Martha Peterson, CCSE
Learn how to free yourself from the root cause of pain in your body — rather than just treating symptoms — and reset your whole body to function more optimally.
Receive simple but powerful techniques to reverse chronic pain... calm your nervous system... transform unhealthy habitual movements... and reduce physical and emotional limitations you may have due to trauma held in your body.
Imagine how different your quality of life might be if you could easily reduce and even eliminate chronic pain, and move with a renewed feeling of safety, freedom... and even joy!
The truth is that limitations in our body have a big impact on our sense of happiness and freedom. If our body is stuck in pain, constriction, and deterioration, little else that we’re doing will give us the fulfilling life we truly desire.
Too often, we assume that pain and bodily challenges are something we “just have to deal with,” not understanding that they’re due to residual patterns that can be cleared, healed, and released.
What’s become increasingly clear from leading-edge somatic practices is that our whole body is far more malleable than we give it credit for — and we can, often quite rapidly, heal many of the things we believe we’re stuck with.
The root of much of our pain is trauma. Throughout our lives, most of us experience some kind of trauma, which can result in continuous stress, chronic pain, and habitual movements that keep us stuck in uncomfortable and unhelpful patterns — both physically and emotionally.
Trauma (even low-grade traumas) tends to “freeze” certain habits and patterns in the body, which eventually result in breaking down of tissues and structures.
But they don’t have to stay that way.
According to Martha Peterson, founder of Essential Somatics® and author of Move Without Pain, we all have a tendency to unconsciously adapt to the unresolved traumas in our lives.
Martha teaches us, however, that no matter how much pain and discomfort we may experience, we all have the capacity to learn simple skills to release the old patterns and then begin to self-regulate our nervous system.
Join Martha in a highly experiential and profoundly healing 7-module journey to discover how to sense where you have tension in your body, identify its root cause...
... and free yourself from the traumas of a lifetime through powerful yet gentle somatic movement techniques that are designed to maintain the health and functional integrity of your myofascial system — to relax your muscles and release the chronic discomfort that may be holding you back from living your most self-actualized life.
Martha will show you how to transform your body’s default response of fight/flight/freeze to one of joy, freedom, bliss, and heightened potential. She’ll show you how you can easily release yourself from even very old traumas.
At the heart of her work is the powerful somatic movement technique of pandiculation (what Martha calls “nature’s reset reflex” because it’s used so much in the animal kingdom) — an easy-to-learn set of practices that enables you to improve your brain’s ability to sense and move your muscles with ease as it calms your nervous system and allows deep relaxation.
Pandiculation is a complex sounding word but it involves a series of simple, yet highly effective ways to stretch the soft tissues involuntarily — which is thought to be more effective and natural than stretching — as a way to release muscle tension, reduce pain, improve posture, and increase mobility.
As the seven modules of this course progress, Martha will take you through a perfectly designed, systematic process of relearning how to move, much like babies discover themselves and progressively develop the capacity to control their muscles.
She’ll lead you in somatic practices to restore freedom from head to toe — so you canregain balance, improve breathing, have better posture, and enjoy comfort in everything you do.
During this highly experiential course filled with somatic movement practices, you’ll:
- Discover how to heal the underlying causes of your pain — not just your symptoms — and learn easy practices that will reset your whole body to function at optimal health
- Be guided in simple and safe somatic movement techniques in every session that “unstick” your body from harmful repetitive movements and restore your freedom of movement from head to toe... by reconnecting your mind with your body
- Experience the powerful technique of pandiculation, a stretching of soft tissues much like cats and dogs intuitively do, to reduce overall tension in your nervous system and release chronic pain and tension — and reclaim your sense of self
- Understand how Sensory Motor Amnesia is showing up in your body as chronically contracted muscles... causing unhelpful patterns of posture, movement, and thoughts
- Learn how to use the miraculous workings of your brain to sense and regulate tension, so you can experience greater freedom of movement, self-actualization, self-agency, and emotional wellbeing
- Create a daily somatic practice with small movements you can do anytime, anywhere
- Uncover what’s possible as you continue on your path to achieve your highest potential once you can move with more ease
- And much more...
Martha’s positive energy is contagious and her background in dance and massage therapy provides her with a unique skillset to mentor you in this work...
... as she reveals how pain and restriction of movement are functional, rather than structural disorders of the nervous system.
Through the work of Thomas Hanna — a professor, philosopher, pioneer in the field of somatics, and founder of Hanna Somatic Education — Martha learned the skill of self-sensing as the key to regaining freedom of movement and achieving long-term pain relief.
