More Detail about Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

If you've arrived at this article from a search, you may wish to see the basic article (of which this entry is a more detailed version), first:

Understanding Sacroiliac Joint Pain | Stopping the Pain and Weird Symptoms



This article is for you if . . .

  • you have found the information provided both by medical practitioners and "alternative" medical practitioners to be "thin soup" that doesn't make you feel particularly optimistic about your recovery from sacroiliac joint dysfunction and doesn't increase your understanding, much, but only leaves you feeling faintly hopeful -- hope perhaps tinged with desperation or despair.
  • you have found pain medications inadequate to deal with the pain.
  • you have tried therapies and/or surgery and are still in pain.
  • you want lasting relief and are willing to do the work to get it.


I am a former sufferer of sacroiliac joint dysfunction and a long-time practitioner (since 1990) of a clinical discipline whose principles and techniques I applied to myself to clear up sacroiliac joint dysfunction in myself: Hanna somatic education.


What Do Your Sacroiliac Joints Do?


Your S-I joints allow the walking movements of your legs to move flexibly, through your pelvis (which flexes at the S-I joints), to your trunk. Your S-I joints lend "cushion" to your spine and pelvis, when you sit. If the joints are jammed or the muscles of your pelvis are tight, there's no cushion and sitting can be fatiguing.

These distortions affect the muscles of the trunk (primarily the back, the psoas muscles, and the quadratus lumborum ("QL").

What Happens to Your Sacrum in Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Your sacrum gets twisted, usually jammed one side forward, one side back. That causes your whole pelvis to twist, the opposite side forward. (More rarely, both sides are jammed forward -- more about that, later.) In addition, one side may jammed downward, causing the appearance of unequal leg length -- even though the legs are the same length -- and the appearance of one hip being higher. You may have heard all this, before, from your health practitioner; now you understand it, better.

Distortions of movement and spine shape may follow, with pain as far as the jaws and down the legs.

The pain triggers muscles of the abdomen to tighten, especially when bending forward or turning over, in bed. It's often a very delicate situation -- as you may have experienced.

Muscular pulls where the legs connect to the pelvis (the psoas muscles, the inner and front thigh muscles, the hamstrings, and buttocks) interfere with walking and add pain. Pulling forces interfere with walking and sitting and affect the S-I joints. In the healthy condition, everything is comfortable; in the unhealthy, jammed condition, there's strain and pain.

How a Twisted Sacrum Causes Sacroiliac Joint Pain

When a sacrum is twisted from its home position in the pelvis, we call that, "displacement". It's out of place. With displacement comes distortion of pelvic shape, which puts strain on ligaments of the pelvis, puts pressure on internal organs, and generates pain. The brain senses those strains and pain, and, as a reflexive response, causes muscular contractions that generate a "gripping" sensation in the pelvis that gets worse with movements such as bending forward to put on socks or flush the toilet, rolling over in bed or attempting to stand up straight. The pain triggers cringing, in which muscles tighten up, potentially anywhere.

Non-spasm pain may radiate from the S-I joints into the pelvis, lower abdomen, groin, or sex organs. One person with whom I worked had a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis (intense bladder pain) -- and a twisted sacrum from falls from horses.

Therapists unfamiliar with the bizarre symptoms of S-I Joint Dysfunction may attempt to treat symptoms as if they originate where they appear. Such treatment attempts fail. They don't address the symptoms at their origin -- the twisted sacrum.


In investigating sacroiliac joint dysfunction in myself, I came to understand the condition and its causes. At that point, I had an idea of what I could do to correct it: set up ongoing, symmetrical muscular forces to make my pelvis (sacral position) become symmetrical. I was the first "guinea pig"; I developed the exercises, in myself, and refined them based on the effects I felt. Remember -- I was qualified to do that, having been in clinical practice, since 1990.

As I stated, earlier, S-I joint pain comes from excessive and unbalanced forces on the S-I joints that trigger muscular reactions. Now, I'll go into more detail.

Most cases of SIJD start with an accident, such as a hard fall (athletic injury, fall from a bicycle or horse, ladder, tree, or rooftop); I told you what I think caused it, in me. Because the changes of muscular tension from an injury are asymmetrical -- meaning, the right and left sides no longer mirror each other, they keep the pelvis distorted. These muscular forces don't change in any lasting way with stretching because they're programmed into muscle/movement memory and so reappear, shortly after stretching or manipulation.

The brain recognizes the strains felt in the pelvis as an emergency situation: the integrity of the person's movement system is in crisis. Brain-triggered contraction patterns follow (as an emergency response) to reflexively stabilize the situation -- but it's a grip, not a correction to pelvic shape because the correct sense of pelvic shape has been lost in the injury. 

