Could my body have Amnesia?

October 1, 2014

NEED TO KNOW

.the tactile experience of a person is directly linked to his mental processes, with the notion that every touch could establish a diversity of mental and physical responses.

 

 

The Central Nervous System (CNS) is continuously affected by the feedback of the skin regarding it’s development and organisation.

In order to accurately locate a stimulus in the body’s surface, the brain will rely on the nerve endings of the skin, on the periphery of the body, to help to organize the connections of the CNS. In most people for a large period of their lives these connections are disrupted or dysfunctioning. This is a result of the involuntary muscular activation patterns that become so habitual that we either lose sense or control over the muscles. Due to our postural habits, physically active or not, we have simply forgotten how to relax areas such as the neck, low back and shoulders, or how to engage muscles like the inner thighs (commonly injured in yoga due to misuse) or the triceps (that we see only as biceps antagonists).

 

This condition of persistent involuntary muscle activation was named Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA), by Thomas Hanna. The first reason of why SMA develops is easily identified as the lack of movement material. Our movement skill, like other skills, will deteriorate if it is not practised. Modern life for most people means hours of sitting in chairs and couches, instead of a more physical environment in which our bodies are challenged and continuously evolve.  Over the years our body simply forgets about its movement possibilities and falls into a routine of repetitive patterns that lead to weakness, inefficiency, poor coordination and eventually pain. 

 

Another common way for SMA to develop is with an injury or trauma (emotional sock, stress, anxiety, etc). The whole body is required to develop new movement patterns (e.g. a limp) to prevent movements which will irritate the injury and cause pain or adjust to represent its emotional state (ex. crouch-defensive or protective). Even after the injury has been rehabilitated, a subtle form of these patterns may persist as it has been deeply ingrained into an unconscious "compensatory" movement pattern.

 

Touch stimulates sensory responses in the overworked areas allowing us to provide attention and locate the dysfunctional area. By becoming aware of its characteristics and assessing its condition we can determine how to treat it.  The sensations we experience with the sense of touch set in motion the creation of connections with certain responses (motor responses) that lead to the activation of muscles. 
Changes in those sensations can assist in the creation of different motor responses, hence new tension free movement material.

 

SOMAnatomics

is designed to take our body through all the subtle little movements we have unconsciously avoided or simply forgot how to perform. It requires the practice of a slow movement reeducation with guidance (Moving Body) while touch and subtle pressure (Bodywork) is applied to enhance the sensation and create better connections between our body and our mind (neuromuscular activation).

Main goal is to integrate these connections into the building procedure of our movement patterns, leading to refinement of our movements and reductions in pain, without falling back to the habitual patterns.

A self-evident hint of what it would be like for our body to respond differently to sensations, gives us the opportunity to experience and practice movements relatively free from the habitual sensorimotor patterns.

 

 

*THE VIDEO SHOWS THE EXTREME CASE OF A MAN WHO LOST HIS PROPRIOCEPTIVE SENSE.

 

 

 

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