SOMA Somatics    part 2

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SOMA Somatics part 2

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SOMA Somatics

Part 2

 

What is Soma Somatics Part 2

So we have this neuromuscular system that controls all of our functioning. Another system of great importance is called the fascial system.  It is also called connective tissue. It is important because it connects our living body from the top to the bottom from side to side and from inside to outside. It is like a liquid web, it surrounds everything in our body. It houses our nervous system where it has three layers of fascia that help protect it and provide nourishment. 

Every system in our body is important however the reason these two - neuromuscular and fascial systems- are so important is they connect, control and communicate with every other system.  Every organ in our body is surrounded by connective tissue. Every joint in our body is surrounded and supported by fascia. It wraps around muscle and every blood vessel every vein and every nerve. It encompasses every muscle fibre and tendon, right down to the cellular level. Fascia wraps around every cell providing support, protection, space and communication throughout our living body.  

It is like the air that we breathe. We don't think about the oxygen because it is always there for us, we are surrounded by it. Recent research has shown how important connective tissue and  fascia are how it is dynamic always adapting to the positions, stresses, repetitive movements, injuries and trauma that we have experienced.  It can be adversely by many events all the way back to the beginning of your life.  It is adversely affected right from birth.  Difficult or traumatic births can create fascial restrictions that impede our development and show up in unexplained pain and dysfunction later in life.  It has been proven how much holding power it has, up to 2000 lbs per square inch.  This can be like having the weight of a horse putting pressure and holding in one section or many sections of your muscles, joints, limbs, cranium and spine. 

They have discovered fascia and connective tissue is a tension and compression system. Rather than our bones stacking on top of each other like the game Jenga or like blocks, as the traditional mechanistic view point. Our bones work like levers and the fascia is like guy wires supporting our living body in gravity.  If you have ever looked at a geodesic dome you can see this idea in a stable but stationary structure.  It kind of throws out the old bio-mechanical model of how our body works and moves.  

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The fascial system is designed to be fluid and adaptable.  In some areas it is super thin and tiny and other areas there are many layers of tougher and thicker fascia to provide more support and strength.  Our living bodies adapt to where the stresses and forces are put on it.  Where there is trauma, injury, holding, chronic tension, mis-alignment and lack of movement the fascia system adapts and gets into holding patterns that will restrict the movement of that area but also restrict or effect body parts far away from the source.  If you have ever caught a part of a wool sweater on something you can see how it pulls on the rest of the connected fibres.  Similarly to getting a run in a stocking.  

Because of this distant holding and pulling combined with the lack of focus and knowledge on the fascial system, many unexplained pain patterns and ailments have been missed or mis-diagnosed. Studies have shown that holding and restrictions in the neck and upper chest can create pain in the upper back, neck, chest, arm, wrist and hand.  It has shown how the muscles of the butt, specifically the smallest gluteals muscles can create pain patterns similar  to sciatica. There are specific methods for working with and helping release and rebalance the fascial system.  Hands-on approaches are usually the fastest when you have a skilled practitioner but you can also help it yourself through a combination of slow, focused stretching, rolling and ball work.  

Soma Somatics is oriented around the principles, tools and approaches that give you the most “bang for the buck” and “benefit for your time”.  We use the systems that leverage the gains possible.  We speak a language that you can understand and help you discover not just; what to do, but also; why your doing and how to do it.  We help you become your own best expert in the science and art of your soma, your living body.  Most disciplines in health and medicine are set up where someone is the expert that you are dependent on.  Someone else always fixing you.  They also have a tendency of getting over complicated, using a language that is foreign to you, making it difficult to understand and leaving you feeling more dis-connected from your own body. In addition many get very focused on fixing symptoms not recognizing how our body is connected physically but also how our history can continue to haunt us. They treat our bodies as separate parts, without connecting the whole or the causes. 

In Soma Somatics we help simplify it, help you find the true causes, giving you practical tools and uncovering your own wisdom.  It’s a principle based holistic system that you can apply in any and all parts of your life to get benefit in any position or pursuit you choose.  It will help you immediately and in the long term. What you take away will help you age proof your body and mind and help you become more self-healing but also self balancing, self calming, self improving and self fulfilling.  