The term we use in clinical somatic education is, "sensory-motor amnesia" (S-MA). These muscular contractions are so strong that they hurt and trigger pain-related tightening, throughout the body, but one isn't in touch with holding them tight because the tightness is "on automatic". 

Radiating pain follows from the distortion.


What happens to ligaments chronically under strain? They get inflamed. Inflammation is nature's way of forcing fluids and nutrients into tissue that is strained (or injured) so it can heal. But under this kind of strain, no healing is possible -- basically because it is not a "damage" situation, but an ongoing strain-and-irritation situation. Suppressing the inflammation is of no help. The ligaments aren't the problem, anyway.

Muscles Triggered into Contraction by Injury

Isn't it true that injuries usually occur from one side, rather than exactly centered at the back or front?

What happens with any injury, then, is that a cringe response gets triggered -- a tightening centered at the injured region and radiating outward like the cracks in a damaged windshield -- but off-center, and the tightening isn't just momentary, but commonly lasts indefinitely.

The psoas muscles commonly tighten in reaction to a twisted sacrum. The video, below, tells about the psoas muscles.

It's common to misdiagnose tight psoas muscles as the problem causing the pain, when the psoas muscles are tightening in reaction to a twisted sacrum. When the sacrum straightens, psoas pain disappears.


  • Two-sided (bi-lateral) S-I Joint Pain
  • One-sided (uni-lateral) S-I Joint Pain (more common)

Two-Sided SIJD

Bi-lateral (two-sided) S-I joint pain is simpler than one-sided S-I joint pain. Bilateral S-I joint pain involves compression at both S-I joints.

One cause of bi-lateral SIJD is sitting too long, perched on the edge of a chair in a condition of high tension and stress, as at a desk doing work by phone or on a computer. That pattern of tension involves the groin, hip joint flexors and psoas muscles in front, and the back muscles. The combination produces strain on the iliosacral ligaments -- and soreness. Sometimes, it can be corrected by retraining the psoas muscles and hip joint flexors -- an easy "fix".

One-Sided SIJD

One-sided sacroiliac joint dysfunction is worse than two-sided SIJD and accounts for nearly all the chronic S-I joint pain I have seen.

Asymmetrical (off-center) muscle pulls and posture place more stress on one S-I joint than on the other.

Symptoms commonly appear at different locations on each side and people commonly mistake the locations of pain as the locations of the problems. Clinicians may also mistake groin pain as a sign of psoas muscle dysfunction, rather than as pain radiating from an S-I joint.


If you're used to exercises or therapies that produce such small changes that you can hardly tell if anything is different, this isn't that. With somatic education exercises, you can feel changes rather quickly (obvious after two practice sessions). As, your movement and posture change, the symptoms of SIJD fade out.

To get started with the program, Comforting Your S-I Joints and to see a statement of the expected result of each section of exercises, you may enter your information, below.

Enter where to send "get started for free" emails with instructional video links.

A quick-response email message will come to your email address requesting permission to mail to you. Once you give permission, "Getting Started for Free" emails will come to you with bite-size steps for Unit 1 of Comforting Your S-I Joints. 

Unit 1 is preparatory for the section of the program that causes your sacrum position to straighten. Getting started will allow you to evaluate how well these exercises work, for you, in general.
Comforting Your S-I Joints is a system of movement-based exercises that reprograms muscle/movement memory. You'll feel changes for the better with each practice session; changes accumulate over time. The entire system extinguishes the pain and restores mobility. 

These exercises got me me back to my life with no limitations.

These exercises are refreshing, not tiring. If you're feeling too tired to practice the exercises, practice them and get refreshed.


Click the image, above, to find out about
availability of personal mentoring through the program
with me, Lawrence Gold.

~~ Since 1996, I have offered a Lifetime Satisfaction Refund Guarantee ~~

copyright 2014-2018 Lawrence Gold
This writing may be reproduced only in its entirety,
with accurate attribution of its authorship
and contact information.

Symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction | Sacroiliac Pain

If you came to this page from a search and want to understand what's going on with you and what has to happen to clear it up, click to visit this page

If you have two or more of the symptoms listed below and want to purchase the program to clear them up, Comforting Your S-I Joints, click to visit this page.


This is a fairly comprehensive list of symptoms.

If you've arrived at this page from a search for symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction, you may read the related article that explains sacroiliac joint pain more clearly than you usually find in published articles. Click, here to see the article.

Because more than one condition can cause a symptom, we look for combinations of symptoms -- at minimum, two or more. When symptoms from a single cause appear in clusters, that's called, a "syndrome".

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

I have grouped these symptoms in terms of





Do you have two or more of these symptoms? 


