Influential SMT Modalities
Exeriential Anatomy is the study of the living, sensing, moving, body as experienced from the inside. This is a much more dynamic approach than cadaver anatomy, or the two dimensional experience of looking at anatomy charts and books. Participants are encouraged to embody their expereinces through touch, talk, written word, and/or drawing. Aspects of Ideokenesis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, and BodyMind Centering(R) are often used in movement/anatomy explorations.
Developmental Movement Therapy
Through the somatic systems of BodyMind Centering(R) and Bartenieff Fundamentals, Developmental Movement Therapy provides an experiential framework for understanding the nature of human movement. Special attention is given to learning about neuro-developmental movement patterns, reflexes, and (head) righting reations, which are the building blocks of motor co-ordination and functional movment. As adults we use this lense to look at perceptual-motor development and how it relates to personal movement habits.
Laban Movement Analysis
LMA is a language that enables the practitioner to “break-down” movement into key componants (body, effort, shape, space) in order to better recognize whole movement patterns as well as subtle spacial and qualitative changes. It has far reaching implications for appreciating the personal motivations underlying movement habits. In the context of SMT, Rudolph Laban’s principles of movement provide insight into charactaristic exertion/recuperation and body-mind patterns that may be causing physical restrictions or feelings of limitation.
Bartenieff Fundamentals is a method which involves (re)patterning neuro-muscular connections in the body according to principles of movement effeciency. Irmgard Bartebieff was a dancer, choreographer, and student of Rudolph Laban, who became a physical therapist . She created a series of exercises (Patterns of Total Body Connectivity) to develop core support in order to engage our inner musculature and minimize over-dependence on external muscles. Through effeciently organizing our bodies we find more stability, mobility and connectivity through movement and in life.
BMC is an integrative approach to movement re-education and hands-on-repatterning based on the study of body systems and human development. Originated by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, BMC is an experiential study of how we embody our organs, fluid systems, endocrine system, nervous system, as well as the musculoskeletal system. Understnading these systems informs the process of how the body is expressed through the mind and how the mind is expressed through the body. Therefore, the body then becomes both the sourse and vehicle for transformation.
The Alexander Technique
F.M. Alexander was an Australian actor and teacher. He originally developed the Alexander Technique as a method of vocal training for singers and actors in the late 1800s. Through the study of the voice he discovered that breathing and vocalization are intimately connected and play a huge part in how the body functions as a whole. This approach offers the opportunity to take charge of one’s own learning and healing process as it cultivates mindfulness through realizing “habitual neuro-muscular patterning”. Through this process we seek to improve the way we move ourselves, creating more ease and comfort in our bodies.
In Contact Improvisation, dancers come in and out of cotact with one another creating a mutually supportive and dynamic interplay of weight. The primary developmental patterns of rolling, crawling, falling, waking and running form the basis of movement vocabulary. Studying these basic patterns in a present and mindful manner leads to greater understnding of the body’s structure and forces acting upon that structure. We do not strive to achieve results, but rather to participate openly in a constantly changing physical reality.
Authentic movement is a form in which one or more people move with eyes closed as one or more people witness. This simple sounding practice of moving with eyes closed gives the mover the opportunity to find and follow his or her own inner source for creating and experiencing movement. Observers gain the opportunity to learn how to create a safe and supportive “container” for the movers, while practicing clear communication skills by speaking in the present tense. Exploring our”inner world” in this way provides rich material for artistic expression and spontanious healing.
Hakomi Body Conseling
Hakomi Body Counseling uses the principles of non-violence, body-mind holism, organicity, unity and mindfulness to facilitate a transformational process (i.e. a conscious, assisted exploration of the self). It is a cooperative venture between client and practitioner designed to study the organization of experience, making it possible for the client to take greater responsibility for his or her own healing process.
In the context of SMT, somatic bodywork is a combination of Swedish and Easlen massage techniques which are used to make deep, meaningful contact between practitioner and receiver. These traditions encourage the practitioner to be fully embodied in his/her own body first, which informs the choice of which manual techniques to be used (i.e. muscular, lymph, fascial, bone, organ manipulation, etc.). Tai Chi series 1 and 2 are studied by parctitioner as well, enabling the practitioner to touch from a grounded and centered place.