Archive for May, 2009

Somatics on the Web

May 15, 2009

What do we all have in common?

We all exist as consciousness probing into the kaleidoscopically changing field of experience.

More than that, we all exist as memory patterns — at core, the memory of self, and built onto and around that, the memory of a lifetime.

Memory is our sense of the past, our ability to recognize the content of our now-experience, and the standard by which we measure our developing future — our imagination.

Memory, perception-cognition, imagination — past, present and future.

Life has its insults and injuries.  The notion of “trauma” is tied up with memory.  Trauma is the memory-imprint of experience; it’s a lingering impression of a moment of life that persists and colors our sense of past, self, and future.

The field of somatics concerns itself with the memory impressions that create our experience of self, of other, and of past-present-and future.  Those memory impressions exist not only as mental recollections, but also as physical conditioning:   states of tension and the sensations of those states of tension.  States of tension are states of readiness to act in certain ways left over from the past, identical to our experience of the past, brought to the present as our sense of the present, but largely unconscious, subterranean, in the background, scarcely observed directly, but experienced indirectly as our interpretation of “what’s what” in our experience.

Just as the past doesn’t exist, except as a memory, the future doesn’t exist except as imaginings (given meaning by memories of the past), and the present doesn’t exist, except as sense impressions given meaning by memories. Our experience of the present is largely a variation of the past with a little novelty thrown in, which we assimilate by making it fit with our memories of the past.

People change very slowly because we are mired in memory impressions; and actually, our sense of ourself is a memory that we maintain by how we manage our lives.

Somatics is a way to sort out the memory impressions, largely by recovering awareness of them and then by dissolving their binding force by taking creative control of them and releasing them.

For now, I’ll point you to an article, Understanding and Overcoming Back Pain which describes somatic principles more effective than standard therapeutic options.

For more articles on clinical somatic education, see the website, Somatics on the Web.  The field of somatics goes way beyond clinical applications, but that’s a subject for another entry.