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A Taste of Feldenkrais

Now at age 56, I spent many of those years seated at a desk, an IBM Selectric in front of me long before my first PC, the one that arrived after IBM’s first commercial manufacturing run in 1981, dual floppy drives, no hard drive, almost no software. Yah, that’ll give you a neck ache, and a headache, too — I had my share of chronic pain. This long stream of pain came to a climax in 2007, and I nearly quit working. I simply couldn’t sit at a desk for more than about 10 minutes at a time. Production… stopped.

Training continued as normal, powering through as I’d been taught by the powerlifters of Dynamo Barbell Club in the early ’80s, reinforced by Dave’s example when we met a few years later. Powering through isn’t the right answer but, like a lot of things, I didn’t know it at the time.

Eventually desperate, as the new year rolled over into 2008 I turned in my training program for a corrective exercise regime. As you can guess, progress came quick and within a few weeks things settled down. I learned and practiced and learned some more, but within a few months I realized I’d gone as far as I was going to go on my own and went looking for help.

There’s a guy in town, Larry Goldfarb, who teaches Feldenkrais training to professionals. I knew Larry from the gym; we used to talk at the gym  in the mellow Santa Cruz afternoons in the early ’90s. He told me about Feldenkrais, no doubt seeing what was in my future, because my shoulders had been rounded and my head forward, heck, probably since I was 20. Whatever his best intentions, he was talking was Greek to me. I had no idea what he was saying, and anyway, weight training obviously cures everything, which I certainly knew at the time. How could he not know that? I didn’t listen.

Project yourself forward a decade, double the aches and pains, discover you can no longer make progress… and remember your old friend Larry. What the heck was he talking about, anyway? I worked the heck out of google for a week, but reading about Feldenkrais doesn’t do much. I didn’t make any progress; I still had no clue what it meant. I bought a set of mp3 lessons, including the famous pelvic clock lesson that opened my eyes but wide. Wow! So much I hadn’t been able to feel, and so much progress in just that first half-hour.

I was hooked.

Hands-on lessons and group lessons and lessons on the floor at home, at least twice a week I spent a half hour or an hour re-learning how to coordinate those stuck vertebrae and jammed up joints. The more I learned, the more I noticed in myself, and the more I wanted to fix things. Even though the process took a couple of years — it’s a life-long thing, really — within a month I was relatively pain free and back to work.

Now if you think back for a sec, you’ll realize this was happening back before Dan John’s book, Never Let Go. That’s right. I almost quit work before working with Dan. That means before Michael Boyle’s Advances in Functional Training. Before Gray Cook’s Movement. Before the Reifkind/Whitley kettlebell workshop DVD, Dan’s Utah DVD set or Gray’s Applying the FMS Model DVD. Before Dan’s Intervention and Mass Made Simple. Think that through. None of those would exist, at least not in the form you know them, without Feldenkrais.

There’d be no audio lectures on movementlectures.com.

I’m not sure what I’d be doing, but there’s no way I could have done the production necessary to make those media products. Could not have been done.

Now, what’s this all about?

It’s a challenge. I want you to learn what I’m raving about. Whether you’re in chronic pain or work with people who are, you owe it to yourself to discover how Feldenkrais strategies work. There’s been a lot written lately about how the brain learns, and doing the small, slow movements taught in Feldenkrais will show you exactly how that works. It’s remarkable, life-saving really.

So, I challenge you to learn something new: Larry’s teaching Moving Beyond Physical Fitness at the end of this month. Make the effort to be there.

Well, here, actually. It’s in Santa Cruz. And the weather on the coast is amazing. Outside the US, he’s also doing the same workshop in Madrid, Melbourne and Sydney.

Here’s Larry doing a hands-on lecture for Feldenkrais teachers, not for the rest of us. The upcoming Moving Beyond workshop will be partly general learning lecture, but mostly active floor lessons. In the lecturing section, he’ll discuss what went on during the lesson, what he normally sees and, when it’s possible to know, why he thinks changes are happening.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xNW6Qu_Ib4]

 

 


5 Responses to 'A Taste of Feldenkrais'

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  1. intraining said,

    on June 11th, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Way up here is little Yaki-vegas, right down the street from me is a gal is using this method and is willing to teach me. I’m so excited! Thanks for sharing this, Laree!

    Karen

  2. ldraper said,

    on June 12th, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Pretty much anyone with the patience to settle down and pay attention to it will love it. She’ll explain the two methods, one’s hands-on and the other is do-it-yourself, and both have great but different value.

  3. stacy said,

    on June 13th, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Great post, thanks so much! I was so fortunate that the PT that introduced me to Feldenkrais had a strong friendship with Larry. I had an amazing exposure from the start on the neuroscience of movement and learning. It hooked me right away, and not much longer signed up for a Feldenkrais training. This was tough to do, since most of my PT colleagues were advancing their degrees in other PT stuff, but it was the best investment in my career as a PT and movement junkie.

  4. ldraper said,

    on June 13th, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Nice! I wonder if PTs are getting more introduction to this work these days. Seems like the physical therapy field is getting broader, but that could just be my perspective… the people I see writing or posting in social media. Hope so!


  5. on August 28th, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Wonderful testimonial. Pretty close to how I was introduced to Feldenkrais 35 years ago.

    Jesse

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