Meet Our Practitioners
Patrick Flanagan and Sarah Warren came together in 2010 to create Somatic Movement Center. They both graduated from the Somatic Systems Institute in Northampton, MA. Patrick and Sarah are passionate about educating and empowering their clients to be free from chronic pain.
Clinical Somatic Educator
I was drawn to Clinical Somatics as a way of sharing the gift of physical freedom with others who are frustrated by the limitations caused by health problems. Having been injured as a child, I spent the majority of my childhood and young adulthood trapped by my condition and limited in the activities I wanted to pursue. I spent a decade looking for a solution, trying numerous different modalities in both mainstream and alternative medicine.
I felt many therapies were effective at temporarily reducing pain, but I didn’t feel that they got to the root of the problem, as the pain would always return and my posture would always be distorted within a short period of time. I was also frustrated at the expense of many of the therapies and how in most cases there was “no end in sight,” that I would need to keep going for routine visits (and keep paying!) for the rest of my life. I intuitively felt that whatever therapy would work should be something that I could eventually do on my own to take care of myself, saving both time and money.
I stumbled across Clinical Somatics accidentally. Thomas Hanna was referenced in a book I was reading, and he spoke about how Sensory-Motor Amnesia leads to pain and structural movement problems. It piqued my curiosity, so I searched and came across Somatic Systems Institute in Northampton, MA, which was teaching Thomas Hanna’s work. The next day I was at a student clinic. In a one hour session from a student I received more results than I had in a previous decade with other modalities. I then knew that I had to learn Clinical Somatics to help other experience the liberating feeling I discovered that day.
Best of all, Clinical Somatics fits perfectly into my ideal view of how a therapy should be, because the client is gradually taught to become his or her own therapist, making the need for an expert obsolete. I love teaching Clinical Somatics because it gives people greater freedom in their lives and empowers them to be their own health expert.
I have had a lifelong interest in the human mind and body, beginning with ten years of intensive study of ballet and modern dance at Boston Ballet School and Boston Conservatory. After leaving dance, I decided to explore my interest in the visual arts, and received my Bachelors in Interior Design from Boston Architectural Center. After practicing design for six years, I felt that the physical aspect of my life was missing.
Having practiced yoga for several years on my own, I was drawn to a career with lululemon athletica. Working in an environment with such positive, like-minded people inspired me to obtain my yoga instructor certification through the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association, as well as attend the Svaroopa Yoga Foundations course. Then one day I happened upon the Somatic Systems Institute website. I could tell immediately that Somatics was very different than other modalities and therapies I had experienced. I bought Thomas Hanna’s book Somatics, and within the first few pages I knew that Clinical Somatics was what I had been looking for.
My Somatics studies have truly changed the way I view physical and mental health and aging. I have learned that everyone’s health is in their own hands, and practicing Somatics is the most effective way to release habitual muscle tension and prevent many common musculoskeletal conditions associated with aging. Somatics has allowed me to recover from injuries, pain, and tightness from dancing, and I am now able to run and practice yoga pain-free. I have experienced incredible changes in myself since beginning my Somatics practice, and I love helping others through their journey toward lasting health.