Somatic Movement Therapy

A holistic movement practice that integrates body and mind to enhance well-being.


Somatic Movement Therapy is a holistic approach to movement that emphasizes the interconnectedness of the body and mind. It involves gentle, mindful movements and body awareness techniques designed to release tension, improve posture, and promote overall well-being. This therapy recognizes the body's innate wisdom and aims to create a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection. By focusing on internal sensations and experiences, individuals develop greater self-awareness, emotional regulation, and resilience.

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Somatic Movement Therapy has its roots in various somatic practices that emerged in the early 20th century. Pioneers such as Mabel Elsworth Todd, Moshe Feldenkrais, and Ida Rolf developed techniques that emphasized the importance of body awareness and movement re-education. These practices were influenced by diverse fields, including dance, yoga, martial arts, and bodywork. In the 1970s, the term 'somatics' was coined by Thomas Hanna to describe these approaches that prioritized the subjective experience of the body. Over time, Somatic Movement Therapy has evolved to incorporate elements from various disciplines, creating a comprehensive approach to mind-body integration and healing.


  1. Improved Body Awareness Somatic Movement Therapy helps individuals develop a deeper understanding of their body's sensations, movements, and patterns.
  2. Reduced Muscle Tension Through gentle movements and body awareness techniques, Somatic Movement Therapy can help release chronic muscle tension and promote relaxation.
  3. Enhanced Posture and Alignment By re-educating the body and increasing awareness of habitual patterns, Somatic Movement Therapy can improve posture and alignment, reducing strain on the body.
  4. Increased Emotional Regulation Somatic Movement Therapy recognizes the connection between physical sensations and emotions, helping individuals develop greater emotional intelligence and regulation.
  5. Greater Mind-Body Connection This therapy fosters a deeper understanding of the interplay between thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, promoting a sense of wholeness and integration.
  6. Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion Through mindful movements and exploration, Somatic Movement Therapy can enhance flexibility and increase range of motion in the body.
  7. Reduced Stress and Anxiety By promoting relaxation, body awareness, and emotional regulation, Somatic Movement Therapy can help alleviate stress and anxiety, enhancing overall mental well-being.

How It Works

Somatic Movement Therapy is a holistic approach that combines movement, mindfulness, and body awareness to promote physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Practitioners guide clients through gentle, intentional movements and exercises that help release tension, improve posture, and enhance overall body awareness. By focusing on the mind-body connection and the sensations experienced during movement, clients develop a deeper understanding of their body's needs and learn to respond with compassion and self-care. This therapy can help alleviate chronic pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall mobility and flexibility.


While Somatic Movement Therapy can be beneficial for many individuals, it's important to consider a few factors before starting. Some clients may experience emotional discomfort or release during sessions as they become more aware of held tensions and past traumas stored in the body. It's crucial to work with a qualified practitioner who can provide a safe and supportive environment. Additionally, those with severe physical limitations or certain medical conditions should consult with their healthcare provider before engaging in this therapy to ensure it's appropriate for their needs. Consistency and regular practice are key to experiencing the full benefits of Somatic Movement Therapy.

How Much It Costs

The cost of Somatic Movement Therapy can vary depending on factors such as the practitioner's experience, location, and session length. On average, a single session can range from $75 to $150, with some practitioners offering package deals or reduced rates for multiple sessions. Initial consultations may be priced differently, and some insurance plans may cover a portion of the costs, depending on the specific policy and the practitioner's credentials.

Virtual & Online Options

Both virtual and in-person options for Somatic Movement Therapy have their advantages. Online sessions offer convenience, accessibility, and the ability to work with practitioners from various locations. They can be especially beneficial for those with busy schedules or limited access to local practitioners. However, in-person sessions allow for more direct, hands-on guidance and immediate feedback from the practitioner. In-person sessions may also provide a more immersive experience and a dedicated space for focusing on the therapy without distractions. Ultimately, the choice between virtual and local options depends on individual preferences, needs, and circumstances.


Somatic Movement Therapy practitioners can come from various backgrounds, such as dance, yoga, or bodywork. However, to ensure safe and effective practice, it's important to look for practitioners with specific training and certifications in Somatic Movement Therapy. Some widely recognized certifications include Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) and Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) from the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA). Other relevant certifications may include those from the Somatic Movement Center, the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, or the Hanna Somatic Education Practitioner program. It's essential to verify a practitioner's credentials and training before beginning therapy.

Complementary Practices

Somatic Movement Therapy can be complemented by practices such as yoga, tai chi, qigong, Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique, Rolfing, Pilates, mindfulness meditation, breathwork, and dance therapy. These practices share a focus on body awareness, alignment, and the connection between physical and emotional well-being, making them highly synergistic with Somatic Movement Therapy.

Practitioner Types

Somatic Movement Therapy practitioners include licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists, dance/movement therapists, certified yoga instructors, Feldenkrais practitioners, Alexander Technique teachers, Pilates instructors, and bodyworkers with training in somatic approaches. Some mental health professionals, such as psychotherapists and counselors, may also incorporate somatic movement principles into their practice.

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  • Q: What are the main benefits of Somatic Movement Therapy?

    • A: Somatic Movement Therapy offers numerous benefits, including improved body awareness, posture, and alignment; reduced pain and tension; increased flexibility and range of motion; enhanced mind-body connection; reduced stress and anxiety; improved emotional regulation; and greater overall well-being.
  • Q: Is Somatic Movement Therapy suitable for everyone?

    • A: Somatic Movement Therapy can be beneficial for people of all ages and fitness levels. However, it is particularly helpful for those dealing with chronic pain, stress, anxiety, trauma, or movement-related issues. Consult with a qualified practitioner to determine if this therapy is appropriate for your specific needs and condition.
  • Q: What can I expect during a Somatic Movement Therapy session?

    • A: During a Somatic Movement Therapy session, the practitioner will guide you through a series of gentle movements, exercises, and body awareness practices. These may include breathing techniques, mindful movement, touch, and verbal cues to help you develop a deeper awareness of your body's sensations, patterns, and tensions. Sessions are typically conducted one-on-one or in small groups.
  • Q: How long does it take to see results from Somatic Movement Therapy?

    • A: The time it takes to see results from Somatic Movement Therapy varies depending on the individual and the specific issues being addressed. Some people may experience benefits after just a few sessions, while others may require a longer-term commitment to the practice. Consistent participation and integration of the techniques into daily life can help accelerate progress and sustain improvements over time.
  • Q: Can Somatic Movement Therapy be used in conjunction with other therapies?

    • A: Yes, Somatic Movement Therapy can be effectively combined with other therapies, such as physical therapy, psychotherapy, or massage therapy. The integrative nature of somatic work makes it a valuable complement to many healthcare and wellness approaches. However, it is essential to communicate with all your healthcare providers to ensure a coordinated and personalized treatment plan.


Somatic Movement Therapy is a holistic approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and emotions in promoting health and well-being. By engaging in gentle movements, body awareness practices, and self-exploration, individuals can develop a deeper understanding of their physical and emotional experiences, leading to improved self-regulation, resilience, and overall quality of life. Whether used as a standalone therapy or in combination with other practices, Somatic Movement Therapy offers a powerful pathway to cultivating embodied presence, self-awareness, and personal growth. As research continues to validate the efficacy of somatic approaches, more people are likely to discover the transformative potential of this innovative and integrative therapy.