain free. Thank you!”
“Thank you for being such a good steward of somatic work. This movement has helped heal my adapted ballet body and I am able to apply its concepts to my coaching. I noticed it immediately felt as if I were in a mindful “dance class” with a present/aware dance coach. I had been wary of taking a movement class online but have since discovered it is wonderfully accessible and fits into my schedule effortlessly. Thank you for helping me heal. Blessings to you and your work.”
“I had a traumatic car accident in 1992 in which I fractured my acetabulum – thanks to my lifesaving seatbelt! I was left with a small leg length discrepancy that I barely noticed. I never attributed my various aches and pains to it until I visited a chiropractor who specialized in “leg length discrepancy.” The chiropractor gave me a shoe insert to wear and so I did. Not even a year later, Somatic Movement Center started sending info to me about their courses that could fix leg length discrepancy. It sounded too good to be true but I figured for $45 it was worth a try!
I practiced everyday – unfortunately I was practicing in my shoes because I had a new insert I had trained myself to wear – and I started having knee pain. Then it occurred to me I should not be wearing shoes when I practiced – so I removed them when I practiced. The pain stopped and I was able to stop wearing the insert completely! It was a miracle! I never dreamed I could fix my leg length discrepancy – but I did thanks to Somatic Movement Center!“
“Just a quick note to share my experience so far and to express my gratitude!
I had acute lower back pain a few weeks ago. By chance I read The Pain Relief Secret. Doing the exercises since then – my pain is practically gone and back is much freer.
For the last many years at work I have been sitting 10+ hours per day as desk, in car, on airplanes – working under a lot of stress at times.
While reading the post on psoas yesterday – the point on chronic tightness and the emotional connection registered with me. I reckon my psoas (es!) have been chronically restricted for years – together with most of the other muscles in my body. My reaction was anger and frustration at how I could have let this happen!
Since doing the Iliopsoas Release yesterday evening – I have started walking in a new way – which feels as if I’m “lower down or sinking” and moving many more muscles in a very gentle way. It feels great. I can feel movement up my spine into my neck. Before I felt I was walking on stilts compared to now. Emotionally I feel much more relaxed.
Most likely it will take many months to fully unwind – but this discovery yesterday has given me new hope and vigour!
Just to add – having worked in industry for years I can honestly say the Level One Course material is the best I have encountered.
Many Thanks Sarah!”
“I feel great. The exercises have not only relaxed the tense areas in my body but also my mind and especially my nervous system is at ease. I am really aware of what’s going on in my body and have developed that mind body connection. My leg length discrepancy has almost disappeared. I only feel the rotation in my pelvis, but that is slowly healing too. I used to suffer from the following: Pain in my right QL when seated for long hours, pain in my right shoulder and neck, not able to sleep on my back without lifting up my knees under a pillow, headaches, migraines, IBS, and not breathing properly with my full lung function, numbness in my right leg when flexing my upper body.
I had a heel lift in my left shoe to balance my pelvis, but after doing the whole program of Sarah Warren’s – Clinical Somatics for Scoliosis and having read her book to understand exactly how Somatics works, I managed to almost heal all my symptoms! My scoliosis unwinded and I can clearly see myself more elongated and almost straight in the mirror. Thank you Sarah. I am very glad I stumbled upon your website. Life saver.”
“I have been working through SI issues and low back pain for many years with little improvement. But, I have found relief from these somatic movement practices! I have much more awareness of where I am holding chronic tension and I can now release those areas with these practices. The 20-35 minute daily practices are a great way to start my day, and sometimes end my day before bed. Thank you for such a comprehensive course that has jump starting me on the somatic movement path.”
“I’ve been practicing somatics since May 2020. A lot of testimonials I have seen this, being completely relieved of ailments seems to be the general consensus and I believe them. However, Somatics, like Sarah expresses, is a journey. Amongst the small benefits I have experienced on this journey for the past five months roughly, I have had my share of doubt. No before any one that maybe be reading this thinks “Oh no! This is a bad review!”, it is not. In fact, it is not. I merely wish to post a testimonial that I would like to have seen during my experience these past five months. Somatics has been great for my muscle tension relief, I’ve been enjoying the small benefits, day-in and day-out. Since May 7th I have only missed 5 days total of somatic practices. That being said I’m maybe 3-5% of the way to achieving the body control and relief that I desire. I’m 22, much younger than many of the people in these testimonials, and my progress has been that slow. Sarah mentions on numerous occasions and her book that this is can be a very slow, gradual process. That could not be more true. I’m saying all this to say, if you are like me, whose put diligent and thorough work into their somatic journey for x amount of time on end, aren’t anywhere close to where you want to be, and doubt may be looming, I implore you to keep going. You wouldn’t plant a seed in the ground, only to keep digging it up to see if it is growing, would you? Just keep tending to it, and eventually it will bud. Part of what makes a flower so beautiful is how long it took to grow. Be patient with yourself and do what you can to the best of your ability. I’ll continue on my journey, and I hope those who are in the same boat do the same.“
“I am a senior citizen and was experiencing severe sciatic pain and found I had scoliosis. These movements have greatly improved my posture and movement! The pain is much less and I am able to sit for much longer periods than before without the pain! I also didn’t realize how much my posture was off! I can’t believe how good it feels to stand straight again. I still need to work on my lower back and glute tightness but the improvement feels great! Thank you! I can’t wait to do some hiking in the spring!”
