Category Archives: Ryan Nagy

Body Sensation and Movement “Primary” In Trauma Recovery? (Free Webinar)

Dr. Pat Ogden. "Trauma and The Body"

Dr. Pat Ogden. “Trauma and The Body”

Update, Thursday, May 9th: The free series is done. However all the sessions are available as video and audio with transcripts for a small price. But the price is going up on May 13th, so enroll now if you want the content. These webinars helped me understand why some people get more benefit from Feldenkrais sessions and some people (such as myself) get LESS benefit. Many of us have trauma symptoms, dissociation and neurological “blocks” that limit what we can gain from the Feldenkrais Method. These webinars with Peter Levine, Pat Ogden and Stephen Porges have given me tools for dealing with these traumatic after effects, “healing” them and helping a person stay in the present moment and in the lesson.

If you are interested you can purchase all the downloads and transcripts for one price: http://www.nicabm.com/php/redirects/?id=322

Leave a comment if you have questions. Cheers! – Ryan

Update: The webinar is starting in just a few hours, today, Weds, March 8. It will be broadcast at two times: 5pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) and 6:30pm EDT. But you must register to attend free: Register for Pat Ogden Webinar on Trauma.

***If you missed the webinar or would like to download it or have trancscripts, there is also a paid option on the same page. cheers! Ryan

….I am in the midst of preparing myself for an online webinar that is coming up very soon on Trauma and The Body. The next speaker is Pat Ogden, PhD who is not only a psychologist but has also studied Hakomi and the Alexander Technique. She also makes a point to mention Feldenkrais in her various books and papers. I do not always share the details of these webinars. I only share the ones that I have a deep interest in or that I think other Feldenkrais practitioners will enjoy. This one looks to be great for Feldenkrais people.

The Ogden webinar, part of a larger series on trauma, is interesting as her language and strategies, to me, are very “Feldenkrais friendly” and often mirror the experiential, process-based, and action-based means of the work of Moshe Feldenkrais. For example, this quotation that I took from one of her research papers:

“The role of the therapist is to facilitate self-awareness and self-regulation, rather than to witness and interpret the trauma. [It] involves working with sensations and action tendencies in order to discover new ways of orienting and moving through the world.”

Does that evoke familiar ideas for you? She focuses not on judgement and “insight” but getting people to take action in the world. And later in the same article:

“In the act of noticing their bodily experience, innate somatic regulatory capacities, or “resources,” become spontaneously available or can be evoked by the therapist: resources such as taking a breath, adjusting the spine, making a movement, orienting, perceptually and physically to the environment.”

Pretty cool! There is much more that I could say about this webinar, but I am relatively new to Dr. Ogden’s work and should perhaps leave it to her to describe what she does. The webinar is free if you register ahead of time and attend “live.” You can also pay if you would rather download the video (and audio version) and get transcripts and such. I wonder a great deal how many people come to the Feldenkrais Method (consciously or otherwise) because they are dealing with unresolved trauma. And I wonder yet again, if the Method can give them relief. I think the answer for many is “no.” There are some specific strategies and ideas missing in the Method. Strategies and ideas which, though similar, are different in their implementation and use. This is a topic I will return to in a later blog post on RyanNagy.com. In the meantime, to hear Dr. Ogden’s talk please click the link below and find the line and grey box on the page that reads: Register here for the Wednesday broadcasts only. Free of Charge. Feel free to forward this blog post or post on social media if you know of others who will benefit. I do get an affiliate fee for each paid registration.

cheers!

Ryan

I apologize in advance for any spelling or grammar errors. I did this quickly Sunday morning, before taking the rest of the day off.

Feldenkrais in Nicaragua, Feldenkrais for the Eyes and a MOVE….


I am nearly done blogging here on UtahFeldenkrais.org. I am slowly but surely moving my writing to the blog on RyanNagy.com. I have to say that it is a rather embodying experience to bring all my various interests under “one roof.” For years, RyanNagy.com was primarily a blog about search engine optimization and search marketing. The website was a tool that I used successfully to build a practice in that field. I had several clients who were start-ups and also several who were larger, multi-million dollar businesses. Fun stuff for a while. But I got bored. I now only work on my own projects and of those with whom I collaborate. And I no longer live in Utah! So, time to leave “utah feldenkrais” and bring it all home to Ryan Nagy.

I still have a few more posts here on UtahFeldenkrais.org and I have much work to do on the other site before it is completely ready.

But, if you are interested, there are several blog post regarding a Feldenkrais Volunteer Opportunity in Nicaragua, a new Feldenkrais mp3 series for the eyes that I am working on. And more.

