Chris Halliday

Somatic Reflexes

The Green Light Reflex contracts the muscles of the lower back arching the back every time we have the intention of doing something or going somewhere. This reflex is responsible for the prevalence of back aches and back pains in our culture. When these muscles become extremely chronically contracted, they pull the vertebrae of the spine together and cause bulging, slipped and herniated discs. You can regain control of these habitually contracted muscles the=rough Somatic Movement education sessions and learn a brief movement routine to remain pain free on your own.

The Red Light Reflex contracts the large abdominal muscles in the front of the body in response to fear and apprehension. When this reflex becomes chronically contracted, it pulls the shoulders up and forward distorting the posture and it pulls the pelvis upward toward the ribcage, restricting movement in the hips. In addition, it restricts the ability of the diaphragm to freely contract and relax, causing shallow breathing.

When both the Green Light and Red Light reflexes are habitually contracted, it creates a condition Hanna (LINK) likens to a ‘Dark Vice’. This condition is most easily observed in elderly citizens who shuffle along as they walk, barely moving their arms and legs. Somatic Movement Education can even bring relief to these extreme cases – it is never too late, or too early, to experience the benefits of reawakening the sensory motor system.

The Trauma reflex contracts the muscles of the side of the body in response to injury. When the muscles of the side waist become chronically contracted, it pulls the vertebrae together on that side, causing a curve in the spine that may be diagnosed as scoliosis. The more severe the contraction, the more the body is to compensate for the imbalance by tilting the head to the opposite side, causing and ‘S’ curve scoliosis. Both conditions, when caused by trauma, as opposed to genetic scoliosis, are reversable through Somatic Movement Education. 

Other symptoms of the habituated trauma reflex are one leg shorter than the other, walking with a limp, and one shoulder lower than the other. People with these symptoms have at some point in their lives broken a leg or sprained an ankle and they shifted their weight to the opposite leg. Over time this causes the muscles in the that leg to become chronically contracted. 

Common complaints of the habituated Trauma Reflex are painful shoulders, hips, ankles, knees and feet. These complaints are frequently diagnosed as structural problems requiring surgery, rather than functional problems requiring education. Many of these complaints can be reversed when you release the contractions of the oblique muscles – the powerful muscles of the side waist.