Improving your moving: learning your way from pain to performance
The Feldenkrais Method “is not just pushing muscles around, [or making you “straight”] but changing things in the brain itself so [you] gradually adjust your whole muscular dysfunction to what we call a normal image. Feldenkrais transmits the image, and you organise your brain to meet it”.
Professor Karl Pribram, MD, PhD,
Neuroscientist, Stanford University,
Nobel Prize nominee
On this page:
What complaints are good to work with Feldenkrais
What is a session like?
Where your habits my be troubling you
Sometimes pain doesn’t seem to be linked to an accident, but is rather written off to “my job”, “old age”, or “I must’ve slept funny”
Other people have lost function, in an accident, or through a stroke or disease.
If you are reading this then you must have some inkling that there is a better way, and that is what movement coaching is about – moving better.
“Make the impossible possible, the possible easy and the easy elegant” – Moshe Feldenkrais
Functional improvement can be anything from learning to breathe more easily, and balance more comfortably in your wheelchair, or on ageing legs, to walking, or shaving some time off the personal best for an elite athlete
mobility, coordination and dexterity
stability and balance confidence
well-being and quality of life
An ingenious approach to improving people’s ability to learn
eliminate the parasitic movements
Who could benefit
all the usual labels of
neck & back pain, oos, carpal tunnel,
also sleep issues
What is a session like?
Movement as habit
Question – what proportion of your actions today were habit….?
Question – is it what you are doing that hurts – or HOW you are doing it…?…and exactly how do you lift your arm, say, with over 100 muscles involved…?
Joints in the body repair themselves, but what if the way you learned to “organise” an action creates more wear and tear than the body can keep up with?
Human babies have to learn pretty much everything. Compare, say, a horse, that can run inside of an hour after being born, with a human that takes a year or so to do the same thing.
And there is a lot to learn, so when we get something that works for us we tend to move onto developing the next skill, not really wanting to keep playing with that first skill until it is completely perfect. And what works, especially once the age of self-conciousness is reached may be more successful in terms of looking cool, or feeling emotionally safe, but not be that useful in terms of posture, balance and longevity.
So what is “better” movement?
Our habits of movement can always be developed in terms of efficiency, – ask even any gold medal athlete! Movement can even become one of lifes simple pleasures (think ‘cat’, purr-fectly indulgent in a good stretch). An efficient movement takes less energy, and spreads the load on overworked joints. A better movement:
- Uses all of your body in some way – the load is shared instead of all put through one joint.
- Uses bones to do what they do best, ie support you and transmit compression through to the ground
- Uses muscles to do what they do best – ie move things. Many people use their muscles to hold themselves up, ie do the work of the bones, using more energy, creating pain, and effectively reducing their available strength for the actual task
- Usually starts with your pelvis – yes even lifting your arm requires help from down there, so you don’t lose balance
The movement coaching I offer draws on my own journey of athletics, white water kayak and tango teaching, and learning to deal with injuries of my own, and is also inspired by over 20 years studying the work of Moshe Feldenkrais*.
After 20 years of teaching and handling bodies I can definitely help you shed some light into your blind spots, and find out what you dont know about how you move, so that you can develop not just pain free movement, but possibly pleasurable and graceful function too!
Work smarter, not harder
Sorry folks the only way to have an integrated learning is by you taking the time to build your awareness, sense yourself, and explore/experiment
As humans we have to learn practically all our movement. Compare us to a horse that can stand and move within its first hour of life. The learning takes time, and is dependent on modelling the movement and postures of the other humans in our environment, and on our play – ie trial and error and exploration. But we are not exhaustive in our personal development. Once we get something that more or less works, functionally or socially we assign that pattern to habit, and spread our attention to the next challenge.
*This is a link to the NZ Guild website to learn more about this wonderful method, and find practitioners in an area near you.