Following is an excerpt from The Body of Life: Creating New Pathways for Sensory Awareness and Fluid Movement by Thomas Hanna:
As many of you may already know, Clinical Somatic Education, also known as Hanna Somatics, is based on the findings and discoveries of Moshe Feldenkrais. Feldenkrais called his work functional integration. As such, the improvements that come about are as much psychological as they are physiological.
Somatic education involves the systemic change of the entire human being. The personality, the directions, the intentions of the person are modified. Feldenkrais understood that the human soma is a neutrally organized cybernetic system that is self-adjusting, self-correcting, and self-improving — if that system is given new information with which to interact, and if that system is allowed to become sensorally aware that there are other options than the ways in which it habitually acts. The human soma is self-improving because it has an ancient, built-in bias toward efficiency.
Moshe Feldenkrais is one of the great benefactors of mankind, and the benefits he has bestowed are only now coming to be discovered and appreciated … What functional integration accomplishes is, from the viewpoint of traditional medicine, impossible. It is extremely difficult for physicians to accept the fact that ailments are untreatable medically and can be made to disappear by nonmedical procedures. Laypersons have the same difficulty, because they too have been taught to think about the human body in terms of the Western medical model. Physicians and their patients both accept functional disorders as inevitable and as the effects of old age or unknown causes …
The goal of functional integration is to integrate the human being by integrating his sensory-motor functions … The gain of this understanding is in active self awareness, and the realm of somatic education has made it certain that human AWARENESS must be recognized as a biological force that can be as potent for human growth as I can be for human degeneration.
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