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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tues and Sat Feldenkrais classes are moving to 250 Bell St., July 8.

CRITICAL FELDY CLASS NEWS -- Announcing the new Reno Feldenkrais class location for my Tues and Sat. classes, at 250 Bell St., Reno. This location is the home of Cathexes, a premier Reno architectural firm actively involved in community events in the Reno-Tahoe and northern Nevada area and in the renovation of downtown Reno.

Please note -- The new times for the Tues. and Sat. classes are as follows: 
(1) On Sat. July 8, my Sat. Feldenkrais class moves to 250 Bell St. The new Saturday class time is 10 am. 


(2) On Tues. July 11, my Tues. class moves to 250 Bell St. too. The new Tuesday class time is 12 noon.

(3) Please note: my Thursday 6 pm class at the Reno Buddhist Center (RBC), 820 Plumas -- IS NOT CHANGING.
An email announcement with more information will be coming. Just remember the new dates and times for the Tuesday and Saturday classes! 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Beginner's Feldenkrais Workshop, June 11, 1-3:30 pm, in Reno

At last! A Feldenkrais workshop for newbies, for people who have always wanted to take a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement class -- but just haven't done it yet. 


Well, here's your chance and what you'll learn:


  1. The revolutionary Feldenkrais approach to using movement, self-sensing and self-awareness to improve flexibility, stability and comfort in standing, sitting and lying down. How this reconnects your brain and body, re-establishes your brain map and reduces pain.
  2. We will explore basic movement and balance issues and identify options for improvement.
  3. You will learn to begin to recognize and let go of tension and movement patterns that no longer work for you, that compromise your efficiency and comfort. To be playful about movement again!

  • The workshop will be 2 1/2 to 3 hrs long. 
  • Cost will be $35. 
  • Participants must sign up and pay in advance.
  • I will send you preliminary information and links. Please begin by watching the short videos on this website on the right hand sidebar if you haven't seen them yet.
  • The date has not been finalized; I will choose either a week day during the day, or a Sunday, depending on who signs up to attend. 
  • If you want to reserve a spot in this workshop, contact me ASAP and state your day/time preference.


I won't be giving this workshop on days or times that conflict with my existing classes: 
--Tuesday 10-11:30 am, 600 S. Center St.  
--Thursday 6-7:30 pm at the Reno Buddhist Center, 820 Plumas St. 
--Saturday 3-4:30 pm, 600 S. Center St.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Felden-WHAT?

By Lawrence Wm. Goldfarb, CFT, Ph.D.


It was about to happen; that moment, that dreaded moment. I was at my friend Marcello's birthday party, enjoying the Brazilian music when one of the other guests engaged me in a friendly conversation. We discussed the usual things, such as the weather and how we each knew the guest of honor. Peter had just finished telling me about his research in engineering when it happened:

“What do you do for a living?"

“I'm a Feldenkrais® teacher."

“Felden-what?"

“Feldenkrais. It is a method of movement re-education, named after the man who developed it, Moshe Feldenkrais."

“Felden-Christ?"

“Close, but not quite. It's Feldenkrais:
F — E — L — D — E — N — K — R — A — I — S. It rhymes with rice."


“Feldenkrais?"

“Exactly. The Feldenkrais Method® is a way to teach movement. I work with people who have physical limitations, such as chronic pain or neurological problems, or with people who want to improve their performance, like actors, musicians, or athletes. I also teach classes in the physical education program at the University."

“What do you teach?" 

“Usually students come to me because they are experiencing some kind of limitation, something that is interfering with their daily life or obstructing progress or performance. My job is to figure out how they are moving, how that relates to the problem they are experiencing, and how they could move differently enough so that the problem can't continue."

“Sounds interesting. Is it some kind of exercise? Or do you show people how to correct their posture?”

“Well, it's not that easy to answer, mostly because what I teach, and how I teach, is pretty different from exercise or posture. Both of these are based on similar assumptions: If you are weak, then you should exercise to strengthen your muscles. If, on the other hand you think bad posture causes your problem, then you should correct it and stand up straight. Both assume that the body is some-thing that must be molded, reshaped, put in its proper place. Neither gives you the chance to see that what you are doing might contribute to the problem you face. Neither approach looks at how you move and how that could relate to the problem you’re experiencing.”

“Are you saying that people shouldn't exercise?”

