Sotai and Gait Correction
Sotai 操体法(soutaihou) is a modality of neuromuscular reset developed by Dr. Keizo Hashimoto (1897-1993) and popularized in America by teachers like Peter Guy Thompson, Jeffrey Dann, and Bob Quinn. Sotai can have profound structural effects by using the brain to reset the body's pattern of holding. Sotai is gentle, but can be used in place of more aggressive modalities.
One of the places where patients can immediately feel the effects of Sotai is in the change of leg lengths which lead to a profound effect on posture. In cases in which Sotai alone is not enough to elicit the change we are looking for, we look for a constitutional shortness in one femur. Such a differential must be treated biomechanically with lifts and inserts in order to properly correct the patient's gait.
Why does it matter? The body has what is referred to as the righting reflex. It seeks to keep the horizon perfectly horizontal. If it fails to do so, there is generally a zig-zag pattern of tension in the body that leads to myriad musculoskeletal symptoms like pain and tightness. Moreover, I would argue that there is a hidden psychological cost to the righting reflex as the mindbody observes the world as unbalanced and topsy-turvy.
In these sessions, we analyze gait and posture, perform Sotai on the whole system, and then recheck. If the patient continues to be off, we choose a combination of heel lifts and inserts to make the corrections necessary for a stable posture and gait. This combination can be universally applied to all footwear to support the patient's continued progress.