“Having been to an osteopath, 2 physios, and tried gentle yoga for over a year, with none of them giving me relief from my lower back and hip problems, I stumbled upon Clinical Somatics on the internet and decided to try it. My lower back stiffness lessened after 3 days of doing Arch & Flatten. I followed the first course with great results and decided to do the second course to give me a more holistic, rounded practice. I have felt so many benefits from this practice, even managing to do some digging in the garden without pain or stiffness. I will continue to practice to keep my body feeling better. I highly recommend these courses!”
“I am almost finished Level One! Wow!! Two months ago I could only walk about 200 yards using my hiking poles. I have been active my entire life, xc skiing, hiking, swimming, kayaking, biking…I could do nothing. I bought Thomas Hanna’s book, struggled with learning the exercises, then found your book and your Level One Course.
I have progressed from 200 yards to 3-5 miles daily. Yesterday I climbed a mountain!! I love, love the course, the daily email keeps me on track and the progress sheet. Thank you!!”
“When I came to Somatic Movement Center I was experiencing so much psoas pain I could barely walk. By the time I got to the Iliopsoas Release exercise, the pain had already greatly eased. With sciatica, from polio as a child, at age 75 I am now slowly correcting major posture issues. I have learned it is all about proprioception, using slow and focused movements. Although added strength results, it is allowing rather than forcing. I will cheerfully and carefully be doing these exercises for as long as I am able.”
“I am a qi gong teacher, and Clinical Somatics exercises have really helped me to become even more aware of my body. Since I have begun practicing somatics exercises regularly, I also notice that the flow of energy in my body during qi gong practice is much more intense. I feel my body as one, united, but I did not feel that before. I also practice transcendental meditation and I’ve found a correlation between TM and Clinical Somatics in terms of reducing stress in the nervous system. It happens many times that I transcend during somatic exercises.”
“I am so thankful that I found Somatic Movement Center! I was looking for ways to reduce the pain in my right hip and found your website. The exercises in your Level One Course helped me tremendously to relieve tension and pain in my lower back, strengthen my lower back, relieve tension and pain in my neck, shoulders, trapezius, and hips. And…what is the most extraordinary is my overall relaxed physical and mental body. I have had a paradigm shift in my thinking about how to keep myself healthy. And…I can do it from home in my own time. Thank you for your online course.”
“I have been through some bad accidents in my life. One of them was very serious as I got hit by a car while riding my bicycle. Luckily I just broke 6 ribs and 2 vertebrae but since then I feel that something is wrong with my body. I become weak during the years, my hips are not even and my back is in constant pain. I’ve been to every therapist on the market. Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Healers, Massages, Chinese medicine styles and more. Some of them did help but just for a short period of time. I did Iyenger yoga which supposed to be the Therapy yoga but it didn’t help me as well. Then I discover Somatics and one month after I feel the changes already. I become aware to my posture, to my sitting pose and I started to feel muscles I lost contact with. My joints become smoothers and generally I feel hope and happiness.
Sarah’s voice makes me calm and I enjoy listening to her talking. I practice every day, twice a day as I really feel and believe this method is intelligent and unique. I wish many people will hear about it as I know many people that suffer and don’t find a cure for the pain. Thanx a lot Sarah and keep on the good vibe!”
“I’m doing Level Two and I still can’t get past the 20-30 minute mark in the 60-minute Level One full class…. I end up falling asleep on the floor because so much tension is relieved! Hahaha. Every single time!
On days I don’t practice when coming home late from work, I’d be up until 3-4am tossing and turning in bed, clenching my teeth/jaw, sleep a couple of hours, wake up with a headache then feel tensed-up, tired, bloated, and cranky in the office the next day.
Prior to Somatics, I was doing private pilates classes 3-4x weekly for 3 years. During those sessions I feel great but within hours of stepping out the studio I’m back to the tightness and pain. Despite regular and challenging (also expensive) classes, results were not sticking and I still could not properly engage my core or reverse my hunched-over posture which was affecting my general physical and mental health. I started hating myself for failing to achieve the results that I desperately needed. I felt I had no control over my movements and my body parts just won’t cooperate.
Two weeks into Level One, I could start activating my core and rolling back my shoulders on most days. It’s been over 2 months since I started Somatics and I look taller, slimmer, feel lighter, breathe easier, think clearer, handle stress better, move steadier on my feet and somehow also a bit stronger from regular practice.
I’m so happy to be falling asleep on the floor and look forward to what Level Two can do for me. Thank you for making Clinical Somatics accessible!“
– Love and support from the Philippines!
