‘Soma’ refers to the body. ‘Somatics’ defines a broad umbrella of movement and awareness techniques that help the participant experience their body. The term ‘Somatics’ was coined by Thomas Hanna in 1976 as ‘exploring one’s body from within.’ He hoped that it would define the field of movement awareness. Throughout the 1980s, Hanna continued his research in Somatic education.
Somatics represents an experiential, multidimensional emphasis on body, mind, and environmental factors that provide for bodily-based access to information about the whole system and its interactive patterns. The discipline has developed over the past four decades as the interest in mind-body education has grown. The field of Somatics encompasses brain function, learning theory, developmental movement education, physical therapy, sports medicine, and holistic health care.