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Soma System for Balance

Katherine Hartsell, PTA

Soma System

Like many healthcare providers, I am well aware that limited time with my patients cannot create lasting improvement without awareness, alignment and self-care strategies integrated beyond our brief partnership. As important as manual treatment is, my manual skills are only applicable in the clinic. All patients need education and skills that they can take with them. It is an essential part of my job to help inspire patients to prioritize their health and make self-guided shifts that underpin sustainable change. The success of this transfer rests on effective, innovative strategies that are realistic for the busyness of living and sync well with patient motivation.

Though skeptical about new companies in the industry of health and wellness, where gadgets and trends are commonly popular but rarely valuable, my interest was peaked when I learned about Soma System™. This holistic form of self- bodywork is performed with a variety of specialized tools, empowering individuals with self-guided tension reduction, alignment optimization and an embodied sense of balance. With an interdisciplinary team of sleep researchers, myofascial bodyworkers, corrective exercise specialists and physical therapists fortifying the backbone of the company, I immediately recognized the intelligence behind Soma System™. After experiencing the profound benefits of reduced tension in my own well-worn tissues, I dove into fully studying the techniques and enrolled in teaching training. Tool by tool, I developed a passion for the principals of assessing, focusing and releasing the body and mind with the use of self-bodywork. With my background in therapeutic yoga and professional ballet dancing, discovering breathing, active movement and relaxation as staples of this work further validated the techniques for me.

Soma system

As a certified Soma System™ instructor, I now also serve as the Soma System™ Associate Director of Dance. I am delighted to be bringing the work to Boston Sports Medicine, where I offer custom sequences to many different patients – from nurses, to athletes, to dancers. Whether it’s parents who spend hours on their feet, yogis who spend hours on their hands, or the many that spend hours in a chair, I have been inspired by the insight and awareness that these individuals gain through this work. I observe that patients participate in the process with active curiosity and that they become motivated by the embodied experience of release. When my long-standing patient with chronic pain reported her headaches dissolved and enabled her to more fully participate in her demanding life work, I began to offer Soma System™ techniques with more frequency in my treatments. I have continued to witness our patient population embrace Soma System™ and co-create positive gains.

As Soma System™ continues to grow, I am updating the clinic on exciting studies and collaborations. With injury prevention, stress relief, performance enhancement, mental decompression and sleep facilitation as only a few of the benefits being demonstrated, I am thrilled that Soma System™ is one of the many interventions we utilize at Boston Sports Medicine.

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Katherine Hartsell is a Physical Therapy Assistant at Boston Sports Medicine