Discover the secret of Sensory-Motor health

New Clinical Somatics Professional Training Starts October 13, 2018

Enhance your existing practice or develop an brand new career in the groundbreaking field of Clinical Somatic Education.

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Clinical Somatics promotes improved well-being by teaching our muscles new ways to react to stress. Founded on a wealth of scientific evidence by Dr. Thomas Hanna, his program for the mind and body has proven that common age accepted problems such as chronic stiffness, back pain, chronic pain, arthritis, and fatigue need never occur if we maintain conscious control of nerve and muscle.

By replacing "Sensory-Motor Amnesia" with "Sensory-Motor Awareness", Somatics can help almost anyone maintain the benefits of a supple, healthy body indefinitely, with a daily five-minute routine.

Dr. Hanna's research has also led to a solution for restricted musculoskeletal function, joint degeneration, and compromised weight distribution — as many as 50% of cases are misdiagnosed and symptoms are typically mistaken for arthritis, bursitis, or herniated disks by traditional Western physicians.

For over a decade, it has been the Somatic Systems Institute's mission to bring awareness of Dr. Hanna's groundbreaking work to fellow health care professionals and clients all over the northeast. We are proud to continue this tradition of offering development sessions of the highest caliber and integrity in our flagship Northampton Somatics Certification Training.

About Us

Who we are

Somatic Systems Institute is the worldwide clinical, academic, research, training, educational and resource center for Somatics, including Clinical Somatic Education, but also the general realms of Somatics, healthcare, science, and philosophy. For three decades, we have carried on the work of Thomas Hanna, and based on that work expanded & developed the field, practice, and method of Clinical Somatic Education™ practiced and known today.

We are the exclusive source of training in Clinical Somatic Education, including qualified clinical practitioners and movement & exercise teachers.

Somatic Systems Institute was the first and only program authorized to conduct trainings on behalf of the work of Thomas Hanna. We are also the only authentic authorized program in professional training of Clinical Somatic Education practitioners and exercise teachers. Our faculty are working, senior practitioners and founders as well as other leaders in the fields of Somatics and specifically its flagship body of work, Clinical Somatic Education.

Somatic Systems Institute also offers additional third party accreditations, including being an Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork ("NCBTMB").

We are proud of our training programs and educational methods, which utilize leading edge & advanced research and best practices in education and learning theory. Our innovative curricula has been developed actively, extensively, and constantly to use the best methods and most comprehensive material to create the best practitioners in the field of Somatic health care & education.

We are dedicated to expanding mastery, awareness, and accessibility of the field of Somatics envisioned, pioneered, and developed by Thomas Hanna’ and his colleagues. Our curriculum is designed to directly pass on these techniques, methods, approaches, philosophies and perspectives.

We are passionate about this work because we have seen lives utterly transformed into greater ease and balance through the active engagement with this body of work. We hold that a solid understanding and competency in this work leads to a clarity of duty to serve one client's with skill, professionalism, and compassion. To serve in this manner is an unparalled honor and responsibility. To fully serve humanity in this fashion is also to strive for a professional and competent environment of scientific research and subjective inquiry.

We hold that there is no effective health care or life science without recognition and consideration of objective as well as subjective data, and that we are obligated to develop skills in facilitating client's first-person fitness as well offering our third-person expertise. We must train practitioners to develop objective excellence and subjective, proprioceptive ability.

We are committed to capitalizing on each student's individual talents, while holding to certain and high-level standards of competency and practice. We strive to develop Somatics professionals who can all offer the highest quality services throughout the world.

We are committed to making this work available to those individuals willing to become actively involved in their own health and well-being. We promote a safe, student-centered, tolerant, and honest environment where we can learn from each other and cooperate for all participant's well-being.

We train and certify skilled, compassionate, and professionally-minded somatic practitioners in the use of somatic education, the direct methods for teaching voluntary, conscious control of the neuromuscular system to persons suffering involuntary muscular disorders. We are dedicated to prepare our graduates to use this methodology to meet the enormous and growing demand for these skills, within the fields of healthcare and education, into the 21st century and beyond.



