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What Is Self Heath and Somatics?

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

And how it can give you your body back.

Hello I’m Jazmin, founder of MEIAM. I set up this organisation (previously called The Studio Indigo) in 2017 with the goal of reminding people that movement is a privilege not a punishment, I’d even go so far as to say it should be a pleasure. I wanted to create a safe, inspiring environment where anybody of any age could come and work to achieve personal health goals, learn new skills, build confidence or just have fun whilst getting fit. Over the years it’s been a joy working with students, watching them progress in strength, flexibility and confidence, but the darker side was listening to them talk about their bodies, where they hurt, how stiff they felt and how much they hated this soft bit or that. Peoples main goal seemed to be getting strong or skinny with very little focus on being well.

The fitness industry itself is responsible for these views, everywhere we look we see advertisements for a class will make us thin, exercises that will get rid of a tubby tummy, wobbly bits on our thighs, or fix the flab on our arms. This one promises to give us a six pack, shape the shoulders or build a bubble butt.

Yeah, they probably will if you train hard enough, that's what exercise does.

But the message should be more focused on the many other positive reactions exercise can have on both mind and body You'll have more energy, a more balanced headspace, help build personal confidence and appreciate your body for what it can do over what it looks like.

I want to change the way we think about fitness. Start working with the body rather than against it, focus on reducing tension and pain, building strength and balance, improving functional movement and mental health, helping people feel brilliant in their beautiful bodies.

And so this new movement was born, I combine several different styles and techniques to get you working in partnership with your body. Help you learn where you’re tight or tense, which muscles are weak, and how to stretch, strengthen, and release in ways that work for you personally.

With these movements you can set yourself up for a future without aches, experience ease of movement for years, and be confident in your strength, control, and understanding of your body. So now you know the purpose of The Studio Indigos Self Health movement, it’s about yourself as a whole, mind and body together. This connection is deepened by practising one of the fundamental techniques called somatics.

Somatics describes practices that use the mind-body connection to help you survey your internal self and listen to signals your body sends about areas of pain, discomfort, or imbalance.

The route of the word is Ancient Greek σωματικός (sōmatikós, “bodily”), and σῶμα (sôma, “body”). Thomas Hanna, an educator in the field and founder of the method we teach here, coined the term in 1970 (although it has long been used in medical terminology) to describe a number of techniques that share one important similarity: They help people increase bodily awareness through a combination of movement and relaxation.

Many types of somatic exercises exist. They include:

  • Rolfing

  • Alexander technique

  • Feldenkrais method

  • Laban movement analysis

  • Body-Mind Centering

The exercises are slow and usually performed laying or sitting, they are low impact and suitable for almost everybody. You focus totally on your inner experience as you move, this helps you release chronic tension by retraining your nervous system to understand what resting muscles feel like. It can also aid posture, mobility and balance by replacing habitual movement pattens that are causing chronic tension with more efficient and effective ways of moving. Preventing the buildup of tension in our muscles is critical to maintaining good mental heath, posture and movement throughout our lives.

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