Katherine Kerber

CEO Persensa
I love sharing my skills and knowledge as a Hanna Somatics practitioner with people who want to reach for their true potential! Most of us have a sport or activity we love to do and sometimes we get stuck (injury, overuse, etc.,) and need some help to bring our body/brain/muscles back "online" and efficiently working again. Many of us have to sort through muscular complications that develop in life and we need someone to guide us out of that muscular confusion! Some clients have a particular pain point to resolve, others have trouble moving in a certain way, and others want to avoid surgery, and/or future injury. I work with people individually and in groups to reset muscle tension back to healthy levels. You'll learn how to restore your strength, vitality and relax naturally.
May 15, 2015
After trying a number of different massage therapists, yoga, Tai Chi, and a chiropractor, I am lucky to have met Kathy and been introduced to Hanna Somatics.

My experience with injury and pain isn't interesting, I injured my left arm several years ago. A combination of long practice sessions without breaks, late nights up including many all nighters, long hours sitting, and a poor diet led to it. A couple of runs through Don Juan or the Schumann Scherzo would leave my hand swollen and in pain. At one point I wasn't even able to properly coordinate my fingers. I never had an official diagnosis from a Doctor but I knew I had some type of overuse injury, and was worried about surgery. I rested for a long time after that, for a little over a year I barely practiced.
After a year my hand felt better but I began having upper back pain everyday, it was unbearable. That's when I began my journey through various treatments.

Although many of the prior treatments gave me various degrees of relief, almost every therapist told me I needed to relax my traps and back muscles. The pain would also come back in a couple days after massages, bikram sessions, etc. My muscles were always so tight and locked though that I actually didn't know how to relax them. At the same time I began developing a tingling sensation in my arms, and a strange sensation along my left pinky if I lifted my arm up. Even though I had small windows of relief from each massage, tai chi sessions, cupping session etc. the truth was I didn't particularly enjoy them.

Today I'm really happy to be able to enjoy practicing violin again without pain. Kathy's an experienced and passionate healer, she seemed to know more about how the muscles work and were connected than my chiropractor! I enjoyed each somatics session and learning more in depth how each muscle is connected. The first twenty minutes after a session always feels amazing, and I feel more connected to my body and where I hold my weight after each session. I'll continue to practice the somatic exercises I've been taught and look forward to a lot less pain in my future.
Aug 3, 2014
Software developer
Kathy Kerber is a great practitioner! I came across her when looking for a Somatics practitioner nearby. I hardly knew about Hanna Somatics then, but a friend of mine advised me to try it for my lower-back stiffness and recurring backpain, which had started getting worse.

Kathy was very attentive and mindful from the very first session, especially when I was constantly answering “don’t know” and “I’m confused” to her questions about my feelings after doing a movement (at that time I was not yet able to feel response from my body and muscles). At first I did not notice any changes. But after three or four sessions on one moment I realized that my usual lumbar pillow in the car was bothering me. I just threw the pillow away and never used it since then. My lower back has flattened! This was the first visible progress.

I like that Kathy always gave a lot of explanations and taught me how to listen to my own body. She has found that not only my lower back, but also the ribcage muscles, belly muscles, upper back and legs all have accumulated chronic tension. She was also very thorough about finding various “irregularities” in my muscular patterns, explaining them, giving me specific movements to feel and realize them. After each session she provided a set of movements to do at home to release specific muscles, help me overcome the wrong patterns and establish a correct muscular interaction. And it was not about the muscles only – after each session with Kathy I felt myself deeply relaxed, calm, balanced and self-sufficient. This was a wonderful feeling! Now after a period of my work with Kathy I feel that I am much more confident about my back and the whole body. I feel that my body has got much more flexible and agile. And no backpain so far!

About a month ago I got a chance to “stress-test” my progress. I decided to join my friends on a week-long backpacking trip in Canadian Rockies. This was not an easy decision – with long-time backpain history and 20+ years since my last backpacking! I was in doubts, but Kathy encouraged me and supported my decision. She was very helpful in providing the exercises specifically for my backpacking (to release back, shoulders and legs). She also gave me very useful advice on “correct” use of muscles on a mountain trail. And she was right! It was an awesome trip in the Jasper National Park: 7 days of backpacking, 50 miles of mountain terrain, several passes, breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers and lakes. I was excited to discover my good shape, strong performance on the trail, and reliable work of my back and the whole body. When hiking, I tried to use the knowledge and feeling of my body I had acquired during my work with Kathy, so that even with a 40-pound backpack I felt myself quite comfortable on the trail.