Join me over there if you choose. When I finally stop blogging here, I will send you a notification. And for those of you who only want to read about certain topics (such as Feldenkrais) and not others (Marketing, Technoology, Hypnosis etc), I will have the option of deciding which types of notifications you receive.

cheers! – Ryan

Short Video: Email Marketing To Grow Your Practice (It’s Not Just For The “Big Guys”)

Email Marketing For The “Rest” Of Us

Hi all – I hope you will consider taking my webinar on using email marketing to grow your practice…it is brief, to the point and can be very important for growing your practice and business (an no, you don’t have to be slightly insane like me to make it work): Email Marketing Made Possible and Easier

Here is the link again: “Email Marketing Made Possible and Easier.”

Or maybe just skip the practitioner phase?

“I am constantly finding out how stupid I was just ten minutes ago.” – Ryan Nagy

Following up from my post from a couple of hours ago, another option is, I believe, to skip the phase and labeling of people as “feldenkrais practitioners.” In terms of the viral potential of the work and getting it into the hands of many people, does the concept of one being a “practitioner” help or hinder? I think it hinders. Though I am not against being a practitioner and the certifications do have a certain utility (to go along with their massive liabilities), one can argue that $20,000 certification trainings represent a huge financial barrier to learning Feldenkrais. And that is leaving aside the question of effectiveness. There is not a shred of evidence that students leave trainings ready to practice. I would make the case that there is even less evidence that they wanted to practice in the first place. People want a new experience of themselves and the work.

The Feldenkrais trainings also massively limit community involvement, leaving the experience of conducting the trainings in the hands of, as I mentioned in the last post – about 70 trainers. They swoop into town, suck out the money, and keep local practitioners on the sidelines. The same local practitioners who pay for the Guild and the system itself. To use Jerry Karzens’ metaphor to a different end. Those of you who pay for the Guild and maintain it cannot even come in for a glass of water. Well. Technically you can. But it is $100 a glass. No refills. Accepting the current definitions and restrictions on being a “Feldenkrais Practitioner” is to accept the presupposition, that you cannot, must not develop into teaching and training the work in your own time and you own way. Do you accept that proposition? I do not. Feldenkrais or Feldenkrais®. Take your pick.

If we skip the idea of training practitioners what are we left with? We are left with a human relationship, not a legal one. We can learn, teach and use the principles of the work in a way that fits our own personalities and needs. And, just as important, we can meet our students. That is, we can meet our friends and colleagues, each other, in an interaction – in the moment – that is consensual – and can evolve organically. Humanly and humanely in a way that is not aprior restricted by legal definitions and “Feldenkrais” that has been transformed into an ideology.

Ok. Enough for now.

By the way…

As you can see, I deleted what I wrote below. The online psychotherapy conferences that I organize with my business partner Rob McNeilly seem to be taking more and more of my time and energy and I am starting to wonder when and IF I will get back to teaching “live” Feldenkrais classes again. I will do my best to keep you posted.

In case you are wondering, I am about to return to teaching “live” Feldenkrais classes and workshops after an absence of about 5 years. I am using blogging as a way to write and organize my thoughts as I get ready. My current idea is to teach an intensive session here in Mexico. Perhaps on Isla Mujeres which is about 5 hours aways (by car and boat) from where I live in Mérida, Mexico. If you are not already subscribed to this blog via email, click the link and enter your email below to get updates of new posts and also workshop announcements: Subscribe to Ryan’s Blog.

feldenkrais or Feldenkrais®? Enriching Feldenkrais Practitioners.

This is a position paper of sorts. It is not finished and I will likely edit it after publishing. It is of the type that I usually write for myself and keep for myself on my computer. I have many others rolling around in my head. And at least a dozen, perhaps more, unfinished but ready to take form. Some I will post here. Some I will post elsewhere and give you the link if you are interested. If not, that’s fine too.

I am becoming more and more convinced that the only way that Feldenkrais work can reach more people and do so at an increasing velocity is to enrich more practitioners. To get more practitioners into “the game.” The issue is not simply certification trainings are very expensive and do not prepare students to practice. Yes, that is a big problem. But even those who become successful practitioners and remain within the Guild system face the problem of the glass ceiling. In the Guild system, there simply are no opportunities for practitioners to develop into independent “agents” who can organically grow their practices into mentoring, training and developing their own center of gravity. They cannot “train.” The service marked legalistic system favors the status quo. And the status quo is 70 or so people having a complete stranglehold on the right to conduct trainings. It is rather shocking if you take the time to think about it. How many hundreds, if not thousands, of people are not developing their work into mature, independent organizations because they are told – might even believe – that what they are doing is “not Feldenkrais®”?

feldenkrais or Feldenkrais®?