“No. I'm not saying that. I am saying that exercise alone isn't enough. The idea behind exercise is that you are not strong enough, that your muscles need to be in better condition. So an exercise program is designed to increase the ability of muscles to work. I think this is often a mistaken view, because the problems that I deal with—chronic pain, neurological difficulties, obstacles to performance—do not have to do with how strong the person is, they all have to do with the way someone moves. I guess you could say, I am interested in people moving smarter, not stronger.”

“Are you saying that movement can cause problems?”

“Yes, that’s close to what I am saying. The way you move can lead to problems. What's more interesting is that you can be unaware that the movement is at the root of the problem.”

“Oh, so people might think that their problems are caused by not being strong enough or by being damaged, when actually it is a result of how they are moving? And we are not aware of this?”

“Yes, most of us are unaware of how we move. We pay attention to where we’re going or what we are doing, not to how we move. For example, think about how you stand up from sitting. How do you do it? What happens? What moves when?”

Peter stands up and sits back down a few times, saying, "I see what you mean. It is more complex than I expected. Usually, I think of standing up and then, next thing I know, I am standing. I guess I have never thought much about it before.”

“That's what I mean. Most of us don't think about our bodies until we experience pain or some kind of problem. But that means that we could have been moving in an inefficient or dangerous way for a long time by the time we notice something is wrong. This is one place where the saying 'If it works, don't fix it' doesn't apply.”

“But why is that? Why don't we notice?”

“Because our movements become habitual, automatic. We repeat the same movements over and over, without thinking or noticing. When something happens repeatedly, it drops from our consciousness. This isn't necessarily bad, it is a part of the process of learning.” “Does that mean we learn to move in inefficient ways?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Well, because we move only as well as we've learned to move and that learning process is pretty haphazard. There are many things that influence how we move: childhood development, accommodations to previous injuries, and the requirements of specialized activities we engage in (such as sports, musical instruments, or work motions). Finally, since we don't really understand how our bodies move, we often move in ways that don't fit with the way we are put together.”

“Can you give me an example?”

“Sure. People think that the body hinges at the waist and they move as if that were so. Unfortunately, the lower back does not allow for that kind of motion; the design of hip joints is what allows the torso to bend forward and back. The muscles of the back are not designed for that movement. Interestingly enough, this is region where most people hurt their backs. ”

“I see. Moving as if your back were made to hinge at the waist can lead to back strain and pain.”

“That's it; you understand. But, anyway, I have taken enough of your time with this. Sorry, I can get carried away talking about my work.”

“Not at all, this is very interesting. It sure beats the normal party chatter. My mom has had chronic back pain for years, so I'm curious about your work. I was going to ask you what you could do for her.”

“It's not easy to say because I would have to see how she moves.”

“Can you say generally what you do when you start working with someone?”

“Yes, I can describe what would happen if your mom were to come to see me. I would begin by looking at her move, asking her to turn right and left, bend forward, back and to each side. I would put my hands on her to feel which muscles were working, which muscles weren't engaging, and which ones weren't letting go. I would look for some kind of habit or pattern that interferes with other movements.”

“You lost me there. What do you mean when you say a pattern that interferes with other movements?”

“I mean that it often seems as if people have gotten stuck doing a movement or holding themselves, unconsciously, in certain way. For instance, if you injure your leg, you change how you walk and you begin to limp. The limp may be appropriate immediately after an injury, but it can last much longer than the injury. If it continues longer than it's needed, it can lead directly to pain, stiffness, and other problems. But that's just one example; you can limp with your shoulder, your neck, or your back. Indeed, you don't have to injure yourself to develop this kind of movement. You can acquire a similar habit playing a musical instrument, repeating work movements day in and day out, playing certain sports, and so on. The key is that you develop a movement pattern you get stuck with, a pattern that underlies every movement and interferes with any activity that runs counter to it.”

“Go on.”

“For instance, I was recently working with a bus driver who had recurring back pain. When I looked at her movement, it became quite clear that the muscles of the lower trunk were chronically contracted and that her back was locked stiff. Even when she tried to stretch, she could not get her lower back to let go. It was as if she had lost control of those muscles. She thought her back was supposed to be straight, so after her first bout of back pain, many years earlier, she taught herself to keep her back flat. When she moved her trunk, she overused the muscles of her upper back, so they had begun to hurt constantly. Though the doctor could find no disease, the bus driver still thought something was wrong with her spine. I could help her see that it was her movement that was causing the problem.”

“Once she saw that, could she change what she was doing?”

“Not immediately. You see, over the years, she had lost touch with what those muscles were doing. It was as if she was on automatic pilot and she had forgotten how to regain manual control.”