I am so thankful to Kathy for her knowledge, care and support, and for introducing me to Somatics. She is a highly-professional and creative practitioner. I would strongly recommend working with her, either for certain pain or trauma-related issues or just for progress in physical (and mental) wellness.
Apr 23, 2014
Avid Bicyclist
Kathy Kerber at Persensa and Hanna Somatics saved me from giving up my favorite sports! I started having pain in my knee that was so intense I could no longer pedal my bike even in the easiest “granny” gear. I had quit biking and after several months of rest I still couldn’t bike without pain. Then Kathy introduced me to Somatics and after working with her I could bike pain free after our first session! When you work with Kathy’s it’s very obvious she has a passion for helping people by her willingness to share her impressive knowledge about the body and Somatics. I’m amazed at how quickly she can figure out what is causing your pain and teach YOU how to correct it yourself! I was also surprised by all the other health benefits I experienced that are not generally thought of as muscular related as I continued to work with Kathy and use Somatics to improve other areas of my body. Some of these include not feeling tired all of the time, feeling less anxious, getting sick less often, improved memory, feeling younger and even looking younger! I very highly recommend working with Kathy to resolve your pain and over time see what other improvements you can experience!
Dec 16, 2013
Social Worker
Somatic therapy and Kathy Kerber are the two best discoveries I think I have ever made. Let me explain. I have been in pain off and on for many years. In the past 3 years or so, my lower back and hip pain was my constant companion. For these 3 years I have tried chiropractic, rolfing, deep tissue massage, and even a year of physical therapy. I would diligently stretch each morning, only to be in pain hours later. Battling chronic pain can be depressing too. In desperation, just before I decided that maybe surgery or injections of some sort might be my only answer, I scanned the internet once more and there was my answer...PERSENSA! Kathy has taught me so much about my body, how to get relief, and how to provide myself with one of the most relaxing, almost meditative, rejuvenating routines to start and end my day with! No more pain when turning over in bed. Wonderful, restful sleep. And if I recognize a twinge of that old dreaded pain, I know what to do. I also know now that I can go to one of Kathy's very affordable workshops to learn more techniques or come back for more individual sessions if I want. Kathy will tell you her goal is to teach you about your body and how to keep yourself out of pain so you don't need her! Please do yourself a favor and give somatics a try. I can hardly believe I had never heard of it before. But now I want to shout its praises from my rooftop!!!
Oct 24, 2013
Kathy is amazing! I've been taking her class and every time I leave my body feels so relaxed. I also do a private session with her here and there just to make sure I'm doing the movements correctly, and to have her help with new areas of soreness, and over time my body has changed to be more relaxed and strong. I horseback ride and I can tell instantly from my horse's feedback if I'm relaxed. I then do movements while on him and next thing I know he's walking and trotting better! I'm riding better, hiking stronger-- all because of Somatics!
Aug 20, 2013
Kathy at Persensa was the first person to introduce me to Hanna Somatics. Not only was the experience incredibly beneficial to my health needs, but I also found Kathy so patient in explaining the practise of Hanna Somatics, and how that related to my own specific needs.

Kathy provides a safe, wonderfully comfortable and professional environment. Her work has improved my health and changed the way I approach healing.

I would thoroughly recommend her and her work.
Aug 16, 2013
Kathy Kerber of Persensa is fantastic! She has taught me how to release tight muscles in my neck, shoulders, and back like nothing else I have tried.

If you are not familiar with the Hanna Somatics approach, it involves learning how to feel internally and contract problem muscles, and then release them very slowly. This might sound trivial -- like those annoying and tedious progressive relaxation exercises. But this approach is quite different in that it directly addresses sensorimotor amnesia, where certain muscles stay tight all the time (due to an injury, for example) but your brain stops feeling the tightness in the muscle itself. Instead, you may develop chronic pain issues elsewhere, such as areas that are fed by nerves that pass under the muscle that you no longer realize is perpetually contracted. If you have had trigger point bodywork, then you are probably familiar with this already. In my case, doing Somatics exercises works better than trying to address my own trigger points using a Theracane (which sometimes makes my trigger points worse).