More About the Program

This Modular Training program is a unique opportunity. Students complete the first Semester's full 150 hours in only 2 long weeks — enabling students to begin working with clients using their first full level of skills starting only one month after they began. Normally this requires that students participate in a full-time version of the program. This is an exciting way for busy professionals to enhance their practices without disruption, and for those new to the field to transition smoothly to a new career. Click here to download more detailed information...
The first semester of the program is concerned with somatic functional problems of the trunk and vertebral column. Students will learn somatic educational techniques that are consistently effective in eliminating fundamental disorders such as chronic back and neck pain, chronic headaches, sciatica, scoliosis, etc. The program includes lectures on kinesiology and the phenomenon of sensory-motor amnesia. Students also learn diagnostic techniques based on recognition of the typical postural disorders of the Landau Reflex, Startle Reflex, and Trauma Reflex. During the first semester, students undergo a written examination on their knowledge of the field of kinesiology.
The second semester focuses on somatic functional problems of the shoulder joints and arms and of the hip joints and legs. Students will learn procedures for eliminating such problems as carpal tunnel syndrome,tendinitus, frozen shoulders, chronic hip and knee pain, pronated or supinated feet, etc., and attend lectures on neurophysiology. During the second year, students write an examination paper on their knowledge of the field of neurophysiology.
The final semester is largely devoted to expanding the clinical skills of the students and to deepening their understanding of neurophysiology. Students enhance their ability to help clients solve functional problems related to the extremities, walking/gait, balance, and other conditions. Those who successfully demonstrate competence (via examination at our training site) in Clinical Somatics and who have completed all assignments are certified as approved clinical practitioners of Clinical Somatics and authorized to practice in the profession, in private practice or in any number of clinical, academic, and academic settings.
Full tuition for the three semester / three-year program is $13,040.
Now discounted to $11,890 or lower with Early Action discounts!

(And you do not have to pay for the entire course at once: Tuition is paid per semester.)
First semester tuition: $5250
—Special end-of-year savings – Tuition ONLY $4500—
Second & third semesters: $3895 each

Our faculty

Your dedicated mentors

Steven Aronstein
Executive Director

Steven Aronstein is the founding Director and President of the Somatic Systems Institute. A certified Clinical Somatic Educator trained in the second program ever conducted, he has been in practice in Massachusetts and the Northeast for over a decade. He is the first and only person granted the opportunity to teach the Somatics training program after Dr. Hanna.

Karen Hewitt
Senior Somatic Trainer

Karen Hewitt is a certified Somatic Educator trained in the first program ever conducted by Thomas Hanna. She was the first Certified Training Coordinator. Karen is a founder and senior member of the Somatics Board of Accreditation, the international organization responsible for licensing and certifying Somatics programs and practitioners.

Pam Bladine
Senior Somatic Trainer

Pam Bladine is a certified Somatic Educator trained in the second program ever conducted, and maintains a practice in Texas. She is a Massage Therapist licensed in both Texas and Oregon, with additional training in a wide variety of modalities including Zero Balancing, Polarity, Trager, Orthobionomy, Myofascial Release, and Cranio-Sacral Therapy.

Patience Bousel

Patience has been involved in the field of natural health for over 25 years and is currently practicing in Amherst MA. Her practice includes Somatic Education through Clinical Somatics and The Trager Approach, Kripalu Bodywork and Therapeutic Massage, energy work, and massage for pregnancy and postpartum. She has a B.A. degrees in French and History of Art.


More About Clinical Somatics


What is Clinical Somatics?

The Clinical Somatics™ process uses hands-on guided movement as well as a series of self care exercises (lasting as little as 5 minutes a day) that lengthen muscles back to their natural, relaxed state and correct inefficient movement patterns.

When muscles become chronically contracted from misuse, physical and emotional stress, and injury and trauma, the body becomes imbalanced. Years of adjusting to these changes can lead to pain in the neck, back, hips, knees, shoulders, etc., eventually leading to sciatica, scoliosis, carpal tunnel, disc degeneration, arthritis, fatigue, and other structural and functional problems.

Once the muscles are relaxed and balanced through Clinical Somatics™, posture and functioning return to normal, flexibility returns, and you often feel more energetic, since you require much less effort to do things like stand, walk, dance, and exercise.

How do I receive Clinical Somatics?

