BIOGRAPHICAL PAGE  about Lawrence Gold, C.H.S.E.

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  • Movement 2017: The First International Conference on Movement and Cognition

  • Head-to-Toe 9: Conference on School Health 

  • The New Mexico Conference on Aging 

  • National Health Federation, 1992


Townsend Letter for Doctors

American Journal of Pain Management

Somatics, Magazine-Journal of the Bodily Arts & Sciences

The Therapeutic Specialist's Quarterly Report

Massage & Bodywork Magazine

Good Medicine Magazine

The Health and Fitness Connection

Body & Soul

Vet Pulse

The AHP (Association for Humanistic Psychology) Somatics and Wellness Community Newsletter

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The Institute for Somatic Study and Development

S.E. 64th Avenue, Milwaukie,  OR

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

telephone 505 819-0858





From 1997 - 1999, Lawrence Gold worked on-staff in the movement rehab department of the Wellness & Rehabilitation Center of Watsonville Community hospital, in California.

Trained in 1990 by the originator of Hanna Somatic Education, Thomas Hanna, Ph.D., he has drawn clients  from locations, near and far.  

For individuals who cannot get to a practitioner in person, he has created self-relief programs  -- and has expanded the range of conditions that can be addressed through Hanna Somatic Education®.

He describes himself as "more highly functioning and well-tuned now than when I was in my 30s or 40s", having taken to heart the words of Thomas Hanna, in which he exhorted his students to exemplify the work and "walk your talk".

As a prolific writer in the field of somatics, he integrates multiple disciplines such as healthcare, spiritual development, the social sciences, human development, politics, and other areas of interest. This integration is showcased in the blog, Full-Spectrum Somatics, where he shares writings that illuminate, clarify, and simplify our understanding of these seemingly diverse fields. Through his writings, he sheds light on the dynamic interplay between mind and body — the development and evolution of human somas.

People who first meet Lawrence in his professional role often inquire about how he became involved in the field of somatics. Typically, he provides them with the condensed version of his story. However, he has composed, and shares herewith, a longer, more complete version, which delves into his history of injuries and how the practices he now employs that enabled him to recover from those injuries and, in turn, better serve others.

Lawrence Gold, on His History of Injuries -- and Recovery

When I was ten years old, I was struck by a car while riding my bicycle. A low-speed collision, I took a fall and emerged with a bent bicycle wheel but without broken bones. Then, when I was fourteen, I fell off a second-story balcony and landed on my feet -- on concrete. My heels hurt so much that I walked on my toes for weeks. At about the same age, I tripped, when rollerskating, over a garden hose across the sidewalk. I fell on my tailbone and experienced pain in places where I didn't even know I had places and of an intensity I had not known, before; that accident displaced my sacrum and caused chronic discomfort for decades and a crisis of debilitating pain, years later. 

When I was nineteen, I developed a case of tendonitis in my right hand and wrist so painful that I couldn't use my right hand. After medical treatment with bracing and cortizone injections for tendonitis failed to help my hand and wrist at all, Rolfing® took care of the problem and got me exposed to, and interested in, the field of somatics.  I liked Rolfing so much that I asked my rolfer for more frequent sessions.  He made me wait, saying that I needed more time to integrate the changes.  I asked how I could speed that integration, and he told me about and taught me a set of somatic education exercises developed by Judith Aston with Ida Rolf -- then called, "structural patterning", later called Rolfing Movement-Integration, or just Rolfing Movement.

At twenty, my Volkswagen was rear-ended by a Pontiac; when I was thirty-six, I sustained a soft-tissue injury to my neck that left me unable to bow my head forward or back, or turn more than thirty degrees left or right without searing, intolerable pain. At thirty-eight, I developed sciatica -- a feeling like a hot cable running down the back of my right leg. I drove my car by using my left foot for clutch, accelerator and brake.

