What is Somatic Practice?
Seónagh’s work is multifaceted and focuses on physical processes and subjective processes of the body as “lived consciousness.” She draws techniques from her ongoing training in Certified Movement Analysis, Somatics, Authentic Movement, the Heifetz Needs Matrix, and more.
About Somatic Movement
Somatic Movement is a rich area of dance that brings greater awareness to how our bodies experience our environments, social/political contexts, family relationships, traumas, or other experiences. Somatics has affected many areas of the arts, yoga, social sciences, and wellness by raising consciousness about how our body experiences shape our world and the health of our bodies. Systems of body awareness are highly developed by dancers, assisting us to gain clarity of connections and control over precision in body movement. This field understands the body as a holistic system.
The Somatic Movement field draws from a number of important dance and wellness experts of the 20th Century such as Ingmar Bartenieff who created a system to understand the developmental aspects of human movement. Seónagh uses these tools in coaching and choreography to help individuals process learning, to draw attention to how our body experience impacts our health, shapes our worldview, and affects how we perceive and process new awareness. This can help individuals to overcome perceived body limitations and to have a greater sense of our own agency.
Scope of Practice
As with many somatic practitioners, Seónagh’s work covers the following international scope of practice, set out and refined by ‘The International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association’.
“The purpose of somatic movement education and therapy is to enhance human function and body-mind integration through movement awareness. Our profession, as represented by ISMETA, encompasses distinct disciplines each with its own educational or therapeutic emphasis, principles, methods, and techniques….Somatic movement education and therapy is applied to both pedestrian and specialized activities for people in all stages of health and development. The work can be communicated either on an individual basis or with groups.”
The practice of somatic movement education and therapy includes:
- postural and movement evaluation
- experiential anatomy and imagery
- movement patterning and re-patterning
- communication and guidance through touch and verbal cues
Each method helps students and clients in some way to:
- refine perceptual, kinesthetic, proprioceptive, and interoceptive sensitivity that supports homeostasis, co-regulation, and neuroplasticity
- recognize habitual patterns of perceptual, postural and movement interaction with the environment
- improve movement coordination that supports structural, functional and expressive integration
- experience an embodied sense of vitality and create both meaning for and enjoyment of life
*Please visit The International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy Association’ (ISMETA) for further information about this international profession.