  • pain at the groin and waistline in back, same side - combination | COMBINATION OF MUSCULAR PAIN and RADIATING PAIN
  • sharp, stabbing pain at the back waist area, on one side | LIGAMENT STRAIN 
  • pain around the top rim of the pelvis, usually at one side or in back | RADIATING PAIN
  • a "deep pulling" sensation in the lower spine, like a taut wire | DEEP SPINAL MUSCLE PAIN
  • a tired feeling across the low back, both sides | MUSCLE FATIGUE, QUADRATUS LUMBORUM ("QL") and SPINAL EXTENSORS
  • buttock pain, one side, that doesn't respond to direct treatment (sometimes mistaken for piriformis syndrome) | NERVE IMPINGEMENT PAIN
  • deep pelvic/lower abdominal pain ("lightning"-like burning, or gripping pain), | UNNATURAL STRETCH OF THE LINING OF THE ABDOMINAL CAVITY FROM SACRUM DISPLACEMENT
  • pelvic floor disorder, one side more than the other, tailbone pain
  • thigh numbness in the front or side | NERVE IMPINGEMENT
  • iliotibial ("I-T") band pain or numbness (sometimes mistaken for a tight gluteus medius muscle)| NERVE IMPINGEMENT PAIN 
  • pain deep in one hip joint (sometimes mistaken for gluteus medius muscle pain) | RADIATING PAIN FROM THE S-I JOINT 
  • pain at the attachment of hamstring(s) at the "sitbones" (ischial tuberosities) | RADIATING PAIN (hamstrings often tighten reflexively, as well, but the sensation of tight hamstrings would be at the back of the thigh)
  • sciatica-like pain down the back of (usually) one leg at thigh, back of knee, or foot | NERVE IMPINGEMENT PAIN FROM EXCESSIVE "FOLD" AT L5/S1
  • pain along the thoracic (upper) spine, one side | MUSCLES IN "CRINGE" SPASM IN REACTION TO THE PELVIC PAIN 
  • restricted breathing or the sense that the breathing diaphragm is restricted | MUSCLES IN "CRINGE" SPASM IN REACTION TO THE PELVIC PAIN 
  • a feeling of your head being jammed down onto your neck | MUSCLES IN "CRINGE" SPASM IN REACTION TO THE PELVIC PAIN
  • a feeling like the pelvis is spread open, in front, jammed in back on one side
  • upper ribs and shoulders tight | MUSCULAR TENSIONS


  • pelvis rotated around a vertical axis
  • anterior pelvic tilt with twist around a horizontal axis, one side forward and the other side backward
  • twisted sacrum, one sacro-iliac joint deeper
  • pubic bone misalignment/pubic symphysis pubis separation
  • low back arched more on one side than the other
  • ribs and shoulder blade pulled down and back
    on one side
  • neck pulled to one side
  • one foot pronated ("flat arches")


  • tight TFL (tensor fascia lata) and IT band
  • walking with legs/knees involuntarily turned out
  • inability to sit cross-legged with knees down
  • tight hamstrings
  • one knee"shaky" or weak
  • painful forward bending ("tight wire" feeling down spine into pelvis)
  • impossible to stand fully upright without "jamming" pain in the low back
  • abdominal muscles tighten protectively, when bending forward

EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS (combined with two or more symptoms from the other two categories)

  • chronic anxiety 
  • unremitting sadness 
  • irritability 
If you have two or more of these symptoms, you may do a manual self-examination of your own S-I joints, as shown in the instructional video in this article. It takes 2 minutes, or so to learn how to do it and to do it. If you find that one S-i joint is deeper than the other, you have a twisted sacrum, sacroiliac joint dysfunction. 


The Gold Key Release app

The Gold Key Release is a psychoactive procedure that liberates the mind from the sense of predicament, in this moment, and liberates intelligence to receive new ideas.

"Google-search" the keyterm, "Gold Key Release"

Relieve Sciatica Pain and Piriformis Syndrome: Pitfalls | Causes and Treatment Approaches

Sciatica is commonly regarded as difficult to cure. It is, when you take one of the wrong approaches -- the approaches most commonly used to stop the pain: drugs, stretching (including an inversion table or spinal decompression device), adjustments or manipulation, TENS (electrical stimulation), surgery. If you do, your final relief may take forever. None of these approaches gets at the underlying cause, so relief is partial, temporary, or may never occur to the point that you are free of sciatica and can move freely.

This article presents an approach that gets to the heart of the matter, one that can end sciatica in a few weeks -- but there is a catch: you have to do the work.


