Updated: Sep 28
A gathering of resources about the work, chronic pain, and posture, with a brief nod to the arts.
A recent article in the Washington Post offers a first-hand account of one person's struggle with back pain and how her Feldenkrais experience is making a difference for her. What I appreciate most about the article is that it nails the essence of the method as a way for people to gain confidence in their relationship with their body, in how one listens and responds to the body's messages. Check it out to go inside of the possiblities that might wait for you in a somatic approach.
Another well-received article from the New York Times in 2017 took a similar, descriptive approach to introducing Feldenkrais to a general audience. Enjoy!
For a shorter but informative read, try this article from 2016. I like the clarity about the method serving as a supplement to medical services, not as a replacement, as it fills the void of relationship-building with your body.
The idea of learning more clarity and awareness about oneself though the body is supported by brain plasticity research. Cynthia Allen's YouTube talk on Chronic pain and Feldenkrais provides useful foundational information, examples, and explanation of the connections between movement, the brain and feeling better.
It is important to note that Feldenkrais is not simply a therapeutic approach for those who are in pain. Though "feeling better" is enough of a reason for many people to seek Feldenkrais support, the method supports better functioning in any aspect of life, whether or not there is physical pain. Who doesn't want to feel something pleasurable, more fluid, more interesting and easy in life? Many artists and performers recognize that their artful expression is intimately related to how they move, as one of my teachers, Feldenkrais trainer and musician, Aliza Stewart, explains in this short clip. Feldenkrais fills a void in the kind of self-knowledge that brings us into our body and into knowing what we are doing with ourselves.
When it comes to knowing ourselves, most of us have negative views of our posture based on messages that someone else gave us at some point. Having good or bad posture, as we often think about it, does not account for our capability to be flexible, supple human beings, able to shape ourselves for a given situation. This article by Stacy Barrows outlines myths in our culture about posture and explains why learning quality movement skills is a useful way to rethink and reset one's posture self-image.
Coming soon, another round of resources about anxiety and stress, fear of falling, and the arts. Stay tuned in!