Keep Your Nose above the Water -- Afloat, Afloat

 What if you had a way to get "a leg up" on overwhelm? to get your nose well above the "overwhelm waterline" without anything situational having to change, first? -- by improving your mental equilibrium and buoyancy, your ability to float, rather than drown in situations, and go where you intend, rather than being submerged?

Wouldn't you start to feel more than "equal to the circumstances", if you could do that?   Nothing changed.   No need to let off steam.  You've just improved your mental equilibrium and buoyancy -- quite a bit, actually, so your nose stays well above the "overwhelm waterline" . . .

-- and it hasn't dented your intelligence, a bit.

Quite the contrary: Your mind is sharper and clearer, your emotions are quiet, and you feel more natural.

How do you do that??

There are four "floats of intelligence" in the life preserver we wear in the ocean of life. Those floats of intelligence are attention, intention, memory, and imagination and they're flexibly -- but not loosely -- connected.

When in good condition and well-connected, they maintain our buoyancy -- and we feel secure.

We trust them to be in good condition -- but when immersed in the ocean of life, those floats get waterlogged. They lose their buoyancy and we flounder in the ocean of life. That's what people call, Overwhelm.

It may be a truism to state that it's not the work, in general, that is difficult; it's the people that are difficult.

What's difficult is that the movements of change come up against people's memories of how things have been and are supposed to be -- water sogging their floats of intelligence -- and they're afraid for their ability to stay afloat. Everything becomes, "too much".

Then, resistance, stuck points, slowdowns, regressions, interpersonal symptoms, stress-related ailments, resignations, and sometimes, injuries appear.

Wouldn't it be nicer if people could refresh their "floats of intelligence" at-need, for themselves, in minutes -- to keep their noses well above the "overwhelm waterline"?

I teach such a way -- a kind of intelligence-float training. It makes working much more pleasant -- and more efficient. When applied by members of a closely-working group, it is easy to imagine it "rightening the ship to an even keel, repairing the compass, and unfurling the sails."

Being as, "change is the rule of the times," to be able to righten ones own ship in stormy seas would come in handy -- wouldn't it?

Follow your nose and be informed by direct experience.


No -- and Yes

"No!" simply chops off the persistence of something as of the last memory of it -- but the memory persists and conditions persist, despite opposition.

"No!" cannot and will not develop past the memory of what was.

"Yes!" picks up where, "No!", leaves off -- carrying the known of the past moment into further evolution -- memories that do not merely continue; they evolve.

"No!" ends as "No" and continues as, "Yes!"

"Yes!" carries the momentum of, "No!' forward -- as Yes.

"No!" and "Yes!" are a continuity.

On Hanna Somatic Education to Eliminate Sacroiliac Joint Pain and Related Symptoms (Sacroileitis)


Clinical Somatic Education to Eliminate Sacroiliac Joint Pain and Related Symptoms

Let me shed some light on the somatic approach, Clinical Somatic Education, which may be unfamiliar to you, due to its relative newness.

Clinical somatic education stands as a health discipline developed on a different foundation from conventional therapies. Its primary objective is to alleviate pain and relieve stress.  Sometimes, it's used in conjunction with standard therapies, but most often, it is applied, by itself.

Rather than focusing on manipulation, stretching and strengthening, clinical somatic education focuses on normalizing the brain's control of movement, muscular tensions, and posture, disrupted by injury. This normalization of muscle tone leads to muscular relaxation, loosening of joints, and the cessation of nerve pain -- the hoped-for result of strengthening, stretching, and manipulation,

What sets this approach apart is its utilization of a completely different technique that initiates a transformation at the brain level. By altering muscular activity through this method, the body becomes distinctly self-correcting, allowing for long-lasting improvements.

In summary, clinical somatic education offers a groundbreaking path to pain relief and improved mobility, providing results that differ significantly from standard therapies.

The main technique used in Clinical Somatic Education is called, pandiculation.

Pandiculation: The Direct and Natural Way to Change Movement Memory and Pelvic Shape

Let me share with you some information about pandiculation, a fundamental action pattern observed in all creatures with a backbone.

This innate action is exceptionally well-suited for the purpose of normalizing muscle/movement memory and addressing the forces that govern the shape of the pelvis and position of the sacrum. 

