Photo: Irene Dávila
LAURA M GATES
CHSE, CCSE, MFA
Laura is a certified Hanna Somatic Educator (CHSE), and Clinical Somatic Educator (CCSE) hands-on practitioner.
Laura has worked with people of all ages and walks of life, including dancers, athletes, musicians, and actors. She was movement coach for Harvey Keitel on the set of A Crime, filmed in 2006. As a former professional dancer, she toured internationally with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and earned an MFA degree in dance from Bennington College.
She brings 40 years experience as a movement educator to her work and has training in deep tissue body work with Tyr Throne and is an ongoing student of master kinesthetic anatomy teacher, Irene Dowd in New York City. She was trained in Clinical Somatic Education at Somatic Systems Institute, Northampton, MA, and is also certified by Novato Institute, CA.
Laura currently teaches classes, works with one-on-one clients in New York City and numerous locations in the USA, Europe, and assists Martha Peterson, CHSE, on the teaching team for clinical practitioner trainings and ESMTT (Essential Somatic Movement Teacher Training) trainings internationally.
For more on these trainings, and various learning pathways visit: www.EssentialSomatics.com.
Laura has recently developed a workshop, Somatic Solutions: Focus on Scoliosis, teaching somatic self-care techniques specific to scoliosis:
LAURA'S OWN STORY
A Noninvasive Approach to Scoliosis
For decades I suffered substantial chronic pain from a scoliosis condition during careers as a professional dancer and then a dance teacher and body worker. Prior to encountering Hanna (Clinical) Somatic Education (HSE), I had tried many modalities, including deep tissue and other types of massage, acupressure and acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic techniques to relieve the chronic pain. Those treatments sometimes helped temporarily, but the same symptoms would always return quickly, and I could expect my back to go into crisis from time to time. When I discovered Hanna Somatics I realized that it offered a very different approach to pain relief. The key is changing the mapping in the brain, and the signal from the brain that governs the muscle function.
Presently, my scoliosis and posture in general is greatly improved both visually, (my left shoulder used to be nearly two inches lower and is now almost even with the right shoulder) and most important in terms of function. I have 80% less pain in my back and more range of motion. I consider Hanna Somatics work a first resort for scoliosis symptoms and the most helpful modality I have found. Scoliosis often gets worse with age. This is a way to prevent its increase and quite likely, improve it.
The optimum way to use Hanna Somatics work and the re-patterning methods it offers is as follows: hands on private sessions to accelerate the changes to posture and then a daily solo somatic movement practice that actualizes the new neuro-habits relative to the muscles’ function and replaces the old neuro-habits of pain and contraction.
My approach requires some diligence, but the somatic movements are very pleasurable, gentle, slow motion, and leave the whole body more pain free, de-stressed, and smarter physically. Mobilizing the body has positive affects on all systems. I have noticed marked improvement to my health and my relationship to my body. Additionally, I am a much calmer person than I used to be.
I was so impressed with Hanna Somatics work that I became a certified practitioner in 2007 and continue to get great results with my clients and students via these unique and excellent techniques.
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“MIND YOUR BODY”
— LAURA M GATES