Body IQ Somatics

Body IQ Somatics is a very effective class for achieving great flexibility, posture, and ease of movement.  It is great for people of all levels of ability.  It helps those who have any chronic pain, stiffness or tension in muscles leading to hip problems, back pain, RSI, sciatica, migraines.  Yet at the same time it is a valuable tool for those who are very able bodied but who want to improve their performance in whatever they do as it improves precision, stability, fluidity of movement and efficiency of movement. This means it’s great for anyone involved in sports of any kind or entertainment (dancers, musicians, etc.) or anything where awareness of breathing, posture and movement is essential. This is NOT the class to do if you want to “feel the burn”, in fact the less effort involved the better!  It IS a class designed to exercise the mind as much as the body and to get the brain and the body talking to each other again so that you can feel the benefits of a body that moves and feels better in everything that you do. In short, it’s the best all-round mind-body maintenance you can do.

A Body IQ Somatics class unlocks knowledge that is already present (but has been forgotten) in your own mind and body about how to feel good. It teaches you how to release yourself from locked postures and develop a free, resilient, body. 

The Body IQ method trains you to recognise the root cause of your muscular tension using a science-based method called Somatic Movement Education (SME).  This is an established practice based on neuro-muscular reprogramming which though relatively new to the UK is much more well recognised in the USA.

How does it work?

Over time we all develop bad habits in the way we move and in our postures. This can be caused by many things from our jobs to a sport, playing a musical instrument, or spending far too much time just sitting. When you perform an action your brain sends a message to your muscles to contract to enable you to perform that action. When you do that same action repeatedly or over long periods of time those muscles become so used to being contracted that the brain decides that that is what’s normal and they stay like that. This is called Sensory-Motor Amnesia or SMA for short. Here’s an example:  the office worker who sits staring at a computer screen for 8 hours a day, so engrossed in deadlines that they barely move from that position all day. As the day wears on the body tires and it becomes more slumped forwards, as the eyestrain sets in the head leans in closer to the screen. The weight of the head leaning forwards means the muscles of the neck have to engage more. By the end of the day the neck feels stiff, strained, tense and tired.  Do this every day 5 days a week and those neck muscles stay permanently engaged. The tension is there all the time, at weekends, even while you sleep. A massage might give temporary relief but it always comes back. Over months and even years of doing this same action every day the problem gets progressively worse, the neck muscles get tenser and less able to relax, the tension turns to chronic pain, the change in posture becomes more noticeable to the naked eye. The tense tight muscles hold you in that slumped over/head jutting forwards position all the time. It is commonly accepted that these are just the natural signs of ageing.  We should all expect to see some of those though, shouldn’t we?

Well no, actually. Somatics shows that we can not only avoid this happening in the first place but we can reverse those so-called affects of ageing, ridding the body of muscle tension, chronic pain and even reversing poor posture such as rounded shoulders or a curve in the spine.

You will be verbally instructed to explore small, effortless movements synchronised with your breathing while (mainly) lying on the floor. This creates strong sensory feedback in the mind-body memory.

Body IQ Somatics can transform the way your body has organised itself. It will change parts that usually feel tight and tense into being mobile. It will change weak and numb spots into being ‘alive’ and alter painful immobility into fluid and pain free movement. By staying mentally focused throughout the class, you take time to sense and connect with where you hold your patterns of stress and tightness. Somatics focuses on full body patterns of muscular contraction, rather than just focusing on one area of pain. Tightness in the centre of the body can relate to tightness in the periphery (hip, knee, foot, neck) and by working on releasing tight muscles in the centre often very positive effects can be felt in all those other places too.

Who would benefit from Body IQ Somatics?

Absolutely anyone ranging from 16 to 85+ year-olds, from pro sports to weekend warriors from desk -bound workers to dancers and golfers.

The BENEFITS

  • Long term pain relief from a host of common conditions
  • Life long skills that teach you how to regain voluntary control of habitually tight muscles
  • Greater physical independence and mastery of your movement
  • Increased flexibility, coordination, stress relief, balance and proprioception
  • A safe, easy and common sense alternative to drugs, and surgery

Somatics is profoundly effective at relieving the chronic aches and disability commonly associated with such complaints as:

  • headaches
  • painful joints and muscles
  • neck, shoulder and back pain
  • sciatica
  • hip, knee and foot pain
  • repetitive use injuries
  • poor posture
  • accident traumas and whiplash
  • breathing problems
  • frozen shoulder syndrome

What are the LONG TERM benefits?

With regular practice you will feel a change in how you move through your daily life. It will change the way in how you feel and think about your own body and mind and how the two relate. You will find yourself becoming more aware of things such as where breath and muscles feel restricted and how you can influence and change this. You will develop increased understanding of how thoughts and feelings impact on how you hold your body and how you can also release those holding patterns.

Of course there are no quick fixes, but with mutual commitment you will feel benefits in your mood, attitude, appearance and posture immediately after each class. The repetition of the moves in every single class will strengthen this awareness and feeling of well being.

Why do  I teach Somatics?

As a teacher of movement and strength training over many years I have worked in various complementary therapies. To date nothing has come remotely close to a miracle “cure” for releasing tension and regaining control of muscles in the way that Somatic Movement does. It is simple yet deeply powerful and relaxing to practice.

Gore Laughlin. Body IQ Studio