Hanna taught that when our bodies become habitually contracted due to emotional stress and physical injury, muscles lose their ability to fully relax... and we develop a condition known as Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA) — which results in ongoing tightness, stiff joints, and persistent pain.
Yet, we have the choice to respond to stressors in healthier ways.
Because you created these habitual responses in your body, you do have the power to reverse them — allowing your skeleton to return to a healthier state by teaching your muscles how to release.
In every session, Martha will guide you in somatic movement techniques and offer specific skills for each area of your body, to unlearn those stress response reflex patterns and restore fluid, effortless, joyful movement — with practices you can easily do on your own.
Even if you feel you’ve tried everything to relieve your chronic pain, these practices offer you the ability to finally experience long-term relief.
And, as you learn more about SMA and the impact it has on your body, you’ll be better equipped to prevent injuries and other medical issues, as well as diminish depression and anxiety.
By the end of the program, you’ll have a full toolbox of practical, easy-to-use techniques that will transform how you feel in your body and your life — to go from pain to possibility. You’ll walk away with your own daily movement practice to remain pain-free, with full mobility and presence...
... and the capacity to continually grow and thrive in a self-actualized, deeply fulfilling life.
What You’ll Discover in These 7 Modules
In this 7-part transformational intensive, Martha will guide you through the fundamental skills and somatic movement practices you’ll need to address the root cause of pain in your body — rather than just the symptoms — and reset your whole body to function more optimally.
This course will feature step-by-step teachings and experiential practices with Martha. Each session will build harmoniously upon the previous ones, so you’ll develop a complete holistic understanding of a variety of gentle yet powerful movements that provide more ease and mobility.
Module 1: Reverse Sensory Motor Amnesia & Actualize Your True Potential & Personal Agency Using Somatic Movements
Life is a complex combination of stresses — “good” stresses, like running, moving, or creating, and “bad” stresses, like grief, loss, worry, or failure.
Martha says that it’s not the number of years we’ve lived that determines how we can move and feel as we age, but how we’ve habituated to these stresses.
When we feel out of balance, stuck, or defeated by life’s challenges — both physical and emotional — we tend to react in predictable, reflexive ways.
You’ll experience what these reflexes are and how to begin to release them so you can take back voluntary control of your unconscious, involuntary reactions and habits — improving the quality of your brain, nervous system, and life.
In this session, you’ll:
- Discover the difference between a body and a soma — and how your physical and muscular systems respond to everything you experience in life, creating either tension or ease
- Explore the benefits of connecting to the center of your body, your power center
- Be guided through the “Back Lift,” a powerful movement you can do daily to soften tension in your back muscles
- Learn how your habitual responses to stress can contribute to chronic muscle tension — Sensory Motor Amnesia — and how it presents in 3 universal patterns of muscular holding
- Experience the pandiculation technique to improve your brain’s ability to sense and move your muscles with ease, while calming your nervous system and reducing full-body tension
- Identify the “call to action” and “withdrawal” reflexes — or, as Martha calls them, the “green light and red light reflexes” — to reduce tension between the front and back of your body for more freedom in your spine
Module 2: Release Tension in Your Ribcage to Free Your Spine, Stand Taller & Breathe Easier
With all the computer work we do and technology we use these days, who doesn’t have tight shoulders? Tight shoulders are actually a result of a ribcage that can’t expand and contract.
Martha will show you how to release tension in your ribcage, release stress in the muscles that move your shoulders, and restore improved range of motion to your shoulders.
You’ll be able to breathe more deeply and fully.
In this session, you’ll:
- Practice another somatic practice, the “Washrag,” to enhance movement in your shoulders and hips for improved coordination in all your daily activities
- Renew your ability to release tension in the front of your body and breathe more freely and easily using “The Flower” and “Pulling Rope” somatic movements
- Release the shoulders for improved reaching and comfortable movement
- Deepen your awareness and skill in restoring true balance in your somatic center, resulting in more ease, comfort, and stability to your shoulder joint
- Stand taller as you resolve the “head forward posture” that develops from the habituated red light reflex that causes slumping and tension in the front of the body
Module 3: Free Your Jaw & Eyes From Tension to Reduce Anxiety & Improve Your Ability to Self-Regulate
Emotional stress and fear — a daily experience for many people — can evoke a deeply primal reflex that causes us to withdraw physically, mentally, and emotionally.
This reflex is known as the Startle Response (or “red light reflex” in clinical somatics) and creates tension in the muscles of the eyes, jaw, tongue, neck, and shoulders.