Commonly, what keeps people trapped in sciatica is the entire approach they take to getting free of it. So, before I explain the condition, itself, to you, I'm going to address the approach that people (maybe you) take toward "curing" it.

There are two ways you can approach sciatica: as a "consumer" of care and as a "do-it-yourselfer".

A "consumer" expects to pay someone for their expertise and have them "do it for them". "Expertise" includes the "expertise" of the pharmaceutical companies. The consumer turns to experts, or to their products, to "fix" him or her. The consumer doesn't want to have to understand; that's what s/he pays the expert for.

A "do-it-yourselfer" learns about the condition to the point of arriving at an understanding of its cause that makes sense -- and then does what it takes to get the required result.

With sciatica, you can't be a consumer and get the relief you seek. Sciatica doesn't work that way; it's not that kind of condition. It's not caused by something external, so that you can do or take an "external" approach and fix it. Nor, in most cases, is it a "spinal disorder" caused by a mechanical breakdown or deformation. (When those exist, they are an effect of the underlying cause) It's caused by something your body is doing to itself. It's caused by muscular activity.

This article explains what your body is doing to itself (really, what you are involuntarily and unconsciously doing to yourself) to cause the pain and what you can do -- not to counteract it, but to cease doing it. When you do, the pain fades out and everything is all right, again.

If you are going to get free of sciatica any time soon, you're going to have to understand what's going on in you and be a do-it-yourselfer.

If you doubt me, continue with the "consumer" way of operating until you see its failure. Then, you may come back here, learn what you need to learn, and become the do-it-yourselfer you need to be to end your sciatica.

The word for today is, "pitfall."
Definition of PITFALL
1 : TRAP, SNARE; specifically : a pit flimsily covered or camouflaged and used to capture and hold animals or men
2 : a hidden or not easily recognized danger or difficulty

In this post, I'm going to deliver some strong medicine toward your relief of sciatica and also of sacroiliac joint dysfunction (of which sciatica is one symptom). I'm also going to provide a link to a post explaining who I am and my background. At the end, I'll point you to where you can do something for yourself, for free, and where you can get more, if you want.
To start, the pitfall into which most people with sciatica fall is not the pain of sciatica or of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. That's not the pitfall. The pitfall is the mood and approach you take to getting relief from these conditions -- possibly the way you approach your entire life.
The pain is just the emergency that drives you into your way of seeking relief.
The pitfall is the mood of "action without understanding".
Along with that may be a kind of submissiveness you may have to medical authority -- a submissiveness that obediently takes the pain meds or accepts the TENS unit or does the physical therapy stretching and strengthening exercises or takes massage, or uses an inversion table or spinal decompression device, or goes for surgery.

