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Total Somatics: Revolutionizing Mind-Body Wellness – Exclusive Interview With Heidi Hadley

Heidi Hadley is a Certified Clinical Somatic Educator & Somatic Movement teacher. She started her career in mainstream medicine in the field of Neurophysiology. In 2001, Heidi started her private clinical practice in health, wellbeing & movement. She is the founder & creator of Total Somatics International®, an online membership designed to reduce pain, improve posture, increase mobility, develop mindfulness and allow you to resume or continue with the activities you love to do. She is the presenter of the podcast, Somatic Movement & Mindset. Delving into the fields of neuroscience, pain, mindset, mindfulness, habits and how to use your brain and body to create lasting healthy changes.

Image photo of Heidi Hadley

Heidi Hadley, Certified Clinical Somatic Educator

Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better. I originally trained and qualified as a Medical Technical Officer in Neurophysiology, working at the University Hospital, Birmingham, UK. My passion for the brain started with this wonderful area of health. I worked in a diagnostic role, performing investigative tests on patients. Tests included EEGs, sleep studies, nerve conduction studies and working with suspected cases of CJD. I came to love the nervous system and the intricacies of the brain from working in this fantastic area of health. Whilst working at the University hospital, I would see many patients and they would tell me about their complementary medicine approaches to manage many of the side effects of their medication. This sparked my curiosity and I proceeded to study various therapies, leading to me leaving the NHS and starting my own private practice in 2001. To this day, I continue to keep my finger on the pulse with the latest research and techniques by regularly attending postgraduate courses. In May 2010, my husband and I emigrated to beautiful Adelaide, South Australia. Our passion for outdoor activities and the amazing Australian wildlife attracted us to South Australia. With its four seasons and very short winter weather, we were also attracted to the climate of South Australia. I love paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, swimming, football, road trips around Australia, visiting museums, art exhibitions and the theatre. My passion is my work. I love every moment of it and find it so rewarding to see how people have transformed their lives with Total Somatics. I have been blessed to have a thriving private practice in Adelaide, South Australia, which I have built since arriving in 2010. My husband and I have always envisioned a well-being centre for the local community. Together we built a beautiful wellbeing centre and I work with wonderful therapists to bring value to the public. I have clients that fly into South Australia from Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland to see me for one-on-one clinical appointments. It is wonderful to be able to welcome them into a beautiful well-being centre. I use the soundproof studio we built within the well-being centre to teach Total Somatics to an international audience. I am the founder and creator of Total Somatics, an online Membership teaching people how to reduce pain, improve posture, increase mobility and develop mindfulness. It is a wonderful community that comprises of people wanting to improve their personal health status, and practitioners wanting to learn techniques for themselves, and how they can incorporate Total Somatic principles and practices into their private practice for their patients or clients. Within my beautiful studio, I record all my online live events, live workshops for the Total Somatics members, Q&A sessions, videos for the Total Somatics YouTube channel and my podcast, Somatic Movement & Mindset. I have had wonderful opportunities to be a speaker at conferences and events. It has been fantastic travelling around Australia for various professional organisations and hold one day events for their companies. I have also had the opportunity to hold workshops in the UK and meet many Total Somatics members and listeners to my podcast channel. I love what I do!

What is the main focus or mission of Total Somatics, and how did the idea for this business come about? Total Somatics focuses on educating and empowering people within the area of their health and well-being. I see many people in clinic and online that have ‘been through the system’ and have been given conflicting prognosis and diagnosis. In many cases, they have ‘tried everything’ and nothing appears to be working. The reason being, they have often been told to target their symptoms, whereas Total Somatics works globally. Everything within the body is connected and often the site of pain is not where the pain or issue originated. Within Total Somatics, I teach people how our marvellous nervous system is running the show and so when we tap into it, we can start working smarter, not harder with our mind and body. I see how people begin to take ownership of their health and well-being again. I teach them how to read the feedback from their body, focusing from the inside out because until now, well-meaning health professionals have been looking at the person from the outside and this is only a fraction of what is really going on underneath the skin! Total Somatics originated from me observing how people’s habits and mindset were influencing their muscular tension, posture, movement and pain levels. I would see people with recurring injuries and pain. Unless they retrained their brain-muscle communication, to move and sit differently, they would continue to feel these symptoms. I also noticed how people incorporated strength training into their life and over time with sedentary careers, they found their muscles and overall movement were rigid and creating further pain and postural changes. In effect, their activities were literally amplifying their pain and causing their body to feel tighter. Total Somatics is the missing link and that has been a powerful tool for many people over the years.To improve muscle memory, allowing muscles to know when to relax and contract at the appropriate time.

Total Somatics teaches the brain to muscle connection to sense and feel the full range of movement within the muscles. This improves power output when exercise and strength training follow. For many years, Total Somatics was an online program, however in 2020, I pivoted and created The Total Somatics membership which has been a great resource for people globally. I could see the emotional and mental pressure globally the pandemic was having on people, causing a huge impact on their physical and energetic health. To be able to create a membership which allows me to be closer to people and serve them, it was a natural transition. A decision I am so grateful I made because people love the interaction and attention to their needs. I can meet them where they are with their health situation and create tailored workshops and Q&A sessions for them. The Total Somatics global community are incredibly interactive and that allows me to keep my work fresh and relevant for them.

