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The word Somatics has come from the Greek word ‘Soma’ which means ‘living body’, and it is this depth of body awareness that we are referring to.
Thomas Hanna coined the word Somatics in his book by the same name, and in it he explains how much of the traditional scientific approach to medicine approaches from the perspective of the 3rd person position only. In other words from the perspective of a fly on the wall - all be it with x-ray vision. Physicians typically diagnose and treat people from this position, the position of seeing the person as a ‘body’, with only a physiological view. Traditional counsellors and therapists diagnose and treat people from this 3rd position as well, but in their case, they are seeing the person as a 'mind', with only a psychological view.
The MythoSelf® Process, with its underlying technology Soma-Semantic™ Modeling, stands itself apart as a method that takes into account the 1st person position - i.e. the patient as a living body with a miraculous wisdom of its own that’s self-sensing.
“Life is largely a process of adaptation to circumstances in which we exist. A perennial give and take has been going on between living matter and its inanimate surroundings, between one living being and another, ever since the dawn of life in the prehistoric oceans. The secret of health and happiness lies in successful adjustment to the ever-changing conditions on this globe; the penalties for failure in this great process and adaptation are disease and unhappiness” - from The Stress of Life, by Hans Seyle, pp.XV-XIII, and included on p 45 of Thomas Hanna’s book Somatics.
During a person’s lifetime there is a need to develop the ability and will power to deal with the stresses of every day existence, and it is in man’s power to influence his mental and physical evolution at this level. Hanna introduces the concept of the Red Light Reflex and how a person’s musculoskeletal system can begin to physically shape itself for protection and withdrawal if operating from the Red Light Reflex. Have you ever met a person whose shoulders are drawn upward and inward, whose back is arched, whose abdomen is clenched in on itself? Such a person is likely to have habituated this physical posture because they responded with the Red Light Reflex in response to the stresses of every day life.
Another pioneer in this field is a visionary scientist by the name of Moshe Feldenkrais. He developed a method of somatic education called the Feldenkrais Method® which addresses the relationship between faulty posture, pain, and the underlying emotional mechanisms that lead to compulsive and dependent human behaviour.
The MythoSelf® Process combines the work of both Thomas Hanna and Moshe Feldenkrais (as well as Mythologist Joseph Campbell) to deliver a revolutionary technique for developing the body/mind and personal transformation.