Now at Trio Wellspace in Holland, MI!
Movement leads the way in human development. Beginning in the womb and continuing throughout adulthood, it is your feeling, moving body that sends information to your thinking, processing brain. You are a unique mover, and your body is smart! Through movement, your body can regulate, protect, express, communicate, heal and partner with your brain in learning.
Some of your personal movement patterns make visible all the great things that make you you. Others reflect your body’s efforts to protect you from physical pain and/or unwelcomed emotion. Moving well positively impacts your mental, physical and emotional health. As you learn to pay attention to the way you move, you begin to let go of the patterns that do not serve you and fully realize those that do. This can be life-changing…for you, your health and your relationships.
Non-verbal communication (movement and vocal tone) make up 93% of all communication. This means how you move and carry yourself not only affects you but also those you live and work with. Through knowledge of and connection to your feeling, moving body, you can find new and healthier options for expressing yourself and relating to others. Clear and authentic movement communication builds stronger families, marriages, work teams and communities.
What is somatic movement education/therapy?
Somatic movement is gentle movement that helps adults, kids and teens connect their feeling, moving bodies with their thinking, processing brains. “Soma” is simply the Greek word for “living body.” In an educational or therapeutic setting, somatic movement is a holistic, guided approach to moving well that helps people focus on the internal experience of the feeling, moving body rather than an external end result like building muscle or losing weight.
Not all somatic movement therapy is built on the same foundational principles, and what I do is much different than what you might find on YouTube. I care about the science behind movement, specifically the developmental movement patterns of infants, and how those early patterns impact mental, physical and emotional health into adulthood. I use the modalities of Bartenieff Fundamentals, Laban Movement Analysis and aspects of Body-Mind Centering to identify interruptions to developmental movement progression and remedy those interruptions through movement repatterning. With properly patterned developmental movement, the nervous system can find balance, and the body can once again do the things it was made to do: sense, feel, move, rest, digest, protect you from threat, heal injury, fight illness, connect and communicate with others, and partner with your brain in learning.
What happens in a somatic movement session?
Over the course of a single session, you can expect to be lying on the floor, sitting in a chair, standing and moving through the space, with attention paid to your body’s comfort level and abilities. Somatic work is gentle by nature, a far cry from “no pain, no gain” exercise. Sessions are about slowing down and listening to your body so that it can organize and coordinate itself, express emotion and communicate with others. Where and how we spend our session time is dictated by the needs of your nervous system on any given day. (Some days we need the calming and grounding action of the parasympathetic nervous system to keep us out of our fight-flight-freeze tendencies, and other days we need to activate the sympathetic nervous system to get us off the couch and living life!)
Throughout the session we move together through easy-to-learn structured sequences that address physical function and efficiency, and creative explorations designed to expand physical expression and communication. Whether structured or creative, all movement is crafted to be enjoyable, enlightening and empowering while simultaneously revealing any blockages or “stuckness” that might be happening physically, emotionally or mentally.
Because knowledge is power, you can also expect some anatomy and physiology lessons to better understand your body and yourself as a unique mover. No PowerPoints or book-study – All learning takes place through experiencing and moving.
Who benefits and what makes somatic movement so effective?
Your body and its long list of responsibilities are pretty remarkable. Your brain has its own set of jobs, but too often brain takes over for body, everything gets muddled, and you can be left feeling exhausted or broken or both. It’s not hopeless. Your body and brain may need some help communicating and getting “unstuck.”
So who benefits from somatic movement? Everyone. We all get stuck at times. We all need a body and brain that communicate.
As we work together to help your body coordinate and “organize” itself through strategic and scientific movement repatterning, we reveal the root of the “stuckness” and get you moving toward freedom. This might mean physical freedom from bodily tension and chronic pain, mental freedom from anxiety and worry or emotional freedom from latent trauma (or freedom from all three because our physical, mental and emotional selves are linked).
With knowledge of and connection to your feeling, moving body, you reclaim the support needed to meet life’s challenges, to heal and to thrive — support that was there all along. And that’s pretty empowering.
Find more questions and answers on the FAQ page.
Babies, Kids and Teens
Movement for the Workplace
Movement for Ministry
“What I love about my sessions with Angie is her ability to tune into your immediate needs while also focusing on what will support your growth long term. She brings a depth of knowledge to every session and presents it in a way that is accessible, relatable and allows for multiple points of exploration. She has assisted me in finding solutions that work for my own body, mind, soul and life that are sustainable through movement and attention.”Anna H.