Somatic Restoration/Dynamic Stretching
Please Read This Before Starting To Do The Following Exercises.
This is a joint opening series that will open the joints and connective tissue of the whole body.
The longer you practice the more open your body will become. It is best to practice 5 to 7 days per week but any time is better than no time.
If you have specific areas that you want to work on then any part of the series may be used on its own but it is best to do the whole series.
It is called Somatic Restoration as it is about restoring (like an old car) your body to functional capacity and ability, that is the myofascial system can be unstuck and unwound to find an ease to and fluid movement and unrestricted experience/sensation/awareness of the physical aspect of human experience.
Thomas Hanna wrote a book called Somatics and talks about Sensorimotor Amnesia where, in my understanding, we forget how to use our bodies in the way that a child does through learning patterns of efficiency in motor coordination. This efficiency compromises movement potential and so we struggle to do anything outside of our conditioning. Through opening up the connective tissue in this process we can start to regain the capacity for spontaneous movement in multiple planes and fields that are outside of our patterned movement.
I use the guiding principle from Chapter 10 of the Dao De Jing where it says “Can you let your body become supple as a newborn child’s?” I want to return to this state.
Through having a lot of treatment and doing self myofascial and ligamentous release work and doing this stretching I have developed techniques to treat myself and use the stretching to open up a body that has been smashed by 20 years of martial arts (Kickboxing, Aikido, Taiji) and years of BMX and Downhill Mountain biking crashes, multiple assaults, and diving into a concrete swimming pool head first, skateboarding and falling off pushbikes to a point where I see that making my body as supple as a babies is a real possibility.
It is always a work in progress but I am loving my new-found movement and freedom in my body from restricted movement and pain.
Is there pain? if there is pain then back off.
The idea is go to around 70% of your maximum. Don’t work at your end of range. Its like when you put a stick in the ground and want to make a hole. You gradually increase the size of the hole with ever-expanding spiral movement. It gradually opens up without breaking the stick. Work like this.
This video is from a Qigong class that is held at 6.30pm on Monday and Wednesday nights at the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
If you would like to explore this series in more detail then please come along to a class. While there is much benefit in doing the movements from a video you will get so much more from coming to a class, or booking a one on one with Kerry, and having the details of the principles and movements explained to you.
This is the latest version of the sequence. You can link to previous versions through the YouTube channel
Please go at your own pace.
I just thought I would let you know that today I tried your Level 1 stretch routine. It was Japan day and I wanted something to open me up and relax me properly before I went to the demonstration. Worked really well. Helped my nerves too. Thank you so much!