Muscles can become chronically tight or shortened due to repetitive activity or inactivity. If muscles don’t have the opportunity to function at their full length, sensory motor amnesia (SMA) can set in. This means that the nervous system will not allow the muscles to relax and lengthen fully. Pain often results from these compromised muscles. Somatics is neuromuscular therapy. It helps muscles function properly by engaging the nervous system through a series of specific movements.
It is common practice for people to stretch tight muscles. However, this is often ineffective due to the protective mechanism of the stretch reflex, which occurs at the level of the spinal cord. This reflex, an involuntary action of the nervous system, contracts a muscle that’s being stretched in order to prevent damage to the muscle and the ligament attachment to the bone. So stretching can actually reinforce contraction of the muscles. This is the last thing that a tight, short muscle needs!
Somatics movements don’t engage the stretch reflex. Instead, they work with the nervous system to allow full lengthening and full function of muscles. Somatics can be very effective for people suffering with back pain, a rotator cuff injury (shoulder injury), plantar fasciitis, knee pain and tennis elbow.
If you’d like to learn more about somatics or you’d like to book an appointment with one of our therapists who use a combination of laser therapy, osteopathic techniques and somatics, just give the clinic a call. 403-235-2737