From the Tactical Library: Somatics, Thomas Hanna

somatics-thomas-hanna-nagaikaEssential reading for all owners of a human body, period. In this book, Thomas Hanna, a student of Moshe Feldenkrais describes the mechanisms by which the body and mind are linked together, and how abnormal movement and muscle tension will affect not only the physical aspects of health, but also psychological well being. All emotions will manifest physically, by generating muscle tension that will alter posture and breathing. What actors know and use in their work is the existence of a two way relationship between emotion and physical manifestation, if you imitate the manifestation, you will evoke the emotion.

When we understand that a muscle that stays tense too long will forget how to relax, you can see that an emotion sustained for a prolonged period will not only trap the tension in the muscles used to manifest it, it will also trap the emotion itself. Focusing on two main tension patterns, the Moro reflex and the Landau reflex that he refers to as the Red and Green light reflexes, he offers a series of exercises that, when practiced with awareness, will restore conscious control over your muscles, improve posture and physical health as well as psychological freedom. Most of the symptoms of aging, be they physical or psychological can be traced back to creeping chronic muscle tension, and this method allows to fully reverse these at any age.

Reviewed by Stéphane Beaudin, Owner and Combat/Mobility Instructor, Club Nagaika (Montreal, CA)

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