Could you provide an overview of the services and products offered on your business, and how do they benefit your customers? I see clients in my private practice for one-on-one sessions. I also hold Total Somatics movement classes in my studio in Adelaide, South Australia. With Total Somatics online, I have a variety of products. I have an online shop on the Total Somatics website that has a selection of workshop series, 4-part movement programs and audio classes. They have been a lifeline for many people and the feedback is so heartwarming to hear. The transformations in their lives have been amazing. The Total Somatics online membership is the main service I provide, and it has a rich banquet of resources to address many health issues and challenges. I am fortunate to have collaborated with health experts around the world over the years and they have been generous with their time by holding workshops on health-related subjects. These workshops are available to watch on replay within the membership. I believe it is healthy for people to hear from a variety of individuals, so they can continue to be educated and empowered within the area of their health and wellbeing. Many of these experts have a global approach to health and that is why I invited them to present to the community. Periodically I hold free online events to the public, so they can learn how to incorporate Total Somatics practices and principles into their life. Allowing them to learn how to resume or continue with the activities they love to do. Somatics is a unique approach to mind-body wellness. How do you differentiate Total Somatics from other somatics or wellness programs in the market? Total Somatics incorporates Movement, Mindset and Mindfulness into its approach. This is what makes it different because in many cases, people may focus purely on the movement practice and wonder why they have great results but pain and discomfort can begin to creep back into their life. When we consider the brain, mind and nervous system, we know there are programs and internal narratives that play on repeat, due to our subconscious. Unless we address this with mindset and mindfulness strategies, we can find ourselves returning to a purely mechanical process of movement. I am also qualified in trauma therapy and incorporate many strategies into Total Somatics to help create an inner calm and feeling of safety, which is something people may find challenging. Total Somatics creates a pathway for people to explore how their habits and behaviour have moulded and sculpted them to who they are today and what they can do to recalibrate. Can you share some successs tories or case studies from individuals who have benefited from Total Somatics? What kind of results can people expect? For confidentiality, I will refer to my client as John. He was in his early 20s and had suffered with debilitating back pain for many years. It had impacted his quality of life to the extent that he had never been too involved in sports as these caused him pain and his confidence has been affected as he felt very uncoordinated. He had tried many health modalities and found no relief. The pain and lack of control over his health started to impact on him emotionally. He then found Total Somatics and contacted me. John and I worked together for 6 weeks. Each week after John’s session I taught his specific movements to integrate with the clinical session we had had. He was very committed to his Total Somatic movement practise and developed a greater awareness of Total Somatics into his daily activities.

Before and After postural changes of a young man

Here is what John had to say about his experience:

“Before I learnt about Somatics, I knew I had postural issues but I had no idea that it would be so easy to fix. Somatics taught me how to finally take time to be aware of my posture, to notice my muscles and how they were pulling my body in all sorts of positions. I became aware of how this impact on poor posture and movement has a profound effect not only on my physical health, but also my self-esteem.

Through Total Somatics, I learned that rather than it being physical training, it also requires brain training to change how my muscles have been working subconsciously or on “autopilot” for years.

I had learnt that I had developed bad posture habits because I really was not aware of how to keep a good posture to begin with. I struggled to feel well and comfortable in my own body. This was because I did not know that to feel better in my whole self, the positive changes needed to all start from my mind.

Now, thanks to Total Somatics, I know the correct way to move my muscles and joints. When I perform my Total Somatics movements before I go to bed, I feel so relaxed and ready to fall asleep. This is thanks to learning how to develop deeper quality breathing. I have disciplined myself to take that much needed time to relax my whole body. I have also developed a daily Total Somatic awareness, such as when I am sitting down or driving my car. I am now much more aware of my posture and how to gently correct it.

More importantly on a personal level, Somatics has helped me to have a more positive mindset. We all make mistakes, but that’s ok. We may not have the perfect posture or the most positive mindset, but we can always work towards that goal of feeling better. It is possible, and to me, Somatics has been a great push in the right direction. Learning how best to emotionally “react” or “respond” to challenges is so important to our wellbeing and Somatics has definitely helped me in that regard.

Saying I am thankful to Heidi would be a terrible understatement. I am so very grateful for the way Total Somatics has had such a positive impact on my life, not only physically but also emotionally and mentally.” The results John obtained were the following:

  • His back and neck pain subsided

  • His range of movement increased

  • His confidence levels increased because his posture had improved significantly

  • His sleep patterns had improved

  • He was able to breathe deeply and slowly, helping him to deal with episodes of anxiety.

  • He had greater coordination which gave him confidence to do ice skating, something he had wanted to do but felt not able due to his back pain. He stated that although learning to ice skate is challenging, he thought about his posture and how he moved his body. He said he feels he has greater confidence to participate in other physical sports and pursuits.

  • He said he feel she has his life back and can live life to the full.

  • He learned how to read his body and use somatic movement to release chronically tight muscles and reduce his pain.

  • He started to understand how his body and muscle tone varies when he stands up and when he lies down. He was able to learn how to sense and feel the difference in muscle tone.

  • With this increased level of awareness, he learned how to PANDICULATE muscles.

Here are other comments:


How do you ensure the quality and safety of your somatic practices and materials, such as online courses and resources, to maintain customer trust and satisfaction?

I teach anyone that uses my products or services the fundamentals with a structured process, so they fully understand before they begin their practice how to work smart, not hard with their mind and body. My cues within the movement sessions are crucial to ensure they stay embodied. I encourage them to notice feedback and if there are certain sensations, they are to make the movement smaller and slower until their brain to muscle connection has recalibrated. The focus on mindfulness and mindset are paramount because this allows the person to notice when their ego is driving them within their practice and return to an embodied approach. Total Somatics is very different to stretching modalities. Stretching is not practiced in Total Somatics, instead a gentle 3 step movement process is taught which resets the tone and tension within the muscles, this entire process involves the brain. Throughout the teachings within Total Somatics, a gentle approach is encouraged to make lasting, safe changes.

I am always asking clients to provide feedback, their challenges, pain points and what they would like to see within the membership. This allows me to keep the membership focused on the needs of the Total Somatics community. This builds huge rapport, trust and satisfaction because I am wanting to meet them where they currently are with their health and well-being.

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