The Veteran’s Cup is bringing back Somatics – a new way to recover from injury, gain flexibility and keep your muscles relaxed and strong throughout the event. Did you know that nearly 570,000 athletes were injured playing soccer in 2009?
“As the demands of modern football have increased, the importance of recovery has become even more crucial. Hanna Somatics has contributed greatly to the number of games I have played over the last two seasons. My increased mobility and shortened recovery time have enabled me to remain injury free despite the heavy schedule of domestic and international games.”
Gary Breen, Professional Footballer (Wolverhampton Wanderers & Republic of Ireland)
Wednesday, July 14th Four Points Sheraton Hotel (Veteran’s Cup HQ)
630pm-730pm in the Cole Porter Room.
Thursday, July 15th at the fields (Near the check-in, look for the Somatics Sign)
930am-ish You can prep for 15 minutes before your 10am game
945am Join us after your 8am game or prepare yourself for your 11 or 12 o’clock game
230pm-ish Prep yourself for your 3pm or later game
245pm Join us after your 12noon or 1pm game or prepare yourself for your 4pm or 5pm game
*** If you or your team wants an additional time, please contact me, otherwise look for the banner where we’ll be rolling around getting loose.***
Somatics exercises are usually used to eliminate muscular pain through a very precise process. The other side of the coin is that these exercises have been systematized so you can increase your performance by not having to deal with niggling injuries and compensations which can slow you down.
The heart of the process is something which is innate yet may seem counter intuitive at first.
A pandiculation is what all healthy animals use to keep limber, move agilely and remain strong in the field of gravity. They know how move freely and not pull a muscle when chasing or being chased. How do they do it?
After all… you won’t see Fido looking at his wrist watch or clock to see how long he can hold it.
Rather than stretching, as most of us were taught, the news out there doesn’t look good if you want to keep moving well as you age.
William Holcomb, PhD, University of Nevada, Las Vegas reports “Science has moved on… many athletes’ warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds- known as static stretching-primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them.”
John Sharkey, The Concise Book of Neuromuscular Therapy, says “Static Stretching can cause architectural damage and may interfere with the structural integrity of the connective tissue. The notion that people should be trying to increase range of motion every time they stretch is not one to be supported”.
“Since taking up Hanna Somatics I have found numerous benefits, less muscle stiffness, quicker recovery times, increased flexibility & greater injury prevention. I would strongly recommend it to anybody.”
-Paul Devlin, Professional Footballer (Watford & Scotland)
How is Somatics different?
First, you are doing the opposite of stretching. In stretching, you are trying to stretch or lengthen a certain muscle. In Somatics, you approach the muscle through a different process in order to gain length. This process is what healthy animals use… and it’s in your brain’s motor cortex.
Each morning your cat or dog wakes itself up with a wonderful pandiculation – which you might have thought was stretching. It isn’t… it’s actually contracting itself along an entire pattern before it releases itself.
Animals will do up to 11 contraction patterns in the morning and more throughout the day.
As we quickly move away from a hot stove, I’ll call this a level 3 movement – from muscle to spinal cord and back to the muscle. This type of movement is poignant when you pull your hammie.
When you run and kick a ball, let’s say this a level 2 movement, from your brain stem to the muscles and back. This way you pass the ball unconsciously and hopefully to your intended target.
When you move slowly with awareness, you are moving from your motor cortex, a level 1 movement. This is the part of your brain which creates movements in the first place. This part of your brain can be used to change the resting levels of your muscles by a voluntary process accomplished uniquely and specifically with targeted Somatics Exercises.
“The rigours of professional soccer took its toll on my body. I gradually began to feel stiffer, would pick up more injuries as I aged until eventually I retired at 30 with ongoing lower back pain. I felt worn out, devoid of energy. Then at 34 I discovered Somatics. The everyday pain in my back has now gone and I have returned to full time soccer at a semi pro level. I would highly recommend the use of somatic exercises for enhancing performance and recovery”.
–Jonathan Hunt, former English Premier League Player
Somatics allows you to regain control using your brain to decrease the output to the muscle which effectively lengthens it… With greater control, your movements are more efficient since you are beginning from a more relaxed position.
When your muscle is contracting in a familiar pattern, your brain stem is sending a message to have the output at a certain level. This level is like a thermostat. With Somatics, you are taking control of this output to the muscle so you lengthen your muscles with chemicals generated in your brain – way cool – it’s like free drugs. The good news is, this pharmacy is available 24/7 and it lies between your ears.
With stretching, the information only makes it to the spinal cord and not all the way up to the pharmacy itself, namely, your brain’s motor cortex.
Same goal, yet a completely different process so that at the end of this your muscle is effectively lengthened…so the joint near the muscle is not being pulled by the muscles that attaches to it and you move with greater ease and awareness.
Whenever you want to lengthen a muscle, you’d want to voluntarily contract the muscle and slowly decrease the contraction and allow for the muscle to lengthen.
With just a few reminders to the muscle, you end up with a muscle which is lengthened and more relaxed. This more mindful approach allows your brain to integrate and coordinate its actions.
So now you know the training secret of healthy animals… along with lots of rest… lucky them… but why are they so agile, nimble, quick, and strong?
Come find out at the event what Somatics can do for you.
You can purchase a downloadable Somatics class geared towards soccer players in case you can’t wait.
Ed Barrera is a Hanna Somatic Educator® with over 10 years of experience, helping people find natural pain relief through somatics exercises which are the reverse to most approaches since it is brain exercise and muscle lengthening that targets the brain’s motor cortex which leads to a healthy, fully-functional body. It’s not just “alternative medicines” or “an alternative to exercise”; it’s natural pain relief that actually works!
To understand the somatic definition, visit our What is Somatics? page, where we define somatic and explain more about somatics and how the proper somatics information will help you direct your “being” toward natural healing and pain relief.