By engaging in pandiculation, you actively participate in resetting and reestablishing a harmonious relationship between your muscles, movement patterns, and overall bodily alignment.

Similar to yawning, pandiculation plays a crucial role in restoring balance to muscular tension, enhancing mobility, and reclaiming physical comfort.

Watch and listen:


Everyone has experienced pandiculation in everyday life -- albeit not in the systematic manner employed in clinical somatic education.

It's a natural behavior observed in creatures with a backbone, including our feline and canine friends, horses, and even birds. 

It occurs when an animal arises from a state of rest.  You've seen what people call, "yawning and stretching".  While some may refer to it as "stretching," it is important to note that pandiculation is not stretching.

It's more like a clearing or de-bugging software -- something like anti-virus software -- or re-booting your movement system (something like [CONTROL][ALT][DELETE].  It's a re-set.

Its primary function is to restore your innate ability to relax and to move freely, to make you ready to go from rest into action. 

Pandiculation is fundamentally distinct from therapeutic or athletic stretching techniques -- offering a unique way to unlocking tension and improved bodily coordination.

In clinical somatic education, we use it to correct movement alterations and alleviate the pain associated with most injuries.

Pandiculation stands as the simplest and most effective method for reprogramming muscles and movement.  Unlike traditional stretching, it directly influences movement memory, bringing about comfortable and usually immediate and lasting changes.  

As I mentioned earlier, the involvement of muscles and the distortion of pelvic shape are intertwined:  "bones go where muscles pull them." Clinical somatic education addresses the nervous system, muscular system, and skeletal alignment.

Pandiculation unlocks muscle/movement memory, allowing for adjustments in movement and posture that are outside the usual capacity of a person with an injury.  It restores comfortable freedom of motion.

This unlocking is a prerequisite for any subsequent movement training to be its most effective.

Following the unlocking process (Unit 1 of the program), you do action patterns utilizing pandiculation to further normalize movement memory (Units 2 and 3). 

As the pelvis gradually reshapes and the sacrum finds a healthier position, symptoms dissipate.  

Remember, "bones go where muscles pull them."

While this explanation is an oversimplification, it captures the essence of how clinical somatic education brings about transformative results.

Once unlocking and repatterning have taken place, individuals can confidently engage in various activities, including strenuous ones, knowing that those activities are now safe, for them to do.

Click on the image, below, to see the entire comment.

TO SUMMARIZE: Compression and twisting forces at the S-I joints that occur in injury situations compress the S-I joints, strain the pelvic ligaments, trigger reflexive muscular contractions throughout the body and cause muscle and cause radiating nerve pain (that may be mistaken for spasm) -- symptoms that never let up.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction, also known as Sacroiliac Pain Syndrome, encompasses a complex array of symptoms that defies direct therapeutic intervention at the locations where symptoms appear.  Instead, symptoms disappear as the position of the sacrum straightens.

The best solution lies in the body straightening itself and maintaining the straightened position of the sacrum, through normal movement memory. 

Once the sacrum realigns with the rest of the pelvis, the pain of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction is over.

Freeing Attention as the Key to Insight, Memory and Action

When daunting problems mount up, that mounting up is the situation in which we need the most free attention.

Free attention is the ability to move attention, intentionally -- and also to fixate it, intentionally.  It makes possible the ability to imagine and the ability to remember.

When attention is free, it can move; when it is free, we can more easily hold it, undistracted, upon the object (or subject) of our choosing.

One easy way to free attention is to solve accumulated, smaller problems that are not so daunting, that can be handled quickly.  Small problems generally resolve more quickly than daunting problems and solving them frees attention, now available to dedicate to daunting problems.

When attention is free and available, we are more capable of receiving insight and of recognizing resources to apply to daunting problems.

Insight is not something that we "dig for".  To "dig", thus, relies upon memory -- whereas daunting problems are daunting, in part, because we have no applicable memory for solving them.

Insight is an emergent.  Insight doesn't from "from" us; it comes "to" us -- when attention is sufficiently free to apprehend what is emerging.

To capture insight (foresight) at the instant of its emerging, attention must be sufficiently free to imagine remembering it.  To imagine is the key to remembering:  "imagining remembering".

