Somatic Movement Therapy

Somatic movement therapy connects our bodies with the essential part of our souls, while creating peace in the psyche from stressors in adapting to 21st century culture. Somatic movement therapy illustrates our humanistic adaptation to a capitalistic philosophy in modernistic society. Both artists and scientists have set out to disentangle the qualities of physical expression and to identify and create a conceptual map in the human movement experience. Rudolph Leban confronted the challenge of understanding the elements and techniques of bodily expression. Leban's system along with Emile Durkheim's psychoanalytic theories evolved in the context of twentieth century European culture.But it was Michel Foucault who presented an analyses of somatic movement according to the prevalent sociological view found in modernity. In our complex society communication and the interdependence and patterns of actions and behaviors contribute to the increase in interest of dance as a primary form of expression. Rudolph Leban's and Emile Durkheim's psychoanalytic examinations have created the foundations for somatic movement therapy.
Somatic movement therapy connects our bodies with the essential part of our souls and creates peace in the psyche from stressors in adapting to 21st century culture. In somatic therapy, the patient must realize which are the mental or emotional aspects of their life that might be affecting their physical condition. Stress or anxiety can lead to different reactions from the body, often holding postures and unnatural muscle positions, which the somatic therapist attempts to find through collaboration with the patient. The stomach, neck, or shoulders will often get tight through a series of mental or emotional distractions, and the somatic therapist helps to bring these issues out of a patient, who may not have realized them.
In other forms of therapy, the body is seen as a mechanical structure to be worked on. In somatic therapy, a holistically oriented therapy, the body is viewed as a tool to be worked with to ease the pain. The therapist shows the patient why the problem exists and how to eliminate the cause of the pain through proper postures, stretching techniques, and other methods. The therapist will try to fix the cause of the mental or emotional trigger, as well as the physical discomfort.
Somatic movement therapy illustrates our humanistic adaptation to a capitalistic philosophy in modernistic society. Somatic therapy improves the body image, social skills, coordination and motor skills.Depending on what an individual's focus is, for example, reaching for a fork and knife, it is a method of holistic therapy that can help make new connections in the brain with the body. (saviodsilva.net/dance-therapy). Authentic movement can be used as part of the psychotherapy process, for an enhanced sense of self and well-being; often bringing unconscious thoughts to awareness (authentic movement community.org).

The moral condition of our present civilization is to believe that the role of Somatic movement has critical impact in the formation, morality and survival of a social order. It is a relevant discipline and a phenomenon of the last few decades in contemporary sociology. The cultural theory of Emile Durkheim expresses the 'solidarity, ritual, religion and symbolism' (Smith 69) and sociological analysis of humanism. The meaning of morality is a consequence of the subjugation and internalization of the of socially sanctioned rules of conduct of the dominant members of society. Durkheim presents a portrait of the human condition in the twentieth century relevant to embodied experiences:
We experience our bodies and other elements of our environment that we can include in that schema in a pre-reflective manner that does not require explicit thought or knowledge'We develop our corporeal schema by acquiring bodily habits. Habits are embodied, learned skills that acquired not intellectual but by doing something (Smith 267).

Durkheim noted that 'intensive and coordinated bodily actions like dance were central to the ritual activity that generated religious beliefs and social solidarity' (Smith 262).
Modern culture is not entirely empty of active and autonomous social action. Durkheim was significantly influenced by Michel Foucault, and presented the analyses of the prevalent sociological view of modernity to express the origins and strengths found in the theories of somatic movement.

Along with human autonomy and the decent of civilization, somatic movement presents the groundwork for non-verbal communication. Bodily expression, is an art form, as meaningful as any sculpture, it reflects the human condition, where movement is both conscious and unconscious.
Performers and researchers have endeavored to understand the distinct qualities of corporeal expression and to recognize and produce a conceptual map in the human movement experience. Rudolph Leban was a professional dancer and a theoretician; he originally studied sculpture but became interested in the liberty provided by dance. Cultural studies in academia are using Leban's outstanding achievements in defining and understanding nonverbal communication. We move determinedly through space, and our physical actions subliminally express our objectives, emotions, and mental states. Leban created the documentation necessary for somatic therapists to observe and accurately record bodily movements. His notations focusing on the term 'effort' in movement documented our emotive responses, all through the body form, the organs and extremities in environmental space. The term 'effort' is considered a non-verbal expression used by Leban to define the many dimensions, directions, spatial pulls revealed through bodily tensions. There are four different ways that we use effort: space, time, weight, and flow. 'Body tensions' focuses on your energy and defines the force being utilized to reflect your vitality and health. The psycho-physical process reveals the conditions of our inner wellbeing, and our strengths, or our weaknesses.
Leban's theories developed in the context of twentieth century European culture. Along with Foucault, put 'the body so explicitly at the center of his work that this could not be overlooked' (Smith 262). The two focus on the emotion-relevant information in the processes of movement in harmony with rational theories. Anthropologists and scholars have taken a serious look at the relationship between sensory experience and cultural expression. It is simpler to contemplate the sensory data objectively, and it has become more analytic than visceral in making a case for anthropology.
As noted in 'The Body in Cultural Theory', primitive societies relied on bodies as carriers and symbols of culture (Smith, 262). There is growing interest in the 'modern body as a cultural and social object in four broad social changes' (Smith 263):
1. The focus on the body of second-wave feminism beginning in the 1960s
2. The general aging of the populations of Western societies and the accompanying rise in public concern for providing for the health of all those aging bodies
3. The shift (noted especially by postmodernists) from productivist to consumerist societies
4. An increasing lack of certainty as to the definition of the body, attached to technological advancements that have made it possible to alter bodies in more and more ways.

