Hanna Somatics – Testimonials
I was happy with things (after my first session) heading into last week’s session. Now, I am ecstatic. Freeing my upper body up has had the most dramatic effect yet. My entire back, including lower, is loose. I have had ZERO pain, including in my leg. You have to understand why I was skeptical – I have been to dozens of doctors, PTs, chiropractors, etc. and had more underwhelming results than you can imagine. I am ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY with your program. Thanks, Tim D.
the (Somatics) program you set me on is a tremendous help. I shared your info with my doctor. She thanked me for the info & said she’d try to remember to pass some patients along your way based on my success.
Take care KK
I want to thank you for introducing me to Hanna Somatics. I can say that it is the best thing I have found for health improvement since I have begun my practice of Tai Chi and its related arts. I begin my day with Somatic movements even before I get out of bed. I have found not only does it help me begin my day by opening my body up but has also done wonders for my overall posture and ease of movement. In addition, I feel that it has helped me take my Tai Chi practice, (which I have been doing for 25 years) to the next level which I find both interesting and exciting. I am happy to report that since meeting you, and a subsequent daily Somatics practice, I have not had any recurrence of muscle contracture problems.
So thank you and peace be with you, Rich M
Sifu John: Recently I had a check-up with my neurologist for my Parkinson’s (2 years now), and she pointed out how I have improved from my previous check-up four months previous. She felt that the improvements had to do with Tai Chi, which I have been practicing since August of 2011, and the exercises that go with it. The reason I started Tai Chi was that it was suggested for improving my balance. My balance has improved but still has a way to go. My walking, posture etc have shown great improvement since starting Tai Chi. As you know there is no cure for PD, but medication, exercise, etc. helps to slow down the progression. I also think Somatics, which I have just started, will also help in many ways. I wanted to share this with you and to thank you for help and guidance.
I recently came to you for instruction in Tai Chi hoping it would also improve my flexibility and range of motion. In the course of my instruction you suggested that my goal might be helped with some sessions in Somatics, in hopes that my sessions in Somatics would, in time, allow me to bend and twist a bit more than I currently could. Fortunately, I agreed to proceed with Somatics. I had been aware of the major decline that had occurred in my ability to bend and move. I was not completely aware of all the subtleties that were limiting my ability to move smoothly. You gently moved my limbs, pulling, pushing and stretching me, reminding me throughout to go to the edge of pain and no further, in time we will be able to go a bit further. At this writing I have completed a few sessions. There has been some discomfort, as you told me there likely would be. But with your guidance and me doing the home exercises my range of motion and my flexibility has increased beyond what I had hoped for. Thank you for the beginning.
R P Goodrow
I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your work and feel blessed that I find out about it. I read your new book on Somatics this summer and am fascinated with it. I have been doing the pelvic lessons as described in the book. They have been so helpful. As long as I do them several times a day I am pretty much pain free and hoping that over time my flexibility in that area will be increased. I have recently started working through the shoulder exercises as described in your CD. That has been quite an experience. I have had shoulder separations on both sides. My orthopedic doctor told me that there was a 50% chance that surgery would help and 50% chance that it would be worse! not good odds. The lack of mobility in my shoulders has been a hindrance in my practice of Coiling Silk Qigong. I am hoping that over time this will make a difference. After a few attempts at the lessons I feel like my shoulders are getting a message that is inviting them to wake up. I like the concept of Sensorimotor Amnesia. My shoulders feel more like they’ve been in a Somatic Coma. I’m 62 by the way.
Best regards, Stuart B.
Thanks to you, I’ve been able to walk more distance with less pain than I have had in years – since before my third pregnancy two years ago. After completing an 8-week course of conventional physical therapy for my achilles tendonitis my right hamstring had seized up and none of my previously tried-and-true conditioning or yoga techniques were working to release it. Three sessions with you helped identify several issues. Thanks for giving me the tools to address them. I have continued reading your book and Thomas Hanna’s book, finding several other worthwhile stretches that I have added to the routine you gave me. I highly recommend you and your methods for anyone with chronic pain and mobility issues.
Your Myth of Aging seminar was a life changing experience for me. I am going to forward information on your next event to my black belts and instructors.