“I have struggled with bad back pain for most of my adult life. I am 6’6” and now 250 lbs. I was 290 lbs for most of my adult life since college football. I herniated 3 discs while playing football in college. I also suffered a femur break as a teenager. For over 20 years I have tried everything to no avail. At 42 I can barely tie my shoes in the morning. I’ve done Yoga, PT, chiropractic care that cost $1000’s, and a lot of dry needling. Cortisone injections, epidurals, I have avoided surgery but against the advice of many doctors. What I found is that all of those things may have alleviated pain for a moment in time, but the issues just returned.
What I have discovered in the last few years is that my broken leg healed longer than my other. This has compounded all issues in my hip and SI joints. The herniated disc did heal but with scarring and arthritis. I have severe atrophy in one leg from the nerve damage.
The somatic movements have allowed me to cancel my SI joint fusion and prolong the cortisone shots. Time will tell if I can stop them all together. Being a former college athlete, I must admit it seemed crazy that such simple, small movements would work but I’ve stayed the course. To my pleasant surprise, I have a significant reduction in pain. Now, my mornings are much easier. 20 mins of somatic movements and I am moving better than I have in years. Being a contractor, I am very active. I can lift and move better than I have in years. I can even bring in strength training for the first time without feeling like I’m gonna have to just quit from the pain.
Thank you. I am grateful to have come across this therapy and have referred it to many people.”
“You have done an amazing job of putting your website together. You are an excellent teacher and I love that you back up what you say with science. I am grateful that you designed the Level One Course to help us integrate a lifestyle change which includes voluntary pandiculation and body consciousness.
Thank you for all the work, love and devotion you put into your teaching. I feel truly blessed that you have come into my life. And I look forward to continuing with the Level Two Exercises upon completion of Level One.”
“Just had to write you to let you know how amazing these 30+ days have been to my posture and movement. Today, after finishing the Washcloth and Class 3, I went for my usual morning walk. Wow! What a difference in the motion/movement of my spine and hips! I had been trying to make my feet straight as I walked, but today, with the freedom of movement, everything was as it should be. Thank you, thank you! Can’t wait to see what the next 30 days brings!”
“I had polio when I was 10. It was a mild case, but it left my left leg apparently a 1/2 inch shorter than my right. I was recently diagnosed with 12% Scoliosis, but I don’t think they got everything.
I’m 77 now. In the Scoliosis course I learned that my left hip is farther back than my right, and also higher and tipped backward a little, whereas my right hip is tipped a little forward. My left shoulder is fairly relaxed while my right shoulder is hiked up and curves a little forward, so it doesn’t appear to be as wide as the left. So, there is a diagonal twist running from my left hip to my right shoulder.
This distortion is the result of tight muscles–different ones on each side. I am truly amazed to have realized all of this in as much detail as I have, and I have seen tremendous improvement since I first came to the Somatic Movement Center with a tight Psoas muscle 2-1/2 years ago. The muscles I couldn’t even feel, that are hiking up my left hip are starting to relax now!
I know it can only get better and will certainly not get worse, as long as I continue to do the exercises. I view them as part of my daily morning meditation, and my pattern is firmly established. So, I look forward to further realizations and increasing flexibility for the rest of my life.”
“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.”
“Sarah, I am so glad that I found you. I became a somatic yoga instructor 2 years ago, and I am so happy I found you because I love the way you explain the movements. I have been very active all my life. I overuse my body. I was a professional Cuban marathon runner for 9 years, but I was a runner for 17 years and fitness and dance instructor since I was 20, and now I am 50. I’m still fit and strong, but I had a bad pain in my hips and after 4 days of practicing Clinical Somatics exercises I was fine. Now I follow your instructions every day, morning and night and still I feel more AMAZING. Thanks a lot Sarah. Every day I say you thank you in my mind. Thanks a lot again for your wonderful work. Your amazing website that I always learn something from. Almost every day I read one of your articles. You are awesome. Thanks again and again! I want to do your course to become a Certified Exercise Instructor so that I can help more people.”
“I’ve gone from sometimes not being able to walk 50 yards to delivering packages for UPS as a seasonal driver 6 days a week for several weeks without issues! I’m 65 years old! Seriously effective!”
“I have been doing somatic exercises for more than twenty years. My first teacher was Marilyn Warnock, who learned from and worked with Thomas Hanna. I had become lazy, hurried, all the things we become when we have only our own self as a teacher. I was hurting is more than one place. Sarah has brought me back to ground and keeps me on the path. I am still working some kinks out but I know this is the right way and I thank Sarah from the bottom of my heart for all these recorded lessons.”
“One realizes that Somatic Education really becomes an integral part of life. It’s easy to forget to do the exercises, or maybe only focus on an Arch & Curl daily, but then when you strain something or start to feel the stress creeping in, a thoughtful return to the breadth of the exercises Sarah has offered, does the trick. I feel as if I’m recalibrating my inner peace and my body thanks me for it. Thanks so much for your work, Sarah.”