And all social systems according to Turner must effectively regulate and discipline the bodies of its members in four ways (Smith 263):

1. Bodies must be reproduced to populate the society over time
2. Bodies must be regulated in public space to prevent disorders such as crime
3. Bodies must be trained to exercise internal restraint against unhealthy desires
4. Bodies must be represented externally in such a way as to facilitate orderly interaction

There is undeniably an association and critical relationship between the body and the grander social order, and any failure in its functioning results in an imbalance in the human condition both physically and socially.
Senses can be applied to particular contemporary cultures, and is significantly related to post-industrial concerns, anthropological or otherwise. It is necessary to note in the issues of modernity, that the theories of Marx and Freud challenged the anthropology of the senses. Freud postulated that sight was the main sense, exceeding all the other senses (particularly the sense of smell), and Marx minimized the sensory/corporeal dimensions of capitalism for the 'altar of science'. Marx argues 'that we find the body as the site of economic relations and bears the brunt of capitalism's destructive force: in Durkheim the body (is) the bearer of marks of collective symbolism and moral community' (Smith 270). The early works of many scholars applied European practices and meanings to map and to understand sensory characteristics and social systems of Western civilization.
European psychoanalyses has set the groundwork for understanding the connection between corporeal functioning and pragmatic explanations of concepts of repression or sublimation through somatic education. Psychoanalysis and social theory, gains its critical function through the concepts of repression and sublimation of psychic energy. 'Marxist and social theoretical analysis of capitalism draw heavily on the notions of economic oppression and sexual repression in the production of the historical forms of capitalism and repressive forms of bourgeois liberation and individualism'(mooklish.com).
Somatic theory has a longer history than Freud, and it has created the need for research by scholars and activists, as the modality for oppression in cultural and political analyses. It is proven in somatic theory finds that disability, class, race, environmentalism, and oppressive social conditions are inextricably connected experiences affecting our relationship with our bodies:
This knowledge is then framed in the context of psychotherapeutic and psychoeducational practice, with particular emphasis on understanding how the somatic imprint of oppression may be linked to our emerging understandings of the body's role in mediating trauma, and how somatic psychotherapistscan more effectively incorporate issues of diversity and social justice in their work. the issues of freedom form a significant point of contact. But the critical theory's concern with freedom concerns primarily the historical analysis of the processes whereby a society built around the overt ideals of freedom and happiness leads to an actual unfreedom and unhappiness due to the enslavement by market forces, and the concern here is the role that art and cultural production plays in the creation of the contradictions of capitalist society. (academia.edu/629607/Oppression_Embodied):

It is important to note that in understanding Somatic theory, the emphasis as a rule is on movement, rather than sexuality, for the process of research and accountability. Attitudes towards the history of the patriarchy (we realize in Freudian Psychology), and in the family psychoanalytic model, do not offer us as broad a specturm of an analysis framework as does the conceptual constructs of Somatic theory.
Most practicing socialogists are familiar with the relational forms of discipline and self-disciplene in humanes as multicellular organism. Modernity has brought a process of change and a subjective reality of our physical existence and the biological basis for our physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual well-being and to survive as human organisms. Both artists and scientists have set out to disentangle the qualities of physical expression and to identify and create a conceptual map in the human movement experience. The societal contributions of Emile Durkheim, founder of modern sociology, built the foundationf of somatic concepts apply over thewhole of society and are still being used today. Durkheim applied his scientific and empirical research to the ideologies of Karl Marx.. (http://www.nccu.edu/~huang/ch2101a.htm).
Foucault's critique of modernity and humanism, was developed and taken from psychiatry, and medicine, along with the evolving human sciences. He is one of the greatest minds presenting innovative approaches to understanding society, and he is a major resource for understanding society in postmodern philosophies.As a theorist, he tested the extent of non-verbal communication sublimating psychosocial behaviors through the bodily organism .Along with Durkhiem and Foucault, the 21st century has realized the symbiotic relationship of actions and behaviors. Somatic movement therapy connects our bodies with the essential part of our souls, and modernistc society filled with its woes and wonderment.
In our complex society communication and the interdependence and patterns of actions and behaviors contribute to the increase in interest non-verbal means of expression, and communication. Rudolph Leban's and Emile Durkheim's psychoanalytic examinations have created the foundations for somatic movement therapy, and created an understanding of the elements and the manifestations of human emotions in the body. Leban's system along with Emile Durkheim's psychoanalytic theories evolved in the context of twentieth century European culture. Leban, Durkheim, and Foucault, presented a rationalization and hegemony of modern reason to embrace the human experience in modernity.

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