Somatic Interventions on Gait and Spine Mobility in Older Adults

With Diana K. Lara RSME & David Anderson, PhD

Tuesday, APRIL 9, 2024, 12:00-1:30 pm EDT

Registration Deadline, April 2nd

This event will share research on two somatic methods in the older adult population. Diana Lara will present results of a mixed-methods longitudinal study with 15 participants that assessed the feasibility and acceptability of delivering a bi-weekly 1-hour somatic movement online class for 10 weeks and measured its effects on mental imagery, body and posture awareness, spine mobility, balance, and confidence of balance. David Anderson will present the results of studies that compared six licensed Alexander Technique practitioners and seven healthy age-matched controls to understand the effect of AT training on gait kinematics, the temporospatial characteristics of gait, and balance.


This event will help somatic educators and therapists to get familiar with research methods frequently used in Kinesiology that could be used to measure some of the effects of somatic methods. The presenters are aware that some of the effects of somatic methods cannot be measured using scientifically-favored dependent variables and therefore have been labeled as not objective by the scientific community. Therefore, they will invite participants to reflect on what is relevant to measure (e.g. movement, tone, expression, mobility), and how to measure it. The presenters will also expose participants to non-traditional ways they can deliver their somatic interventions.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • about spine mobility and the effects of a somatic movement intervention on spine mobility and body and posture awareness
  • about the mechanisms underlying gait and balance and the effects of Alexander Technique on gait and balance
  • about the challenges of conducting research on older adults and novel ways to offer interventions to them

Diana K. Lara


Diana Lara, MS, RSME is a choreographer, dancer, and somatic educator from Honduras. She graduated from the choreography program of the Center for Research and Choreography at the Mexican National Institute of Fine Arts in 2003 and from the Body-Mind® Centering certification program on Developmental Movement in 2011. Diana holds a Master of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis in movement science from San Francisco State University. Diana is bilingual English/Spanish and is an ISMETA member. www.dianalara-somatics.com

David Anderson


David Anderson is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and the Director of the Marian Wright Edelman Institute for Study of Children, Youth, and Families at San Francisco State University. He received his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Louisiana State University in 1994 after earning a B.Ed. degree in Physical Education from the University of Technology, Sydney and a M.Sc. degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Long Beach. David’s research centers on understanding how motor skills are acquired, how to promote the development of motor skills, and how motor activity influences psychological functioning and development.



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