“I am so happy that I found this program before the Pandemic affected the United States with the Shut Down last February/March. I sustained a sprain injury while exercising in January. I was strongly considering going to the Back specialist once again but fortunately before doing that, my random google searches for pain relief resulted in finding your wonderful program. I am very grateful for the way you prepared your program to only allow a little at a time. I have Plantar Fasciitis/Gastrocnemius (very tight) and after the first 2 exercises I felt great relief within 10 minutes. That was faster than any other method I’ve tried such as: progressive ice dipping, physical therapy, cryotherapy, epsom salt baths with essential oils, heat therapy wraps/pads, etc and so forth. I’ve downloaded your exercises to my Dropbox and will continue to do the Daily Practice classes once to twice daily. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time out to create such a wonderful program. It has helped me tremendously.“
“Having worked through Level One and Two since early January the overall pain, tension and stress in my body has reduced significantly. I am sleeping better. I feel looser playing golf and recovery is quicker. Having started on the Long Classes (excellent!) I now find it easier to do the One-sided and Diagonal Arch & Curls, also the Seated Hamstring Release therefore my flexibility is improving. I am more aware now of where most of the tension is and can focus on this. The beneficial effects are cumulative – i.e. the longer I am doing Somatics the better it gets!”
“I read your book and then found your courses in early March 2020 just before Lockdown here in the UK. It felt like a gift had landed on my desk. Your excellent advice, to take control of the recovery of your own body and to believe firmly that you could do it was invaluable.
At the beginning I could only walk a few minutes before my muscles became stiff and painful. By the end of Level Two, I was taking a daily walk of an hour-and-a-half and with no pain. There are still a few areas of my lower back that will benefit from somatics and I can see no reason to give up any time soon. The exercises, as you say, continue to offer more and more.
The other things I have loved about your course include the daily email and the fact that you do not apply any pressure to persuade your clients to spend more money. I also enjoyed the blogs and found them very helpful. Best wishes and thank you.”
“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.”
“I wanted to let you know how much better I feel when I do your course exercises. I was able to relieve the knee pain that I have had for 25 years. So happy about that!
I also feel less achy overall. Another unforeseen benefit: This summer I had to have my third abdominal surgery in 9 years. I was able to keep my back muscles so much more relaxed by doing somatics during recovery. I did modified mini versions right in my hospital bed. Thank you so much for your calming voice and wonderful teaching!”
“I had a long standing issue with lower back pain and symptoms of pain related to compression of the sciatic nerve resulting in difficulty with walking any more than a few hundred yards before having to stop to let the pain subside; walking again soon caused the symptoms to re- start. An MRI showed a bulging disc, spondylolisthesis grade 2 and spinal stenosis. I am 69 years of age and have led a very active life, but also a lot of sitting in awkward positions as my occupation was dentistry. I have done the Level One and Two Somatic Movement courses in parallel with Pilates 121 and classes. I am pleased to report that a year later and after much hard work the symptoms are resolved and I can walk long distances again. Neck, shoulder, and posture problems along with pain on sitting have also greatly improved.
I have found the Somatic Education course very well executed and clear and easy to follow at all times. I cannot thank you enough for the help and improvements I have experienced over the year and intend to carry on with the exercises for the foreseeable future. I have also enjoyed Sarah`s book and am re-reading it again, it is so full of wisdom and insight.“
“I found Somatic Movement Center 7 months ago when I did an internet search for a stretch for the psoas muscle. After reading the testimonials on the web site I decided to try the programs. I am so glad I did!!!
I am 69 and have suffered a lifetime of muscle and back pain. I was a W sitter as a child and very shy. I developed poor posture and tense muscles from social discomfort. In my late 30s I sent through the series of 10 sessions with a Rolfing deep massage practitioner. My cervical, thoracic, and lumbar pain was much reduced. By doing yoga I further helped my posture and tight hamstrings. However over the next 30 years I continued to struggle with various noticeable muscle imbalances and pain.
Within 6 weeks of starting the Level One Course I noticed I no longer was stiff in the mornings when I woke up. It was quite a revelation as I thought it was an inevitable part of aging. I have now completed Level Two as well.
I have learned what muscles hold tension, how to release that tension, and how to focus better on individual muscles as I do strengthening exercises. Muscle strengthening exercises have improved dramatically for me. I regularly release tension in targeted muscles and have greatly reduced muscle soreness and muscle tightness. I knew some of my problem muscles before starting this program but am now better aware of many more including my face muscles. I am currently working on routines to target my problem areas and experimenting with reducing tension wherever I am. An example is doing a trapezius release while driving.
These two programs have changed my life for the better and I am confident that the techniques I have learned will benefit me for the rest of my days. These two programs are well instructed and appear to be useful for people of all ages with a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems.”
“Thank you, Sarah for a logical and knowledgeable explanation of how our muscles work and acquire tensions over time. Your exercises worked great not only for my muscular release, but also reduced greatly my stress level without taking any pills. Great thanks for your help to enter a new life without stress, Sarah.”
“It is amazing how quickly this series of movements had an effect. I have done Tai Chi & Yoga for 4 & a half years, neither had the same effectiveness as Somatics. I am feeling less pain & the kink in my spine is healing. Sleep has improved, I am enjoying walks again. When the release comes I have experienced juddering, tears, laughter. I never yawned so hard in my life. All part of the healing process. 10 out of 10 with a cherry on top.”
