Category Archives: Feldenkrais Applications

Finding Solutions Cyberconference (Happening NOW)

The Centre of Effective Therapy in Australia and The Milton H Erickson Institute of Tasmania are co-sponsoring a “Finding Solutions CyberConference.” I am presenting on – you guessed it – expanding your practice and income onlinee.

Unlike presentations in traditional conferences all of the Cyberconference talks are available for instant download. This means that you can listen, re-listen and learn in your own time and in your own way. Several of the presenters, including myself and Bill O’Hanlon offer free bonuses and slides and such that you can use to further your learning.

Core Faculty

The core faculty for the session include some of my favorites in the field of therapy and transformational change: Stephen Gilligan, Stephen Lankton, Bill O’Hanlon, and Jeffrey Zeig. All are highly skilled change agents and are direct students of Milton Erickson and (most important) innovators and thinkers in their own right.

Though I have only made it through about a third of the presentations so far, my personal favorites have been David Calof’s and Bill O’Hanlon’s. David’s 30-minute talk is a hypnotic induction called, “Relax! Stop Trying to be Creative and Flexible” I will admit that I did the session while working out on a treadmill. Not the best place to be hypnotized, but it certainly was fascinating (and slightly freaky).

My friend and occasional co-presenter, Bill O’Hanlon, speaks to creating cooperation and results while doing changework and coaching. His presentation is highly-useful and highly-relevant for practitioners engaged Feldenkrais-based work. Though I have not yet listened to Michael Yapko‘s presentation on stopping the spread of depression, he is one of my all-time favorite thinkers in the field of hypnosis. I have bought and read every one of his books and audio-programs. Why? His work is wonderful thought-innoculation against the prevalent and exceedingly wrong idea that depression is “in our genes” or “caused by chemicals in the brain.” Life is a process. Yapko gets that.

Healing the Feminine Psyche

Also, if you have never heard of Michelle Ritterman, you may want to take note. She has a presentation on “Healing the Feminine Psyche” and the “Tao of a Woman”. She has many empowering ideas any one of which can effect a change. One of which I enjoy: “How do We Find a Stance in Life that enables us to experience our uniqueness at every moment?” Very powerful stuff. Even though I am not a woman (except on special occasions – don’t ask). I deeply appreciate her work.

Discount and Bonus

Take a look at the presentations and see which ones look most interesting to you? Not only are there 24 international experts presenting but there is one – and only one – group of people who can take this worskhop at a discount. That would be you, the readers of this blog. Enter the coupon code “Moshe” at checkout for a 25% discount.

Cheers for now – Ryan

Solutions CyberConference

If we have at least 8 sign-ups, I will offer a free 60-minute online meeting to help you implement and brainstorm how you can use the ideas in your own practice and life.

Some Common Delusions of Physical Therapists

Orientation of vertebrae
Image via Wikipedia

I would like to give a nod to Barrett Dorko and his article: The Matrix and Me, where he lists some common illusions of therapists (I assume physical therapists). Dorko is provocative writer and I recommend taking a look at his work.

From his article:

Traditional Therapeutic Illusions

In my experience most therapists (this occasionally includes me) practice clinically as if certain things were true despite the fact that researchers have learned that they are not. Here’s a short list of what I call “therapeutic illusions”:

Strength and posture are related

Pain and posture are commonly related

Strength and pain are related

You can stretch connective tissue with your hands

You can reliably palpate vertebral joint movement”

I have no idea what “palpate verbal joint movement” means nor do I think about “connective tissue” when I work. But I agree with Dorko on the first two illusions . Do you agree that the beliefs above are illusions?

Are pain symptoms and posture unrelated?
Are strength and pain unrelated?
Are they completely unrelated or just occasionally unrelated?
Or occasionally related?

I believe what Dorko is talking about above is the medical model idea that pain is the result of dysfunction or structural problems in the spine, nerves, joints or elsewhere. That is, if a person has chronic back pain, there MUST be a pinched nerve, degenerated disk, herniated disks (etc.) that is causing the pain. This type of thinking can lead to drastic interventions such as invasive surgery to “fix” the spine. But is the thinking correct and does the research bear this out? (I believe the answer is “No.” But it has been several years since I have read research in that area.)

Does your own experience as a Feldenkrais practitioner match what Dorko is saying?

Let me know your thoughts.

