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Meet Andrea Cordova-Caddes of Somadoc Movement Therapy in Claremont

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Cordova-Caddes.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My curiosity about anatomy and kinesiology began as a child and increased each year with my experience as a dancer. I was not only fascinated by the aesthetic of movement but also by the biomechanics. It was through my own injuries and repetitive pains that I realized the importance of understanding the body in order to take care of it. After spending a summer working with the American Ballet Theater and Dorothy Day Otis Talent Agency, I understood the necessity of body conditioning and injury prevention. We expect dancers to have incredible flexibility and strength in order to make highly complex movements look effortless, yet we do not provide the tools for young dancers to develop this. I dedicated myself to teaching people body awareness and self-care. I have been doing this for the past 15 years and find in each day new excitement and passion for what I do. I love the intellectual stimulation of problem solving for more efficient motion.

I graduated from Scripps College with a double major in Psychology and Dance, a balance between mind and body. I, then, trained in Pilates at Long Beach Dance Conditioning and am nationally certified by the Pilates Method Alliance. In working as a Pilates Instructor, I increased my desire for kinesiological information and tools to language what I observed in my clients. I obtained a Master’s Certification in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis from the University of Utah through the Integrated Movement Studies (IMS) program. This program fulfilled my mind, body and spirit. We layered from the simple to the complex, from a part to the whole, from a function to its expression, from the analytical to the evocative and from the theoretical to the practical application. After finishing the IMS program, I completed my Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Azusa Pacific University.

While completing my education, I worked as a Pilates instructor at InnerWorks Wellness Center, Somatic Movement Therapist at the Fitness Source, dance instructor and choreographer at Valverde School of Performing Arts and as adjunct faculty in the Fine and Performing Arts department at Citrus College. Each of these opportunities allowed me to work with many different bodies to hone my skills in movement analysis, therapeutic exercise and manual therapy. I am honored to have had the clinical experience of working with patients in Orthopedics at San Antonio Hospital, Neurological Rehabilitation, specifically Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury, at Loma Linda University Hospital, Acute Care at City of Hope Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Pediatrics at the Shea Center of Therapeutic Riding. For my doctoral research, I investigated how Pilates impacts low back pain, specifically targeting the recruitment of the pelvic floor to activate the Transverse abdominis, the deepest layer of abdominals, to provide a corset around the spine. After becoming a licensed physical therapist, I completed an Orthopedic residency at Casa Colina and am board certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS).

After obtaining my DPT and OCS, the next step in my career was to blend my Somatic approach to wellness with my physical therapy knowledge. I opened Somadoc Movement Therapy in February of 2013. Since then, I have helped over 350 clients achieve more efficient movement. Somadoc combines hands-on techniques with body awareness and movement expression to improve physical and emotional function. I teach people to become more mindful of their bodies to ensure that all parts of the body are working harmoniously. I believe that harmony within the body is about balancing the long, weak structures with strengthening exercises and the short, tight structures with stretching and release work.

I teach a series of workshops, titled the Body Series, focusing successively on different areas of the body including the feet, knees, hips, spine, shoulders and head in the interest of self-care and daily practice for prevention and recovery from the aches and pains of an active life. Each class includes both lecture and lab to learn important anatomical landmarks and biomechanical information as well as give participants the opportunity to experience exercises that will help counteract common compensations. I use the same format for the Alignment & Correctives class that I having been teaching at Citrus College since 2006. I have also taught Pilates-based conditioning classes to students, faculty and staff at the Claremont Colleges. I am a regular Visiting lecturer at Scripps College in the Dance Department, teaching Dynamics of Human Movement and Kinesiology as it relates to dance.

I have been a guest lecturer for IMS as well as APU’s DPT program. I gain a deeper understanding of the body each time that I teach this material. It is the greatest gift when a student gets that “ah-ha” moment when something makes sense in their body. Now, they know how to take care of themselves, and the result is physically and emotionally empowering – for them and for me. I often receive emails from students about how they utilize the practical tools they learned from my classes and how they have shared that information with friends and family. I love to teach, whether it be one-on-one with a client or in a university classroom.