Soma Somatics works with your body and your brain.  It works with your mind, your movement, your emotions and muscles.  It is great for recovering from pain and helping you speed up healing from injury or surgery.  It is also focused on helping you in releasing your life performance and you finding a calm joy of living.  A journey of self discovery that you lead, not focused on doing more and making your life even more stressed but by doing less, but doing it well. About releasing what’s holding you back. Releasing the pain as well as releasing your comfort, your resilience, your wisdom, fulfillment, joy and potential.  



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About Me

Greg Max teaching smiling.jpg

Hi! I’m Greg Augustine. I am a tension and movement specialist and SOMA Somatics educator and practitioner.

I have helped thousands of people reduce tension and stress and learn how to move their bodies with less pain and more ease and power.

 
 

Find out more about Greg’s music and entertainment pseudonym “Augie Dawg”

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Augie Dawg

Brings the Groove!

 
 
Hi! I’m Greg. I help people reduce pain so they can be their best self. Helping you release chronic tension, find calmness and unleash your hidden happiness.

Hi! I’m Greg. I help people reduce pain so they can be their best self. Helping you release chronic tension, find calmness and unleash your hidden happiness.

 
The Magic Move eBook pic.png
 
 
S4L blog graphic.png

Tips, Tools and Tactics!

to reduce pain and Release your Joy and Life Performance.

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SOMA Somatics

SomaSomatics

is SOMA Somatics for you?

Read article below.

 

SOMA Somatics

What is Soma Somatics? 


SOMA Somatics is a system to help us as individuals improve our movement, mindfulness and joy in living.  It is a holistic system in that it works with our living body and leaves you with the knowledge, awareness and tools to help your body, mind and emotions.  

SOMA Somatics comes out of the field of somatic education and more specifically the work of Thomas Hanna, called Clinical Somatics or Hanna Somatic Education.  It is also a blending of other disciplines and approaches like MyoFascial Release, biofeedback, Alexander technique, Feldenkrais method, mindfulness, martial arts and others.  Thomas Hanna was really the originator of the field of Somatics.  He wrote the book called Somatics and was the founding editor of the magazine Somatics.  The first book he wrote on the subject in 1969 was Bodies in Revolt, a Primer in Somatic thinking. 

The focus of Somatics is around the neuromuscular system. As it is the control system of our lives, it is critical for survival and in making any lasting change or improvement.  Our neuromuscular system controls our reflexes, awareness, gauging, perceptions and movement.  It has two modes of control, our voluntary or conscious control and our involuntary and reflexive control.  Both are necessary for us to be able to stand upright, breathe, move, take action and to be able to act and interact.

Problems come when we get into repetitive patterns of movement, we have experienced trauma, we get into sedentary positions doing our work or hobbies or if aging, pain and tension makes us move less and less.  Our neuromuscular system is always learning. Whether we realize it or not, anything that we do is training our nervous system.  Unfortunately, one of the common patterns that we repeat in daily life and while reacting to the normal stresses that we are exposed to is excessive tension. 

It can get confusing, because we need tension to be able to move, to stand vertical in gravity, to access speed and power and to be able to get things done. To live a life of calm joy and to move well with power and efficiency and reduced risk of injury we need the “right or correct” amount of tension. 

This excessive tension can happen equally on both sides of the body and the front and back of the body. But most times it tends to happen on one side more than the other. In Somatics this excessive and unconscious tension is called sensory motor amnesia or SMA. The nervous system learns how to hold our muscles tight, it gets good at it, but it forgets how to let go.  It kind of works like a thermostat, it gets used to holding 30, 40 or 50% tightness and starts to register that as normal.

When this happens, we get pulled out of center and out of alignment. It essentially is like having tight restrictive straps pulling on us all the time.  SOMA Somatics is wonderful in it's ability to give people ways to be able to see and feel this happening, it gives them the knowledge, understanding and the tools to be able to counteract this unconscious tightening and to be able to remind our neuromuscular system and fascial system how to let go. 

When we have this unnecessary tightness creating imbalances, it contorts our posture, it distorts our perceptions and the way we see the world, it affects our ability to live a full life while preventing injuries and it reduces our ability to perform all the activities in our life.  All of life involves movement. So it's kind of like have any emergency brake stuck on in your vehicle. It becomes exhausting, compromises our full diaphragmatic breathing, strips away our strength, leaves us in pain and makes us feel much older than our years. 