If you are already familiar with Somatics, I can say with confidence that Kathy is a superb practitioner. I have worked with 4 different Somatics practitioners -- including one in San Francisco with several dozen 5-star Yelp reviews -- and Kathy is by far the most effective. The other practitioners I have seen rely on teaching you a standard set of exercises and seem to run out of steam if those don't suffice or if they hurt. Kathy, by contrast, is much better able to adapt exercises because of her superb familiarity with anatomy, and because of her perseverance, humility, and problem-solving mentality.

She also frankly works harder. She creates custom home exercise instructions for me after each session that include extremely helpful anatomical illustrations to help me learn which muscles I am learning to release. These instructions are nothing like the fill-in-the-blank copies physical therapists have given me in the past. The homework instructional guides Kathy creates after each session are so thorough and tailored to my particular needs that they alone have helped me achieve breakthroughs in learning to sense and release very subtle muscles, such as the ever-troublesome scalene and levator scapula muscles in my neck. It wouldn't surprise me if she spent an hour or more just creating some of these documents for me. I don't know about you, but I've never had a practitioner do something like that.

You owe it to yourself to give Kathy a try.
Jun 26, 2013
Somatics is a great way to restore and relieve your muscles. If you have any long term pain or injuries it is a great practice to try (or even if you don't). Kathy Kerber has an expansive knowledge of Somatics and is always working on putting together new lessons to target different areas and movement patterns. She is very good at reading your body and suggesting moves that will help your specific issues. Kathy and Somatics have helped me to relieve my back problems and become more comfortable and active in my life.
Jun 17, 2013
SkyHorse Certified Equine Guided Educator
I am so grateful for Kathy and the somatic work she has done with me. Kathy is both knowledgeable and caring. She listens not only to what you are telling her with your words, but she listens your body. She has helped me release chronic tightness and what I can only describe as "muscle memory trauma" from old horseback riding relating injuries. Her work with me has allowed me to ride properly and with a relaxed body, and this has transformed my relationship with my horse. I've spent years trying to achieve this through horse training methods and mental exercises. I didn't know I had tightness and trauma trapped in my physical body that could be released by somatic movement. Thank you so much Kathy!
Jun 16, 2013
Somatics classes and private sessions with Kathy have definitely changed my whole physical experience. I was struggling with chronic knee pain and had tried many modalities. Kathy took the time with me to identify where the problem was actually coming from and it turned out to be tight obliques! Not something in the knee itself. I now walk without knee pain and if even a twinge comes back, I know how to get back to being pain-free.

Somatics gets to the source of problems and at the same time increases your awareness and understanding of your own body. It's amazingly empowering to learn how to release tight muscles and reprogram imbalances on your own! This is what Somatics teaches.

Highly recommended!
Jun 14, 2013
At age 80+ I was starting to feel stiffness and tingling in my legs and was having balance problems.
I was not helped much by my physician or physical therapist, or by people telling me "You are not getting any younger".
On someone's recommendation, I went to Kathy Kerber. I was impressed with how quickly she identified the problem and was able to explain it in a manner that made sense.
Her work was very gentle and non-invasive. By the next day my sense of balance and well being were much improved. I saw her one more time and she gave me some simple movements to help maintain the results over the long term.
What a difference! It is like the difference between shuffling along and being able to dance.
Jun 12, 2013
Retired college instructor
Kathy Kerber and Somatics are fantastic. I have had chronic back pain and periodic episodes of muscle spasms for many years. I have had trouble standing even long enough to cook dinner. Since working with Kathy I have not had any spasms and can stand for longer periods of time. Somatics is a very relaxing form of body movement. Kathy is careful to stay within your comfort range; no pain when doing these movements. Kathy also comes up with movements that are targeted to your individual needs. Kathy works “with” you not “on” you. I highly recommend Kathy Kerber and her Somatic approach.