The insight that is captured, that way, forms the seed for further insight, which crystallizes upon and around that seed insight.  This is also the way crystals grow:  if a tiny crystal is submerged in a solution containing the same substance, it acts as a "seed" upon which more of that substance deposits upon and around it.

The key is to capture the seed insight, which emerges spontaneously into imagination, to capture it in memory.

Free attention -- the freedom both to move what is imagined into memory and to fixate it in memory -- is the necessary key.

Free attention by solving small problems quickly.  Then use that free attention to capture and apply emerging solutions.

Caveat Emptor: Let the Buyer Beware -- an alert about WiX and their discredited website designer, Jonathan Roumaine

Not an endorsement, but a "let the buyer beware" alert:

Since you're considering working with Jonathan Roumain, there are some things you would probably like to know before you sign a contract, with him.


Before we signed a contract, I told him the scope of the project (299 pages, half HTML and half Wordpress) and gave him all of the necessary links to preview the job.

The contract we signed included these four conditions:

  1. full payment in advance
  2. unlimited revisions
  3. completion date: April 2022
  4. 299 pages


Shortly after I paid the full amount, in advance, he told me:

  1. that the job was too much, for him
  2. that he needed more money and more time
  3. that he does best with sales funnels, not information-rich websites
  4. that his rate per page is $600.00, which would have made his fee $179,400 -- about thirty-three times the amount of the contract we signed

In response to (2.), above, I proposed, instead, that he render the most important pages of the website -- 31 pages of 299 -- to save the time of redoing the entire project with someone else and to enable me to test whether the new look he and I were developing would pay off.

Reducing the number of pages (for the same money) didn't help. As of this date, the job is still incomplete and not suitable for publication.

He has balked at correcting his own errors, instead blaming me for too many "revisions". By his count, I have made 486 change requests, an average of 15-16 changes per page -- most of which are for faults in his renderings of pages such as:

  1. inconsistent line spacings, paragraph spacings, margins, and font choices (size, color, boldface) (Would you find that acceptable?)
  2. awkward line breaks (Would you find that acceptable?)
  3. loss of logical flow of content within each page because -- by his own confession, he did/does not read the material before he designed out the page (Would you find that acceptable?)
  4. missing or incorrect hyperlinks and missing trial-period payment cancellation buttons present on my published, older website (Would you find that acceptable?)
  5. placing photos that had no relevance to adjacent text (Would you find that acceptable?)
  6. twice, he said that he would create a video to show me how to "tweak" his work -- when that is his job (Would you find that acceptable?)
  7. twice, he has gone non-responsive to my communications and done no work on my project for months

By any reckoning, for work that has been proofread before my seeing them, fifteen changes per page is a lot. These are faults that I would never have seen, if he had done competent proofreading.

Eight months after his self-declared deadline for completion, the job is still incomplete, with changes necessary on most of the pages he worked on, so they are unusable.

There are other items to report, but this is enough, I think.


The WiX platform promotes Jonathan Roumaine in return of payment.

I informed WiX of all of the details above and they suspended his account -- temporarily.  Then, knowing what I wrote, above, they reinstated him.

That tells me something about their intelligence -- or their ethics.

The Great Reality Kazoo Orchestra

Reality is a mutable plastic medium of unknown origin or substance, with persistent or slowly changing islands of density that give it the appearance of substantiality.

Within its formless nature and with its own substance, it coalesces into tiny patterns shapes too varied -- and that change too chaotically -- to be apprehended

change too quickly unless, as the density of the coalescing forms increases, its rate of change slows down sufficiently to fall out of chaotic intensity and into a coherent definition in space-time ... 

Where, before, it was an exploded field, it becomes a tendency.

It precipitates or manifests within formless reality as "densified form-in-some-location and at-some-location" -- in relationship to All Things.  

It comes into existence as stable, resonant forms of relationship, or patterned behavior -- as tendency.

This is known as, "manifestation".

It originates at a primordial, microscopic level of existence at which "IS" and "NOT" resonate, on and off, alternately, like the snow on the screen of an old style television set -- or the hiss between radio stations -- too fast to follow, but within which discernable shapes may seem to be distinguished.  