When we contract inward to protect ourselves from a real or perceived threat — or we slump over our computers and phones — our chest collapses inward, our shoulders hunch, our head goes forward, and we tighten our abdominals.
This tightness in our centers creates anxiety in our bodies and shows up as tension in our eyes and jaw.
Martha will guide you to use gentle, basic movements and differentiation of the eyes, jaw, tongue, and shoulders to create a deep sense of calm in your nervous system.
In this session, you’ll:
- Discover how small, seemingly insignificant movements of the tongue, eyes, and jaw can gently release deep tension that you’ve been holding in your body
- Understand how a lot of emotional stress and tension is stored in the muscles of the face, eyes, tongue, and jaw
- Release the center of your body and connect it to the head, neck, and jaw to relieve jaw pain and calm the nervous system
- Learn how less really is more when it comes to working with deep tension in the central nervous system
Module 4: Liberate the Movement of Your Psoas & Pelvis to Reduce Habituated Limitations in Your Body & Improve Coordination
The psoas is a deep stabilizer of the lower body. When it’s habitually contracted, it restricts freedom of movement — not just in your lower body, but also in the shoulders, neck, legs, and feet.
By releasing muscle tension in your front, back, and sides, you’ll be able to connect your shoulders and pelvis for improved walking. You’ll learn to move your pelvis in a new way to create more freedom in your entire body. You may even be on your way to dancing again!
As you gain freedom, you may experience unexpected emotions, like fear, which may force you to challenge the way you’ve been living your life — because as you change your movements, you change yourself as a human soma.
You’ll explore how releasing fear of moving, other people’s opinions about you, and your mental expectations can impact your long-term success in moving forward in life.
In this session, you’ll:
- Practice 3 simple, safe somatic movements — “Arch and Flatten,” “Back Lift,” and “Diagonal Arch and Curl” — plus a short, seated exploration to help bring the front and back of your body into improved coordination and balance so you can walk, run, dance, and play with more control
- Learn the easiest way to walk that connects you to the ground and allows your entire body to coordinate with ease
- Discover your stories around the “right” way to walk, and learn how to feel comfortable with your own stride
- Connect the movement of your shoulders to the movement of your hips for improved rotation and movement through your spine
- Free your rib cage for improved breathing and more movement in your entire torso
Module 5: Connect Your Legs & Feet to Your Center for Enhanced Grounding & Restored Balance
Everything you’ve learned in the course so far has been leading to the restoration of the most important movement in our human vocabulary — sensing the ground and walking forward toward life.
Now that you know how to release the red light, green light, and trauma reflex muscles (back, front, and sides of your body), you’re ready to connect your feet to your legs, and your legs to the center of your body for easier walking and more stability.
You’ll also play with rolling over onto your front and back and getting up off the floor with ease.
In this session, you’ll:
- Begin to restore movement in your pelvis as it connects to soft movement of your back and waist
- Feel more grounded by connecting to the earth from your feet to the top of your head
- Make friends with your feet as you discover how control begins in your lower leg and connects to the center of your body
- Play with more ease and coordination as you learn powerful walking movements to restore balance
- Experience how freedom in your center and connecting to the ground leads to a sense of safety and balance when you’re standing
- Reflect on what’s possible for your future now that you can move with more ease
Module 6: Create a Healthier Spine With Free & Easy Twisting
At this point in the program, you’re likely to feel safer and more grounded in your movement. It’s time to take a step further and explore what it’s like to twist and rotate from your center.
Our spine is meant to gently rotate as we walk. After all, movement nourishes our spine and keeps us standing tall and feeling strong.
You’ll learn the “Propeller” — a more complex movement that connects the head, shoulders, hips, pelvis, legs, and feet for a luscious experience of spinal rotation.
In this session, you’ll:
- Learn how the ability to twist and rotate the spine comes from freedom in the back, waist, abdominals, and ribcage
- Experience the connectedness of your entire body as you gently and luxuriously twist and roll on the floor
- Feel the wonderful sense of playfulness that can show up in your movement when you restore your ability to twist
- Discover how certain pain patterns — such as sciatica and pain in your back, neck, shoulders, knees, and feet — begin to wane as you allow the shoulders, pelvis, and legs to coordinate in a natural, effortless way
Module 7: Learn to Move Outward From Your Center for Fun, Playful, Liberating Movement & Enhanced Wellbeing
Anxiety and stress can lead to a fear of movement. It’s important to remember what it was like to be playful and “dance as if nobody was watching.”
