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Somatics: Reawakening The Mind's Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health [Paperback]

Thomas Hanna
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 4 2004
In the revolutionary Somatics, Thomas Hanna demonstrates that so many problems we accept as inevitable over time-chronic stiffness, bad back, chronic pain, fatigue, and even high blood pressure -need never occur if we maintain conscious control of nerve and muscle, a state which Hanna calls sensory-motor awareness. This gentle, lifelong program can help almost anyone maintain the pleasures of a supple, healthy body indefinitely, with only a five-minute routine once a day.

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Product Details

Product Description


San Fernando Valley Sun, 1/28/10
“[A] favorite body scanning bible.”

About the Author

Thomas Hanna, Ph.D. , founder of the field of Somatics, is director of the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training in Novato, California. He is also editor of Somatics Magazine-Journal of the Mind/Body Arts and Sciences.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
One of the most ancient and famous of riddles is that of the Sphinx: "What is it that has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?" Read the first page
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Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brain reprogramming Jan. 2 2002
I am a massage therapist and use elements of Hanna's work daily.
Most people don't understand that their posture and how they use their body comes from how they have unwittingly programmed their
bodies. Their bodies are on "auto-pilot". Hanna makes this clear to the reader and then discusses how the reader can re-awaken their brain circuits and change their body programming, releasing
muscular tension, using the exercises in the back of the book. Granted that the wooden figures showing the exercises can be difficult to discern, it is worth your patience to work it out.
Your body will thank you. I have adapted many of the movements to my table work sessions and always assign one or two movements as homework. You can do much on your own. I have given away many copies of this book to clients who showed great interst in Hanna's work and in taking care of themselves.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This book really changed my life. I used to suffer from shoulder tendinitis and other muscular ailments, but by using the material in this book I'm now 99% pain free. In addition, "Somatics" taught me about the causes and cures of muscular tension, "aging", and poor posture. By applying what I learned in "Somatics", my body has become much more supple and relaxed, making activities from walking to playing tennis to doing the dishes much more enjoyable.
But what is the catch? As Thomas Hanna explains, once you learn how your body really works, its up to you to learn how to improve its function. The bad news is that it takes time and persistance to effectively apply the knowledge in "Somatics" to your own body. The good news, however, is that by applying this knowledge you'll gain control over your own muscular (and thereby skeletal) health, now and for the rest of your life!
I also like this book because even though the material is fairly scientific, the book's occasional humor and its case study format make it an enjoyable read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars release muscle tension and eliminate pain Feb. 21 2003
By A Customer
In this book Hanna provides a clear explanation of why the brain becomes conditioned to maintain unnecessary muscle tension, why that creates pain and limits movement, and most importantly, how to re-educate the brain to release that unnecessary tension, restore free movement, and eliminate pain. The exercises depicted in this book have given me my life back, freeing me from back pain I had for 15 years following a car accident. I highly recommend the book, and also recommend finding a Somatics practitioner to work with directly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a fabulous book. I borrowed it from a friend then bought my own copy so I never have to be without it. I teach beginning Yoga practice and lead my students in these exercises at the beginning of many classes to bring awareness to the body-mind and loosen and open before practicing traditional poses. This book has been a god-send providing several somatic exercises that are explained simply and thoroughly emphasizing awareness on the body. The references to studies given in the body of the book, come across a little "heady", but in no way take away from the wealth of information. Hanna explains what " Sensory-motor amnesia" is, and how to free ourselves from it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars finally excercises for a bad back! Oct. 1 2001
By A Customer
This is the first set of excercises for my back that has ever had any effect at all. My back began feeling better within a matter of days, and has just gotten better and better. If you've had back trouble that you can't get rid of, try this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bottom line: get this book Nov. 23 2003
By A Customer
If you have any structural pain that just won't go away, if you want to better your bodily awareness, and especialy if you are a healthcare professional. It is worth more than its weight in gold. I am a massage therapist, my works effectiveness increased a hundred fold when I learned what this book offers, and my selfcare routine did too.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure
This is great background reading. As a chronic pelvic pain patient with sacroiliac joint dysfunction, I have read a yon of books. This is a fundamental read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Patricia Sanghwan
4.0 out of 5 stars Postural re-training starts with awareness
Finally, someone that speaks my language! Thomas Hannah describes my belief system so eloquently. My massage therapist recommended this book to me. Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2011 by Maria
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all who have physical pain
I am grateful to the good person who recommended this book to me. I now understand how easy it is to develop bad posture which can generate all sorts of pain that we too easily... Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2010 by D. Becker
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful aid for improving movement health
This book serves as an excellent introduction to somatic education and the benefits available to those willing to do the exercises descibed in the manner (slow and easy) that Hanna... Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2001 by Dave MacDougall
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Money
I returned this book within two days of its purchase. A large portion of this book deals with the author's discussion of success stories. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, it has saved me $100's and a lot of pain.
This book uses visual aids to teach you how
to solve your own skeletal problems, such as
a painful back, headaches. Read more
Published on April 12 1997
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