“I am in far less pain physically & mentally [after practicing Clinical Somatics]. Which is a blessing in and of itself. I recommend somatics unreservedly. The Level Two Course is more intense. The postures had me go back to my Level One Course to strengthen the basics. My hips feel more even, my spine is straighter. I feel younger in myself after just 5 months practicing somatics. I have practiced almost daily, listening to how I feel internally/mentally.”
“I have experienced a lot of different kinds of bodywork to reduce muscular tension, including home exercises. There simply has not been anything as powerful or as easy to go to as somatic movement. I talk to everyone about giving it a try and how feasible it is, and telling them Sarah is a top-notch online instructor. Enjoy!”
“This course was extremely good for me.
On the level of awareness: I became much more aware of my body; how do I move, what is happening when feeling pain…
On the level of flexibility: I feel my body is much more flexible. Actually, I became much more flexible to do my yoga practice.
Sleeping: As I am practicing before going to bed, I feel my sleeping is calm and deep.
Pain: I used to have pain in my right hip joint, lower back and neck. Now I feel myself much better, and even if pain happens, I know what can I do to feel much better.
Breathing: I feel that I am much better.
Stress: The daily practice giving me good feeling – for me it’s a meditation.
The training is not only helping me, but I also I used some of the exercises to help my children when having pain, mostly at the lower back. I also used some of the exercises with my students at the yoga class and it was so good.
Thank you so much for this wonderful course.”
“I have tried different videos of somatics before, and it did not do much. But doing it the way you teach makes a difference in my mind and in my body. What I find the most efficient is to release as slowly as I can, to relax at the end of the movement and pause. Standing body scan is also very important. I feel physically more aligned and mentally more centered. relaxed and calm. The morning practice works better for me, as I feel tight after a night in bed.”
“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.”
“Level Two has been just as compelling as Level One in terms of personal discovery, particularly with many of the shoulder and upper torso exercises. For years, I have been under the impression that I had developmental scoliosis–my postural pattern included a raised left shoulder and a rotation in the upper body. But as I began to work with the scapula scoops and shoulder directions, my left shoulder blade and the whole left side of my body began to release. And in doing the proprioceptive side bending exercise, I suddenly realized that my torso was shifted left, and as I felt my joints stack up, the rotation and elevation on the left side of my body disappeared. I was astounded both at how simple this release was, and how I had, for years, misconstrued the nature of my postural pattern. From the exercises, I have developed a personal practice that keeps me from reverting to that long held postural habit, and even though I never had pain as a result of it, I feel so much more at ease in my body. Another completely unexpected outcome is that I am able to execute yoga postures that were completely unavailable to me, especially seated twists–and, I can do them with equal ease on both sides of my body, all from this very simple, powerful somatic work. In fact, I much prefer the somatic exercises to the yoga practice I used to do (and still do on occasion) as a preparation for seated pranayama and meditation. This work is life-changing, and I thank you heartily for making it widely accessible.”
“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!”
“I just completed a 3-hour course on chronic pain syndromes, re: pathology and massage therapy implications. Included in this, we are starting to talk about LONG COVID. We talked about Irritable Bowel. Man! The difficulties in approaching an abdomen. So sensitive. Along with THE nervous system being a common denominator in these issues, self-empowerment also becomes a factor. I so very much wish to shout out to the world “PLEASE GIVE SOMATIC MOVEMENT A TRY!!!” This practice, right from the start, feels self-empowering. It is regaining control!
And Sarah, there is just nothing to lose with your teachings. We are not having to give up time with our kids to do one of the movements well. Even a good massage appointment with the commute might take a couple of hours! Find a quiet small space in your house, lay down, do arch and flatten. 10 minutes. VOILA! Also, the investment in money. There just is nothing that costs less and has equal effect. I repeat, NOTHING lost, only gains.
Thank you as always, for that, for your website, for sharing your instructional talents for such an affordable rate. It is a gift.”
“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!”
“Clinical Somatics has been outstanding for me. My posture has improved significantly. I have become much more conscious of the various muscle groups and how I use them and the less than ideal ways I have drifted into standing and sitting in the past. There is much work to still be done, but I know that these exercises will stay with me and continue to help me keep free from pain and tension pretty much everywhere in my body.”
“This somatics course was amazing! Easy to follow. It helped me develop a daily somatics exercise practice. My neck pain is completely gone! I am more aware of my posture and body movement habits that could lead to pain. I love that I now have the tools to heal my own pain!“
“For the first time in my life, in my forties, I feel connected with my body. Having been a bodyworker for 20 years, I was aware of tension and pain on a daily basis which gained only temporary relief from manual therapy or exercise. I also suffered from stress and anxiety. After a particularly stressful period in my life I came across somatics and started reading. It has opened up a whole new chapter in my life. Reading Sarah’s book and following through the Level One lessons, I gradually noticed a physical and mental shift in myself which has led to a much happier, healthier me and benefitted my family and clients through that positive shift. I will definitely be continuing my study.”
