Hanna Somatic Education ®

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Highly credentialed health care authorities endorse Hanna Somatics (Hanna Somatic Education®), the innovative and more effective way to end pain presented here.


The word, "education" fits with the word "somatic" better than do the terms "therapy" or "treatment". You learn something new that works better.

"Therapy" and "treatment" imply "getting rid of symptoms" -- a return to your "pre-injury" condition. "Education" implies development -- better off than before.

Clinical Somatic Education extinguishes pain far faster than conventional physical therapy or "alternative" methods of treatment. It reduces the likelihood of re-injury and leaves you better than before injury.

Everyone has seen and done pandiculation, but most people misunderstand it as "stretching". 

Pandiculation is the correct name for the natural action people commonly do upon waking up. 

It involves tightening up in certain ways and then relaxing in a leisurely way (e.g., the "morning stretch"), in the mood of a yawn. In fact, yawning is one form of pandiculation.

The sensation triggers wakes up the parts of the brain involved in moving and feeling movement. Then, we're ready for action. 

Pandiculation (or the omni-yawn) improves the abilities both to move and to relax, freeing musclebound muscles and ending the tendency to cramp or go into spasm.

What's new is the application of this response to injuries and muscular pain patterns. Pandiculation works quickly to restore freedom of movement and comfort.

Your Experience of Injury and Therapy?

You may have noticed that you don't and can't really relax completely, that you always hold tension. 

Here's why: brain conditioning

When you experience physical or emotional trauma, or long-term stress, a memory imprint forms. 

This memory imprint shows up as involuntary muscular tension (a guarding reaction) that resists stretching or external therapeutic modalities -- a guarding reaction that makes you tight enough to cause pain and restrict movement.

Such guarding reactions come from centers in the brain involved in self-protective reflexes and habitual posture -- which are involuntary muscular actions that come from primitive reflex centers of the brain. 

The pandicular response shifts the center of control from those involuntary reflex centers to the parts of the brain involved in voluntary movement. This is a natural part of the healing response.

Muscles relax and pain fades out, leaving you completely fit for all ordinary activities. Improvements occur during the session and withstand all ordinary activities.

Comparing Clinical Somatic Education and Standard Therapeutic Modalities

Most therapy seeks to "fix the patient" by acting upon the patient chemically (drugs, ultrasound), mechanically (manipulation, stretching, or surgery), or electrically (TENS, electric stim) -- rather than having the patient regain control of their own body. You can't change conditioning, from outside. So, after therapy (hours or days), the patient's previous, injury-caused conditioning takes over and symptoms return.

Your experience?

When therapy uses stretching and strengthening, that doesn't work very well, either. Stretching doesn't work because it works on the effect (tight muscles) rather than the cause (brain conditioning formed suddenly, at the time of injury). Strengthening doesn't work because the pain is caused by muscles that are already too tight. It's the wrong direction for successful therapy.

People commonly remain dependent on therapy for a long time. Improvement is often slow, temporary, and may require many repetitions of the same treatment process. Many people exit therapy with some or all of their symptoms (regrettably) intact.

Pain and restricted movement from muscular tension (which may seem like muscular adhesions) can't be permanently "fixed" from outside. For a lasting change, the "fix" must occur from within; the client/patient must correct themselves. Hanna somatic education (HSE) guides and assists the client/patient through the process. 

Rather than being slower than therapeutics, results of clinical sessions of HSE come faster and are far more predictable. You'll feel results immediately during the session, results that last, afterward. Most pain conditions resolve completely in between two and eight sessions.  Postural improvements come immediately and are lasting.

You can see differences between HSE and common therapeutic modalities in a comparison chart and understand why by comparing the different approaches they take, which show up as the results.


The Institute for Somatic Study and Development

Milwaukie, OR  97008

Lawrence Gold, C.H.S.E. (certified Hanna somatic educator) 

telephone 505 819-0858 | TERMS OF USE | PRIVACY POLICY 



Hanna Somatic Education ® 

is a registered trademark of The Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training