Space is defined in terms of the relationship between contiguous regions of density; time is defined by the relative movements of those regions.  Space-time is density in motion.

From that primordial, microscopic level of manifestation come all of the more complex forms in existence.

The mutable plastic quality is the tendency for things to change slowly, persisting in relation with each other -- and for persisting things to move in relation to each others -- and for everything to affect everything else by the resonance and motion of their interactions.

All things are interconnected by the force of conscious tendency -- called localized attention - accelerated intention.  

-- that pervades throughout that mutable, plastic, conscious medium that is The Body of Reality 

-- experienced as dream (or imagination) and memory of All.

All things are consciously interconnected -- but appear to be isolated because the feeling of interconnectedness is so familiar as no longer to be noticed -- except under certain conditions.

What conditions?

Conditions of change. . .

. . . change occurring either in the intensity of experience or in the pattern of experience.  

Some experiences diffuse, and dissipate -- as with stars and memories --  they fade and lose definition, so gradually.

Others change more speedily throughout their span of existence.  From time to time, their interconnectedness with  some things phases out and with other things phases in.  

Sometimes, they go out of phase with so many things, at once, that in the field of  All Things, they lose their definition and fade out, altogether.  

New configurations follow. Endlessly.

The forgetting of interconnectedness is a kind of intentional-attentional amnesia, beyond mind.

"Change" is the resonance patterning of the Mutable Plastic Field of Reality throughout the space-time kosmic self of the mutable changing of everything, all-how.

In All Things, change occurs as relationships change -- as resonance changes, as intensity changes, as frequency and rhythm of interactions change.  A continuity called, "relationship" exists, even as changes occur continually.

In local space time locations, it's like a radio that, though existing in the field of all frequencies at once, plays only the signals of the local frequency to which it is attuned -- but which is changeable.

Some radios could, hypothetically, receive all frequencies at once -- and play them all at once!

... not unlike a giant kazoo orchestra -- only bigger and louder.

... all one instrument:  The Mutable Plastic Field of Reality

... all one performer:  The Mutable Plastic Field of Reality

... all one audience:  The Mutable Plastic Field of Reality

Change is what is sensed.  No-change is not available to the change-sense.  

Change is unconscious before we have an "inkling" of it -- and we may get a pre-conscious inkling of it before it condenses in conscious attention -- surfacing like a bubble -- or a burp.  Then, we sense and recognize it.

What does not change in life, as it occurs to us, fades below sensing, like familiar perfume -- or the sounds of traffic.  We don't notice it.  

Change highlights facets of existence, calls our attention by making something prominent.  Like a burp.

We call that, "being conscious" or "being sentient".

Yessir, in the beginning, there was The Burp.  That's life -- a series of burps.

The densest conditions change the most slowly and require the most to get them to change.  

Bursts of change illuminate the densest conditions, by contrast -- the contrast between what isn't changing and what is changing.  Bursts of attention do a similar thing.

But bursts don't change dense conditions; sustained activity changes dense conditions.

Sustained, intense activity prompts the densest conditions -- which are extremely, extremely dense and persistent -- to change -- at first, slowly, and then picking up speed like an elephant stampede.  What takes a lot to start takes a lot to stop.

The speed of light is a tendency, an outward streaming whose coherent intensity is the equivalent of density -- so that it can push the vanes of a radiometer!  

But the speed of light as a tendency is not an absolute.  The idea of it as an absolute is a leap of mind to contain what cannot be contained or even, honestly, be conceived -- an intellectual conceit justified by mathematical symbols, in which infinity is first condensed into something really, Really Large (the scientific mind) -- and then discounted as a sign of error, when merging of Quantum Theory with Special Relativity is attempted; physicists think that the appearance of infinity in a mathematical equation is a sign that something is wrong!  

Infinity is insubstantial.  Why?  "In" means, "not"; "finity" means "being finite" or definable.  In-finity means "not definable".  It's outside the realm of mind.

Except the scientific/mathematical mind, which gives form (that can be handled and manipulated) to what is formless and then presumes formlessness to be wrong.  Mind triumphs over Reality.

The speed of light, when considered to be absolute, is a mental construct that represents something presumed actually to exist.  

