the Somatics blog

Exploring how the brain controls posture and movement, why we experience muscle and joint pain,
and how we can live our lives to the fullest.

What is Pandiculation?

Pandiculation is generally defined as the act of stretching oneself and yawning, especially upon waking. However, our automatic pandicular response has far more significance than simply prompting us to stretch and yawn. […]

The Myth of Uneven Leg Length

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

Sensory Motor Amnesia and Muscle Memory

Most people are familiar with the concept of muscle memory. When we repeat a movement like swinging a golf club over and over, the neurons involved in controlling that movement develop […]

  • somatic education

What is Clinical Somatic Education?

Whenever I tell someone that I'm a Clinical Somatic Educator, a look of mild confusion and deep thought comes over their face. I immediately launch into my short explanation, which is some version of this: [...]

  • Somatic exercises

How to get the most out of Somatic exercises

What are Somatic exercises? Somatic exercises work directly with the nervous system to release chronic muscular tension, relieve chronic pain, and improve posture and movement. The exercises are extremely slow and gentle, and are appropriate [...]

  • Somatic movement

What is somatic movement?

What is somatic movement? A somatic movement, generally speaking, is one which is performed consciously with the intention of focusing on the internal experience of the movement rather than the external appearance or result of [...]

  • Why Stretching Doesnt Work

Why Stretching Doesn’t Work

From the ages of twelve to twenty-one, I was a ballet dancer. It was all I did and all I wanted to do. Being extremely disciplined, I stretched for half an hour every night before [...]

  • sensory motor amnesia

Sensory Motor Amnesia and Muscle Memory

Sensory Motor Amnesia and Muscle Memory Most people are familiar with the concept of muscle memory. When we repeat a movement like swinging a golf club over and over, the neurons involved in controlling that [...]

  • Pandiculation

What is Pandiculation?

What is pandiculation? Pandiculation is generally defined as the act of stretching oneself and yawning, especially upon waking. However, our automatic pandicular response has far more significance than simply prompting us to stretch and yawn. [...]

  • chronic muscle soreness

Chronic Muscle Soreness: The Cause and Cure

Chronic muscle soreness is, quite literally, a pain to live with. Often, no amount of stretching, massage, heat, ice, or ibuprofen can provide [...]

  • Personality affects posture

How Personality Affects Posture

We like to blame our posture on our genetics, on job stress, or on long hours spent at the computer-but did you know [...]

  • Psoas Muscle

How to Release a Tight Psoas Muscle

How to Release a Tight Psoas Muscle What is the psoas muscle? The psoas muscle, formally called the psoas major, is a very important core muscle. The psoas attaches the lumbar vertebrae [...]

  • TMJ pain

Relieve Your TMJ Pain with Clinical Somatics

What is TMJ pain? The temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the skull, and is it one of the most complicated joints in the human body. It can open and close the jaw like a [...]

  • kyphosis exercises

The Most Effective Kyphosis Exercises

Why don't most kyphosis exercises work? The reason why people have so much trouble straightening their rounded posture is that they don't understand what is actually causing their spine to round forward. The problem is [...]

  • Sciatica

The Underlying Cause of Sciatica

The Underlying Cause of Sciatica Sciatica is one of the most common conditions I see in my practice. For reasons I'll explain below, it often goes along with back pain, which 80% of Americans will [...]

  • scoliosis exercises

Why are Clinical Somatics exercises the most effective scoliosis exercises?

Why are Clinical Somatics exercises the most effective scoliosis exercises? In most cases of idiopathic scoliosis, the curvature is created by tight muscles along one or both sides of the spine pulling the vertebrae out [...]

  • Psoas Muscle

How to Release a Tight Psoas Muscle

How to Release a Tight Psoas Muscle What is the psoas muscle? The psoas muscle, formally called the psoas major, [...]

Somatic Relaxation Exercises

In this short Somatics class, you'll learn gentle movements that release chronic muscular tension in the lower back, abdomen, shoulders, chest, face and [...]

  • chronic muscle soreness

Chronic Muscle Soreness: The Cause and Cure

Chronic muscle soreness is, quite literally, a pain to live with. Often, no amount of stretching, massage, heat, ice, or ibuprofen can provide [...]

  • Personality affects posture

How Personality Affects Posture

We like to blame our posture on our genetics, on job stress, or on long hours spent at the computer-but did you know [...]