Yours In The Martial Arts,
Jonathan M (Martial Arts school owner)
Hard to believe… In July of 2007 I had sudden onset pain in my lower back / hip. Active at 46, I was about 20lbs heavier than I should have been, and, had never had any back issues or back pain until then. Over the next 15 months I had an MRI showing nothing of significance (one small disc bulge that shouldn’t have caused the pain), a clean X-Ray, P/T, massage, chiropractic care, An electric stim test, an anti-inflammatory shot for periformis (minimal results), more P/T, 3 cortisone shots over 9 months epidurally into my spine, another MRI showing 2 small disc bulges (everything was getting worse instead of better)… I was still in constant pain ranging from knife like pain down my leg to headache like throbbing in my buttock and hip. Aleve/Motrin seemed to help ease it a bit, but couldn’t take it away. Staying active kept it loose and laying down or sitting aggravated it, as things tightened up which aggravated the sciatica. Unable to sleep more than 2 hrs. at a time due to the pain waking me up, I would be up all night, pacing and stretching. I was even considering surgery (despite the MRI showing the bulges shouldn’t have been causing that much pain) as I needed to do something… On-line research led me to Somatics and I was game to try anything at that point.
Basically, its premise is that over time your body, through small injuries, bad posture, tension, etc., ‘forgets’ how to relax certain muscles fully (sensory motor amnesia). Stretching hurt because it was tearing at muscles tying to contract, working them out felt better initially by loosening them and wearing them out but then exacerbated it by creating more tension. That constant tension (even though you feel relaxed in my head) creates problems. I just felt like even though I had relaxed the muscles in question, they were ‘tight’. Although hard to find a practitioner around my home, I finally found one about an hour’s drive from me. The practitioner at Jade Forest’s Pain And Mobility Clinic, John Loupos, is not only well versed in Somatics but a very intelligent and thoughtful provider. With high hopes but low expectations, I signed up for just 4 sessions over the next month. By the third week I was sleeping through the night! One 1 hr. session a week for 5 weeks (I opted for an extra) and I was almost completely pain free and back to ‘normal’. His feeling was that the bulges were possibly occurring because the spinal muscles in constant tension were compacting my spine.
Unfortunately after about 2 months of feeling almost normal (I still felt a little tension bending over to put on shoes, etc.) I made the mistake of being very lax on performing the movements which had helped me, and then shoveling 18″ of heavy snow (I live just outside Boston MA) … and my back tightened up again. Combining that with a 4 hr. drive to see family on Christmas and I am back trying to get rid of the pain, up every two hrs. This is again frustrating, but I now know I have some recourse, so I am back for more Somatics. This time I’ll stick with the exercises even after the pain goes away in order to remain flexible! Ed W.
I have been very active throughout my life and have experienced many injuries, stemming variously from horseback riding, water skiing, judo, dog training, and a serious car accident. At some point my body stopped compensating for the assaults and started to break down. My doctor told me my myelogram was that of someone in a wheelchair and no longer walking. He couldn’t figure how I’d walked into the hospital. The doctor commented, “There is clearly more to this than medicine.” I also have extensive degenerative disc disease and was advised that my situation is inoperable. Additionally, I have fibromyalgia and am looking at a left knee replacement. Despite all this I remain busy and physically active. Throughout the years I’ve had physical therapy, massage therapy, etc., which have been helpful to a point. On the plus side, I’m still walking upright and use a minimum of pain medication despite my discomforts. My son Michael recommended I try Somatics. I started off with a day long Myth of Aging workshop and have continued to attend mini seminars offering other movement patterns. Somatics hasn’t been a ‘cure’, but it has helped to keep me functioning. The exercises are so simple and they help to keep my spine supple. I recommend them for everyone. I incorporate these exercises into my daily morning routine and only wish now that I’d learned them long ago. My goal is to keep functioning and the Hanna Somatics practices are a big plus.
The biggest change for me has been that since starting these exercises I no longer experience sciatic pain during long drives. Thank you for introducing me to Somatics.
Thank you for my recent Somatics sessions. I feel that they have really helped me to develop a better understanding of the pain that develops in my body, and how to manage it better. Thank you again for helping me find a better method of approaching my overall well being. Thank you! Laura M.
