There is a unique form of movement therapy that is the best kept secret known to mankind. This movement method can help you move better, feel better, get rid of pain, stress, anxiety, etc. It can even help you reverse the aging process and engage in activities you never thought you could do before. You can even learn how to stand on your head. The list goes on and on. This unique method is called Feldenkrais, and here are a few reasons why Feldenkrais is unique from other methods.
Move from your skeleton.
In Feldenkrais, we focus on moving from our skeleton rather than pushing from our muscles. Because, our skeleton is what supports us, and our bones and joints are what propel us through space. Our brain and our nervous system is the command center that puts it all together for us. Our muscles simply shorten (contract) or lengthen (relax) according to what the system requires it to do.
Quality rather than quantity.
We are more interested in the quality of our movement rather than the quantity, velocity, or repetitions. When we change the way we approach movement, our nervous system is more able to interrupt movement patterns that are interfering with our ability to thrive.
Slow is better, and less is more.
We move slowly–very, very slowly. It allows for a way of “listening” to the movement pattern as well as the effect it is having on our body, and the feelings and sensations we experience as we move.
No pain, much gain.
We make ourselves comfortable. I know, it sounds self-indulgent and contradictory to the common mantra of “no pain, no gain.” However, if we are experiencing any kind of discomfort, our nervous system isn’t able to work it’s magic and integrate the many wonderful new changes it is experiencing.
It’s all about awareness.
In a nutshell, we are training our awareness. Our awareness of our selves, our movement patterns, our environment, and our relationships. Here is a lovely quote by Moshe Feldenkrais himself, the master of movement which summarizes it quite well.
“Through awareness we can learn to move with a surprising lightness and freedom at any age, and improve our quality of life. Not only physically, but emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.” -Moshe Feldenkrais
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a beautiful thing. Thank you, Moshe, for restoring to each of us our human dignity, and providing us with the path to live up to our full potential.