It's a submissiveness that is unwarranted because those measures don't work. They don't succeed at getting you free to move like a normal person. This submissiveness to authority may be the way you run your entire life -- the submissiveness of a consumer to medical authority that may also show up as skepticism or even aggressiveness toward anyone who claims a greater authority than medical authority. 
A mood of submissive dependency on authorities is understandable, as long as you're not aware of anything better than what they offer. It's not understandable, rational, or responsible if the authority to which you submit isn't producing the result you need. In that sense, it's almost like a bad romantic relationship.
I'm here to remove the legitimacy of that mood of "action-without-understanding" by providing understandable, sensible, actionable information.
I recently joined a sciatica-relief group on Facebook. The first thing I did was to pose the question: "Who here understands the underlying cause of sciatica?" I got a response from one person whose stated understanding, "a spinal disorder", combined with "surgery worked for me", was the full extent of his understanding. This is no understanding, and it the exemplifies the submissiveness to medical authority that I am talking about.
Before I go into any of the explanation of the underlying cause of most sciatica, which you will find easy to understand, I'm going to address a general mindset of most people with sciatica, if this Facebook group is any indication, a mindset that is fostered by the approach of the medical profession. That mindset is, "Just get rid of the symptoms. Never mind the underlying cause." It's the mindset of expediency and acceptance of mediocre results, not of the uncompromising demand for final relief.
This mindset of expediency -- a mood, again, of helpless submissiveness -- is not one that takes final responsibility for results. It's the mindset of avoidance of pain, of avoidance of inconvenience, of assigning responsibility to someone else, or of adopting hopeful measures without real understanding -- not the mindset of identifying the real problem, handling it, and stopping the pain, that way.
Again, this is understandable, given people's indoctrination into submissiveness to medical authority, and perhaps even to all authorities simply because they are considered authorities -- perhaps based on lack of knowledge of something better, perhaps based on an upbringing (or educational experience) that demanded submission to authority.
However, it isn't adequate to solving the problem -- and neither is commiseration between people who have the same pain, although I can understand why one might do it to vent feelings.
While commiseration without an understanding of the underlying condition may lead to kindly suggestions intended to be helpful, suggestions-without-understanding are likely to lead to disappointment and to further despair. They commonly do. A mood of helplessness then prevails and the mood of submission to authority that can't produce the required result has been reinforced.
There's a point at which people have to take more responsibility or responsibility of a different kind -- the responsibility to understand. This is that point.
At one point, the one person who responded to my initial questions said, "I don't know. I am not a doctor."
The difference between you and a doctor is knowledge and training.
I am here to provide better knowledge on this topic than you can get from your doctor or therapist. What makes it better is that (1) it makes sense and (2) it points to an approach that works – that works relatively quickly and very reliably. I'm also here to point you to a kind of self-training that will get you out of pain in a space of, say, weeks.
To review, I've just indicated two approaches:
• one that works with understanding and gets consistent good results by addressing underlying causes
• another, that acts without understanding to seek symptomatic relief by addressing secondary effects, not the underlying cause, that doesn't work consistently, but which may be sanctioned by medical authority (because that's all they know) or recommended by someone trying to be helpful
You've tried one. Are you willing to try the other?
One might think that, having been searching for information about sciatica, you'd be on the lookout for something other than what you've already experienced, or heard about. I'm asking you to exercise your intelligence toward understanding, not merely to believe an authoritative voice (including mine) or a sympathetic one.
Most sciatica comes from entrapment of nerve roots of the sciatic nerve that exit the spine at levels L3 through L5 – the bottom three vertebrae of the low back.
There's nothing wrong with the spine -- unless one or more disks have ruptured. It's that the vertebrae are being pulled too closely together by tight spinal muscles that increase the lumbar (low back) curve, combined most often with a side–tilt caused by tightness of the muscles of the side of the trunk. These two locations of tightness change the curvature of the spine and trap (squeeze) the nerve roots on the inner side of the curve.
The tightness comes from a combination of (1) long-term stress, in which the back muscles tighten and stay tight, and (2) an injury to one side of the body at some point in life that prompted the muscles of the side of the trunk to tighten in a reflexive cringe response and stay tight. That's it. Read on, after you have absorbed that information.
By the way, it's that same tightness that over-compresses disks and causes them to bulge, herniate, or rupture.
A less common form of sciatica, known as piriformis syndrome, involves tightening of the piriformis buttock muscle, also usually triggered by an injury, e.g., from a hard fall onto the buttock. The piriformis muscle squeezes the sciatic nerve that passes through or nearby, and sciatica results.

Your job, should you decide to accept it, is to retrain your muscular control to relieve yourself of the tightness causing your symptoms. It can be done by almost anyone and can be done relatively quickly, with the right technique: pandiculation.

As I said there's probably nothing wrong with your spine. It's an ongoing muscular activity that you can retrain, that causes most sciatica.
You can't change that ongoing muscular activity with drugs, surgery, or stretching. Strengthening, a common strategy of therapy, is altogether out. Think about it. How can strengthening cause a relaxation of too tight muscles?
Those are the two most common forms of sciatica. I've written more at length on two other causes in the article linked below, but this is essentially all most people need to know.
In case you still believe in the usual methods of physical therapy and bodywork, here's another video entry, The Three Biggest Mistakes Made by People Who Are Trying to Get Out of Pain.

I've explained the pitfall into which you may have become trapped: going for relief of symptoms without addressing the underlying cause -- and the related pitfall of dependency on drugs, surgery, and manipulation and the hope that something somebody does to you or for you will get you out of pain. I've explained the origin of that pitfall: your indoctrination into dependency on others -- and failing to take "won't take 'no' for an answer", personal responsibility for results. I've provided information by which you may understand your condition and the means of your taking responsibility for getting yourself out of pain.
The final obstacles may be that people's attention tends to be superficial -- sometimes, new information doesn't penetrate enough, but bounces off -- and some people don't want the information just because to change requires something of them. That's what sometimes makes learning, in general, difficult. (Did that just bounce off or did it sink in?)
I've identified what I call the prime directive of my field, clinical somatic education: "You gotta wanna". It's up to you. I ain't just whistlin' Dixie.

I have been practicing as a clinical somatic educator (Hanna somatic education) for the final relief of pain since 1990, with two years' experience on-staff at the Wellness and Rehabilitation Center of a hospital in Northern California. Since 1996, I have had a money-back guarantee of satisfaction that has rarely been invoked. Learn about my professional background, including published papers, radio and TV appearances, and public speaking appearances, here.