“I loved the practices! I also loved the pace at which we went through the levels and the instructions were very clear! Thank you for bringing together this wonderful course! My very best wishes to you!”
“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.“
“This course works for functional scoliosis! Muscle imbalances I’ve worked with for years, have diminished by taking this course. Slowing down and understanding pandiculation has made a huge difference for me in how I work with my scoliosis. My posture has improved and my curvature been reduced. Thank you for this offering!”
“I came across Sarah’s book when I was desperately searching for a way to alleviate my recurring back pain and other chronic pains. One moment it would be my hip, then my foot, then my knee or my shoulder. At 54 I felt like a 100 year old. It was an eye opener and I decided to start with the audio classes. After a couple of days I already felt a relief of tension. I think I must have been holding my stomach and other muscles too tight in an attempt to hold myself together. I’ve always been prone to little accidents, and last year I topped it off with 2 bicycle accidents where people just drove in to me and I ended up on the street, black and blue. The pain in my back is as good as gone, I can sit in a chair again for more than 15 minutes. My posture has improved, I feel more confident moving around, less stressed about inflicting pain again. I have started picking up my normal training to regain my strength. After practicing the audio classes for a couple of weeks I have now finished the Level Two course and am looking forward to continuing my practice, I take my time every day. Thank you!”
“The greatest benefit has been a growing awareness of what muscles do what. Positive changes will come but slowly for this 82+ yr old body. An active life style plus some experience with the Alexander Technique and now Somatic Movement are much appreciated!”
“I have a long history of chronic left sided back and hip pain, I have a spondylitis and a few other diagnoses that are all together just irritating to my daily life. I have sprained my back over 30 times. I was a professional modern dancer and I love movement. Years ago back surgery was recommended to me but because I’m very wary of surgeries I chose to just manage my pain. I have tried probably everything you could name but when I came across Clinical Somatics I knew this could not hurt me so I gave it my full attention. For the first 40 days I was still not sold and then I noticed that I was having more pain free days than ever. It has been 6 months and although I still have pain it is much less and I’m back to Pilates and yoga (although less aggressive). I am never going to stop this, I love it. It has changed my life and I feel very grateful.“
“I had plantar fasciitis for months before finding this course. Stretching helped for about 20 minutes, yoga for about 2 hours – then I tried somatics and it helped for the whole day. Gradually, the pain lessened and I returned to walking to work. It took the full five months for me to be pain-free, but I always found the exercises relaxing. Contrary to what I had read, my problem was more with my back and back of leg muscles. So I stopped icing, rolling, etc and just went through the exercises as they came and now I am very glad I did. I plan to continue and address my areas of tightness and stay pain-free. Thank you so much!”
“I found Sarah’s Level One and Level Two Courses to be extremely well done. All the instructional videos and the accompanying written instructions were extremely clear. The pace of the course was great and worked very well for me (as someone who would have skipped ahead if I could have, haha). The pace allowed a very deep experiencing and understanding of the course material to occur. While I had no major injuries or pain to deal with, my body is much freer from doing the course, and the few occasional nagging items like a sore back or knee seem to have faded away. And yes, I will continue to do these exercises, as the benefits are real and I can certainly still improve certain areas. Simply put, the course is great. Dive in! You’ll be glad you did.“
“I have scoliosis and suffered with back pain for as long as I can remember. Ten years ago I slipped discs in my lower back and have been chasing pain ever since. Before lockdown I had trouble walking up the stairs with my left hip flexor. Since doing the scoliosis programme I have learned how to tune into my body and pleased to say I am now pain free. Thank you Sarah for your support throughout the program.”
“I signed up for the Level One and Level Two classes at the beginning of this year to address snapping hip and knee. Unfortunately, then I fell on the ice in February and landed flat on my chest, causing my whole left shoulder to freeze up. The exercises proved tremendously helpful in rehabilitating my back, neck, and shoulder.“
“I have just read The Pain Relief Secret by Sarah Warren and what an excellent book it is, very comprehensive in every way. This book is a must for people with chronic pain, and also health practitioners who will gain from this knowledge.”
“Thank you for the continued education and very productive addition to my health and wellness routine. I enjoy rotating through all of your daily classes and do so on a daily basis :-). I can feel the elasticity and resilience returning and re-establishing its “memory” in all of my connective tissues, muscles, ligaments and I think also in my cartilage. I feel little pin pricks at times analogous to acupuncture which I view as positive as I feel an improved circulation throughout my nervous system.”
“I have and still rely on your exercises and have found them marvelous, reducing muscle tension and strengthening my core. They definitely have retrained my muscles to work as they should. I will continue doing them forever to help muscle spasms.”
“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!“
“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!”
“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!”