Clinical Somatics™ occurs in 2 forms: You can receive it in hands-on sessions like going to a massage or physical therapist. It's also available in the form of exercises you can do in group classes or using CDs and videos by yourself. A course of hands-on sessions generally also provides you with a personalized brief routine of simple exercises you can use easily for the rest of your life to stay healthy and pain free, and get even healthier and more flexible.

What Makes Clinical Somatics Different?

Clinical Somatics is the result of decades of development and research, as well as the natural evolution and organic growth of centuries of human movement studies and practices. While other bodywork and Somatic movement modalities have been around for a while, Clinical Somatics employs a comprehensive and integrated range of techniques that precisely activate the internal processes of clients that are necessary for the problem to be corrected by the client themselves.

This combination of natural, non-invasive methods with precision neurologically-based mechanisms produces dramatic, unparalleled results, even in conditions considered incurable by most other convention and alternative methods.

What Makes Clinical Somatics so Effective?

Clinical Somatics™ leads you through comfortable movements that focus the brain specifically on the contracted muscles and movement patterns. Once the brain is made aware of the held contractions, it is able to release them back to a relaxed state. Other pain relief and rehabilitative methods rely on someone else to "do the work". When you actively engage yourself in the process, the muscles follow and do what they are asked.

Our history


The field of Somatics is born

Thomas Hanna coins the term "Somatics" to describe the growing field of principles, practices, and perspectives on human nature, function, and potential based around development, movement, awareness, and education. Hanna defines and expands the field, laying down the beginning of a true professional movement and a vision for the future of human health, aging, and improvement.


Somatic Practices Take Shape

Hanna works to study and establish existing Somatics practices, including bringing Feldenkrais trainings to the US and creating a number of avenues for other traditional holistic work to interconnect.


Somatic Practices Mature

Hanna develops his own techniques and methods, creating a brand new field of Somatic Education, as well as laying the first scientific groundwork for Clinical Somatic Education.


The Work Survives

On Hanna's death, a special group of his students work tirelessly to preserve, retrieve, and revitalize the discoveries and approaches he taught them. To this end, Somatic Systems Institute was founded, to serve as an ardent steward of this history and its reconstruction, as well an institution moving forward for the future of the work. Every element of theory, technique, science, and philosophy is painstakingly rediscovered, researched, revisited, reevaluated, reconsidered, and reintegrated into a competent, clear whole that lives up the integrity and efficacy Hanna envisioned.


The Work is Reborn

This dedicated and accomplished team establishes the Professional Training Program at Somatic Systems Institute to preserve and teach this work, dedicated to carrying on Hanna's vision and passion. The program quickly establishes itself as the source for competent and confident professionals representing the pinnacle of Somatic Education.


Somatics Grows

Every new generation learns from its past, benefits from developments in science and culture, discovers new ways of thinking about age-old problems, innovates enhanced solutions, adopts improved practices and approaches, and uses all these new and old understandings to render a more complete and advanced picture of the world that move it even further forward. Somatic Systems Institute followed this tradition, employing the best and latest practices in education and science to continually improve its teaching programs and its work in Clinical Somatic Education, resulting in a comprehensive and modern approach to Somatic healthcare that also honors and preserves its historical integrity and core values.


Somatics Expands and Thrives

Somatic Systems Institute continues it work of constant development and improvement, broadening the relevance and application of Somatics across many populations and contexts. It also brings Clinical Somatic Education to teaching centers nationwide, and adds new teaching formats and new course of study for different professions and audiences. Clinical Somatic Education sees unprecedented growth among health and movement professionals of all kinds, bringing the field closer and closer to its original vision of helping all human beings live dramatically healthier lives.

What's Next? You Help Decide

Professional Praise for Somatics

The missing link between many doctors and their patients can be rediscovered if both parties understand what Somatics is really about; how wisely and wonderfully we are organized to live a better life than many of us do.

Mark Schmid-Neuhaus, M.D.

Chief Physician, Munich Health Park

Thomas Hanna's subtle exercises offer the exciting possibility that we can continue to be supple and graceful. Highly recommended for those who hang on past 30s.

Arthur J. Deikman, M.D.

University of California, San Francisco; author, The Observing Self

One of the most profound revolutions in our thinking concerns the fundamental connections between body and mind. Now that we begin to understand something of our inner healing powers, along comes Somatics to give form and shape to our new-found knowledge.

