Sotai is a form of body movement re-education, which serves to identify and remove discomfort–wherever it may hide in the body. It is a simple ingenious therapy that uses regulated breathing and gentle movements to both increase range of motion and help a person recover from old injuries. The practitioner uses comfortable movements performed against a light resistance followed by relaxation. The purpose of Sotai is not so much to correct structural alignment as to facilitate the optimal functional state of the body and mind. A body “holding” stress is a body open to disease.
Most of us have experienced some sort of injury in our lifetime. Many people continue to experience pain and limited range of motion long after the expected healing time. The joint (for example) may be fully healed, yet the body is still limiting range of motion in effort to protect you. This situation leads to what can best describe as a form of “neuromuscular amnesia”. The neural pathways that control the previously injured region of the body need to be reminded that they are healthy and can go back to functioning fully. This “reminder” or “awakening of the pathway” is where Sotai yields both gentle and amazing results.
In Sotai, the movements are always away from the area of pain and toward the direction of ease. This is in contrast to most other systems where a hard and often painful approach is taken to “work out or push through” the “stuck” areas. Practitioners can do either a whole body Sotai treatment or include a few movements in conjunction with acupuncture or massage treatments
Sotai treatments utilize three important pillars of health: breath, mind, and movement. In Sotai we are re-educating the body and mind to promote movement with ease and without pain. Our strongest tendency is to continue to move in the same way we have always moved, guided by deeply seated postural habits, sensory cues, fear, and mental images of our own body. Over time, the physical body becomes trapped by habitual patterns that eventually lead to pain, distortion and eventually disease. Sotai can reeducate a nervous system to let go of a habitual movement or structural patterns that no longer serve the body.