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The FELDENKRAIS Method: Healing

Many people find the following video compelling and reflecting their experience with the Feldenkrais Method.

The video was produced by Brush Fire Films and was broadcast as part of a series on healing in 2007 called "The Genesis of Healing". This video does not appear as part of their collection.

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A More Physical Form of Mindfulness

Interview with  Guy Claxton, cognitive scientist and professor emeritus at the University of Winchester, where he founded the Centre for Real-World Learning. Author of the new book, “Intelligence in the Flesh: Why Your Mind Needs Your Body Much More Than It Thinks.” Also author of “The Wayward Mind” and “Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind.” (@GuyClaxton)

Claxton describes himself: I'm a sort-of-retired academic - a cognitive scientist - specialising in  well-founded ways of enhancing human intelligence.  I'm interested in and contribute to the research, but I am even more interested in its practical applications - in schools, in businesses, and in therapeutic and spiritual contexts.

 In a recent book, "A More Physical Form of Mindfulness", Claxton argues that we suffer, personally and as a society, by identifying intelligence exclusively with abstract and rational thinking, and that the science of 'embodied cognition' tells us that we have to count the body as intelligent too. Thinking is essentially visceral as well as cerebral.

 If you would like to get more of a flavour of the book, you can download the introductory chapter here

Or, listen to the interview: 

 

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Why a M.D. Became a Feldenkrais Practitioner

Lori Malkoff was a successful doctor in Encinitas, near San Diego. Yet she decided to take the Feldenkrais training. Why? She outlined her reasons in a recent article on her website. Dr. Malkoff is a physically active woman, surfing, golfing, running and even playing basketball. She writes, "It all started in 1993 on a surfboard. I was doing a drop knee cut back on a longer board, and I felt a pop in my left knee." The pain kept appearing; she went to many specialists and finally accepted surgery. "This was useless. Nothing helped, even one year after surgery."

Then she met a Feldenkrais practitioner, Mark Reese. Little did she know that he was one of the top practitioners and trainers world-wide. After a few individual sessions and some group classes, not only was there no more pain, she felt younger and more vibrant.

She thought about the training for some time, then decided, "I'm going to be 4 years older in 4 years, whether I take the training or not. I might as well be 4 years smarter with a certification and new level of expertise!!"

 Since then, she has continued with her athletic pursuits, even to the point of tearing ligaments in her knee. With her Feldenkrais approach she is able to continue all her activities. Click to read her article.

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Why Crawling Is So Important

Eliza Parker writes so clearly about this topic. She covers important topics such as brain development: the magic of crisscrossing; the spine learns about rotating (twisting); preparing the hip joints for standing and walking; and several other important aspects, including preparation for reading!

Makes you want to get down and crawl right now! Read the full article here

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Visual Persistence

Visual persistence leads to a class of illusions that allow the many marvels of video. This informs us a bit about one characteristic of the nervous system which can be observed in each of pour perceptual systems. Fortunately, these effects persist for only a number of seconds.

Watch the video in a larger window here

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Emotional Pain Affects the Body

Julia Breckenreid writes, "Back when I was 30, my life fell apart. My marriage collapsed, I sank into a depression, and I lost my home, money, and self-respect. I also blew out my knee. ... Long after I had put my life back together, my knee still hurt. I tried everything to fix it..."
"And then one day, about five years ago, I did a curious thing. I decided to try to really listen to my bad knee."
Click to discover what she heard that changed her.

 

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Running Hints - that really work

Jae Gruenke aims to make you feel like you’re flying next time you lace up those training shoes.

Grunke has a delightful website, and shares her observations often weekly. Recent topics have been on popular topics such as, shoulder tension, lower back pain, runners Knee and IT Bands. In a recent blog she summarized some special ideas:

"I firmly believe there is no such thing as a new way of running. No one is going to invent a method that works better than the way our species overall spontaneously runs.

So a running technique teacher such as myself has the job, not of inventing new things, but..." (click to read further)

 Click to view other topics in her blog area.

 

 

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Crooked-Outwitting the Back Pain Industry

"A must read for everyone who works with people with back pain, or has back pain" writes Dr. Deborah Bowes. She continues, "It's well researched and emphasizes that each person needs to take responsibility for their improvement, and the necessary role of awareness with movement. She has an interesting and alarming history of the back pain industry worldwide."

In a radio interview recently in San Francisco, she endorsed the Feldenkrais Method as a fantastic way for learning how to change your movement habits.

Available at Chapters/Indigo for $23.42 (online) and a Kobo edition is $18.(click to go there)

The author, Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, was interviewed on CBC's The Current recently. Click for the transcript.

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Dizziness and Vestibular Disorders

S. called me today saying she had to cancel our appointment. "I was so looking forward to our appointment, but now I am so dizzy I cannot even get up." S has a vestibular disorder which has emerged from a "mild" brain injury that occurred in a very minor car accident. The Feldenkrais Method helps, and she has days when there are no problems, but there are other days when she can only lie in a darkened room...