• get started bringing yourself relief: Gentle Spine Waves free downloadable video-app (Android) |
• on my personal background |…/the-prophet-of-p…
• on sacroiliac joint dysfunction (sciatica is one of the symptoms) |…/understanding-sa…


Understand sciatica. | exercises for sciatica leg pain |…

How does Hanna Somatic Education Work?

The following explanation makes sense of Hanna Somatic Education and gives people a way to talk about it that makes sense to their friends.

To begin with, it helps to understand why people get stuck in pain and discomfort. Then, you can understand what Hanna Somatic Education "handles" and how it handles it.

About 50% of chronic, severe pain can be traced to the effects of muscular contractions formed by physical injuries and high-stress emotional states. What follows, below, applies to that kind of pain -- and not the pain that results from organic diseases.

Here are the key terms:
  • muscle-memory (muscle:movement memory)
  • sensory-motor amnesia
Muscle memory is what you formed when you learned to walk, to ride a bicycle, to ski, to touch-type on a keyboard (as speed-typists do), or hunt-and-peck type (as in everyone who uses a smart phone or operating-system based device with a miniature alphanumeric keypad, does).

Sensory – motor amnesia is what happens when a  high-intensity memory forms, either from a high velocity experience or a prolonged one, a high-intensity memory that interferes with muscle movement memory of how we are, when we are free to move. Sensorimotor amnesia occurs, generally, in a state of activation triggered by something that's happening. When a triggered state of activation becomes a remembered state of activation, a remembered state of activation becomes a general state of activation.

"General state of activation"means an ongoing state of activation, a kind of readiness for experience based upon learning about experience.

Much of the pain that we endure in life has to do with generalized states of activation that have become submerged in the obliviousness of familiarity. In other words they are there, still activated, but, our awareness of them has become subdued. We may intuitively feel how that is so.

Because our awareness of them has become subdued, our control of them has diminished.

That's how a personality forms. It's how a tension set forms. It's how a chronic feeling state forms. It's how our condition forms. It's how our complaints form.

It's memories affecting how we move.

Movement involves the muscles -- and of course, other systems.

Let's talk about the muscles.

Any talk about action involves talk about muscle tension and relaxation of tension. Every state of readiness involves a heightened state of tension.

Memory shapes readiness.

Memory shapes muscular tension.

Injuries form intense memories.

Memories are states of readiness. Always.

Injuries form intense states of readiness, heightened tension, ongoingly. Heightened tension, after a short while, becomes painful -- not just psychologically, but also bodily.

The key to the pain are the memories.

Hanna somatic education cleans up muscle movement memory. By cleaning it up, we eliminate unnecessary states of readiness, unnecessary states of tension, unnecessary discomfort, unnecessary limitation of movement.

The pain people bring to a Hanna somatic educator is the pain of residual conditioning by experience in which they hold and stay tight, habitually, but without recognizing they are doing so: sensorimotor amnesia.

So, in a roundabout way, we've just covered "what"  Hanna somatic education handles.

Now we start on the "how".

Sensorimotor amnesia is another term for the muscle-movement memory of natural maturation "influenced" by the muscle movement memories of injury and prolonged stress. Hanna somatic education is a way of teaching people to take back influence over themselves, or to throw off the lingering influences of past experiences -- in this case, the lingering influences of past injuries and stress periods that lead to cumulative, muscular tightening up that "becomes who they are" (but are not).

What we need to do is to delete the automatic impulse to tighten up, to make "starting from rest" the default or customary disposition. The first way of doing that is to make them aware of the impulse to self-tighten. And then teach them to stop tightening themselves up -- not by effort to remember not to tighten up, but simply by not tightening up, in the first place, unless they mean to. They start at rest instead of from a an automatically-disturbed state of readiness. (Consider the mind of such a person.)

That's what the techniques of Hanna somatic education, and the intention behind their use, is. It's to teach people how to free themselves of conditioning influences, so they can feel more like themselves.

That, by the way, is the stated intention of many disciplines, but is most clearly stated as the intention of bodywork and somatic disciplines, in general. Some approaches are more effective than others.

When it comes to muscles, it means to awaken better control over our own tensing and relaxing of our muscles, of ourselves.

What Hanna somatic education does is clean up muscle movement memory so we can feel more like ourselves, when we are all right.

Hanna somatic education cleans up muscle movement memory and then improves it.

  • movement, better
  • pain, gone
  • ability restored and enhanced
Hanna somatic education cleans up muscle movement memory.

Everything else that may be said would be the particulars of techniques and of somatic education exercise patterns – details that you might try to liken to therapies or exercises you already know. That might give you the wrong idea, if your ideas are based on approaches that work from the outside in, “on” you.

