Monthly Archives: February 2014

Baby it’s cold outside!

It’s funny how something like ambient air temperature can ignite a movement pattern that may not be so useful.  In the cold it’s natural to tuck your chin down into the collar of your coat, breathe a little more shallowly to avoid taking in a big gulp of cold air, tighten your body in certain places to keep the draft from blowing up under your winter parka, or holding your arms into your sides a little more tightly to keep the warmth of your arm pits protected from escaping.  We all do our own thing to preserve those things we want to protect, in this case body temperature.  Sometimes those habits get put into motion through very well established pathways in the brain at times when they are not so helpful.  Say you are outside walking the dog in the cold wintery air.  You slip a little on the ice.  Your arms reflexively reach out from your sides in at attempt to preserve your balance,  But, unfortunately you have the “arms held slightly close to the body,” habit in action because it’s blasted cold outside.  Unfortunately, those two actions don’t work so well together.  It’s possible that your arm reaches out but your shoulder blades are still held in tightly and it results in a rather painful rotator cuff (shoulder joint tendon group) impingement situation.  Contradictory actions do that sort of thing………….produce pain, tightness, stiffness.  These are natural processes in conflict that we are unaware of.  By increasing sensory awareness of this type of thing we can prevent the conflict and allow the shoulder blade and the arm to act efficiently together, both reaching out together in a coordinated manner.    The Feldenkrais Method helps us unravel our sensory potential to allow us greater freedom to act in the world more efficiently, and often with less pain, discomfort, and injury!  Woo Hoo! We can all use a little less of that!!

The autonomic nervous system

What a wonderful thing we are all born with.  It works without a thought, allowing us to breath, eat and digest, see the world, touch the world, smell the world, help a friend, cry at a funeral, cough when something we eat ends up going in the wrong direction, drive a car, walk down the street, laugh at a funny joke. Except, when it doesn’t. For many of us it seems what should be automatic isn’t working or not the way that seems comfortable.  How does this happen?  Why does this happen?  Could it be because it’s wired in?  How did it get wired that way?  Did we have something to do with it?  Did our friends have something to do with it?  Did our parents have something to do with it?  Everything has something to do with it.  Can it be changed?  I believe so.  I believe we can consciously work with what seems so automatic in us.  I believe we can change many things.  But, we need not be impatient.  Things like this take time.  Moshe Feldenkrais refers to “successive approximations.”  These are small adjustments.  We can all make them.  Can we allow ourselves to see and accept them?  I believe we can.  Join me and find out how!!  Moshe Feldenkrais found out how to make the automatic part of himself work for him.  With his method we can all do that for ourselves.  Amazing things can become more, “possible, easy, elegant!”