Ballroom Dance > Somatic Exercises

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Akita, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Akita

    Akita Well-Known Member

    Anyone here doing Somatic exercise?

    First an update on my hip: (1) an apparent injury several years ago to my right hip muscles caused an imbalance in my pelvis, throwing my left hip forward and putting undue pressure on the right hip [physical therapy identified the hip misalignment and worked on bringing the left hip back in, but could do nothing to address the right hip now damaged by years of pelvic misalignment], (2) consequently arthritis set in the right hip with about half the cartilage now gone [identified with several x-rays and a hip orthopedic specialist]

    I had read about somatic exercise on the web and then found a certified somatic therapist where I live. I've had 2 sessions with her and Somatics is like nothing I've ever experienced. (Somatics-dot-org is a good place to start, but you NEED a trained and certified therapist; it's not something you can pick up from videos or manuals). She said since cartilage is still present in the hip, somatics can train the muscles to realign the right hip ball into the correct position in the hip socket where it's no longer putting undue stress on cartilage, thereby giving the cartilage a chance to regrow itself . (Yes cartilage can regrow and repair itself, but since it does not have blood vessels unlike other connective tissue, cartilage grows and repairs more slowly.) This means as long as cartilage is still present, it's possible to regenerate - IF the hip ball is put back into proper alignment within the socket. But once the cartilage is gone and it's bone-on-bone, it's no longer possible.

    During these somatic training sessions, she is constantly manipulating my muscles, teaching me how to relax them so that everything slowly relaxes back into alignment. It takes very, very little pelvic misalignment to put the ball out-of-position in the socket, and can be causes ultimately by any number of things because the synergestic effect in the body (i.e., an ankle injury, a hip muscle injury, a knee injury, a back injury, etc.)

    This is not massage therapy; it's something entirely different. The most important thing she is doing is training me to be in-tune with my body and all the muscles, and be able to completely relax muscles that are now tight and under constant tension from years of pelvic misalignment.

    My two sessions with her have been absolutely amazing with the right hip feeling normal after the 2nd hour-long session today. She said this won't last long and my body will quickly fall back into the old misaligned position .... but with her working with me each week and doing the assigned exercises every day, the length of time the ball is in the correct position will lengthen as the body resets itself .... until it recognizes the correct alignment position as the new "norm".

    I'm quite impressed after 2 hours with her. She seems confident that since significant cartilage is still present, Somatics can save the hip and prevent the need for ever having to have a hip replacement.

    I'll report back in a few months.....
    chomsky likes this.
  2. Akita

    Akita Well-Known Member

    from the web .....

    "Somatic Exercises are simple, gentle, yet profound in their effectiveness at restoring optimum function to muscles that have become painfully tight. This condition of chronically contracted muscles results from central nervous system adaptation to accidents, injuries, surgeries or repetitive stress. We call this condition Sensory Motor Amnesia - the "forgetting" of the brain to move the muscles from working to rest - and it is the cause of many common muscle pain conditions thought to be the result of structural deficiencies.

    Somatic Exercises (as developed by Thomas Hanna, Ph.D, author of the book, Somatics) prepare you to move well! They are “corrective exercises,” which restore sensory motor awareness and control to the brain and muscular system. They are an excellent complement to any movement practice, physical training or rehabilitation program. Incorporating these exercises and the principles of somatic movement into your primary practice will allow you to teach your clients safe, gentle methods for chronic muscle pain relief found nowhere else."
    chomsky and Larinda McRaven like this.
  3. clumsy fellow

    clumsy fellow Active Member

    Uhmmmm... you sure?

    (ignore if too far off topic)
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    regardless, my very best wishes
  5. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    But if you're continuing to wear it down at the same rate that it's allegedly regenerating...
  6. Akita

    Akita Well-Known Member

    Yup. Check the wikepdeia entry for cartilage as well as online medical sources. Your cartilage has to replenish itself and grow; you don't have the same cartilage you had as a baby, a child, a young adult, etc.
  7. Akita

    Akita Well-Known Member

    Exactly. And you start to wear it down faster than it can regenerate when the ball is no longer correctly aligned within the socket. Same principle as when a ball bearing goes bad.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    what are the best online medical resources?..b/c anything can be found on the web
  9. Akita

    Akita Well-Known Member

    WebMD has an article on techniques for regrowing cartilage (osteoarthritis/news/20060309/coaxing-knee-cartilage-to-regrow). For badly worn cartilage, they described transplanting new cartilage into a knee to coax it to regrow. "The goal was for cartilage-producing cells in the paste to take root and make more cartilage." It's quite clear the cartilage can grow and regenerate (but not as fast as other connective tissue since it has no blood cells) .... the trick is coaxing it to grow either by inserting new cartilage, or if the cartilage is still not badly worn down, changing the dynamics of the ball/socket to permit it to regenerate.
  10. Akita

    Akita Well-Known Member

    As my orthopedic surgeon told me, "You injured a hip muscle several years ago without realizing it that changed the dynamics of that hip joint"

    from the Somatics institute:

    "Osteoarthritis is the wear and tear and inflammation of joints, especially weight bearing joints. Arthritis is generally viewed as normal degradation due to aging, overuse, and misuse of the body. The question we ask is "does this degradation need to occur, and if it already has, what can be done to reverse it?" The answer is usually "no, it does not need to occur and, if it already has, often there is hope that you can make it better." Through Clinical Somatic Education clients learn healthier full-body movement patterns and proper synergistic movement of the muscles around and related to the affected joint. The stress is reduced on the joint. This process can prevent arthritis from occuring, as well as relieve the pressure and misuse that is taking place in an affected joint, thereby allowing for reduction in inflamation and potential regrowth of cartilage and healing of the joint." (emphasis is mine)