Hanna somatic education doesn't involve techniques that someone applies to you. It involves techniques of teaching you to get back influence over yourself. It's an outside-in AND inside–out job. That's why it works. We use an action or movement pattern "hard-wired" into us, programmed into everyone (and their dog), one related to yawning, called, "pandiculation". Yawning is pleasurable because it releases some of our tension. Hanna somatic education applies this "hard-wired", natural action pattern to clean up muscle-movement memory.

And by the way, because we're working with the programming side of things, meaning our memory conditioning, it works quickly and efficiently, in harmony with our influence over ourselves. Because it works in harmony, it works far faster than approaches that attempt to counter muscle-movement memory instead of dissolve its grip and then organize it. Being "worked with" works far faster and better than being "worked on".

Hanna somatic education works by cleaning up muscle movement memory that influences us in how we move and how we feel.

Muscle movement memory.

That's how Hanna somatic education works and what it does.


Non-Attachment, by Itself, is a Heresy | The Middle Way includes Attachment

The following is a very simplified and concise discussion of two items. One is the Buddhist doctrine of impermance or non-attachment, the perspective of the TetraSeed and its somatic manifestation. 
Because of the simplicity and conciseness of this discussion, you may feel like its zipping by without your comprehending it. If that's the case, you have two options I can think of. One is to re-listen, and the second is to take the state of bewilderment that you may be experiencing and subject it to The Gold Key release without further attempts to understand. Then, you may return to this discourse with a much easier comprehension.

The cultivation of non-attachment goes with the Buddhist doctrine of impermanence, which states that all experience is impermanent and that attachment is the primary cause of suffering, in life.

The expected reaction of someone exposed to this doctrine, who is serious about getting free of suffering, would be to seek non-attachment, to oppose attachment. This would be an error because it would involve suppressing attachment, would involve self-denial of desire, rather than releasing attachment. It then becomes attachment to non-attachment, or attachment to self-denial.

The significance of non-attachment, which more properly goes with the doctrine of impermanence than self-denial or opposition to attachment, is capacity for, and participation in, change. Change, not adherence to self-denial, is the opposite of attachment.

A way of better appreciating this difference, is to understand the four-part structure of individuated consciousness and of all experiencing:  the TetraSeed.

The TetraSeed
composed of


may be regarded in terms of MATRIX and VALVE
or BODY and MOUTH.


The MATRIX:BODY consists of


The  MATRIX:BODY  is the "body of condensation" or "body of consolidation".

What's condensed or consolidated is whatever has come in through the opening, the valve, the mouth, of IMAGINATION:EMERGENCE.


Like a MOUTH, IMAGINATION opens to ingest and closes to permit digestion into MEMORY. Short-term MEMORY takes what is in the MOUTH of IMAGINATION and "chews it over" (analyzing and distinguishing finer features: DISINTEGRATION); long-term MEMORY swallows and digests. (INTEGRATION)

IMAGINATION and MEMORY are counterbalancing opposites the way taking in food and swallowing are counterbalancing opposites: You can't do both at the same time; it's one or the other, though one feeds into the other.

Actually, we never experience memories as memories.  We always recall memories into existence by imagining them, just as we memorize something by repeatedly imagining it to ourselves. Memories, by themselves, are patterns that are unknown until we recall them by imagining them. (That's why memories are unreliable.)

ATTENTION and INTENTION are differently related than MEMORY and IMAGINATION. MEMORY and IMAGINATION trade off or alternate; ATTENTION and INTENTION synchronize and combine in the same moment.

Capturing, condensing and consolidating are INTEGRATION.

Something coming in through the opening of IMAGINATION:EMERGENCE always involves DISINTEGRATION. It always involves NEWNESS.  (If it's not NEWNESS, it's PERSISTENCE, and if it's PERSISTENCE, it's MEMORY, not IMAGINATION). Newness always involves DISINTEGRATION of the status of memories that have persisted to make way for new INTEGRATION, an altered viewpoint.


and so on.

IMAGINATION is the mouth of the TetraSeed.

MEMORY is the digestive tract of the TetraSeed.

ATTENTION and INTENTION are the senses and MOVEMENT SYSTEM (e.g., muscles and bones).

ATTENTION and INTENTION are yang/outgoing.
IMAGINATION and MEMORY are yin/incoming.

Beware of taking non-attachment to the extreme -- meaning, overlooking the counterbalancing function of memory, persistence, endurance -- attachment. Extreme non-attachment is "spiritual by-passing" -- the action of avoiding the work of personal transformation in an idealistic effort to experience what is Transcendent/formless. The formless intuition "surfaces" when the disturbances of personal immaturity and/or maladjustment resolve with the awakening and balancing-integration of the four facet/flexpoint pairs of the TetraSeed.