“Now that I’ve come to the end of my Level One Course, I would like to let you know a little bit about my experiences. For a couple of years I’ve been struggling with lower back/ hip /gluteal pain. I am very familiar with physical exercises, since I used to be a dancer too, and I’ve also done a lot of yoga and power training. So when my problems began I visited a few therapists and started doing their exercises and also my own. But I wasn’t very successful. Two years ago I did a course in eutony and I realized that I was always training with a goal: becoming stronger, more flexible, becoming better than the day before (a lot of stretching!) and that this was actually giving me stress and more muscle tension instead of less. Doing slow movements, very attentive was not only relaxing but it also taught me something about myself… My pain however didn’t go away and I visited more therapists, sometimes with a bit of result but more often it was a waste of money and time.
Starting with the Somatic Movement Center course was just what I needed! The course is very structured, very well developed, there is a lot of information on your website and the video and audio files are very clear, very straightforward and I love the fact that the movements are simple, subtle but so effective. It gives me a tool to not have to consult a therapist all the time, since to me muscle relaxation is the key to lower my pain. And that is something that only I can accomplish.
However it’s not a quick fix. My pain has decreased but not entirely gone. But it’s getting better every day, and sometimes I have a short relapse but now I know how to make my body ‘softer’ and diminish the pain. Also, doing the movements to me is a kind of meditation. It brings me more than just physical relief, and I find myself on my yoga mat every day, without reluctance (as is sometimes the case with certain other exercises 😉
So I am definitely signing up for Level Two, I am curious and eager to learn more. Thank you Sarah for making somatic movement so easily accessible and for doing so with very comprehensible course material, a lot of loving attention and expertise!”
“I have been noticing that I naturally pandiculate more than I have in years! My body feels so much less stiff and achy. It also feels like I have meditated when I am done with the exercises. I feel calmer and more peaceful. I am amazed by how the simple movements have such a powerful effect on my body and mind and spirit. I definitely have a better range of motion. I have had to change when I do them since they make me so relaxed, I have changed to the evening instead of morning. I have a deteriorated SI joint on my left side. When I started the exercises I was having a lot of trouble walking, going up stairs and hills. Recently I have been able to alternate feet going up the stairs and my walking has steadily improved since I have been doing the Somatic exercises. I am a rebounder too and I could not bounce for a while, but now I am back to bouncing! Thank you for making it available! It is very effective!“
“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.“
“I’ve been having treatment from a chiropractor for back pain for 30 years. Lately I was having to go regularly, once a month or more often during flare-ups. After starting your Somatics course I realized I could manage my back problems myself and have not been back to the chiropractor since June 2019. Apart from saving me hundreds of pounds, it’s a huge sense of increased confidence in my own ability to self-heal and manage my back issues and other problems. Somatics helped me stay physically and mentally healthy during lockdown. I can’t thank you enough. I bought the Level One Course and it’s a fraction of what I was paying the chiropractor and physiotherapists.”
“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.”
“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!
“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!!!”
“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.”
“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 gratitude for your work.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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!“
“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.“
“30 years behind a counter helping customers led to poor posture and terrible back ache and pelvis rotation. To be able to find relief and improvement without pain medication was a plus. The pace of the lessons made me realize that I was moving without any awareness and did not know my body that well. I think that the day I subscribed was my lucky day. Many thanks from France! Hope the courses will be available in French soon.”
“About 6 months ago, I had reached a level of pain in my body that was unbearable. My SI joints tend to lock up which creates pain throughout my core and lower body. In fact, every area of my body is impacted to some degree. I had joined an online support group for SI joint dysfunction and someone mentioned somatic exercises. After doing some searching online, I came upon Sarah’s program for Clinical Somatics and signed up, starting Level One immediately. I journalled everyday and noticed after about a week that my pain had lessened and that I was coping better, both physically and mentally. I diligently practiced everyday, following the prescribed schedule and eventually completed Level Two. What I have noticed is I am able to better manage my pain so I can work everyday but more importantly I can continue to do my physical activities. The pain is less frequent but when it does increase, I trust the somatic exercises to help me in managing. Bonus: I’ve cut back on my physiotherapy treatments! I’m so very grateful to have the opportunity to learn the techniques provided in Sarah’s course. She is a wonderful guide!“
“I teach a movement class based on full dynamic movement of the body, which is naturally somatic in its approach. I had really healed my body from pain and stiffness to it’s fullest extent, or so I thought, until I took your Level One and Level Two Courses. Oh my gosh, incorporating these practices into my evening routine has doubled down on my body awareness and overall health and comfort. Thank you so much.”
“I found Clinical Somatics by chance after searching for information about psoas muscle release. I have had chronic pain in my right hip/lower back area for nearly 2 years and have had several different diagnoses and treatments along the way to no good or lasting end. I felt my body responding immediately on practicing these exercises. It hasn’t been a linear journey and I still have some pain, but it is very much reduced; my pain relief medication has gone down to using it only once in 6 weeks as opposed to every few days. To me this feels significant. My awareness of how I move has increased and I now live with hope and a sense of proactivity that before finding Clinical Somatics I’d lost along the way. Much gratitude for your great video/audio instruction too.”
“I did not come to this course because of pain, but for a feeling of tension in my right side that was starting to interfere with movement and body symmetry. I think this tension storing habit started when I was really young, and has gradually built up over the years so that I was almost constantly aware of it. Among other effects, it altered the way my right leg and foot functioned, and normal walking could cause tension and tightness to take over my right leg. I, too, sought help from many sources trying to undo the tension and walk back the imbalances, without real success.
