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Creating Change

This morning I taught a client a lesson that involved getting up from and going back down to the floor more easily. At the end of this lesson, she was moving with much less effort compared to the first time I had asked her to stand up from lying down.

At one point in the lesson, I asked her to notice if it was easier to bring her top leg forward or backward as she was pushing up to sit. Trying to apply logic, she was feeling confused as to which was the "proper way" to do the action, I asked her to stop and feel/sense which action was easier. Our thinking logically, rather than using our kinesthetic senses, can get in the way of listening to the signals our bodies give us.

Oftentimes, when we are tasked with a situation like this, we revert to other forms of learning. Perhaps in the past we were told by a PT or yoga or gym teachers how we should do a movement and how we should feel. Using what I have learned with The Feldenkrais Method, I encourage my students to experiment with variations of movement, then test and sense in their body which feels easier. This gives them the opportunity to discover what is efficient movement and what is not.

What is efficient movement you ask? Let's take the example of getting up from the floor. The next time you do it, ask yourself, is the movement smooth, can it be performed with minimal effort, is it pain free, was breathing easy and free? When we can perform a movement with the least amount of effort, in a way that is enjoyable, this produces less effort on joints, tendons and the musculature of the body and consequently, the nervous system.

Addressing the whole body in this way is the unique and "magical way" that The Feldenkrais Method creates long-lasting change!

Patricia Wahl, GCFP

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