Anyone who has lived a few decades realizes life isn’t predictable.  We have to be adaptable to survive and to thrive.  The great thing about Somatics is it’s adaptability.   It leaves you more adaptable to what life throws at you and it can be adapted and blended in with almost any other practice whether it’s yoga, stretching, strength training or stress management. It doesn’t just teach you exercises it teaches you principles of movement and of life. It is a system of assessment, education, movements and self improvement. 

Continued in SOMA Somatics Part 2

 
 

About Me

Greg Max teaching smiling.jpg

Hi! I’m Greg Augustine. I am a pain and movement specialist and SOMA Somatics educator and practitioner.

I have helped thousands of people reduce tension and stress and learn how to move their bodies with less pain and more ease and power.

 

Who’s Augie Dawg? Find out here.

NEWYEAR(17of47).jpg

Augie Dawg

Brings the Groove!

 
 
Hi! I’m Greg. I help people reduce pain so they can be their best self. Helping you release chronic tension, find calmness and unleash your hidden potential.

Hi! I’m Greg. I help people reduce pain so they can be their best self. Helping you release chronic tension, find calmness and unleash your hidden potential.

 
The Magic Move eBook pic.png
 
 
S4L blog graphic.png

Tips, Tools and Tactics!

to reduce pain and Release your Joy and Life Performance.

 
 

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5 Factors of True Life Performance

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5 Factors of True Life Performance

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5 Factors of True Life Performance

5 factors of True Life Performance

Joy, Fulfillment, Flow and Funk-tion and the Living Body

Boom, boom, boom, boom.  That primal beat.  How good it feels to move to the music.  To be able to move, to be moved by the beat, the melody, the tempo, the groove. While there are many factors, traits and practices to living with full life performance some of the critical components are joy, fulfillment, flow and function and the living body. If we look at them one at a time in reverse order we can start to make some sense of it. 

The living body is all of the parts that make up you as an individual.  When we use separate words to describe parts that are all connected we lose the essence of what makes us human.  We all have a mind, a body, emotions, a spirit, a heart, a brain but none of these function or act independently of each other.  They all connect, communicate, depend and interrelate with each other.  To enjoy quality of life and life performance we need to think, envision, perceive and act with our living body.  One word for the living body is Soma.  It is the ancient definition that Dr. Thomas Hanna used, referring to Soma as the living body as experienced from within.  Your own experience of you. There is no need to get complicated or shutdown with attachment or fear of certain words but if we think, talk about, study and treat everything as separate and fragmented we will never find true life performance. 


To function every system needs to be able to move.  To act and react.  The ability of the nervous system to communicate, to excite neurons, to inhibit other parts, to be able to react and respond to the environment and to stimuli are all apart of the functioning of a healthy and intact nervous system. All of the physiological systems have their own specialized functioning whether it is the circulatory system, lymphatic system, cardiovascular system, skeletal system, fascial system, muscular system or the nervous system. 

Some of the most important functional assets for life performance are our ability to have awareness, adaptability and action. To be able to perform the movements and actions required for the basics of day to day life as well as having the awareness and mobility to realize and partake in the pursuits that make us feel alive, energized and joyful. 

Boom, boom, boom. Science has proven that all of life is vibration and movement. Movement has a rhythm and flow.  The Flow is important because it has to do with how we process and distribute our energy and enthusiasm. When life is a struggle, fragmented, stressful, hectic we are usually fighting the flow.  When we always feel weak, tired, overwhelmed you can bet the flow is being ignored and restricted. Every part of life is movement.  When I ask students and clients if they can think of any part of life that doesn’t involve movement, the most common answer I get is sleeping.  But even when we are sleeping we move and our heart and lungs are moving.  If our heart and lungs stop moving there is no more life. 

To create and use flow in our lives it is important to be gauging, sensing and tuned in to the feedback from our lives. Our living body is our one vehicle to move through the world for our entire lives.  It is a sensing & moving vehicle.  When we pay attention to and use the constant feedback in life we become a tuning fork for where our groove is or isn’t.  When we are in our groove or when we are fighting the groove.  We have our own personal vibration and groove and there is the larger groove or vibration that surrounds us.  Our family, our workplace, our community, nature and the environments that you spend time in. 

To be discovering how we waste, use and create energy in our lives.  To be able to maintain and improve our movement, to keep or get back our mojo, fulfillment and joy it is important to be able to monitor when we are in sync with ourselves, our loved ones, our work and our physical and social environment.  