What is Feldenkrais®? Feldenkrais®, legally defined, is that which is taught by “Guild Certified” trainers who own the trademarked terms. Seriously. Feldenkrais® is Feldenkrais® because of ownership of trademarked terms. Many who teach Feldenkrais® try to make a case that they were somehow blessed or certified by Moshe Feldenkrais. The reality of the situation is quite different. The entire categorization system of “trainer” and “assistant trainer” and the like was super imposed, one might say forced, onto Moshe’s work after his death. Many people do not have a problem with this. They say, “Well, we have to call ourselves something,” or “We need some type of public identity do we not?” And perhaps they are right. However, does one need a public identity controlled by lawyers? Does one need a public identity that cuts practitioner out – by definition – from the benefitting from and doing the work. More on this later.

I should add that according to Feldenkrais®, Moshe’s original students who worked with him for years, even decades, well, they are not really doing Feldenkrais®. Why? Technically, it is because they do not own the service marks. And those of you who are (slowly, but surely) mentoring new students in the work, conducting your own small trainings and otherwise, engaged in your own deep, organic, experiential learning that IS feldenkrais…well, sorry, you are not doing Feldenkrais® either. But take heart, you are in good company. Mia Segal is not “certified.” But Moshe seemed to think quite highly of her and worked with her for many, many years. Anat Baniel? Oh no, she is not certified either. Yochanan Rywerant? He died. But he was another one who worked with Moshe for decades. I guess that poor bastard wasn’t doing Feldenkrais either. And neither are you, if you don’t pay your money to the guild and are doing something unholy like teaching yourself and others how to do the work. And as you have seen me write ad nauseam – my apologies for writing it again – Moshe Feldenkrais was not certified either. That ignorant bastard.

But there are larger issues

I suppose that what I am writing above could be termed as legal, moral and philosophical issues. Can an experiential, organic system based on human experience be encapsulated within a legal, semantic, word-based system? The answer is a simple no. Your practice and your life are not encapsulated within what a lawyer hired by the guild tells you it is, nor what the Guild’s rules tells you that it is. Is it true that your work is “not Feldenkrais” because you have not paid the guild or cannot pay the guild, for use of its service marks? No. That is simply not the case. But the issues are larger. Another concern is economic.

My concern is that practitioners do not have an organization specifically geared towards them and their need. Practitioners need access (with or without a guild) to technology (service marks, email lists, independent training processes) that build up their own ability to profit from the work and to continue to develop their independence. It seems to me that with training, teaching, releasing products and other reputation and economic-enhancing activities the method itself will begin to have a container (so to speak) rich enough to get it out into the world.

Or not. Perhaps any organization created to do that would just become corrupt.

Again, just some thoughts. Take them or leave them as you choose.

Getting Paid to Write About Feldenkrais.

I have been discussing a project with a friend of mine. He is a lawyer and a published author and I want him to research and write something for me about the work of Moshe Feldenkrais. The topic is something that I would personally like to write about, but doing so would take away from other writing projects that I am working on. The article will also require some legal knowledge that I do not have. If the project comes together, I will pay my friend to write the article. And I will publish the article on one of my websites or perhaps as an eBook sold on my website, Amazon and iTunes.


The process of implementing my own writing project made me wonder if it would be useful, in general, to support people writing about the work or to write about the work. It might be nice if authors and writers had an extra incentive. Perhaps an organization such as a Guild or the International Feldenkrais Federation could pay a small bounty for each published article? Or a group of people could come together and create a tiny non-profit or other organization to fund such a thing. Or would it be considered unethical to get paid to publish an article in someone else’s newspaper or periodical?

I don’t know. Just thinking outloud.

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Mindfulness As A Feldenkrais Practice (And Some Free Downloads)

Mindfulness As A Feldenkrais Practice



Or is it Feldenkrais as a mindfulness practice? Or neither?

Due to an computer glitch last month, the Tai Chi video I was watching and doing stopped playing on my computer. At the the time, I did not want to fiddle with my computer or internet, so I simply closed my eyes and starting doing a meditation in standing by counting my breaths. After what seemed like just a few moments of meditation, I opened my eyes and got prepared to start my day. I was surprised to look at the clock and realize that I had been meditating for about 15 minutes.

Fifteen minutes is not a particularly long time to meditate, but my subjective experience told me that just 2 or 3 minutes had passed. Being somewhat intrigued by this change in time sensation, I engaged in another standing meditation in the evening. And another the next morning. Each time what seemed like a short time has been a longer time. And now, three weeks later, I am meditating in standing twice per day. I absolutely love it! Um…except on those occasions when I do not.

Meditating is not new to me. I had a strong meditation practice in San Francisco for several years and regularly went on meditation retreats. Though, it has been over ten years since I meditated regularly. But meditating while standing? Completely new and, to me, very powerful. If you have ever meditated, you might have noticed some benefits such as an increased ability to focus on one task, less stress, clearer thinking or something else, specific to your life and situation. All very cool. Grateful to have it. But as a Feldenkrais practioner, I must say that standing meditations offer an incredible array of sensory feedback and changes, even when focusing primarily on meditating and clearing my mind.

