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The Feldenkrais Method: Using Your Brain to Overcome Pain

Home > Perth > Courses | Health and Beauty | Health and Fitness | Self Help
by finy (subscribe)
A retired business owner, my passions are cooking, photography and eating. I use all three of these when I write for recipeyum.com.au which is on HubGarden
Published December 13th 2016
Ease your Aches and Pains and Learn How to Move
Yes, this is possible without drugs, and in this article, I will give you some idea of how to achieve this.

The method I am referring to is called Feldenkrais, which is an "awareness through movement" therapy, and this method can help with a range of things, the most important being pain.

If you are sore from sitting at a desk for long periods or troubled by an old injury, or just have aches and pains, there are a range of treatments and activities you could try. One of the lesser known options is the Feldenkrais Method, which teaches bodily awareness.

Feldenkrais method for reducing pain
Image: free2move.com.au


The method was invented by Dr Moshe Feldenkrais, who was born in Ukraine. Over the course of his life, he lived in various parts of Europe and the Middle East and spoke several languages. He studied physics and engineering in Paris and worked with the Pierre and Marie Curie at the Radium Institute.

In 1930s, Moshe Feldenkrais became one of the first Europeans to earn a black belt and opened the first judo club in Paris.

He had to flee to the UK to avoid persecution in WW11, and during this time, he worked for the British Admiralty developing anti-submarine detection equipment.

It was at this time that he aggravated an old knee injury he had originally suffered while playing a game of soccer. Instead of having surgery done on the knee, he chose to focus on self-rehabilitation. Moshe based this on close observation and deepening awareness of his own body, and by putting together what he had learnt from judo with his scientific enquiring mind. This then became the basis of the Feldenkrais Method.

To give you a further insight into this method, it is useful to read some of Moshe's quotes.

"I believe that the unity of mind and body is an objective reality. They are not just parts somehow related to each other, but an inseparable whole while functioning. A brain without a body could not think." - Moshe Feldenkrais

and

"What I'm after isn't flexible bodies, but flexible brains. What I'm after is to restore each person to their human dignity. " - Moshe Feldenkrais

More quotes can be found here.


Moshe Feldenkrais
Moshe Feldenkrais - Image utahfeldenkrais.org/blog/moshe-feldenkrais-quotes


Nowadays, the Feldenkrais Method is often practised by physiotherapists, and therefore, it is claimable on private health funds, however, and I must stress, it is not physiotherapy as such, but a totally different idea on how to relieve stress and pain.

I found the difference is that I had to attend just one private session of Feldenkrais to relieve a back pain that was so sore I could barely move, and yet when I had gone to physiotherapy, I had to go back and back, and little was achieved.

According to Frank Wildman, a leading US Feldenkrais teacher, 'most people stiffen themselves. They try to force their body to fit what they think is an ideal, mechanically, like a set of bricks, stacked all the way up. But we are not bridges or buildings; we are living organisms that change all the time.'

The following clip gives a few simple examples of exercises to relieve shoulder and neck problems:


The Feldenkrais approach encourages people to focus on the quality of their movement and the way they move by habit, and to make changes not through force, but by paying close attention to the way they move.

Feldenkrais Method
Private session with patient. Image: free2move.com.au


Another very informative place to read more about the mindfulness of Feldenkrais can be found here.

There are many good Youtube ideas you could watch, and the following teaches you how to get up and down:


Jodie Krantz is the owner, and one of the Feldenkrais practitioners at Free2Move, and Jodie has had a lot of experience she has produced the following video clip:


Jodie is available for appointments by phoning 0405 97 2211.

Jodi working with a patient
Jodie, working with a patient


Most Feldenkrais practitioners also run group classes often called "Awareness through Movement".

Feldenkrais Method
Image: feldenkraisinstitute.com.au


These classes are great if you have general aches and pains however I find, having had an injury and having degenerative discs in my spine, that the "one on one" lessons are far more beneficial, as the time is spent purely on your problems and not general problems.

In saying that, I have also attended Feldenkrais classes before a major accident, and found them extremely beneficial.

For information on their classes, contact free2move.com.au

Free2Move explains Feldenkrais as "the Feldenkrais Method is a gentle yet powerful method of changing the way your brain coordinates movement and posture. Free yourself from old habits, relieve pain and tension and discover a surprising degree of ease you have not known for years."

I am currently working with Ali who is the second Feldenkrais practitioner at Free2Move, and in one 40 minute session, my neck, which I could barely move at all to one side, was totally freed up, and has remained this way for weeks now.

I do not like doing exercises, and Ali has given me some very simple things to do while lying on a hard surface and I find doing this a few minutes a day is not a hassle and really helps.

FELDENKRAIS
Ali - Image: Author's own image


For more information on Feldenkrais or Free2Move, please contact them at info@free2move.com.au. They are situated in Vincent Street, North Perth and have convenient parking out the front (off road).

FELDENKRAIS CURING PAIN
Image: Author's own image


It may not work for all people, however, once again I am finding this method gives fantastic relief from pain.
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Why? For body and mind
Phone: 0405 972211
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