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi author of the book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, talked about how when we achieve a flow state our minds quieten, we become very focused, efficient and energized.  We lose track of time, we become calm and tuned in. It is like an effortlessness of action, a merging of action and awareness. Flow is an innately positive experience; it is known to "produce intense feelings of enjoyment and its improvement of performance results in satisfying achievement.

Are you doing what fulfills you? Do you feel you have a sense of purpose? So many people are stuck.  Even many people who you would think- have it all. They have the job, the income, the lifestyle, the toys but they feel a sense of emptiness, of lacking, of being out of balance or alignment because they never discovered their real purpose and what fulfills them. It seemed impossible to me to know and decide on a career that meant something to me when I was 18. We do the best we can but many times we get stuck on the wrong road without realizing it until something starts gnawing at you.  Finding our purpose and what leaves us feeling fulfilled is so important to living a high quality life of performance.  If you have that feeling inside or the suspicions of it rearing its head, don’t worry.  You can find what brings you meaning and joy. 

Do you live in Joy?  When you reflect on the last few days, weeks or months how often would you say you felt joy.  Where you really enjoyed what you were doing? You felt a sense of peace and calm?  That you felt really good maybe even for no reason?  Joy is lacking in our society.  We get stressed out. We get distracted with a busy life and being pulled in many directions.  We get sucked into societies expectations of what we are supposed to be doing, wearing and thinking. We get caught up in trying to achieve and being successful to the extent that we wake up and find we are caught up in someone else’s idea of success.  Or the reality isn’t at all like the idea and visualization of what we thought it would be. Joy is a sense that comes from within.  It doesn’t depend on the weather or being acknowledged at work, getting a raise or achieving a new personal best on the weight machine.  Don’t get me wrong all of those things can bring enjoyment, happiness and sense of accomplishment.  All of these can be components of joy, however joy is a deeper quality that resides even on the not so good moments.  A feeling of being in the right place, a sense of space, where you are calm, peaceful, moving with ease, responding with grace and power, where you have a sense of finding and honoring your authentic self.

Living with a high degree of life performance doesn’t have to be hard. But for some who are stuck with the idea of just physically working harder and harder it can be difficult.  Because it is a change in mindset. The hardest work is really looking at yourself, your thoughts, your reactions and your behaviors. To be quiet and introspective to tune into your desires, your motivations, your angers, your fears and where they all come from. 

Moving better and improving our performance is great.  But by itself it is incomplete. However when we apply our natural tools and assets with an attitude of trusting respecting and listening to our living body we can experience and live in a high level of fulfillment, functioning, flow and joy now and in the future. Living your life with sense of high life performance is possible. It doesn’t have to be hard, but for some people it can be.  The hardest part is a change in our mindset, attitude and perception.  Finding our move and our groove and working towards a life of true life performance is one of the most worthwhile and beneficial projects you can do.  Life is short. You’re worth it.  

 
 

About Me

Greg Max teaching smiling.jpg

Hi! I’m Greg Augustine. I am a tension and movement specialist and SOMA Somatics educator and practitioner.

I have helped thousands of people reduce tension and stress and learn how to move their bodies with less pain and more ease and power.

 
 

Who’s Augie Dawg? Find out here.

NEWYEAR(17of47).jpg

Augie Dawg

Brings the Groove!

 
 
Hi! I’m Greg. I help people reduce pain so they can be their best self. Helping you release chronic tension, find calmness and unleash your hidden potential.

Hi! I’m Greg. I help people reduce pain so they can be their best self. Helping you release chronic tension, find calmness and unleash your hidden potential.

 
The Magic Move eBook pic.png
 
 
S4L blog graphic.png

Tips, Tools and Tactics!

To reduce pain and release your joy and life performance.

Comment

Comment

What in the heck is Life Performance?

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Life Performance 101

What in the heck is Life Performance?

Ouch! This is ridiculous I can’t even lift up my little girl. Why? Why me dammit! My back is killing me. I have been stretching, resting, trying to get a strong core and doing all the things I thought I am supposed to do.  I feel like an old man!

Life performance is being able to do the activities you want to do.  Being able to perform the movements and demands that you need to do. Perhaps even improving upon how you do them. Performing in life involves movement.  Movement is the common denominator in all parts of life.  Movement is the thread that connects everything.  It affects everything we do and is effected by everything that we do as well everything we see, hear, think, imagine or feel. 