Life involves both persistence (apparent permanence) and change (or the movement of impermanence). Each needs the other for a balance between DISINTEGRATION and INTEGRATION. Each has its place.

a final word on the MATRIX (CONSOLIDATED MEMORY)

Every experience, even now, consists of two aspects:


You look at or listen to something, you feel "something is there". That's consolidated substantiality.

Then, there are the qualities of what is there, including all of its relationships with everything else.

Every possible experience has the same sense of  "something" there-ness, or substantiality -- though the density of the substantiality varies.

Every possible experience has a different set of qualities, in the most ordinary sense.

The sense of something-there-ness is the sense of self-densification, the sense of attention to a memory or persistent "something" -- and the intention to have an experience of it, one way or the other -- all at once and in the same place. It's what is known as, "the self-contraction". It's a feeling. We experience everything by means of self-contraction. (It seems to me that that's what Adi Da meant, when he wrote, "The act of perception, itself, is the avoidance of relationship." ~~ The Knee of Listening by Franklin Jones/Adi Da Samraj)

That means that, with contemplation and practice to make one capable, every experience can be recognized as the feeling of consolidated ATTENTION, MEMORY, and INTENTION -- all in the same place as a single feeling, that singular "feel" of "consolidated something", which is self-contraction. (It seems to me that that's what Adi Da meant when he said that, at some point, one no longer needs to look into the garbage bag to see what one is throwing away; one just looks at the bag (the feeling of self-contraction) and recognizes, "Ah! Garbage!"  ~~ Garbage and the Goddess, by Bubba Free John).

Recognizing self-contraction, sufficiently, as ATTENTION:PERSISTENCE:INTENTION, self-contraction can be released entirely independently of the qualities of the thing being released. It's a shift of perspective from ingesting incoming experience (getting involved with it) to recognizing self-contraction in any form of experience as a "self-activity" -- a self-activity that can be desisted from (stopped or ceased) merely in the noticing of "something there" -- without need for analysis, figuring out, identifying what something is or means, reasoning about it, wonderings about "right" and "wrong" and what to do about it. It's the very soul of non-attachment through intelligence, not through an idealistic cutting off of self from experience.

This is a radical (at the root) approach to experience. Instead of "taking a position" relative to some experience, we dissolve it (or release it). That capacity for release is the meaning of non-attachment. It's the release that is our capacity to change, to participate in an even or fair way with the flow of impermanence that allows incoming imagination (creativity) to flourish. It's "emptiness" or "space" -- like the capacity of a vessel -- whether or not the vessel happens to contain anything, at the moment. It's not the "non-attachment" of refusal or self-denial, of "cutting off of all attachments" (which is a way of being idealistically full of itself, enforcing an erroneous understanding of emptiness or of non-attachment.) It's non-attachment as capacity to change.

It is acceptance -- not as fatalism about fate, but as the "open mood" of the space where something limited once resided, space that can now accommodate something new. It's receptivity, the space liberated by dissolution of "remembered point-of-view" space where unknown newness is allowed to develop and emerge as the new memory of this very moment, of ever-new self as the expression of that very space, rather than of biased and unreliable, self-held memories. It is spontaneous and also allows the free functioning of memory and so retains its intelligence.

This "acceptance" has a very interesting behavior: When all four aspects of the TetraSeed, (i.e., all four operations/drives/intelligences) sufficiently and consciously come "on-line" and are balanced and integrated with each other, in the context of, or in terms of, any kind of experience, that experience becomes as if "transparent"; it loses its feeling of density, while retaining its functionality, even at a superior level. It becomes "transparent" to the formless Ground of Being that is its source and very substance.

Search on YouTube for keywords, "Adi Da point of view".

The Gold Key Release

copyright 2017 Lawrence Gold

Imagination and Memory, Together, Act Like Valve and Reservoir

I've kept coming back to the same thing in my experience, so I want to put it out there: It seems to me that in the TetraSeed, the aspect we call, "imagination", operates as a valve, opening and closing.

When imagination is closing, attention and intention are turning toward memory, closing in on memory.

When imagination is opening, attention and intention are turning toward imagining, opening to imagining.

Feel that?

Somas (living beings) open toward or close away from experience.

Attention and intention focus the power of attention on what is remembered in memory, or focus the power of attention on what is emerging in imagination.

I'll say that again.

Attention and intention focus the power of attention on a memory - or - attention and intention focus the power of attention on what is emerging in imagining. Attention and intention focus the power of attention on a memory -- or --  attention and intention focus the power of attention on what is emerging --  in the making -- in imagination.

In closed-minded individuals, memory dominates imagination by habituated intention. Memory "suffocates" imagination.

In open-minded individuals, imagination exceeds memory by free attention.