Home | Workshops | T'ai Chi Chih | Articles | Blog | Contact | Links


The Somatics Institute was created to contribute to the developing field of Somatics.

The work you will find on these pages is the result of over 30 years of clinical research by somatic practitioner and educator, Matthew van der Giessen. The Institute continues the work of Somatics theorists such as Thomas Hanna, Don Hanlon Johnson and Elizabeth Benke.

Matthew has developed his understanding of Somatics principles in over 20,000 clinical sessions, numerous developmental workshops and classes with a wide range of somatic practitioners, which included the use of Somatics principles as the core instructional paradigm of a 2 year, 2500 hour Massage Therapy program.

Applied Somatics
The fundamental principles that define the somatics paradigm - sensory based learning and the organization of movement through patterns - enhance traditional approaches to embodied practice, such as yoga or massage, with a wellspring of knowledge that is drawn from a wide variety of approaches to experiential learning.

Personal and Professional Development
Whether you have a personal or professional interest in Applied Somatics we believe that an integrated practice begins by applying the principles of healing in one's own life. The educational focus of each training program is to learn through the body, drawing from personal experience to support one's work with others.

The Institute focuses it's work in two areas:

1. Somatics In Everyday Life.
Carrying on the spirit of the work of Elsa Gindler who taught her students to use sensory-based practice to survive life in war-torn Berlin, the Institute develops Somatic Patterning practices that can be used to support embodied functionality in the reality of everyday life.
2. Somatics in Massage. 
The Institute offers professional development courses designed to teach massage therapists to integrate Somatics Patterning Techniques into their practice.

You can find out more about our programs on the Continuing Education page.

You can find out more about Applied Somatics by following the Articles or Blog link in the sidebar of this page

Clinical Practice
Matthew van der Giessen, the program director of the Somatics Institute, continues to maintain a clinical somatic practice, integrating massage therapy with a wide range of body-centred techniques.

If you would like to have a clinical session with Matthew at his clinic in Edmonton, Alberta, appointments can be made by linking below.

Schedule an Online Appointment


I have the unique opportunity to offer tandem sessions with Anne Belohorec.

Anne is a senior therapist with training in Advanced Craniosacral Therapy (adult and pediatric), Advanced Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, Touch for Health, Cellular Memory Release, Somato-Emotional Release, Therapeutic Touch, and Reiki.

In a tandem session, Anne and I work together, coordinating our skills to provide new insights to complex body dysfunctions.

For more information, follow this link to contact Healing Connections.

educationNormal seminarsNormal seminarsOver1 blogNormal blogOver linkOver linkNormal