(A special thanks to Robbie Ofir for mentioning Dorko on the FeldyForum several months ago. I learned about him there. Dorko has some interesting essays that are well worth a read: Dorko’s Desk. )

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Feldenkrais: The Limits of the Medical Model

I read an interesting post recently on the FeldyForum, an international Yahoo Group of Feldenkrais Practitioners and students that is moderated by Feldenkrais Practitioner Ralph Strauch

The FeldyForum post was written by noted Feldenkrais Practitioner and sculptor, Martin Weiner, of Ojai, CA. I spoke with Marty on the first two podcasts that I conducted: A Conversation with Martin Weiner and Further Down The Rabbit Hole with Martin Weiner. I like to stay in touch with what Marty is doing as I find him a rather interesting fellow.

Below, he speaks to the limits of the medical model. I did not change or edit a single word of the post, but I did change the spacing to make it easier to read on this page:

I have often talked on the forum about how seeing things from a medical model limits our capacity to see what is there. I had an experience with a young woman the other day that I’d like to share in this regard.

A woman called me on the phone and asked if she could come see me. She said she had very severe pains in her neck that woke her up many times during the night. She also had numbness in her hands. She had gone to a chiropractor who took an x-ray of her neck and freaked out. He was so anxious for her that she had to quiet him down. He sent her to an orthopedic surgeon who had the same reaction and said she needed surgery immediately to fuse three of her cervical
vertebrae. She was supposed to have the surgery next Monday. She is a mother of two toddlers and said she is very active.

I said, “Let me get this straight. You are not paralyzed or crippled or hobble about. You run after two little kids and exercise regularly. Your only problem is pain in your neck and numbness in your hands. Aside from these two guys freaking out you would have no idea that there is an emergency going on in your body?” She said,”That’s right”.

So I told her, “Great, I’d love to see you.”

My point here is that these two doctors looked at x-rays and did not see her. She is an active woman who runs around all day long. Instead of seeing her vertebrae they should have seen her and realize that these vertebrae live in this woman and she is pretty healthy. They saw what they saw which is conditioned by their training. Moshe trained us to see the world differently and to interact with people from a non-mechanical orientation. We have the capacity to help those who many others can’t because we do not get seduced into diagnostic categories.

She came to see me last Saturday and we worked. Today she came back to tell me that she has been sleeping through the night pain free and that the numbness is now down to just a little spot. She cancelled the surgery and is looking forward to feeling better without it.

As Hippocrates said, “Don’t tell me what someone has. Tell me who has it.” See the person and not the so called “disease” or problem.


Martin Weiner

I think Marty’s post speaks for itself. I hope you enjoyed reading it. – RN

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Frank Wildman Feldenkrais Video – “The brain as the Core of Strength and Stability

Looks like Frank Wildman, Feldenkrais Trainer, has put some video clips online. Looks great. And excellent information as well. To watch the videos without leaving this site, click the play button on the bottom left hand corner of the video. Take a look:

And don’t forgot this one:

Feldenkrais and Dance.

When I first started applying the Feldenkrais Method to Dance, I was doing so mainly as a matter of happenstance. While finishing my 4-year Feldenkrais training, I was living in San Francisco in a house full of Ballet Dancers. They became my first Feldenkrais clients and my practice evolved to include more and more dancers. Now, in Utah, I see fewer and fewer dancers, mainly as a result of my busy schedule and lack of connection to the local dance scene. For some reason, my Feldenkrais clients in Utah tend to all be sufferers of chronic pain.

Anyway, I saw this brief mention of the Feldenkrais Method in an online article about the dance scene in Nova Scotia, Canada:

New alternate conditioning methods, including Pilates, yoga and Feldenkrais are helping dancers optimize their training and dance well into their 40s.

Ok, well, yes, it is an incredibly BRIEF mention of the Feldenkrais Method. The full-text of the article is at the Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald.

Feldenkrais and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The website design is not particularly impressive, but Dr. Richard Sanders is one of the world’s foremost authorities on Thoracic Outlet Syndrom (TOC) and he recommends the Feldenkrais Method as a treatment for the disorder.

Here’s a brief quote:

Abdominal breathing, posture correction, and nerve glides, carried out on a daily basis, are a part of the therapy program. Gentle, slow movements and exercises are stressed. Methods like Feldenkrais have helped many people with TOS. Modalities to avoid are those that emphasize strengthening exercises, heavy weights, and painful stretching.

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