Hi John! Thank you for your patience and skill throughout my Somatics sessions. I am so happy that the exercises really do what they say – retrain the brain! My muscles must be so happy not to be contracted all the time! And I feel so much better! Feel free to use the following testimony:
I started the Somatics sessions as a last resort trying to find out why I always hurt! My muscles felt so tight all the time! Now, I know they were in a state of constant contraction. But I really didn’t understand why: perhaps an auto accident years before, or improper body mechanics? I was at the Chiropractor’s every week. He offered relief after an adjustment but it never lasted. A massage therapist had told me about Somatics – how it retrained the brain – some 10 years ago. I bought the book and read most of it but didn’t think it would help – too simple, I thought! However, last fall I was at a dead end! Nothing helped! I picked up the Somatics book again and found John Loupos’ Somatics Sessions on the Web. It took 3 months of doing my series of exercises 2x per day to get my muscles to relax. I love doing them because my muscles feel so relaxed. I feel calm as I go through the series. I think a good adjective to describe them is “Delicious”!! Dianne J.
I wanted to thank you again. Your ‘Myth of Aging’ Somatics seminar was amazing. It was obvious that you are a highly skilled and patient teacher. I recently had back surgery and have already found this material to be tremendously helpful. In fact, my wife plans to participate the next time you offer a seminar in this region. Also, can you let me know when your new book on Somatics is published, as I am eager to purchase a copy.
Sincerely, Michael W.
Dear Sifu John,
I thought that I should send you a report on my knee. I have been practicing the Hanna Somatics exercises you assigned me for my knee which had been chronically sore. They are helping tremendously. Before the Hanna Somatics exercise patterns I found it difficult to do jumping kicks in class because the landing was always tentative. Also the snap seemed to bother my knee a bit. Last night was the first night that I have felt no tenderness, tentativeness, or pain doing kicks that I hadn’t felt comfortable with for the last 2 years.
Thank you, Joel B
Gary and I enjoyed meeting you at the festival recently in E. Stroudsburg. Immediately after the workshop and continuing since that time my shoulder has felt so much better and my range of motion has increased. The results were unexpected because I have a massive tear in my rotator cuff that will need surgery at some point. Physical therapy and regular visits to the gym help but I have not had the same results I experienced since your workshop.
Have a good summer.
I’m sitting here at my desk, turning my head from side to side with no pain. I am now six days out from our session. I am absolutely thrilled with the results!
I also wanted to thank you for relieving the tension in my neck/shoulders that caused my neck to be 3 inches closer to one shoulder than the other. I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it for myself in front of the mirror. And, after the session, to see that I was once again centered was such a relief! It’s amazing how my body had become so “deformed” and I wasn’t even aware of it! I just remeasured my neck/shoulders and it is still centered.
Last evening, I got on my mountain bike for the first time in several months (it’s been a long, wet winter here in California). I experienced a stamina and strength in my riding that normally takes several long, arduous rides to attain. I was also able to keep up with my husband (except for the last 15 minutes of our ~1 hr ride), who had a head start on me having been on several rides while I was out of town. I attribute my stamina to the session we had, as my body felt very comfortable when I first sat on my bike. There was no feeling of tension/tightness anywhere, which I often experience in my legs/back/shoulders when first getting on my bike. And, this morning I feel no muscle tightness in my legs–they’re relaxed! It’s truly amazing! I wish all athletes could experience this! Thanks again for your help and guidance,
Kathy K, Marketing Specialist
My name is Matt R and I live in the DC area. I am very interested in Hanna Somatics, and I’ve also been a Taiji practitioner for several years in DC. I have practiced Somatics on my own for over a year and have found it almost shockingly helpful in releasing muscle tension.
Sincerely, Matt R
Wow, thank you for the response!!
I’ve contacted several Hanna practitioners and all of them said the same thing- that pursuing Hanna Somatics is not something I would regret. It sounds like you’ve experienced what I’ve imagined- that when people feel the same things I feel from somatics, they will realize how important it is. There are so many forms of ‘alternative’ healthcare, that I’ve feared people would a) have never heard of it and b) even if they had heard of it, opt for chiropractic, massage, etc. I too received a good deal of massage and even attended a semester of massage therapy school last fall. Family priorities and a nagging feeling that massage would not even come close to the sort of change I knew possible with somatics, caused me to leave the program. Your points for martial artists really helps me! Although I certainly never imagined giving up Taiji, I did feel like I had stiffness, especially in my lower back, pelvis, and legs, that would take many, many years to relax. When I tried Somatics on my own a year ago, I realized that my lower back literally changed, almost immediately. It was shocking, and revelatory. My wife thought I was crazy. I had tried many kinds of bodywork, and nothing had changed my body as much as my own session of about ten minutes.
