Recently there was an article in the New York Times — “Trying the Feldenkrais Method® for Chronic Pain”. It is wonderful to see the Feldenkrais Method featured in mainstream media. As a Feldenkrais practitioner® of 20 years, here are some of my thoughts…
Finding Relief with Feldenkrais and a Whole Lot More
Many of my Feldenkrais clients come to me because they are in pain. In fact, I myself, discovered the Feldenkrais Method when I had a painful shoulder injury and was seeking relief. And I found relief with Feldenkrais, and a whole lot more.
Long after my shoulder pain had disappeared, what kept me coming back for more Feldenkrais lessons, and to then train to become a Feldenkrais practitioner, was how my self-image was changing. I could function and feel more fully and I was learning about my body, from my body, and through my body. I was learning how to learn from my own inner somatic engagement.
Somewhat ironically, though many of my clients come to me for pain relief, and while relieving pain is a welcomed and useful benefit from my work, it is not my focus.
My focus is to help people learn experientially about how they habitually move, and how they can fundamentally influence how they function, feel and behave.
When I work with clients, I don’t think in terms of pathology. A “pathological” approach looks at what is missing or broken, and how to fix it. I have a developmental, evolution-oriented approach that taps into clients’ inherited and learned somatic resources. I focus on what aspects of their current way of functioning serves them well, how to capitalize on this, and which aspects of their functioning could be differentiated to help them move with more ease, greater clarity, and more dimensionality. My emphasis is on addressing the physical ways each person uniquely functions in their world — how they physically form and hold their attitudes, express their desires and needs, and approach their situations to move through their world.
My goal is empowering my clients to learn about how they learn and how they can fundamentally influence how they function, feel, and behave.
Some practitioners come to the Feldenkrais Method from a physical therapy background. I came from the expressive arts — choreography and dance education. I then trained Aikido for ten years after I learned that Moshe Feldenkrais was a skilled martial artist and that his experience and expertise influenced how he developed his work. I also have many years of ongoing studies in Formative Psychology®, a powerful body-based perspective and approach to how people behave. This all influences how I approach my Feldenkrais practice.