You’ll explore seated, standing, and balancing movements you can do every day to feel confident in your movement and body…
… and learn how invoking curiosity, patience, persistence, and the willingness to be kind to yourself is vital to your daily practice.
Martha will also illuminate how creating a daily somatic movement practice is the best and most time-tested way to create long-lasting improvement and comfort in your relationship with yourself, your body, your movement, and your life.
As you strengthen your capacity to sense, you’ll become more self-monitoring. And as you enhance your ability to self-monitor, you’ll become more self-correcting, self-regulating, and, ultimately, self-actualizing.
In this session, you’ll:
- Discover how to build a daily somatic movement practice that works for you and complements the way you live your life
- Learn easy and effective standing sequences you can do anytime, anywhere to make gravity your friend
- Experience how everything you learned up until now can be applied to your daily life to enhance your sense of overall wellbeing
- Uncover how much fun it is to let go and explore as you learn the “Shoulder and Hip Circles Sequence” for supple movement of the shoulders, hips, and waist muscles
- Access a deeper level of understanding of balance and stability through standing somatic movements
The Pandiculation Technique Bonus Gift
In addition to Martha’s transformative 7-module virtual course, you’ll receive this special bonus gift to complement the course and take your understanding and practice to an even deeper level.
The 12 Days of Somatic Movement
PDF of Helpful Tips From Martha Peterson
Dig into 12 of Martha’s favorite “pro tips” for deepening your somatic movement practice — using pandiculation — and continuing your journey of self-exploration. These tips will guide you in your practice and pique your curiosity about what’s possible for your healing and thriving. This bonus is bound to keep you motivated to learn more about yourself and discover how you can feel your best as you walk through the world.
What Graduates of Martha’s Courses Are Saying…
— Jan Berson: “Working With Martha Peterson Has Me Out of Pain for the Very First Time Since I Was a Very Small Child”
— Barbara Richman: “We Are Stronger, More Functional, and We Have Much Less Pain”
“I experienced significant improvement in the pain and stiffness I was feeling in my body, which I thought was an inevitable part of getting older.”
Having not heard about somatics before, I was amazed at how simple and effective this approach is. I experienced significant improvement in the pain and stiffness I was feeling in my body, which I thought was an inevitable part of getting older.
— Jennifer, Sydney, Australia
“I am so glad I signed up for this course and I highly recommend it.”
I experienced radical improvement in my back and hip pain after just the introductory/sales session. I have not gone to the chiropractor since, and I had been going weekly or biweekly for a very long time. The exercises were fairly easy to learn and practice on my own and I will continue doing them, as obviously the result comes from doing the exercises. But it is amazing to have these tools to be able to help myself feel so much better in my body and save so much time and money by not having to get professional treatment. I am so glad I signed up for this course and I highly recommend it.
— Maria, Sweden
“It was amazing how such simple awareness of my body could bring such relaxation and change in posture.”
The short sessions were packed with so much learning, far more than I got from her book. It was amazing how such simple awareness of my body could bring such relaxation and change in posture. Due to a personal situation, I missed some sessions and am so grateful that I was able to watch the lesson and question section later.
— Karen Joy, Oceanside, California
“I looked forward to each class because I felt better both physically and emotionally after participating.”
Martha obviously loves her work and actively listens to answer participants’ questions. She explains the work well and gives credit to Thomas Hanna and whoever else has influenced these teachings, which gives a historic perspective and honors the original teachers. The class had a very positive feeling and the results can be very helpful. I looked forward to each class because I felt better both physically and emotionally after participating. The process and encouragement was uplifting.
— Elissa La Conner, Washington
“I am so happy that I have this practice now, so I can continue to be independent and vibrant as I age.”
The course has helped me become more aware of my standing and my walking. I find myself now catching my pelvis extended forward into the green light reflex and I am mindful and bring it back. I started doing somatic movements in preparation for Martha’s class and now it is just a part of my routine for the rest of my life. I am so happy that I have this practice now, so I can continue to be independent and vibrant as I age. I want to move through life with grace and ease.
— K.L., Bloomington, Illinois
Here’s What You’ll Receive
Seven 90-Minute Class Sessions With Martha Peterson, CCSE
Experience a unique opportunity to learn from the founder of Essential Somatics and author of Move Without Pain Martha Peterson, CCSE — from the comfort of your own home. Each class session includes a streaming video option and will guide you to reverse chronic pain and transform unhealthy habitual movements and physical and emotional limitations due to trauma — for a fully self-actualized life.
Seven Transcripts of Class Sessions
You’ll also receive the entire class transcription after each session is completed. You can then review, print, and highlight the most important insights and practices you were given.
