2017 March Articles

March HareOne aspect of being human is what Dr. Feldenkrais described as the Elusive Obvious -- some things become clear when observed in new ways. or, the clarity of understanding is associated with the clarity of seeing.

Thus I start this newsletter with the challenge to find the rabbit (hare) in the photo at left. It is a kind of metaphor for our way of seeing.

If you see it immediately, reflect on what characteristics led you to see the whole all at once? If you do not see it immediately, what characteristics do you find yourself searching for?

Some of these articles will be obvious to you, some will be a bit elusive. Some interesting, some not. In any case enjoy the whole.

Improve Yourself, Improve Your Life

When you know you need a change, but you’re not sure where to get started...

The Houstonia had a recent article about the Feldenkrais Method. "“No stretching, no pushing, no trying.” That’s the refrain of instructor MaryBeth Smith as she leads a half dozen students through the Feldenkrais Method in a drafty room inside the Jung Center. Smith speaks in a soft, even tone, offering just enough instruction to keep me focused and mindful."

"it’s like anti-yoga. And yet at the end of each series, Smith directs us to return to lying flat and feel how the pattern of pressure of our bodies against the floor has changed." Click to read how.



Do You Know Where Your Fingers Are?

LaviniaLavinia Plonka writes, "The other day, I was teaching a lesson that put the hand into what some people call "backbend" position, a term which is unfamiliar for many. So I suggested that people place the hand on the floor with the fingers pointing toward the shoulder.
One woman had her fingers placed exactly right. However, she said, "That's impossible! I can't point my fingers toward my shoulders! They're pointed towards the wall!" (click to read what happened next!)


Connecting Phenomenology and Anatomy

PhenomanatomicalMatt Zepellin writes, "approaching stillness in meditation can be greatly helped through the kind of anatomical-phenomenological practice methods..." and so in connecting Phenomenology and Anatomy, he coined the word, "Phenomanatomical", which opens the discussion of "the role of scientifically derived information and imagery in phenomenological practice." Zeppelin identifies certain paradoxes in direct experience of anatomy, including how one can be mindful when direct experience is not possible. Click to read more.


Benefits Of The Feldenkrais® Method For Flautists

learningCaryn Truppman was attracted to this system of exercise and guided movement by her own personal history of injury and recovery. She writes, "Flautists tend to concentrate attention on specific parts of their bodies, such as the hands or fingers and may be unaware of the rest of themselves. A Feldenkrais lesson is designed to shift attention between the body as a whole, and specific parts. For example, if a musician has pain in the back or shoulders when he/she raises the flute, we might extend awareness into the feet and explore balance. This lengthens the back, engages the abdominals, brings the weight forward and changes the habitual way of lifting the flute. Instead of continuing to recreate a pain pattern, one can create a new habit instead." Click to read her article ... and her example lesson.


Sample Teaching in a Rolling Lesson

Rolling from back to side with arms in hoops -- with background thinking about how the movement can be facilitated.  - Click to view this video:

Teaching ATM


When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes

graphic"Years after research contradicts common practices, patients continue to demand them and doctors continue to deliver. The result is an epidemic of unnecessary and unhelpful treatment." writes David Epstein in ProPublica, February 22, 2017. This extensive article identifies a number of common treatments that have questionable evidence. The dilemma further outlined in the article for the average person is, when these treatments are proposed, if we question them, some medical practitioners react strongly. This article opens the debate and confirms any scepticism you may have (click to read)


Why Saying Is Believing — The Science Of Self-Talk

self TalkBody Image is a complex topic. Often we think it is limited to how we picture ourselves. Research with persons with eating disorders often have significantly inaccurate representations of the shape of their bodies. But what if we go a step further, to the statements we make about ourselves. For example, the bulimic person may say "I'm too fat".

Psychologist Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan studied the pronouns people use when they talk to themselves silently, inside their minds.

"What we find," Kross says, "is that a subtle linguistic shift — shifting from 'I' to your own name — can have really powerful self-regulatory effects." (click to read more)