“So what do you do about that? I think it would be incredibly frustrating to understand the cause of the problem and not be able to do anything about it.”

“That's where the method comes into play. There are two ways in which I work with people: in hands-on individual lessons and in group lessons. Both ways of working are based on the idea of teaching people to be aware of how they are moving, how they can move, and to increase their options and comfort. During the group lessons, I talk people through a sequence of gentle movements; during the individual lessons, I use my hands to move the student.”

“Does it hurt?”

“Not at all. Feldenkrais is gentle. The idea is that you will change most easily if the new movements are more comfortable than the old ones. I like to say that our motto is ‘No pain, MORE gain.’ ”

“Is this like massage or chiropractic?”

“No. The one similarity is that we touch people, but beyond that the Feldenkrais Method® is very different. In massage, the practitioner is working directly with the muscles, in chiropractic, with the bones. Feldenkrais is about working with your ability to regulate and coordinate your movement; that means that Feldenkrais is about working with the nervous system and the coordination of movement.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, remember the bus driver I mentioned. Her muscles were tight because her nervous system told them to contract. They didn't decide to tighten on their own, muscles don't think for themselves. The brain tells them what to do. So my job is to help my student learn to control her or his muscles again. I do that using very gentle guided movements, staying in the range of ease at all times.”

“Pretty amazing. You really think people can change without hurting?”

“Absolutely. That's one of the reasons I love what I do.”

“But wait, my mom has some kind of problem with her discs. Would Feldenkrais cure her?”

“Feldenkrais isn't about curing or fixing people. It isn't a medical treatment, it's an educational approach. It's about helping people get control back into their lives by understanding why they feel the way they do and by learning how to move differently so that they don't have to keep feeling that way. Even when people have an organic problem or disease, I can often help them deal with how they respond to the problem. For instance, when I work with people who have arthritis, my job isn't to get rid of the disease. In this case, my job is to help them move so that they don't stress the affected joints and so that they can find more comfortable, safer, ways to do what they want to do. Same thing applies to disc problems—even when there is a structural problem—the question is how can the person move in a better way, so that they increase their comfort and avoid or minimize future problems.”

“Oh, oh. They are lighting the candles. Can we talk more after the festivities . . . ”

Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Functional Integration®, and Awareness Through Movement® are registered service marks; and Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner® and Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher® are certification marks of The FELDENKRAIS GUILD of North America and many other Feldenkrais professional organizations around the world.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wake up your brain and get your body back!

How The Feldenkrais Method helps you change and improve your life:


1.     Movement with attention.  Our brains are organized through movement, movements we already know and do, and movements we have yet to learn. The more habitual our everyday movements, the less we are able to satisfy the brain’s need for growth.  When we introduce new patterns of movement, combined with attention, our brains begin making thousands, millions and even billions of new connections. This means clearer thinking, easier movement, pain that is reduced or eliminated, and actions that are more successful.

2.     Turn on your learning switch.  Learning occurs in the brain. During childhood, the learning switch is turned on a lot. As we grow and take on the responsibilities of adulthood, we tend to develop habitual patterns, a set way of doing things, rigidity and resistance to change.  Our learning switch turns off and learning slows down drastically.  We can learn to turn the switch back on; regardless of age, we can wake up our brains.

3.     Subtlety.  Your brain thrives on subtlety, on gentle, less-forceful, more refined input. [In Feldenkrais] we discover that subtlety generates incredible new possibilities that will even change how you speak to your loved ones, how you present an idea, how you cook and taste, how you move, and how you remain vital.  Attending to subtlety will reveal to you what turns your brain on AND what makes it check out (going back to autopilot), instilling your life with new excitement, zest for life, creativity and fun.

4.     Variation. A life filled with possibility must include the miraculous.  By exploring different ways of moving, thinking, feeling, and acting, you will become more resilient and healthy.  Experiment, play, make room for new elements in all areas of your life.

5.     Slow. Slow gets the brain’s attention and gives it time to distinguish and perceive small changes and form new connections.  With fast (when you are on auto-pilot), you can only do what you already know, so nothing new is happening.  Slow is learning at the level of the nervous system.

6.     Enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm can boost the energy of everything you do, think or feel.  We often think of enthusiasm as caused by an external event. However, it can be generated from within, becoming an intentional action for transforming virtually anything in our lives. Enthusiasm can take the seemingly small, dull, boring or unimportant and turn it into something new and magnificent.  Learn to strengthen the muscle of your enthusiasm and reclaim your energy and passion. 

