Somatics for You

October November December 2016

Link to some audio recordings of my Saturday Somatics Classes via SoundCloud.

Link to my YouTube Channel (Somatics For You, Susan Koenig). 
     You can see over 30 short somatic movement videos.

Below are links to two longer interviews of myself and Janet Hoagland, by Dana Wilberg, of the cable TV program out of Sacramento, CA, called the "Paranormal Connection."  In spite of the TV title, the interviews are about Hanna Somatic Education.

Each interview has 2 parts; each part is a little less than 1/2 hour.
Interview One: February, 2011
          Part 1
          Part 2
Interview Two:
May, 2015
          Part 1
          Part 2
In the TV studio with Danna Wilberg for our interview (see above): Janet Hoagland, left; Susan Koenig, middle; Danna Wilberg, right.

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Saturday Class Schedule, 10-11:30 am:
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5900 Doyle Street, Emeryville, CA 94608

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Call 510-848-4129

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Video 1 - Sacroiliac Joints: Anatomical Information
Video 2 - Sacroiliac Joints: Forward and Backward Movement
Video 3 - Sacroiliac Joints: Up and Down Movement
Video 4 - Sacroiliac Joints: Rotational Movements
I appreciate this picture not only because it shows the thicker fascial bands (in white) of the back and sides of the pelvis, but also because it helps you understand how connected the pelvis, including the S-I joints, is to the back and legs.  Google Images.
One of many Esalen Retreat Center's succulent gardens.  Big Sur, CA.
The Sacroiliac Joint (S-I)

Many clients come to me complaining of pain, on either the right or left side of their body, in the general area of their S-I or sacroiliac joint, low back, hip, often the groin, and sometimes all the way down their legs into their feet.  Clients tell me their chiropractor or physical therapist said their right or left S-I joint was stuck or locked-up and inflamed.  This means the S-I joint or joints are not moving, and of course they have pain throughout the general area of their pelvis and low back.

So, how would I as a Hanna Somatic Educator help my clients deal with this problem?  Look at the pictures to help you visualize the SI joints and the surrounding bones, joints, muscles, nerves, ligaments, and fascia.  The crescent shaped S-I joints are wedged between the sacrum, which is the bottom of the spine, and the two iliac bones.  They are deep and irregularly shaped joints, one on the right and one on the left.  

They are not voluntary joints like the hip or shoulder.  If I ask you to move your shoulder or hip, you contract voluntary, skeletal muscles around either the shoulder or hip joints and the joint moves.  But the SI joint is a non-voluntary joint. It is moved by muscles crossing other joints which in tern cause movement in the SI joints.  The SI joint is usually categorized as a slightly moveable joint.

Gravity pushes down on us through our spine.  The ground reaction force pushes up on us through our feet and legs, and goes through the hips and pelvis, including the S-I joints.  The sacrum has a movement called nutation in which a small amount of rocking movement is allowed and either contributes to the anterior or posterior tilt of the pelvis.

When I work with a client to free the S-I joints I think of guiding them in three movements of the pelvis that goes through the S-I joints in the following directions:  forward - backward, up - down (headward-foot ward), and rotational movements which either compress into the joint, or create more space within the joint.  For example, if you rotate your right leg/hip joint internally (medially), you’ll open up the S-I joint space a little.  Likewise, if your rotate your right leg/hip joint externally (laterally), you’ll close or compress the space within the S-I joint.  All of these movements are part of the walking cycle. 

There are many reasons the general area of the S-I joints become painful including slack ligaments; tight, contracted muscles; joint misalignment; poor posture; uneven weight distribution as we move; and more.  In Hanna Somatics we focus on releasing tight, contracted muscles, which help align joints and promotes efficient posture and comfortable movement.  

In the following videos I’ll demonstrate some somatic movements you can learn, and that I teach my clients and students in my classes.  These movements are very helpful in releasing the contracted muscles and associated pain in the SI joints, pelvis, low back, hips, and groin. 
The following videos represent some somatic movements I use to help release the muscles surrounding the sacroiliac joints.  These same movements also help release pain, stiffness, and muscle tension in the low back, pelvis, hips, groin, and even down the legs into the feet.

Video 1 - Sacroiliac Joints: Anatomical Information
Video 2 - Sacroiliac Joints: Forward and Backward Movement
Video 3 - Sacroiliac Joints: Up and Down Movement
Video 4 - Sacroiliac Joints: Rotational Movements
Front/anterior view of the pelvis.  The S-I joints connect the sacrum with the two ilium bones.  Google Images.
Note how highly ligmented the area is surrounding the S-I joints.  This creates great stability and limits movement within the S-I joints.  Injury to this area can over stretch some of the ligaments, which can have a de-stabilizing effect on one or both of the S-I joints.  Google Images.
Releasing muscle tension in all these gluteal muscles through somatic movements greatly reduces pain in the S-I joints, low back, hips, down the legs, and even into the feet.  Google Images.
This picture shows both anterior and posterior views of the musculature surrounding the S-I joints, pelvis, hips, low back, and legs.  Do you know, or can you create, somatic movements that relate to all these muscles?  This is what I am thinking as I guide my clients and students in my classes to release pain, stiffness, and irritation in this general area.  Google Images.

Copyright © 2016 Susan Koenig, All rights reserved.

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