Exercises and Questions for Each Lesson
Between class sessions, you’ll have the option of completing related exercises, practicing new tools, and answering questions to accelerate your learning and integrate each lesson.
The Pandiculation Technique Bonus Gift
- The 12 Days of Somatic Movement
PDF of Helpful Tips From Martha Peterson
An Unprecedented Opportunity to Join the Online Training, Somatic Freedom With the Pandiculation Technique
We feel honored that Martha Peterson has chosen to partner with The Shift Network to offer this exclusive online training. This is a unique opportunity to learn from the founder of Essential Somatics and author of Move Without Pain whose powerful insights and pioneering work are helping us heal and awaken ourselves and our world.
If you’re serious about moving without pain and joyful freedom, so you can lead a fully self-actualized life, then you owe it to yourself, your loved ones, and our world to take this one-of-a-kind training.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your own evolution, click the register button below to reserve your space now.
Your Satisfaction Is 100% Guaranteed!
Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed! If you don’t absolutely LOVE Somatic Freedom With the Pandiculation Technique — or don’t feel that it meets your needs — please submit your refund request form 2 weeks from your date of purchase and we’ll happily issue qualifying customers a refund.
More Praise for Martha Peterson, CCSE…
“... somatic movement speaks to my soul and really does spark an acceptance and peace that is spilling into my life ‘off the mat.’”
The exploration, the awareness of somatic movement speaks to my soul and really does spark an acceptance and peace that is spilling into my life “off the mat.” I wanted to share with you a little example of this: I was doing some painting in the house, and instead of pushing myself to do more and more and seeking perfection, I was able to acknowledge fatigue and strain in my shoulder. I did what I needed to do, and stopped, saving the extra work for another day. Then I sat outside with a cup of tea and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I practiced awareness, presence, and acceptance; I did the job using less effort and then I relaxed. And it felt so good! Somatic practice in real life. I wouldn't have accomplished this if I hadn't taken Martha’s courses. Her words and her work are changing my life.
— J.H., esthetician, Ontario, Canada
“The back pain I was experiencing every day is now just an occasional background noise.”
I had been struggling with acute back and hip pain for months, and other therapies were not helping. Now I have the tools to address whatever my soma presents on a given day. Any discomfort I feel is a way for me to learn and explore what my body needs, physically and emotionally. The back pain I was experiencing every day is now just an occasional background noise.
— Sue M., yoga teacher, United Kingdom
“Since learning Essential Somatics, I have a new lease on life as everything is becoming easier and more enjoyable.”
If you want to live life to the fullest, you have to recognize and eliminate all your non-productive habits. This can be achieved through Essential Somatics. Since learning Essential Somatics, I have a new lease on life as everything is becoming easier and more enjoyable. Essential Somatics seriously improves your sense of wellbeing in ways I could only have dreamt.
— Ewan S., , martial arts teacher, ESMTT graduate, United Kingdom
“I am completely out of pain for the first time in my adult life.”
After practicing somatic movements for eight weeks, my shoulder that has been “frozen” for six months is almost completely back to normal. My gait is more balanced and efficient and I am completely out of pain for the first time in my adult life. I have been exploring self-care modalities for 20 years and nothing has given me the benefits that I have experienced from a consistent somatic movement practice.
— Jan B., Pilates teacher, MELT method instructor
About Martha Peterson, CCSE
Martha Peterson is a Certified Clinical Somatic Educator and leader in the field of Somatic Education. She is the founder and CEO of Essential Somatics® and author of Move Without Pain. Martha heads a growing faculty of Clinical Somatic Educators who present Essential Somatics teacher trainings, retreats, workshops, and seminars around the world. She maintains a private clinical practice in Manitou Springs, Colorado.
Martha’s expertise comes from more than 30 years of working in the field of dance, bodywork, and Somatic Education. As a former professional dancer who suffered chronic hip and knee pain due to injuries, Martha understands the frustration and struggle many people experience when trying to discern between the myriad methods that claim to relieve or “fix” chronic pain. She eventually discovered Clinical Somatic Education, the only method that taught her how to reverse her pain and postural imbalances, regain physical control, and create a life of movement, choice, and joy.
Martha is an experienced hiker, inspired by her mother with whom she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and trekked in Sikkim, Northern India. She has learned that the key to remaining healthy and mobile is daily, vigorous, fun movement, a regular somatic movement routine, a sense of humor, and learning the fine art of relaxation and self-regulation.
Frequently Asked Questions
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