Noreen is a Certified Hanna Somatic Educator and author of Where Comfort Hides, a simple instructional book that teaches how to relieve and prevent physical pain. Noreen was trained at and graduated from a three-year program at the Somatic Systems Institute in Northampton, Massachusetts. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of New Hampshire.
Noreen discovered Somatics in her mid-forties when, seemingly overnight, after a lifetime of daily exercise and healthy eating, she felt old. This feeling began with a subtle awareness of not being able to take a deep breath and escalated to mild back spasms, arm numbness, achy legs and painful feet. She couldn't relax her muscles. X-rays revealed arthritis in her neck. Chiropractic treatments and deep tissue massage provided temporary relief, but not the long-term solution she was seeking. She did not want to have to depend on someone else for her comfort; she wanted control of her own body, and she wanted it to be easy. That's exactly what she found in Hanna Somatics.
Hanna Somatic Education revealed a concept that she had never heard before – that we lose an inner awareness of our body over time, and because of this, we lose control, balance, comfort, and ease of movement. When she found Hanna Somatics and did the movements that she now teaches to others in private sessions and workshops, she was surprised to learn how little awareness she had of her own body.
During her three year training at the Somatic Systems Institute, the emphasis was on learning the hands-on protocols to help individuals eliminate deep-rooted, "unexplainable" pain caused by sensory motor amnesia. The hands-on work accessed and restored an even deeper loss of function that she had never noticed. "I'll never forget the first day we worked on the Red Light Reflex pattern. That afternoon, while walking in the woods, I felt taller; my chest felt so open; my breathing so full; it was a glorious feeling of comfort and wholeness. I had no idea this part of me was even missing!"
Though hands-on work creates an amazing transformation, Noreen believes even greater benefits would come from teaching people of all ages to incorporate the Hanna Somatic movements into their daily routine. This daily practice could prevent back pain and shallow breathing caused by loss of muscle function and ultimately reduce spiraling health care costs caused by misdiagnosis of pain.