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Student Profile: Tammie Lyn Martin

By Kelli Peacock

Tammie Lyn Martin plans to graduate from the training program at the Novato Institute and become a Hanna Somatic Education Certified Practitioner, in March of 2017, with Wave 18. 

She was born in New Jersey and grew up in Pennsylvania. She graduated from Misericordia University with a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy. The OT program was challenging and competitive; it prepared her for success in the health care industry, and for becoming a thoughtful Somatic Educator. She loves weaving Somatics and Occupational Therapy together to create a more effective fabric of healing to meet people at their place of need.

Tammie Lyn came to my Somatics class when I was just about to graduate, back in 2012.  A vertebra in her lower back was pulled forward and her neck was in a red light contraction. She was in pain most of the time after her first child was born and chiropractics did not hold. When she read the book “Somatics” by Thomas Hanna, she thought… “This sounds like me.” With just a few Somatic classes, she started to get some relief, so she jumped into the professional training, wanting to learn more. She started to realize that Somatics was a vital discipline that had been missing from her OT education. She also attributes to Somatics the physical preparation of her body for, and during, her second pregnancy; and for the recovery after birth. Today, she can bring herself back into balance, and finds rolling on the floor with her children amazing.

Tammie Lyn is passionate about using Somatics to play a role in bridging the gap between Western Medicine and the Preventative Health Care fields. She believes in a co-operative merging with preventative healing. She spoke about "a cultural shift which needs to be, and is, taking shape; finding what truly works from both sides of the spectrum, and removing the ignorance around what we are told does, but for most of us does not, work.”  She also believes that Somatics empowers people to take an active role in their health care needs and that, as Somatic Educators, we are only guides. She understands that we cannot force people to change, but we can provide gentle, yet persistent guidance, like retraining our cerebral cortex with Somatics. She wrote her paper called, “A Soft Fair Voice,” which speaks to two components of Somatic education: the ability to listen to one’s central nervous system and the educator’s ability to communicate the healing potential within our bodies. She feels Eleanor embodies this exemplary skill to unbiasedly show the result of both paths.

Tammie Lyn has empathic hands and is hardwired to find out what motivates someone. She watches her client walk, observing the energy of the person, and tailors her approach to best suit the individual’s needs. She also likes to engage the person into his or her passion, and she works with whatever is going on for them.  At the group level, she customizes her classes to her students’ need, layering information as they learn. She likes to take Somatics to the next level, by encouraging her students to apply somatic principles to their every day activities or passions, like swing dance or body building. We discussed a case study of an individual who wore a brace around his torso after a tragic event. She realized he had lost function around his waist and in his rotators. When she cued him into his sensory-motor amnesia in these muscles, it was like fireworks going off for him!

On the sidelines, Tammie Lyn also likes to heal her family with herbal wisdom. She participates in a shamanic group and is committed to maintaining connection with elementals and the balance within the individual, the community and the world. At the end of our time together, she said… "Ancient ones communicate to us in a way we are most able and open to receive it.” We both felt as though we had come to a conclusion that, for us, Somatics is deep listening, helping us all be in touch with a greater oneness, and with ourselves.