The official organization for Hanna Somatics information, resources, continuing education, practitioner support, and community.

Hanna Somatics Training

Hanna Somatic Education® Practitioner Training to become a Certified Hanna Somatic Educator® sponsored by the Novato Institute, Novato, CA

Hanna Somatic Education® (HSE®) is the direct, hands-on method developed by Thomas Hanna for teaching voluntary, conscious control of the neuromuscular system to persons suffering involuntary muscular disorders.

In Hanna’s words, “It is the most advanced system known for relieving chronic disorders which, otherwise, are untreatable by either medical or traditional therapeutic means” (Hanna, 1990). Thomas Hanna and Eleanor Criswell Hanna co-founded the Novato Institute for Research and Training in the 1970s. Upon Thomas Hanna’s death, Eleanor Criswell Hanna became the Director of the Novato Institute. Under her direction, the Hanna Somatic Education® Practitioner Training continues to deepen and grow.

1. Class structure and times:

  • Six 9-day Modules that are scheduled approximately 6-months apart. Modules begin on a Saturday and end 9-days later on a Sunday.
  • Each Module is 54 classroom hours; the HSE®Training is 324 hours total.
  • Each Training day is 9 AM to 4:30 PM with 1.5 hours for lunch.
  • Modules 1, 3, 5 are in the summer (June-August) and Modules 2, 4, 6 are in the winter (January-March).
  • Most students take the Modules in numerical sequence.
  • We encourage students to start practicing with clients after they complete Module 1. Some students choose to charge money right away and some do not - this is a personal choice. Students are expected to complete homework between Modules that will support their education.

2. Acquring a prospectus and application:

3. Next training starts August 8, 2020 in 6 modules:

  • Module 1: August 8 - 16, 2020 (ONLINE ONLY)
  • Module 2: March 13 - 21, 2021
  • Module 3: August 14 - 22, 2021
  • Module 4: March 12 - 20, 2022
  • Module 5: August 13 - 21, 2022
  • Module 6: March 11 -19, 2023

4. Curriculum:

  • Modules 1-3 teach the three hands-on clinical protocols or lessons created by Thomas Hanna based on the three postural reflexes: Red Light, Green Light, and Trauma Reflex.
    Modules 4-6 add enhancements to the basic protocols and teach additional hands-on clinical work for the head-neck; jaw; upper and lower extremity.
  • Each Module teaches and/or refines the basic movement exercises in Lessons 1-8, including the “Cat Stretch” in the book Somatics. In Modules 3-6 the students learn to lead and create Somatic Exercise movements.
  • Each Module teaches and/or refines anatomy and kinesiology related to the hands-on clinical work.
  • Modules 3-6 offer specific units in neurophysiology since our work is brain based.
  • Modules 4-6 contain a Student Clinic, open to both Certified Hanna Somatic Educators® and the general public.
  • Over the six Modules the following topics are also taught and discussed: History of HSE®; General HSE® concepts, theory, and principles; Ethics and Scope of Practice; Business, student and practical issues; Biofeedback demonstrations and its influence on HSE®; Public client demonstrations by members of the teaching team for the students to observe; “Functional Issues” including conditions of neurological deficit (stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and more).