    [Note that this refers to osteoarthritis, NOT rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which is a more serious form of arthritis]

    I need to add that Somatics takes significant commitment, which may be why some (most?) people would rather just go get the surgery. Right now, in addition to weekly training with the therapist, it's well over 30 minutes a day of certain exercises for me and growing.
  11. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    I question your premise that some or most people would rather just go get surgery than do Somatics, because it "takes significant commitment." It appears from your postings that Somatics is a type of physical therapy. I think that some or most people would much prefer physical therapy over surgery. Obviously, if Somatics or some other type of physical therapy does not work; then, surgery is considered.
  12. Akita

    Akita Well-Known Member

    No, it's not the weekly therapy sessions that are taxing. It's the daily exercises that take commitment. Just like physical therapy, the more committed you are, the better the results.

    I have a good friend who is a physical therapist. He tells me some patients work faithfully and achieve full-range of motion, while a significant number just won't want to take the time to consistently do the exercises and never achieve full-range of motion and end up blaming the surgeon.

    Having had a bankart repair on my shoulder 6 years ago (major reconstructive surgery), I can tell you Somatics requires more commitment than the physical therapy did for my shoulder. Physical therapy for my shoulder lasted 6 weeks with maybe 10 mins/day to achieve full range of motion. Depending upon the correction needed, Somatics can easily exceed 30 mins/day and last for months to achieve the target results. I'm not sure many people are willing to commit to that level. Before starting to work with me, the Somatic therapist asked how much time I was willing to spend each day on Somatic exercises.

    Somatics is nothing like physical therapy. Physical therapy puts stress on the muscles and connective tissue to build strength and flexibility. Somatics teaches you how to control muscle relaxation.

    And yes, of course, surgery is the final option if Somantics (of any other conservative treatment doesn't work.) Surgery should always be the last resort.
  13. clumsy fellow

    clumsy fellow Active Member

    "Cartilage does not regenerate in adults. Once you are fully grown you have all the cartilage you'll ever have," said first author Ramille N. Shah, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine. Shah is also a resident faculty member at IBNAM.

    "Unlike bone, cartilage does not grow back, and therefore clinical strategies to regenerate this tissue are of great interest," said Samuel I. Stupp, the paper's senior author, Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, and Medicine, and director of the Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine (IBNAM).
    danceronice likes this.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I have a Northwestern now I have to recuse myself :)
    llamasarefuzzy likes this.
  15. Akita

    Akita Well-Known Member

    There is disagreement within the medical community on this issue .......

    J O U R N A L of P R O L O T H E R A P Y | V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 1 | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 0 9
    W O N D E R W H Y ? : T H E R E G E N E R A T I O N O F A R T I C U L A R C A R T I L A G E W I T H P R O L O T H E R A P Y
    The Regeneration of Articular Cartilage with Prolotherapy
    W O N D E R W H Y ?
    A Bs tR A Ct

    Ross A. Hauser, MD

    "What most people may not realize is that chondrocytes, the cells that make articular cartilage, are metabolically active. Chondrocytes proliferate and actively make articular cartilage. Osteoarthritis is an example of this, in that both the degradation and synthesis of
    articular cartilage are enhanced. It is well known that in osteoarthritis, chondrocytes retain their proliferative activity. Osteophytes or bone spurs are an example of this activity.

    Another example of adult articular cartilage cells’ replication is acromegaly. In this condition the body produces an excessive amount of human growth hormone and with it, articular cartilage. Acromegalics often suffer from joint abnormalities caused by
    proliferation of chondroytes in articular cartilage. In other words, they produce too much cartilage.

    When a healthy articular cartilage cell is injured, it demonstrates an enhanced reparative response and can replicate its DNA to form new cells. The rate of formation of articular cartilage can be enhanced by such stimuli as altered hydrostatic pressure, varied oxygen tension, growth factors, as well as nutrient and substrate manipulation." (emphasis mine)
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    there ya go...alas, there seems to be disagreement in most areas about most things....
  17. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    Akita, you have only had two sessions of Somatic therapy, and it sounds like you are trying to sell this therapy. I would suggest that you wait until after the therapy is complete or for a considerably longer period of time before you try to sell this therapy. A lot of times the initial good feelings about their therapy fade-as the patient finds out that it does not work over a longer period. Also, you state: "Somatics teaches you how to control muscle relaxation." There are other more proven therapies based on scientific fact in use at many medical facilities, that are reimbursable by some insurance companies for muscle relaxation. These include biofeedback-in which case the patient can actually see on a computer monitor his muscles relax. Also some types of yoga, and some types of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. I must admit that I don't know of any insurance companies that reimburse anything for Yoga. The insurance I have will reimburse for Biofeedback for muscle relaxation for certain types of muscle dysfunction-like Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. I think that this is based on the fact that it is approved by the FDA for that treatment.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think it is unfair to suggest that akita is trying to sell it...they are a long time member, with an issue related to it...whether one accepts the philosophy or not is another matter altogether, but let's separate skepticism about the philosophy from skepticism toward the member
  19. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    It *does* sound a bit like shilling, though. Might just be newbie enthusiasm for a "miracle" treatment, but it comes across a bit like sales points. Not necessarily the INTENTION but that was how it sounded to me as well.
  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    akita isn't a newie

Share This Page