“Somatics” is a term developed by Thomas Hannah in the 70s to describe practices that center on internal perceptions of the body. In these various practices, attention is brought to sensations as experienced from within the body. The term ‘felt sense’ is often used, especially to describe the energetic quality of emotions or states of being as they manifest in our bodies.
“Physical presence is an experience that occurs as we learn how to anchor our awareness in our physical body. Most of us believe that we occupy our body, yet we do not. To think about the past or the future means that we have to enter the mental realm. The mental realm is not confined to the location of the physical brain. It extends as far as we can think. If we are thinking about a friend in another country or are revisiting a memory of the the last encounter we had with them, we may assume that we are still in our physical body, but we are not. We are where our point of attention has been cast. We are definitely not physically present…Physical presence only occurs when we consciously enter present moment awareness. The physical body, although it symptomatically reflects our past experiences and future projections, is 100% present.” ~ Michael Brown, The Presence Process
Since the body is only ever 100% in the present, somatic practices, by anchoring our attention on sensations, place us freshly in a state of being in the present moment. With practice then we learn about the joyful and liberating state of “Beingness”, an antidote to our cultural addiction to doing, thinking, and needing to know. Instead of inhabiting the space of our heads, and shutting down our connection to our bodies,- part by part and layer by layer, ever so subtly – somatics takes us to rich places where we are developing our capacity to sense, beyond what we imagined was possible. With practice we come to live in, be connected with, and learn from our body; we find ourselves on an authentic path of self-discovery. If we are diligent, we may come to realize the truth of some version of this scripture: Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? 1 Corinthians 6:19
For these reasons, and more, I, as bodyworker and improv dancer, am passionate about my somatic practices of Authentic Movement, Contact Improvisation, Feldenkrais, and Focusing. They meet my needs for grounding, creativity, play, community, evolution, and wellness. It only makes sense that, as the principles of these modalities live in me, they change me and the way I do my work… and everything else. As I transmute these principles into what makes sense for catalyzing healing in others, I evolve Miracle Bodywork as my unique version of shiatsu.