Life performance is about retaining and improving how we move and perform in daily activities of life.  For some it is about staying active and healthy to play with their grandchildren.  For others it may be keeping the athletic advantage they have over their basketball buddies or competing at their highest level when the pressure is on. Whether you are dealing premature aging, a developmental challenge, a disability effecting your movement, trying to get over back pain, depending on your best performance for the big game or you just want to stay youthful and vibrant movement is the key to performing well. 

Life performance deteriorates over time for most people.  It can happen as you get older but for many it starts to wane much earlier than that. It may start subtly, your movement gets a little stiffer, you’re not quite as quick as you used to be or maybe you feel quite a bit weaker and more vulnerable.  It is either ignored, camouflaged or chalked up as aging. We get into a dysfunctional way of dealing with our bodies, our movement, our self-perception and our personal potential.  We see our bodies as fragmented pieces.  We are taught that our brain and bodies are not connected.  That we are supposed to treat everything separately.  We don’t look at the underlying causes,   We don’t realize how important simple and smooth movements are.  We put all of our focus, awareness, attention and energy outside of ourselves. We treat our bodies like a machine.  Use and abuse them, take them for granted and then get mad at them for breaking down.  

I invite you for one moment to consider a comment by a person regarded by many as a master of movement, Bruce Lee. “The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.” -Bruce Lee.  If we take this statement to heart it says we can use less effort and become better in our movements.  Faster, stronger and more powerful are qualities that can be applied to any part of life.  They are also tied into your level of confidence, self concept and self esteem.  

This isn’t the way we are brought up though. “You just need to work harder and harder. You need to be smarter, do more, try harder, work longer.” Is more of the messaging that we grow up with. Life becomes so hard for many people. They live in pain, they are busy, their movement becomes labored, they get weaker and weaker, they always feel rushed or guilty, they lose their ability to focus and quiet their mind and they feel like they are always struggling.  Life performance isn’t about just stacking more and more on your already full plate. It’s not about doing more and more. It is about finding the right actions, the correct information and the proper and reasonable applications that works for you. 

Life performance is being able to access more power with less effort. It is about being able to find our joy, even in a busy life.   It is about getting to know ourselves. What makes us tick? What makes us sick?  About finding our balance, our center and our control. It is about finding our Mojo again? “Nobody knows you better than you.” However most people get into a reactionary mode of operating where they don’t trust themselves, they are caught in fear, they have a poor self concept, limiting beliefs and they forget their own greatness.  True life performance is being able to move and groove with power, love and joy.  

By using specific principles and simple, quick and practical actions we can take more control over our movement, our posture, our pain and our performance.  Being able to retain and improve our life performance is a high value investment and fulfilling life practice that pays dividends for the rest of our lives. It all starts with awareness and intention.  What do you want out of life?  Are you fulfilled? Are you in pain? Are you ready to start improving?  

Maybe have the following paragraph as a general intro to the blog rather than the end of this blog post.

The information, tips and ideas I will be sharing in upcoming posts will be following this idea and principles of how we can find ways of using less effort to perform better in life. Reducing pain and improving performance at the same time.  Less anxiety, more joy. Why not? What do you have to lose? Hopefully we have many years left to live so this can become an enjoyable process and journey discovering how we can improve our quality of life, our life performance and our joy in life. You are worth it!

 
 

About Me

Greg Max teaching smiling.jpg

Hi! I’m Greg Augustine. I am a tension and movement specialist and SOMA Somatics educator and practitioner.

I have helped thousands of people reduce tension and stress and learn how to move their bodies with less pain and more ease and power.

 

Who’s Augie Dawg? Find out here.

NEWYEAR(17of47).jpg

Augie Dawg

Brings the Groove!

 
 
Hi! I’m Greg. I help people reduce pain so they can be their best self. Helping you release chronic tension, find calmness and unleash your hidden potential.

Hi! I’m Greg. I help people reduce pain so they can be their best self. Helping you release chronic tension, find calmness and unleash your hidden potential.

 
The Magic Move eBook pic.png
 
 
S4L blog graphic.png

Tips, Tools and Tactics!

to reduce pain and Release your Joy and Life Performance.

Comment