I am toying with the idea of creating some downloads on standing meditation. Or perhaps on Feldenkrais as a mindfulness practice. But I have not worked through the details. In the meantime, coincidentally, my friend Page at the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM) sent me a link to an upcoming series on Mindfulness and asked if I would promote it. I purchased their 2012 NICABM series on Mindfulness and will likely purchase the new one. As usual, they offer a series of free interviews and short videos as they work their way up to the launch of their program. Free Videos No Longer Available, sorry. I recommend that you check it out. It is not simply that mindfulness practice can be useful for our selves but also that mindfulness practices are continuing to grow dramatically in the world. People are interested and researchers are interested. Mindfulness language and ideas are becoming more and more common to the public. Seeing where and how it fits the Feldenkrais Method (or not) could add to the method´s adoption and to our practices.

Check it out: NICABM Mindfulness Series 2013.

Puppet Show with Feldenkrais!

withFeldenkrais

Years ago, in approximately 2005, when I first began selling Feldenkrias stuff online, my idea was to break free from selling products as “Feldenkrais” and to go directly for what people were searching for online. For example, rather than selling “Feldenkrais TMJ Lessons,” I would sell “Natural TMJ Relief” or “TMJ Exercises.” It was a great idea. But my skill set and understanding of online marketing was not strong enough. I made several attempts at selling “Drug-Free Back Pain Relief” and “Natural Back Pain Relief” but ultimately, the only thing that gained traction was Feldenkrais Back Pain Relief.

In the short term, selling within the “Feldenkrais” arena was a good move. It helped keep me afloat financially while I kept learning about programming, and internet marketing and sales. But you know what? For me, “Feldenkrais” is a rate-limiting term. It limits growth, awareness and sales. Again – for me. It might be different for you.

So, with a strange mixture of having a heavy heart and also a sense of excitement, I am launching my next “mini product” with Feldenkrais as a tag line. I won’ tell you exactly what I will be launching, as I am not quite sure. But to give you an example: “Back Pain Relief, Using Feldenkrais Principles.”

I think perhaps it is better to gain traction in a larger market than to gain traction in a smaller market. Especially one with very slow rate of growth.

Just some thoughts for now. As usual, I write and publish this stuff as an aid to my own thinking and action. Your mileage may vary.

Does Apple Own The Feldenkrais Method?

In the last month, I have received messages from two different people who have bought one of my Feldenkrais mp3 series directly from me and said, “Ryan, I bought your product but it didn’t work. I don’t see it on my iPhone. It is not in my iTunes either.” People are buying stuff directly from me and then expecting it to be automatically transfered or to show up in their iTunes. In other words, the Apple ecosystem has gotten so strong that it has created for some people the habit and expectation that their music and mp3′s should just magically show up in iTunes regardless of where they buy them.

For me, this creates a bit of a problem because for every $1 that I make selling my downloads via iTunes and Amazon, I make $5 selling on my own. To state that differently, on a month that I make $100 selling via Apple and Amazon, I usually take in $500 or more on my online store. The two numbers are not related, there is no correlation or causality between them. But I keep about 95% of the profit when I sell on my own. And when selling via iTunes and Amazon only keep about 63%…not to mention that iTunes limits my selling price to $9.99 per album.

So…am I crazy to keep selling my stuff through the music aggregators such as iTunes? Perhaps. But I constantly get positive feedback from people who have bought my stuff on iTunes. And I know that I am reaching people who otherwise might not have tried the method. And…as many of you know…I make my living selling online and I do have some secret weapons. For example, many people who do not buy directly from me end up signing up for my email list. I have created a direct path for them to do so. And later many of them buy directly from me. And, perhaps more important, when I start teaching live Feldenkrais classes again, I will have a very large email list of people who know me and who have used my work and to whom I can promote my workshops.

And, as much as it pains me to say this, Apple iTunes and the Amazon mp3 store are only going to get more powerful and gain more market share. They are becoming ingrained in people’s buying process and they are getting larger and larger. Not being on those services limits the ability of the work to get better known and for individual practitioners to get better known. It is about as simple is that.

If you want to learn more about this, in particular, WHETHER you should sell online and HOW you should sell online. And how to do so in the most cost-effective and most powerful way, I invite you take an hour with me to show you some tips, tricks and strategies for doing so. We can spend our time wondering how the work can get better known…or we can take action and make the work better known. For me, it is a very simple choice.

If you are not ready to sell online right now, right away. That’s fine. Start learning today and plant the seeds for the next phase of your development: