Elisa Cotroneo Announces Her Retirement after 15 Years Guiding ISMETA

April 27, 2023 Dear Friends and Colleagues, I cannot express what an honor and joy it has been to play a role in guiding ISMETA’s growth over the past 15 years.  When I stepped into serving as ISMETA’s first Executive Director in 2013, our annual budget was approximately $35,000 and we had fewer than 300 … Read more

Speak Out! Stories of Resilience and Healing

Speak Out

ISMETA executive and board member Richard Sims would like to invite everyone to a special event to help support four brave trans and non-binary survivors of sexual abuse/assault share their stories of resilience and healing. It’s the latest event Rich has been asked to help plan and bring to life, bringing his somatic, empowering, healing and community building approaches to help the participants maintain the connection and bravery needed to share their incredible stories with the world.

ISMETA Government Relations Tracking Legislative Action

Governmental Relations

Thanks to efforts by ISMETA Massachusetts members, the ISMETA Government Relations Committee, members of the Federation of Therapeutic Massage, Bodywork, and Somatic Practice Organizations, and other stakeholders in Massachusetts; Senate Bill 221 and House Bill 350 to regulate Bodywork and Alternative Therapies, have both gone to a study group. 

Vitality Project Donbas

Vitality Project Donbas

Ukrainian NGO Development Foundation, in collaboration with Wesleyan University Professor Katja Kolcio Ph.D./RSME, received a grant from the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme and Government of the Netherlands, to introduce somatic methods in psycho-social care and evaluate their impact on the wellbeing of people affected by the armed conflict in Donbas, Ukraine.


ISMETA Board Director Florian Filtzinger, RSME, provides a review of BODYIQ 2021 held in Berlin, Germany , a pandemic-conquering and deep-tissue-touching festival to the field of Somatics.  The audience included an international crowd of facilitators, artists, activists and first timers to one common ground and question of intersectionality between somatic inquiry, activism, the arts and critical observation of gender, race and accessibility of spaces.  

Voices, Reflections & Echoes from the Engaging Embodiment Conference

Maria Luisa, ISMETA Board President

We did it! We ALL did it!

Our ISMETA Conference brought together more than 825 somatic movement practitioners, students, and established professionals over the course of five days at the beginning of March. The conference opened up a new chapter in the life of our organization; a chapter where each one of us are invited to contribute to continue to develop, research, experience and enjoy the somatic movement profession in all of its philosophies, schools, and applications.

Why not Martial Arts !

Back in the mid to late 80s in the San Francisco Bay Area, there were meetings with many movement teachers, body workers and others looking to create a somatic organization. I am not sure if these are the roots of ISMETA or if it evolved out of another effort to centralize and organize Somatics into an association. In any event I went to a number of these early meetings and was always taken aback, because the participants only wanted to define “Somatics” as Western-based practices.

Humanity in a time of Collective Initiation

We were three weeks into the lockdown here in the UK and perhaps like many I was beginning to settle in, after the initial shake-up and all the online messaging that we had collectively reached for in order to stay in touch. A book called to be read, written by my dear friend Liz McCormick and her colleague Nigel Wellings, both experienced transpersonal psychotherapists, teachers and authors. The title Nothing to Lose (Wellings and McCormick 2010) seemed a good message in this time that seems so full of loss.

Notes from the first Encuentro Somático en México “Celebrando al cuerpo vivo”

The first Encuentro Somático in Mexico, Celebrating Embodiment, took place from March 29 to 31, 2019, at the Centro Cultural Pedregal, in the south of Mexico City. More than 140 participants gathered from five countries (Argentina, Colombia, Spain, the U.S., and many regions of Mexico) with 34 teachers and performers representing many different somatic movement traditions


If we only train to toughen ourselves, to make our muscles harder, this will lead to losing confidence. Why is that? Because our body is confident when it moves properly, and this requires softness. When I say softness, I mean the ability of our body to change its muscle tone and adapt. “Softening down” implies alleviating the fierceness, anger, and nerve, toning down. In Spanish, softening down is “ablandarse,” from the Latin “blandiri,” which means, “caressing.” It is also connected to the meaning of “to yield,” to soften our stance, or our way of thinking.