After completing the first course I can say that things are changing! The exercises release so much tension and are so calming. Because they isolate muscles, and are done so slowly, you really can focus and notice what your body is up to, where you’re holding tension, what parts you’re engaging when you might not need to. I’ve also discovered new areas of tension to work on that I wasn’t fully aware of! I’m pleased with how grounded and balanced my feet now feel on the floor and my walking has normalized. I’m also more aware of breath and tension-holding throughout the day. I look forward to doing a session before dinner, and also I like to do a couple of exercises before sleeping. I find them completely relaxing. Thank you so much for the thoughtfully presented exercises and the encouraging daily reminders! I look forward to continued benefits and am eager to learn more!“
“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.”
“I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful course. I’m doing a lot of work for my scoliosis but these really helped with flexibility, relief of muscle tension, and new posture freedom. I will definitely be continuing with these in the future!”
“I was suffering from a hip problem together with plantar faciitis and due to the pandemic clinics were closed and I was not able to be treated. Whilst waiting for a referral to the MSK clinic I was sent the link to Somatic exercises by a dear friend and I am eternally grateful to her for the recommendation, as the exercises have enabled me to be mobile after being immobile for over 5 months. I am still waiting for an appointment to the MSK clinic and have decided to sign up to Level Two as I believe for me it can only help improve my condition further.”
“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!”
“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!”
“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.”
“Coming from a hip and psoas injury in September, I started Somatics in October. I noticed a release of pain just after my first few sessions! I had to “pick up” my injured leg with my hands before starting Somatics. I noticed a better range of motion in my injured hip, it slowly started becoming more flexible, and eventually through learning Somatics it has become more equal to the other side of my body. Thank you for your course!”
“It has been a wonderful journey where I learned to acknowledge even more regarding the functioning of my body. Being able to feel into the smallest parts of me and noticing the improvements.
I’ve been doing the exercises faithfully every day for 3 months, starting in May 2021, then I had 2/3 weeks irregular and then again daily until November. Again December on and off, due to traveling and now I’m on it again, finally achieving both levels of courses. My pain diminished a 50-60%, sometimes it comes back but after a few days of longer daily practices, it improves again.
I suffered lower back/iliosacral and hip pain for almost six years and couldn’t take any more walks, not to mention run. Now I enjoy long walks again. I’m faithful to get rid totally of the pain.
I passed some exercises to my husband who has disc, neck, and shoulder problems, and a stiff slightly bent elbow. His condition improved as well and was also able to straighten a bit more his elbow. Thank you so much for putting your courses out there.”
“I have no words to thank Somatic movement…It’s really a gift in my life! I had so many pains in my body…now I am feeling so strong and active! Thank you!”
“I have done Level One for about 2.5 months and as a result I have been experiencing pain reduction in a very sensible way. I am so glad that I came across these exercises after having a lot of pain and testing many other trainings as well as chiropractors. Now I am about to start Level Two because I was so satisfied with Level One. I can warmly recommend Level One to everyone out there. Wishing you a pain free life.”
“Thank you so much for the generosity of all you provide on your website. I’m very glad I found your Somatic Movement Center. Even though I can still feel some pain in my left side body, the exercises helped me a lot to reduce muscle tension and I can find pleasure again in walking or practicing yoga, which is huge.”
“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!”
“I am so grateful I was introduced to Somatic Movements – I now know I have tools to use when I am in pain or revert to old patterns. I love the slow pace and slow movements; it reminds me to slow down during my daily activities, pay attention to my breathing and my movements. I now have hope for my chronic neck pain. Even though it is still there, it is less, and I have learned to move it rather than protect it. Thank you!”
“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.“
“I have suffered a painful shoulder issue that no physiotherapist or other medical professional could ever help resolve. I started to wonder if the issue was related to scoliosis that has progressed over time. Through research on the internet I came across your website and decided to give the program a try. Although my shoulder is not completely better, I have noticed a change in my range of motion and I no longer have a chronic deep ache. Also, when I first started doing the Arch & Curl exercise, I was not able to get my elbows to the floor, but now I am able. Generally I am moving much better than when I started.”
“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.“
“I have really found this course to be beneficial. I like especially to do the practice before bed. I find it relieves pain and relaxes the system for a better sleep. The directions are very clear and easy to follow both visually and verbally. As an added benefit the calming voice in the instructions make it a pleasure to listen to.”
“I really enjoyed both the Level One and Two Courses. I have a better awareness of my body and all the subtle movements we make. I will continue to use these classes as I work to unwind years of muscle tension. I have also loved the meditative aspect of focusing inward and moving slowly with intention.”
“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.”
“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.“
“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.”
“Loved this course! I was familiar with somatic yoga before taking the course, Sarah laid out the information is a very accessible manner allowing for a deep understanding of the movements. I loved the daily practice classes and am sure they will continue to be apart of my regular practice.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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!”
“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!”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”