What the speed of light is, actually, is an inferred limit that can only be approached, but not reached.  It is an inference based on the habitual assumption that attracts the material mind -- that if it's real, it must be local and substantial.  That's a mental assumption.  

So, they concretize the speed of light, which is a tendency with some degree of indeterminacy, as a constant, which has definition.

The Mutable Plastic Field of Reality uses density, intensity, direction and the tendency to define locations in space in terms of the things that occupy them ...

DENSITY, INTENSITY, DIRECTION, and TENDENCY, together, simulate  the behaviors of atoms -- or billiard balls -- simulate attributes like substantiality, solidity -- and the clash-ability of light sabers.  Take away any one of them, no action.

For two things to occupy the same space, they must cease to be themselves and para-mutate with each other into a changing, hybrid form.  That kind of change, to occur, requires sufficient activation energy, energy greater than the tendencies of the two things to remain distinctly "themselves".  Activation energy is needed to get things started -- something like with hydrogen fusion -- or sex.  

(Commonly,  when "two things" meet, instead of merging, they meet, take on and discharge energy (resonate) and rebound away from each other, their directions of motion changed -- their apparent distinctness preserved (but resonating from the meeting -- like dating).

As we know from the science of physics, apparent matter is virtually empty space -- space defined by motions within that space, motions that are identified as, and called, "particles".  However, there are no particles, only behaviors (motions).

Oh. Space is defined by motions.

Like the Great Reality Kazoo Orchestra.

Pain Control, Sensory-Motor Functioning, and Somatic Education

by Lawrence Gold Credentials | Publications | Personal Page
Clinical Somatic Education Practitioner and Training Instructor
Certified Practitioner, Dr. Ida P. Rolf Method of Structural Integration


pain, muscular hypertonicity, contracture, neuro-muscular, sensory-motor amnesia, sensory-motor learning, Trauma Reflex, pandicular response, muscle-movement memory


Perhaps fifty-percent of cases of chronic pain results not from tissue damage or disease but from chronic muscular contractions maintained by sub-cortical levels of the central nervous system (CNS). In many cases, neuromuscular training (i.e., somatic education) can restore voluntary muscular control, end chronic muscular hypertonicity and eliminate the need for drugs or therapy to alleviate pain.This essay contrasts manipulative and pharmacological methods of pain-control with learning-based methods, using the analogy of "hardware" (living tissue) and "software" (brain-mediated, learned responses); it explains how muscular hypertonicity creates a variety of chronic pain conditions; and it introduces the clinical use of the pandicular response as a way to improve voluntary muscular control and relieve pain.


While the prospect of eliminating pain via a learning process may seem hopeful, at best, a large percentage of chronic pain arises from maladaptive physiological conditioning that can be reversed through sensory-motor learning. The brain, largely an organ of learning, controls most motor behavior. We humans learn nearly all of our movement patterns, except for certain primitive reflexes. For that reason, certain forms of neuromuscular education can, in many cases, provide faster and more complete recovery from musculo-skeletal dysfunctions than can conventional therapeutic methods, alone. 
Pain of neuromuscular origin includes tension headaches, low back pain, regional muscular illnesses and TMJ syndrome. It also includes much of the pain of whiplash injuries, arthritis and other joint pain. Post-surgical pain, the chronic pains and stiffness of aging, and spasm- induced nerve impingement conditions such as sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, and thoracic outlet syndrome also arise from neuromuscular origins. 
Somatic Education cannot replace therapies appropriate for tissue healing; nor can it erase the pain of tissue damage (though it can often reduce it by relieving mechanical stresses on injured tissue). It can , however, provide the relief otherwise sought through analgesics, muscle relaxants, stretching, strengthening exercises, and massage. Moreover, certain forms of somatic education can bring relief faster and more completely than these other methods. 
Claims to relieve such a wide variety of conditions through sensory-motor learning -- or to get functional improvements, rather than merely symptomatic relief -- may seem exaggerated; that possibility is understandable. A closer look at actual mechanisms can clarify the matter.


