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Learn what's really going on in your brain ...

... and why you need to take it off autopilot

Take the focus away from pain for a moment, and get curious about the patterns underneath. Habits, thoughts, behaviours and unconscious responses to daily stress all lead to one thing - TENSION. The brain has been continually responding to everything you've thought, felt and done in your life, and the result is ALWAYS movement. Think about it - you cannot not move! Your brain tells your muscles to contract, and overtime learns to keep your muscles in a state of contraction because of repetition. Your muscles are being held that way by your brain, and you've adapted to it. This is what the brain does...until you tell it otherwise.

Where I stand...

I don't believe in quick fixes for pain (although I do think the right actions can get you results quickly)

I'm proof you can always re-learn to use your body more intelligently no matter what you've been through (or what stage of life you're at). I think we should be doing this we get older not just give in or give up. 

You can tinker away at different parts of the body by doing this exercise or trying that therapy, but unless you can understand the role of your brain, you'll always be trying to fix the problem from the outside (and you'll never really know yourself).

I'll show you the opposite - a simple educational process that changes your brain from the inside and gives you an entirely different perspective on everything.

My story...so far

Like most, I've had my fair share of accidents, injuries and stressful life events. I won't bore you with a list, but my ‘problem' started doing kickboxing. I’d always been active because I loved how it made me feel. As a fitness instructor in my early 20’s I was usually ready to try the next new thing.

It was at a training session where I was repeatedly round kicking up and down a bag without bringing my leg to the ground. I felt a strong sensation in my hip and I'd obviously overdone it. 

But I wasn’t too worried. I’d injured myself before and I knew it would sort itself out. So I waited for it to get better and when it didn’t, the doctor sent me for physio. That didn’t work so I tried sports massage and osteopathy, but I couldn't even get a diagnosis, let alone help to recover.

Almost two years later and a colleague recommended a therapist who worked with professional athletes. Within the first few minutes he’d worked out that by now I was nursing two separate injuries, one on top of the other. It took a couple of months of treatment to get me back on track, but the relief in getting it sorted was huge. 

Unfortunately that wasn't the end of it. A month or two went by and the pain came back for no apparent reason. Now even my expert therapist couldn’t find anything wrong. He said there was no injury.

Now this pain started dictating what exercise I could and couldn’t do: I stopped running and swapped from exercise to yoga and meditation (which changed my life but not the pain). My hip hurt most of the time - anything from a dull ache, to muscle spasms that kept me awake at night. Sometimes it was a sciatic pain that felt like it would take my leg from under me.

X-rays showed normal wear and tear, and over a period of several years, I saw every type of ‘expert’ and practitioner and spent hundreds on treatment.

I trained as yoga teacher, and later as a massage therapist - all with the same goal in mind – to find a way out of pain. And even though I was continually advised to, no amount of stretching, squatting or pilates changed that (I could stand on my head and touch my toes but the act of getting up from the floor or walking a short way without limping seemed like the hardest thing the world).

If I was doing everything I knew to fix the pain and it wasn’t working, my instinct told me there must be something I was missing, I just hadn't found what.

It was only when I came across ’Somatics’ at a London yoga show in 2014 that it all fell into place. As I overheard two women describing my situation, I knew I had to learn more and booked the first available session.

Instead of a mystery illness, she explained my brain’s response to my injury was to tense my muscles and that pattern had become my new normal.  Suddenly it made total sense that no matter I did to treat the pain, it always came back because I hadn’t dealt with the pattern.

‘Somatics’ is the field of neuromuscular movement education, also known as Clinical or Hanna Somatic Education and is the only scientifically-based sensory-motor training that teaches why and how muscle tension develops.,

Up to that point I had never learned how the nervous system works and why that is so relevant to pain-free movement.

When I threw myself into Somatics I began to notice and feel this internally for myself. My biggest win was hope, and from this point I knew I would get better.

I became aware of things I'd not noticed before, like how I couldn't let go of certain muscles. I moved my hips and legs in ways I thought would hurt, but there was no pain. I was teaching my brain it was completely safe to move, gently without force. My body began to rearrange itself from the inside.

BUT...old habits die hard. I was used to using to doing things my way: overriding, pushing through and unconsciously avoiding. When I looked again at the psychological aspect of pain I came to realise I had conjured up a lot fear, shame, doubt and hopelessness over the years. I hadn’t fully appreciated how these emotions and a deeper desire to ‘fix’ were still keeping my nervous system on high alert.

Now I understood my my symptoms were also being triggered by my thinking too.

This was the final step in finally finding a greater ease in my body. I’m no longer in pain, and as an added bonus I have more energy. I never realised how much my habitual tension had been draining me. My posture, gait and range of movement also improved, and I feel better at 50 than I did at 30!

What does this all mean for you?

My own experience is what drives my empathic approach with my clients - it's a big part of why people work with me. They say they feel reassured and encouraged after our sessions and enjoy the simplicity of the learning process. 

I’m trained as a Clinical Somatic Educator, meaning I’ve taken a 3-year deep dive into Hanna Somatic Education, working hands-on with clients, as well as leading classes and workshops since 2015 as a Somatic Movement Coach. I also have nearly 20 years of teaching experience in yoga, mindfulness and mediation - which is still part of my daily life and at the heart of everything I do.

Being able to see how you're being held by your nervous system and then coaching you to feel and experience it for yourself is my zone of genius. I help you take the mystery out of your muscular pain, and prove that it's not something you just have to put up with - no matter how long you’ve been suffering.


What client's say..

"I walked my way around New York City without even thinking about the nearest bench."

Kasia Clarke