If dizziness is so severe the world swims around you, visit the website of the Vestibular Disorders Association-click here

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7 Balance Exercises: Feldenkrais style

Using the Feldenkrais Method, Bones for Life and Integral Human Gait theory, Cynthia Allen provides seven easy tips for improving balance that you can do at home. Click to watch this intriguing Video.

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Wake Up Your Body and Your Brain - Workshop

Three experienced **Feldenkrais** instructors teaching -- for a week!
Your body talks to you every day, all day. If you listen and support its needs, it will reward you with a vital, pain-free body. If you ignore it, it will send messages of discomfort and pain until you respond. Knowing how to communicate with your body is essential for a vibrant, youthful life. Using the tools provided by the Feldenkrais Method, you will learn how to make lasting changes. You will:
* Boost your body’s level of health and wellbeing
* Reduce tension and discomfort
* Improve your posture
* Enhance the quality and range of your turning and bending
Don't miss out -- Click for more information.

 

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Take the Intentional Stance

Dan Dennett's "Three Levels of Analysis" helps us understand different approaches to help people resolving pain. The Feldenkrais Method focuses very much on the "systems" approach described in the third approach, whereas most others are in the first or second. What can make the article even more valuable is to reflect on how you use these three levels in your daily life. It is quite empowering to select a different level...
Click to read Todd Hargrove's summary.

 

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Practice Effectively

Practice Effectively

This short (4-minute) video identifies how to become 

more proficient at what we want to do. It also answers the age-old question, "How does practice or repetition affect the inner working of our brains?" (click to view)

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Kinesthetic or Movement Intelligence

Movement Intelligence has been defined recently by Ruthy Alon as, "an intrinsic sense of effortlessness that comes from having and heeding well-calibrated sensory-motor feedback."

This expands and elaborates one of the more difficult of the multiple intelligences proposed by Martin Gardiner. Gardiner had proposed "Kinasthetic Intelligence" and used examples of high-performing people. He was unable to define it very clearly.

Dr. Feldenkrais proposed a method whereby everyone can develop their kinasthetic intelligence, but the process has not been well articulated in verbal form until Ruthy Alon coined the phrase, "Movement Intelligence". She added, it is " our innate capacity to recognize and utilize the sweet spots of optimal coordination, fine tuning the process that transforms intention into action. MI incorporates conventional kinesthetic concepts of flexibility, balance, alignment and strength, as well as integration and endurance, but it is something more: it recognizes the human organism’s ability to organize itself “organically” — elegantly and in its entirety, with spontaneously coordinated harmony — for optimal efficiency, maximal efficacy, and pleasurable, sustainable living. "

This is the basis for her earlier series, "Bones for Life" and now, is fully articulated in a well-defined field and classes, "Movement Intelligence", as well as the website, "movementintelligence.org" for more in this definition, click here.

 

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Parkinsons: How a Watch Helped Emma Write Again

At 33, Emma Lawton is one of the 2% of people with Parkinson’s before they are 40. Emma had been an illustrator, but her tremors made it impossible to draw, even write her name.

After she put on the device called "Emmas Watch" she gained control again in writing and drawing. Microsoft's Emma Watch, still in prototype form, uses vibrating motors – similar to those found in mobile phones – "to distract the brain into focusing on something other than trying to control the patient’s limbs". Click here to read more. 

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Avoid Crippling Falls After Age 50

Although falls increase with age, they are not an inevitable part of aging. A variety of steps can be taken to avoid falls, beginning with balance exercises. “I feel more balanced, confident and strong,” says Nicholson, who takes classes at Future Life Now, a health and learning center in Cincinnati that focuses on holistic health practices.

Read the full article here

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Perspectives on Anxiety

Feldenkrais Trainer, Donna Ray, writes, "Anxiety shows itself in many ways. Not only does The Feldenkrais Method, help us overcome fear and anxiety it teaches us to focus on life's pleasures.

"Pleasant movement and intensification of the present time often go unappreciated. After participating in Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons people report feeling comfortable, alert, elegant and youthful during simple daily activities, like conversing with a friend, driving, walking, playing tennis or golf." Donna Ray is also a Licensed Individual Marriage & Family Therapist in Souther California with 30 years of experience.

Click to read more about the Feldenkrais Method approach to easing Anxiety.

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3-minute Online lessons

These new online lessons emerged as I thought about how my students in the evening classes might continue their learning throughout the week after the class. Follow this link to increase your comfort!

Ease your Neck, Increase Your Balance & Back Comfort when lying down

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for Triathletes: Swim, Bike & Run More Efficiently

Feldenkrais Method for Triathletes: Swim, Bike & Run More Efficiently
A course at University of Texas, Austin, sounds very intriguing. They write, "Striving for improvement by working faster and harder can often result in injuries or other setbacks in athletes. The Feldenkrais Method®  can help enhance your ability to act with precision, power and spontaneity by training your brain to be the driver behind each movement resulting in more awareness and reducing overall effort. (click to see course info)

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