Property lawyer April Bradbury suffered severe neck pain and her quest for a remedy has led to set up a new Merseyside ‘somatics’ venture specialising in helping people conquer their muscular pain. Tony McDonough reports
Back in 2014 April Bradbury was working as a property lawyer and she was in so much pain with a sore neck she could barely concentrate when sat at her desk.
She spent thousands of pounds on a variety of treatments and remedies but nothing seemed to work. Then her yoga teacher recommended she look into somatics, a movement-based therapy that claims to relieve all kinds of bodily pain.
She discovered Martha Peterson of Essential Somatics online and was delighted to find that she was teaching in England later that year. She booked on to her workshop and that proved to be the start of a transformational journey.
For April, it was a revelation. She hardly looked back since and, when she does, her neck doesn’t hurt. She said: “The pain that was in my neck and down my shoulder blade was gone within a few hours of learning somatics. It was a three-day course so by the end of it I felt like a new person.”
She then decided to study somatics, embarking on a journey that lasted several years and has led to her becoming a practitioner. Now she has launched Synergy Somatics, based at St Johns Road in Waterloo, and is aiming to help people relieve backache, stiff necks, sciatica and difficulty with walking due to pain using safe and gentle movements.
April explained: “Our movement and mobility is controlled by our nervous system, so somatics helps you re-learn how to use muscles that have become tight and sore, and teaches them how to relax again, which is what alleviates the pain you’re experiencing.
“Somatics helps you to identify what movement pattern you use frequently. For instance, a desk worker may be more inclined to be rounded forward, cross legged for long periods of their day.
“This will create tension in certain parts of the body, which over time become painful. It may be a sore back, or stiff hips. It could be tension headaches, it could show up in various ways.”
Within a clinical session April will look at the client’s pattern and identify the right reflex to work with and use a series of movements, also known as pandiculations, to bring awareness to a variety of muscles and remind the nervous system how to relax and let go.
This lengthens the muscles allowing not only a bigger range of movement but also reduces the pain a person is experiencing. Injury recovery and injury prevention are also within her speciality as she teaches people how to look after their muscle health.
She added: “There are three reflexes somatics works with, which consist of muscles through the front of the body, the back and also the sides. One of these aspects will be focused on during the clinical session and then movement videos provided to allow for a home practice to maintain the amazing results of the session.”
Group classes are also offered for people that may not want to visit a clinic setting or want to just experience what somatics is all about. It is also useful to attend classes after clinical sessions to help maintain the results achieved without having to keep returning for clinical sessions when they may no longer be required.
April’s aim is to help as many people overcome muscular pain and the side effects they cause such as trapped nerves, reduced movement, inability to enjoy much loved hobbies, restless sleep, and stress, as possible.
She added: “Nobody should have to live on painkillers and unnecessary surgeries when we have the ability to overcome this pain ourselves with the help of somatic education.
April is due to begin a back pain course starting June 9 and running for six weeks, every Thursday at Love to Dance Studio, Moor Lane, Crosby. Normal price is £75 but LBN readers can pay just £65 by quoting code: SYNERGY22.
Classes take place from 6.45pm to 8pm. All you have to bring is a mat. A recording is made of each session in the event you can’t make it, but to also give the opportunity to do the class again at home. Log onto www.synergysomatics.com for more information.