Paul DuBois, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Association for Humanistic Psychology


Some our students' experiences

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Functional Synergy Therapist

Steven Aronstein is an exceptional teacher, of that there is no question. He delivers a passionate and undiluted method of teaching the most direct Thomas Hanna material as humanly and somatically possible, and for that and his unrelenting way of having us get it, we are all becoming amazing Somatics practitioners and educators with each new piece that is revealed and integrated.

This course is not for just anyone. It is for those that want to make a bona fide difference in their own bodies as well as working with others. And it delivers in ways unexpected and unprecedented apart from any other movement modality in the way it is presented, digested, experienced and taught.

I only seek my body work training from direct sources, and for me Steven Aronstein is the next generation, a true disciple of what Thomas Hanna was cultivating, delivering and teaching in terms of movement, anatomy, philosophy and the neuro-biology of coming back to our brilliant human design.

Steve’s methodology may at first glance be unorthodox, but it works. His incredible (and often cinematic) analogies land, and if they don’t he will tirelessly find a way for it to not only stick, but be part of your lexicon and delivery through your hands.

We are grateful that this team of amazing mentorship is truly hand-picked and carefully selected. They share as generously as Steve does and the community has never been so rich and fertile with all the experience and expertise.

If I am already this effective after Year 1 of my training, I can’t imagine what I will be able to offer and how I will be able to navigate a person’s body by the end of Year 3. I am blessed and so are the people that I work with and will be working with for years to come.

Quite insufficiently, thank you so very much.

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Yoga Teacher & Therapist

The training I received from Somatic Systems Institute for my full Certification in Clinical Somatic Education was nothing short of excellent. I could go on and on about my experience, however, I'll keep it contained...

  1. Steven Aronstein is an excellent educator. He shared his years of knowledge in Clinical Somatics with us, holding nothing back. He took his time, made sure we understood principles, concepts and the hands on training. There was never a problem reviewing to clarify. His assistant, Patience Bousel, was also excellent, sharing her knowledge and helping us clarify and grow in our personal and professional practice.
  2. The clinics were a great hands on experience. Yes, they were nerve-wracking. However the learning from the clients and the feedback from teachers, trainers and peers was invaluable. There was never any harsh criticism, only beneficial feedback that we were able to put into practice immediately. Some of my biggest takeaways to apply to my work came from those experiences. You learn from feedback and the teachers that gave their time during the Trainers Clinic, were great. They know the work, so they could guide us along, letting us know what we were doing well and what could use improvement. The public clinics allowed us to do hands-on work while being observed by other teachers and our peers. Again, very valuable feedback.
  3. I came into the program as a Certified Yoga Therapist, very proud of what I had accomplished and what I learned from that experience. Once in the program, I very quickly started referring to my self as a Clinical Somatics Educator-in-training. That is how valuable I found the work, for myself and for my clients. Very quickly into the program I was able to apply the skills I learned to my personal practice and my clients and the results I was getting, even early on as a newbie, were so much more effective than all the training I had prior to starting with Somatic Systems and Steven Aronstein. The Yoga Therapy Certification I completed was very thorough and is a highly regarded school!
  4. The program is run with our results in mind. They don't want to crank out a bunch of graduates, they want us to excel and get excellent results. It was very important for us to give feedback, so Steven and Patience would know how they could improve the program and how they would need to teach us. I always felt comfortable giving feedback, even negative, as I knew it would be taken seriously and implemented immediately. The entire training felt very democratic.
  5. The icing on the cake, or the cherry on the top, was the friendships that developed during the training. I do believe we will stay lifelong friends and colleagues.

Yes, the training is a 2+year commitment and it may be more costly than other trainings that are out there, however, hands down, I would consider it being an advanced degree training and well-worth every penny I spent. As I said earlier, I was able to quickly apply what I learned into my business, which increased my business over what I had been experiencing. I've more than made my money back in a very short period of time. You can't beat experience and Steven has that experience. He knows the work inside out, he is excellent at the work. He still sees clients, so his knowledge stays fresh.

I highly recommend the program to anyone who is considering it. You will be so happy you did!

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Our address

Where you can find us

Office Location

Northampton MA 01060 US

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Email Address

[email protected]

Working Hours

Monday - Friday 9:00 - 5:00

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