Feldenkrias Died Without Knowing….

I have been in the process of reviewing some of the written transcripts from Dr. Feldenkrais’s various trainings and articles for a new project that I am pulling together. I have to admit, there are so many gems in Feldenkrais’ talks that it gets a little overwhelming at times.

One idea that he tries to convey in so many ways is the importance of variability of experience in learning new responses. For example,

“..another important feature of the group work is the continued novelty of situation that is maintained throughout the course. Once the novelty wears off, awareness is dulled and no learning takes place.” Mind and Body (1964) Moshe Feldenkrais.

As I wrote over on RyanNagy.com what Feldenkrais wrote is “obvious” to us now. But when he wrote it in 1964, is sure as hell was not.

“…when Moshe died in 1984, there was little, perhaps no, published research that showed that the brain of an adult could change. In fact, when I first returned to college in the mid 1990’s most scientists STILL believed the mature brain could not grow new brain cells nor regenerate connections and damaged functions. Incredible, isn’t it? They believed that the brain had to remain relatively fixed or stable in order to maintain long-term memories and skills. It is an vastly different world that we live in today. We can now have conversations about neurogenesis and brain change without seeming like lunatics.”

We, as practitioners already knew that the brain and nervous system can and do change through specific novel experiences. We knew as Feldenkrais practitioners and as people and now society and the scientific community is learning.

The larger question for me is how to keep up on what is known and has been published and how to use it to promote Feldenkrais for the betterment of society and ourselves. Tonight and perhaps tommorrow morning as well, I will be watching a free 60-minute webinar by Dr. Rick Hanson. Two parts of his talk have caught my eye:

The Importance of Novelty for Neuroplasticity: Why New Experiences Have Such a Transformative Effect on the Brain

The 5 Factors that Help Learning Take Hold and How They Promote Neuroplasticity

I think there will be some nuggets in this talk that will make me a better person and practitioner. If you are interested you can sign-up to get the webinar for free or pay to get downloadable copies as video, audio and written transcripts. Find and click the grey box that reads “Free Of Charge.” :Dr. Steve Hanson with NICABM.



4 thoughts on “Feldenkrias Died Without Knowing….

  1. Eva Laser

    I came across some early remarks on neuroplacticity in the Alexander Yanai lessons about the pillows. AY#380-382. They are remakable. Also the mind&body article is from his lecture in CPH in 58. His findings about np is also discussed in EO that is how he came across it already in the late 20ies. But look up the AY lecture in 280 if you have not seen it. It will spread some light.

  2. Alfons

    that is just hear-say, a nice funny story for the omnivores, smokers, and other folks who love stories. reality is not even close to this. CF Hodge published a study in 1894 “Changes in Ganglion Cells from Birth to Senile Death. Observations on Man and Honey-Bee.” no one knows how he counted the ganglion cells. it was low-tech 1894. it’s bullocks. but people keep citing this study without referencing it, even in text books, even today. they love the story of the factory new human with full potential fresh out of the mother’s womb and then losing brain cells until the senile death. it’s not even in the christian bible.

  3. Alfons

    The lecture is in “ay380 pillows and swings”, the translator footnotes: “Scientific American. The Nov. 1965 Volume 213 pages 84 -95. By Richard Held”. in their experiments they didn’t use any MRI or modern imaging technologies though. nevertheless exciting to read how Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais used Prof. Held’s findings to turn them into a pedagogic/learning experience in ATM.

    btw, there seems to be no lecture in “ay280 On hands and shoulders”. but it’s beautiful lesson. in the beginning he goes like “Do not breathe intentionally, but leave it so it will do it on its own . . . the smallest movement possible. . . so it is possible to continue living” … “so it’s possible to continue living” … ain’t that a wonderful, thoughtful expression ?

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