Most methods of pain control can be reduced to three basic approaches that correspond to the three embryonic germ layers: ectoderm (nervous system/electrical), mesoderm (connective tissues/mechanical) and endoderm (glandular/chemical). For example, herbs and drugs (e.g., muscle relaxants and analgesics) address the chemical/endodermal aspect; skeletal adjustments and surgery address the mechanical/mesodermal aspect, and biofeedback, acupuncture, and electrical stimulation address the electrical/ectodermal aspect --to affect the other two aspects.
Most methods of pain-control treat pain as an electrical (neurological), chemical (dietary/hormonal), or mechanical (musculo-skeletal) problem that must be corrected through intervention; something must be done to the patient to correct the problem because he or she seems unable to correct it by him- or herself. 
However, the functioning of these three aspects of our living organism is controlled largely by our conditioning and voluntary learning. Functional problems also arise from our conditioning and learning. Let's consider how that may be so.


The human brain is, primarily, an organ of learning -- of learning to distinguish one thing from another (to sense) and to move in coordinated ways. (This simplification can easily be extended to include physiological responses, such as breathing and heart rate -- but such considerations are beyond the immediate scope of this discussion about pain.) 
The brain, as an organ of learning, acquires patterns of response over a lifetime, some of which persist beyond their useful term (such as guarding after injury) and produce the wide variety of problems named earlier. Such conditions are not merely psychological, but psycho-physical states; they are the effects of life-level learning on physiological adaptation. The works of Hans Selye (Selye, 1974, 1978) document such effects.
Chronic contraction occurs under three basic conditions: injury, insult, and repetitive conditioning, all of which lead to habituations of neuromuscular activity. In the following discussion, I exclude contractures that result from nerve damage. 
With injury, a person tenses and restricts movement to avoid pain and to permit healing. This psycho-physiological behavior (and postural reflex) known as the "Trauma Reflex" (Hanna, 1988), which occurs at an involuntary level, guards against further injury and permits healing over the long term. 
Habituation can occur instantly in the case of injury or even intensely shocking events (e.g., whiplash injuries). 
For most people, the insult of an injury persists far beyond the time of healing. This persistence happens when a person tightens in Trauma Reflex during a long period of healing, during which time the brain learns a "tension habit" and the sensation of muscular tension moves from "foreground" to "background". 
In that case, not only are the muscles contracted, but the CNS is potentiated (i.e., is primed) to contract them further at the first signs of stress and to release them last, when the stressful situation is past. 
Thus, the insult of long-past injury can predispose a person to mysterious crises of pain from seemingly unrelated causes. Such pain may then be mis-diagnosed as arising from tissue damage or from genetic malformation, sometimes with unnecessary surgical consequences. 
One can often see habituated Trauma Reflex as a postural distortion; the person can feel it as pain, stiffness, and sometimes, as unstable balance. In all cases, habituated contraction prevents relaxation past a certain point; residual tension remains, often enough to create soreness or stiffness, and other physiological effects. 
With intense insult or long-term emotional stress, hypertonicity may develop over time in response to numerous conditions to which the person responds by getting tense: money or relationship problems, fear of loss of employment, or from a sudden shock (e.g., automobile accident), apart from physical injury. In such cases, the Startle Reflex, another postural reflex, recognizable as cringing, is involved and has become habituated (and potentiated). 
Finally, under long-term conditions that involve repetitive motions or that require prolonged vigilance and performance, tension of the involved muscle groups often becomes habituated. Such habituation accounts for most cases of back trouble, which involves excessive tonus of the spinal extensors, which contract during arousal into heightened vigilance. (The name for this latter response is "The Landau Reaction".) 
Though hypertonicity may result from pain, it also generates pain: muscles get chronically sore, joints get over-compressed and degenerate over time, and nerves get trapped either within the soft tissue at the site of contracture or at neighboring bony prominences. So where pain may have begun from injury, it often continues long beyond the time of injury; ordinary functional responses, when habituated, become a pain problem. 
Whereas clinicians refer to the muscular evidence of habituation as a contracture or as spasticity and treat it as a muscular problem, somatic educators call the condition, "sensory-motor amnesia" (Hanna, 1988), and treat it as a learned condition that can be dispelled through sensory- motor learning. 
My central point is this: the brain controls the musculature, and learning, to a large extent, modifies brain functioning. And we can control our learning. 
The big, gaping question, "How can learning relieve pain?" is answered "By learning better voluntary control of the involved muscles." A person can break the tension-habit underlying their pain. End the hypertonicity, end the pain. This method may require closer consideration to be appreciated.