It was in that condition -- with neck injury pain and sciatica -- that I came into training under Emmet Hutchins, Ida Rolf's first appointed 'teacher in perpetuity' in the methods of The Rolf Method of Structural Integration; and then into training under Thomas Hanna in the methods of Hanna Somatic Education®; and then into training under Stacey Mills, at the time the world's oldest living Rolfer.

The sciatica disappeared during my first week of training with Thomas Hanna, under the ministrations of my co-students, and it never returned. I was able to reduce the intensity of the neck injury pain by fifty percent the day I learned the prime clinical technique of Hanna Somatic Education, "assisted pandiculation", in one self-administered two-hour session in the room where I stayed during training. The rest of the problem took years to figure out and gave me the understanding and methods to help others with neck pain problems.

When I was 41, I sustained a right knee injury trying to "crack" it to get rid of an annoying sensation in the joint. Well, I cracked it, all right. The sudden new knee pain went down the core of my leg into my ankle. My knee felt broken. The methods of Hanna somatic education were insufficient to clear up that problem, but combined with structural integration, resulted in a rapid restoration of comfort and knee function that I have to this day. 

That incident made that point to me how synergistic the two systems are, and I was later able to help a friend diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and referred for surgery, to recover knee stability without surgery. (One might wonder how we did that, given that the surgeon wanted to drill a hole in his tibia, cut the gracilis muscle and attach it through the hole. The answer: by organizing the soft tissue wrapping around the knee for balanced support in movement, we were able to stabilize the knee joint -- again, a combination of somatic education and structural integration.) My friend soon returned to playing frisbee football.

That same year, my compact car was totalled in a rear-end collision two blocks from my office. My eyeglasses ended up in the back seat and the contents under the driver's seat ended up around my feet. After my car was towed away, I walked back to my office and, using somatic education techniques, did for myself something similar to what I now do with people who have had whiplash injuries. The fellow in the car ahead of mine, shielded by my car and the second-hand recipient of the impact, I later learned, underwent therapy for a whiplash injury. I had no after-effects from the collision and I ended up with a better car.

As part of the Novato Institute training team, I presented Hanna Somatic Education to workshop participants at Esalen Institute at Big Sur, California; as a guest lecturer, I presented Hanna Somatic Education to classes at Life Chiropractic College West, at the 2003 New Mexico Conference on Aging ("Somatic Healing"), at the 2004 Head-to-Toe 9 Conference for Educators (playable link: "Using Your Brain to End Your Pain"), and at The First International Conference on Movement and Cognition, held at Oxford University in 2017.

I practiced for two years (1997-1999) at the Wellness and Rehabilitation Center of Watsonville Community Hospital, in California, and for one month as a consultant, trainer, and guest practitioner at Farmington Valley Physical Therapy ( in Unionville, Connecticut.


(click to) View actual letter. 

"This is a letter to recommend Mr. Lawrence Gold in the highest regard. Lawrence is, by training a massage therapist and a certified Hanna Somatic Educator. He has worked at the Wellness and Rehabilitation Center since my coming there in August, 1996. He has assisted us in treating a very diverse and multiple-injured patient population. The majority of the patients seen at the Wellness Center are those who have usually defied a diagnostic agreement amongst physicians.

His utilizing Hanna Somatic Re-education has allowed these patients to regain what the chronicity of their injuries has taken from them. Lawrence’s treatment techniques and keen eye in evaluation have been a key modality to restore balance to these altered systems. Lawrence’s ability to diagnose, educate, and restore a better understanding with patients is his best attribute. He is well written, well-spoken, and is an asset to have as a key staff member in a multi-disciplinary approach to musculoskeletal injury and chronic pain.

In closing, I recommend Mr. Lawrence Gold with the highest regard and would be happy to speak to any of those reading this letter in person in more detail.