Has it been a smooth road?
I would say it has been a smooth road. It seems that one skill leads to the next, from dance to Pilates to Reiki to Somatic Movement Therapy to physical therapy. It was a very natural progression. There were times that I was living on only a few hours sleep to continue my education, work and have a family, but it was worth it. The thing that I have struggled with the most is finding a balance in my own exertion and recuperation rhythm because it is hard to find time for everything.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Somadoc Movement Therapy – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
In working with clients at Somadoc, I combine movement analysis with Pilates and manual physical therapy. Together with my clients, we identify both useful and problematic habits in their everyday life. I facilitate linking each part of the body to the whole through the lively interplay of kinetic chains so that my clients can apply their rehabilitation exercises to their daily movement routines. Each session consists of postural and movement evaluation, strength and flexibility conditioning, neuromuscular repatterning as well as hands-on techniques and the facilitation of movement through verbal and tactile cues. The purpose of these sessions is to increase clients’ awareness about their body and habitual movement patterns, as well as the emotions that correspond to their particular areas of tension. I begin with facilitating sensation in clients’ troublesome areas and then work to activate the kinetic chain that supports these areas, balancing the overused with the underused. We conclude each session by integrating newly repatterned connections in a way that is appropriate for each client’s everyday movement expression in the world.

My focus includes pain management, rehabilitation of injuries and maximizing personal movement potential. I emphasize the importance of Breath and Core Support. I have a special interest in the use of cupping to release fascial restrictions, visceral manipulation and sinus and headache relief. I am a certified Reiki I practitioner and I use the energy work when helping clients with chronic pain or emotional blockages. I also have worked with many high-level athletes, including dancers, figure skaters, water polo players, hockey players, soccer players, tennis players, yogis and equestrians. In working one-on-one with people, I have discovered the importance of integrating the mind and body in a somatic approach to facilitating vitality and wellness.

I work with people who are willing to work hard to take care of themselves. Physical therapy is a partnership. I spend the time required to deeply listen to clients and address them as a whole person, whether its an orthopedic injury, digestive upset, emotional stress or lack of efficiency in movement. My trademark is Motion is Lotion. I believe that movement, along with hydration, is the fountain of youth.

I think I am most known for spending the time to educate people about what is going on in their bodies. I like to get down to the root of the impairment, not treat the symptoms. The whole body is interconnected and the pain that we feel is the body’s way of telling us that something is not right. Sometimes, we have to decipher the body’s messages because it has been compensating for a long time. What sets Somadoc apart from other PT practices is that I am a one-woman show; I answer the phone, schedule clients, perform one-on-one hands-on sessions, email home programs and respond to questions via text. I build relationships with people and stay connected to them for years to come.

I continue to further my education with cutting-edge techniques like myofascial decompression, commonly known as “cupping” and dry needling. California is one of the few states that does not allow Physical Therapists to perform dry needling, so I refer patients to local acupuncturists and physicians for this technique, but I pursued the knowledge of how this technique works to improve my own understanding. I am always wanting to gain more knowledge about the many techniques that are useful to clients. I love when clients bring me challenging situations because it inspires me to investigate the root of the problem.

I am most proud of the fact that my business is entirely sustainable on repeat business and referrals from clients. My schedule is always booked and has been since a month after opening. I appreciate that clients trust me with their bodies and questions about wellness enough to continue coming back for years.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the small town feel of Claremont. I like that clients are people who I see hiking, grocery shopping and walking around the Village. I love being a part of an educated community with an emphasis on family values. I love that I can walk everywhere in Claremont, whether it be to the grocery store and my kids’ schools or hiking up the mountain to a waterfall.

I dislike the poor air quality and airborne allergens, but that is why this is my most favorite time of year. The rain washes away the poor air quality and brings the beauty of the snow capped mountains.


  • $150 for evaluation, including treatment and home program
  • $125 for follow-up sessions

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