Anyway, I’d love to contact you in the future. Thanks, again!
Dear Sifu John:
Since I haven’t had an opportunity to contact you since the Somatic sessions, I thought it best to send you this letter. My original intent was to give you a status or update of my progress, but it occurred to me you already know the outcome. As such, I decided to direct this letter to another audience, namely prospective Somatic clients, and others who may have read about Somatics, people who are considering attending one of your classes or a private session or people who are merely tentative about trying Somatics. Perhaps my experience with Somatics will offer a level of reassure to other people contemplating Somatics.
Let me begin with a brief background of my injury, which was the underlying reason for engaging in Somatics. In the summer of 2005, I ruptured my left Achilles tendon. I was placed in a non-walking and non-load bearing cast for about three months. When the cast was removed I was given a rigid plastic boot which I was to wear for four to six weeks and told to begin physical therapy. I started physical therapy the day after the boot was removed. The therapist advised me that this part of the rehabilitation process had two objectives: strengthen my left leg and ankle and regain my balance. After months in the cast, understandably, my entire left leg was weak, especially the calf and ankle, and I walked with a distinct limp. What I hadn’t planned on was my body being so far out of balance. The actual physical therapy involved light non-impact exercises three times per week and was suppose to last until late January or early February.
From the moment the therapist told me part of the p/t program was to recapture my balance my mind thought – Sifu John Loupos. Because I had taken Tai Chi classes from John in the past, my mind and body knew what it meant to be in balance. After a month of p/t I contacted John. John told me about Somatics and I attended a private session. I subsequently read the Somatics book by Hanna and followed the exercise routine prescribed by John and included in the book. I should point out I found the exercises in the book, which are depicted by stick figures, difficult to follow. So, I decided to purchase a CD of the exercises which is much easier to follow. A week or two after my Somatic session, I had a second session. At the end of the second session I walked out of Jade Forest with virtually no limp. For days later, people who I routinely come in contact with all said the same thing, “What happened to your limp?” My quick recovery also created a dilemma for my physical therapist who recommended I discontinue p/t and reschedule my appointment with my orthopedic surgeon from late January to early January. Simply put, I had cut six weeks off the traditional p/t program for ruptured Achilles patients. I did reschedule my visit with the orthopedic surgeon and we met the first week of January. Now for the fun part, a member of the Red Sox ruptured his Achilles almost two months to the day after I ruptured mine. I told my orthopedic surgeon, who operates out of a top Boston hospital, I would recover faster than the Red Sox player. There are two major problems with my arrogant pronouncement. First, the professional ball player is about half my age. And second, his only job was to recover and heal and he was receiving the best that money could buy treatment. After examining the Achilles, my doctor asked me if I could stand on one leg, first the right (the uninjured leg) and then the left. I thought a better demonstration of how well the Achilles had healed and how good my balance was would be to perform a few basic Tai Chi movements, which I did. In addition to the orthopedic surgeon, an orthopedic intern was also in the room and both had the same speechless reaction. After a moment of being frozen in position with their mouths open, the surgeon said he couldn’t believe how I got my balance back in such a short period of time.
I firmly believe that no two people are exactly the same, physically or mentally. Moreover, I do not recommend following the program I used to expedite my recovery. In fact, I deliberately omitted an account of the exercise routine (physical therapy) I followed. What I can confirm is that without Somatics and the expertise of John Loupos I would not have recovered faster than the younger professional baseball player and my recovery would have taken months longer. If you have not taken the time to study Somatics and consulted with John, I would proffer you are selling yourself short. To anyone who is a prospective Somatican, I impart the following question, to paraphrase an ancient Stoic, is it the anticipation of an event or an event itself that causes a person trepidation or anguish or is it the person’s interpretation or opinion of the event?
Sincerely, Paul J. T