Sincerely yours,

Janine M. Talty, Doctor of Osteopathy, M.P.H., Biomechanics

Director, Wellness & Rehabilitation Center

Watsonville Community Hospital, California

telephone (831) 768-8095

"To Whom it May Concern:

Lawrence Gold has demonstrated himself to be highly talented, capable of handling a wide range of complaints, and exceptionally thorough in his evaluation procedures, in his clinical methods, and in his documentation.

His methods have proven effective with muscular spasticity, pain, movement limitations, and paraesthesias that have not [been] resolved with standard physical therapy methods.

Based on my experience, I regard Hanna Somatic Education as an invaluable treatment option and believe that your patients would consider themselves fortunate to have his services available as a treatment option.


Richard A. Bernstein, D.O., 


Former Director, The Wellness & Rehabilitation Center of Watsonville Community Hospital, California"


  • Movement 2017: The First International Conference on Movement and Cognition

  • Head-to-Toe 9: Conference on School Health 

  • The New Mexico Conference on Aging 

  • National Health Federation, 1992


  • Townsend Letter for Doctors

  • American Journal of Pain Management

  • Somatics, Magazine-Journal of the Bodily Arts & Sciences

  • The Therapeutic Specialist's Quarterly Report

  • Massage & Bodywork Magazine

  • Good Medicine Magazine

  • The Health and Fitness Connection

  • Body & Soul

  • Vet Pulse

  • The AHP (Association for Humanistic Psychology) Somatics and Wellness Community Newsletter

Qualifications and Background

After two years' preparatory coursework for training as a Physical Therapist, I earned certification in Hanna Somatic Education and the Dr. Ida P. Rolf Method of Structural Integration. For two years, I served as an Associate Instructor with the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training. I have created an advanced handbook of practice for professional practitioners and self-relief programs for back pain, sciatica, psoas muscle problems, breathing difficulty, and general movement health.

A Functional Look at Back Pain and Treatment Methods 

November, 1994, #136, pg. 1186

Pain Relief through Movement Education 

January, 1996, Vol. 6, no. 1, p. 30

Gaining Grace -- A Somatic Perspective 

autumn/winter 1992-93, Vol. IX, no. 1, pg. 34

An Expanded View of the Three Reflexes of Stress 

summer/fall 2000, Vol. XII, no. 4, pg. 12

Pain Relief through Movement Education (sensory-motor integration):

 Introducing Hanna Somatic Education 

summer, 1997, Vol. II, Issue VI, pg. 2

Staying Grounded 

January/February 2011, pg. 44

Somatic Education, Therapy & Health Care 

winter, 1996, Vol. XI, no. 1, pg. 30

Why Somatic Education is a Body-Mind Thing 

summer/fall, 1997, Vol. XII, no. 3, pg. 116

Posture, Structure, Bodywork, and the Sense of Self 

spring 1998, Vol. XIII, #1, p. 38

Hanna Somatic Education for Relief of Pain

Gaining Agility and Ending Pain with Somatic Education

The Movement Movement

Free Your Hamstrings, Preserve Your Knees! 

September, 1993, Vol. VIII, no. 15, pg. 15

Truth in Medicine 

October, 1993, Vol. VIII, no. 16, pg. 11

Somatic Mastery 

November, 1993, Vol. VIII, no. 17, pg. 15

Car Seats and Your Back 

January, 1994, Vol. IX, no. 1 & 2, pg. 7

Free Your Hamstrings -- Save Your Knees 

March 11, 1994, pg. 6

Defining Somatic Education 

December, 1994, pg. 5

July 9-11, 2017, Oxford University, Oxford, U.K. 

The Pandicular Response: a Neuromuscular Action-Pattern to Eliminate the Lingering Effects of Traumatic Injury

March 28-30, 2004, Albuquerque Convention Center, New Mexico 

Somatic Education

August 19-21, 2003, Glorietta Conference Center, Glorietta, New Mexico 

The Silver Lining: Celebrating Aging for 25 Years | 

Somatic Healing: Somatics, a new discipline to overcome pain and stiffness associated with aging and injury

Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco 

Beyond the Myth of Aging