When looking at an MRI scan or an X-ray of the spine, Doctors or Health Professionals often relate the experience of back pain to a disc and its positional change. They may see a bulging, herniated or damaged disc and come to the conclusion that this must be the answer to the patients discomfort. In truth, many people live perfectly normal lives with discs that have become damaged or changed to some degree.
Hanna Somatic Education (HSE) believes the change in disc function to be more of a symptom than the overall cause of pain. Its important to remember discs become damaged due to improper muscular functioning and movement patterns, symptomatic relief is temporary at best, and possibly harmful.
Humans respond to stress (physical/emotional) by contracting muscles, when this happens over a prolonged period we are trapped in a habit of unconsciously triggering specific contraction patterns that impact upon our structure (skeleton) and ability to move freely. The response to positive stress (eustress) causes a contraction of the back body muscles and with this an extension (back bend) of the spine. Our response to negative stress (distress) causes a contraction of the front body muscles and a flexion (forward bend) of the spine.
If discs are to remain healthy and well alligned, one must become aware of the nature of these two stress repsonses. Thomas Hanna founder of Somatics named them the Green Light Reflex and the Red Light Reflex because of there fucntion in life, green is to go and red is to withdraw. Once a client can voluntarily relaxe the arching and flexing of the spine brought about by these reflexes, they will feel a release of pressure on the spine and discs and a enhancement to their structual alignment brought about by correct muscular functioning. In rare circumstances, the disc damage may be so severe that HSE is unable to help without other interventions.
See below for a partial list of the types of disc conditions Hanna Somatic Education (HSE) can help to relieve where possible. Please consult your Doctor or Somatic Living if you are unsure if a movement based education like HSE is appropriate for your needs.
Bulging Disc, Degenerative Disc Disease, Disc Compression, Disc Surgery Rehab, Herniated Disc, Slipped Disc, Prolapesed Disc, Protruding Disc, Ruptured Disc, Swollen Disc.