My Own Story
Mary Ann Voorhies
I had an accident that left my back in ongoing unrelenting painful spasms for over 6 months. I tried every medical and alternative treatment possible-- to no avail. Nothing worked. In desperation, I sat down at the computer and googled muscle spasm and a website came up- www.somatics.com. I started doing the somatic exercises invented by Thomas Hanna every day, morning and evening. Gradually, the pain and spasms became less severe, and over a period of about 10 weeks they disappeared.
As a result of this healing, I researched this wonderful "new" modality and found out that it could help with a myriad of other diseases and complaints. I was sold. Since that time, I have been devoting my life to spreading this neuro-muscular education technique to as many people as possible.
The Day I Received A Miracle
At this time , (back in 2007) I was a very discouraged individual as my back problem was getting steadily worse. I was trying to avoid steroid injections and the ultimate option ---dreaded back surgery. Then a friend recommended Mary Ann to me ---who was then working towards her certification in Clinical Somatic Education--something that I had never heard of. She was looking for volunteers that would be documented as part of the certification program.
I was very anxious the day of my intitial visit---and it turned out that I had to walk up some stairs to get to her somatics table. She noted how I struggled with each step , using both feet at each step ,. always dragging one leg behind me. She requested that I remove my jewelry . ( I placed a neclace on her dresser). She then began with the first simple proceedures and she noted how much pain I was experiencing. However we persevered with the gentle movements and I agreed to to come to the next session because I was impressed with the session and the simple exercises I was learning to do.
After I went downstairs and was leaving , I realized that I had forgotten my neclace upstairs,so I started up the stairs to retrieve it and to my amazement, I was able to to walk up the stairs with much greater ease and I excitedly called out to Mary Ann. The only explanation I could surmise was the tremendous effect that that one session had on releasing the severe tension in my back and hip muscles which created less painful movement.
I attended all four of the required sessions and I did my simple exercises faithfully. I`m doing much better and I will always be thankful to the" powers that be " that led me to Mary Ann so that I might be educated in the amazing power of somatics! She and her program have been great blessings in my life.!
Sincerely, Chris Stutes (June 23, 2011)
Improved Posture & Range of Motion
I know you have had many people tell you how much better they feel after working with you, but I had to send you a note to say how grateful I am for your help!
As you know, when I arrived at my appointment this evening you had me stand in front of the mirror I realized for the first time how awful my posture really was. I looked like my 96 year old Grandmother with osteoporosis. I never realized how hunched over I was. Interesting as well was the fact that one of my arms was longer than the other! Boy did that hit home!
I was really worried about coming to see you before this long driving trip I'll be taking in a couple of days, thinking I would be hurting and sore. Right now I feel like a million bucks! I am so amazed and excited!
I had so much fun at my appointment, who'd have thought, I could have a good time when I was hurting so bad when I arrived? You have such a soothing way and great sense of humor.
When I laid on your table and we started to train my brain to speak to my muscles again, I wondered how long it would take to start that line of communication. I thought it would take several visits to accomplish any semblance of what my goals were for my crunched up hurting body. I am so amazed at the difference of how I feel now compared to when I rang your doorbell. WOW!! I feel like night and day! My range of motion has improved almost ninety percent in my neck. My shoulders are back instead of slumped forward. I can breathe so much better.
Needless to say, I can't wait to see you for my next appointment! Thank you for helping me feel so much better so soon!
Your newest fan~CC
Relief from Continuous Pain
Mary Ellen Jirak
After an injury to my neck and shoulder two years ago I had been in continuous pain. I had headaches regularly and was not sleeping well. I received chiropractic care for nearly 2 years twice a month and once a month for almost another year. These treatments would help for a few days and then my neck and shoulder would tighten up again. I was unable to play tennis, which I love. After one 1 hour Clinical Somatic Education session with Mary Ann , I am pain free, playing tennis again and sleeping much more comfortably. This therapy is "miraculous". I am very grateful that I discovered this healing modality.
Relief from Chronic Back Pain
MG, Retired Schoolteacher
For the last 35 years I have sought relief from back pain caused by scoliosis. I had chiropractic treatments, pain medicines, and I did exercises. All of these made some difference but I longed for something more lasting and effective. I often asked different chiropractors whether there was some way to make the "bones stay in place." The usual answer was that "exercises would help but there was no cure for scoliosis."
In February of 2008 Mary Ann Voorhies offered to work with me using Somatics. We had a few sessions and then I was in an accident and fractured my pelvis. I had therapy to recover mobility, and then-probably due to overcompensation to protect the left side-I developed severe back pain on my right side. I had over a month of therapy for that. The therapy was very beneficial because I also learned movements to prevent me from injuring my back. I mentioned Somatics to my therapist, and he highly recommended that I continue my lessons.
At that time I still did not feel strong, and certain motions would set off pain in my lower back-sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other. Mary Ann again offered to work with me so I could learn Somatics more fully. Upon her suggestion, I began a daily routine of practicing at least one-half hour in the early morning and again in the evening. Her written instructions, often with drawings, and her demonstrations of different movements were most beneficial to doing them more effectively.
I feel that my back has become stronger and I have pain much less often and for shorter periods of time. I am more comfortable moving, and am more flexible. I had become stiff and rigid in my movements in order to avoid hurting myself. Mary Ann has taught me many ways to relax various muscles.
I appreciate Mary Ann's persistence, patience, and knowledge of the muscles and bones-and her knowledge of how to help me relax. She often said, "Relaxing the muscles prevents pain." Throughout our sessions, she was most generous with her time and energy, over a period of at least 6 weeks-even bringing the "table" to my home. I know I will always need to do my exercises, but I believe I can manage my back situation and enjoy doing my daily tasks, including walking for enjoyment.
I know you have had many people tell you how much better they feel after working with you but I had to send you a note to say how grateful I am for your help.
As you know when I arrived at my appointment with you, you had me stand in front of a mirror. I realized for the first time how awful my posture really was. I looked like my 96 year old grandmother. I never realized how hunched over I was. I was really worried about coming to see you before the long driving trip i would be taking in a couple of days, thinking i would be hurting and sore. Right now , I feel like a million bucks! I am so amazed and excited!
I had so much fun at my appoinment . Who`d thought that I could have such a good time when I was hurting so much when I arrived.When I laid on your table and we started to train my brain to speak to my muscles again, I wondered how long it would take to start the line of communication. I thought it would take several visits to accomplish some semblance of what my goals were for my crunched up hurting body. I am so amazed at the difference in the way i feel now compared to the way i felt when i first rang your doorbell. Wow! I feel like night and day. My range of motion in my neck has improved about 90%, My shoulders are back instead of slumped forward and I can breathe much better. Needless to say, I can`t wait to see you for my next appoinment. Thank you for helping me feel so much better so soon.
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