Dr Thomas Hanna PhD (1928–1990), a philosopher who developed Hanna and Clinical Somatic Education, spent his life searching for ways for human beings to become free – physically and intellectually. Hanna was driven to teach others how our somas are self-healing and self-regulating and for us to realize the power we have to take responsibility for our own lives.
In 1973, Hanna moved to San Francisco and became the Director of the graduate school at the Humanistic Psychology Institute. It was there that he discovered Functional Integration and Moshe Feldenkrais. He became very close to Feldenkrais and in 1975 Hanna founded and directed the first professional Feldenkrais training program in the United States. In that same year, he founded the Novato Institute of Somatic Research and Training.
Hanna coined the term "somatics" in 1976, in the hope that it would define the field of movement awareness (including The Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais). He continued his research in Somatic Education, calling himself a "philosopher who works with his hands" and helping many people overcome what was thought by the medical community to be hopeless cases.
In 1990, after teaching six weeks of his first professional training in Hanna Somatics, he passed away in a car accident.
Brian Siddhartha Ingle, ND DO, studied and later taught at the Novato Institute. He further developed Hanna's work with the principles of biodynamics and classical osteopathy.
Books by Thomas Hanna:
The Thought and Art of Albert Camus (1958)
The Lyrical Existentialists (1963)
Bodies in Revolt: A Primer in Somatic Thinking (1970)
The End of Tyranny: An Essay on the Possibility of America (1970)
The Body of Life (1980)
Somatics: Reawakening the Mind's Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health (1988)