Let's begin with an analogy: you know that a computer system consists of two elements: hardware and software. The physical computer, which is essentially a memory device, is the hardware; what makes the computer able to function in useful ways is a set of memories and instructions -- "software".
Computers and human beings have certain similarities (one being derived from the perceptual/conceptual framework of the other). A computer consists of a central, electronic "brain" connected to peripheral devices, such as a monitor screen, printer, or other robotic devices -- something like a neuro-musculo-skeletal system. 
Our body is our "hardware" and our memories and skills are our "software." 
We humans learn nearly all of our movement skills rather than being born with them. Even our walking and eating patterns bear the stamp of our learning, our skill in movement, and our restrictions to movement. We also learn nearly all of our perceptual abilities, filtered as they are by our interests and beliefs as to what is important. 
Once learned, our software/conditioning predisposes us to a way of doing things, subject to self-correction according to the situation (fine tuning). For example, people tend to have a recognizable postural set; this postural set reveals a muscular tension pattern maintained, for the most part, without much sensory awareness. People get set in their ways. The recognizable, stooped posture and stiffness of an "older" person form in this way. 
A person could, with persistent practice, gradually improve their muscular control through "trial, error, and self-correction." However, few people possess sufficient discipline or understanding of how to do so. Fortunately, such learning can be systematically accelerated and enhanced by a variety of neuromuscular education techniques, each with its own special virtues and degree of effectiveness.
Some examples include Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), Feldenkrais Somatic (formerly "Functional") Integration, Trager Psycho-physical Integration, muscle-energy techniques, Hanna Somatic Education, and biofeedback training. 
The key difference of these methods from manipulative therapies is that they improve the ability to sense the body more clearly and to control the tensions of muscular system. They provide a missing link in the treatment of pain of neuromuscular origin, which otherwise tends to be chronic and refractory. 
In many of these systems, a client/patient can be taught to rehearse appropriate movement patterns on a frequent basis -- as a part of their regular grooming/exercise regimen -- to erase the cumulative tensions of daily life. Thus, the educational nature of these approaches empowers the client/patient to become self-sufficient.


Genetically encoded into the neuro-muscular software of every vertebrate's brain is a response whose function is to refresh sensory awareness and to bring about relaxation. It is triggered by the feeling of stiffness and fatigue, and also occurs spontaneously as part of awakening from sleep.
This response, known as "the pandicular response", consists of a strong, steady, voluntary contraction followed by relaxation and movement. 
Most people have seen that response in action: the "stretching" of cats, dogs, and children upon arising from sleep. Astute observers of bird behavior have observed this response as "wing and leg stretching". Yawning, laughter, and orgasm are specialized versions of this response. It is part of the "operating system" by which vertebrates maintain flexibility and health. 
The pandicular response can be triggered voluntarily to relax muscular hypertonicity -- and it can be assisted and enhanced to bring about distinctly rapid sensory-motor learning and relief from muscular hypertonicity and pain. 
To date, one system of neuro-muscular re-education is known to use the pandicular response: Hanna Somatic Education.


A broad spectrum of chronic pain conditions results from muscular hypertonicity and can be resolved through sensory-motor learning (somatic education). Numerous approaches to somatic education exist; the methods of one, in particular, Hanna Somatic Education, systematically uses the pandicular response to speed the learning process. Once the tension-habit in the involved neuromuscular region is broken, the associated complaint tends not to return. Tensions that accumulate in daily life can thereafter be managed by the client, and further problems, prevented. Thus, somatic education can resolve pain and leave the client able to maintain their own comfort.


I pay my respect to the late Thomas Hanna, Ph.D., whose writings and personal instruction provided a structure for my personal somatic explorations and for my work with others. 


Hanna, Thomas L. Somatics: Re-Awakening the Mind's Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1988
Selye, Hans. The Stress of Life. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978 
Selye, Hans. Stress Without Distress. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1974. 

For more information about the availability of somatic education, worldwide, click here.
Lawrence Gold has been in practice of pain relief through clinical somatic education since 1990, has developed specialized, recorded, pain-relief programs for public use, and has served a world-wide clientele both on-line and in person. 


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