7.     Flexible goals.  Goal setting is important for getting what we want from life.  But how we go about achieving our goals can create impediments, resistance to change, shutting us down, and even resulting in failure. Loss of vitality, being stuck or aging can often be traced to the way we approach our goals.  By learning to hold goals loosely, you will accomplish more, with less suffering, and open up to new possibilities. Vitality and health are fostered by a free, flexible, playful attitude toward goals; embrace mistakes, make room for miracles!

8.     Imagination and dreams.  Positive imagining and dreaming can transform your life. Dreams can guide you to create what has never been. While our capacity to be positive may be dampened from trauma, disappointment, or aging, you can reclaim and revive this rich and vital resource any time you choose.  Imagining a sequence and outcome makes things clearer in reality. Elite athletes and performers know this.

9.     Awareness.  Awareness – Sensing, knowing, and knowing that you know – is the opposite of automaticity and compulsion.  Awareness means that you are living in the present.  Awareness is a skill that we need to hone throughout life to enjoy freedom and choice.  With awareness, working toward presence, we can create a joyful and alert life.  Self-awareness as you work with attention in movement is life changing.


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Excerpted from:  The nine essentials for greater health, vitality, sensuality, flexibility, strength and creativity, throughout the full span of your life. Anat Baniel was a primary student of Dr. Feldenkrais, whose work came to be called the Anat Baniel Method. It is based fundamentally on Dr. Feldenkrais’ teachings.

Neuroplasticity -- what and why you need to know about it!

Our brains have amazing capacity! We have the power to unlock this magic door when we move with attention and awareness.


In case you aren't sure what neuroplasticity actually means, one writer defines it as an umbrella term for your brain's capacity to reorganize itself, physically (structurally) and functionally (how it does what it does), throughout your life. This reorganization can be in response to the (1) environment, including what you eat and drink and otherwise take into your body and system, (2) your physical behavior, (3) your thinking and (4) your emotions, as well as injury, accident, surgery, and other external events.

For much of modern history the brain was thought to be a collection of hard-wired specialized functions. Dr. Feldenkrais was one of the earliest people to investigate and write about neuroplasticity as a reproducible, responsive phenomena that enabled some parts of the brain to take over when other parts were rendered non-functional.  

All of his books deal with the capacity of the brain to modify and change and do new work; with the indivisible relationship between the moving, sensing, acting body and the brain, and the extraordinary effects of these relationships that can overcome limitations of all sorts, from improving and healing an injury or developmental issue, to vastly improving ones' performance in art, music or athletics. It also brings forward new ways to work with movement patterns, chronic pain and inflammation. As we occupy our bodies more completely and with more attention, our options multiply exponentially. 

We have verified this in the last few decades as technology has allowed us to see inside the brain's chambers and observe first hand the effects of brain function while it is occurring. There is no longer any doubt that the brain's capacities and possibilities surpass our wildest conceptions. But to unlock these capacities requires some individual effort. Our autopilot functioning does not bring about the desired transformation. 


Thursday, January 5, 2017

YES, there will be a Saturday class at 600. S. Center St.

Dear friends and students!


The scheduled FELDENKRAIS Awareness Through Movement classes will be held tonight at the Reno Buddhist Center, at 6 pm, and Saturday January 7 at 600 So. Center St. 

I seldom cancel classes for weather, since many people live in town and local roads are usually plowed, making for comfortable driving. So if you have a safe vehicle and tires, and want to join me, I will be there. I will give the lesson tonight if you come in, and I'll give it again next Thursday in case you need to miss it. 

It is a wonderful lesson that you would benefit from doing twice, a perfect to begin the new year with. It is a full body, comfortable and comforting sequence, bringing lots of good movement to shoulders, chest, hips, spine. You will love it whenever you do it. 

I hope to see you soon in either case. Please contact me if you want more information about the Feldenkrais Method, wish to talk to me about your condition, or schedule an appointment for an individual private lesson. Happy New Year!


Here is to starting the year with love, support, gratitude and better movement!

Carole






Tuesday class, the same lesson 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Feldenkrais and Cancer

Why Feldenkrais makes such an important impact on cancer recovery, self-image and awareness, self-confidence, healing and wellbeing. Watch the video below, an interview with cancer survivor Debbie, and her Feldenkrais journey with practitioner Tiffany Sankary in the Boston area. Also read the success story article by Practitioner Anita Noone, in southern California. If you live in the Reno/Tahoe area and want more information about the Feldenkrais Method and cancer, contact me directly. This is a proactive approach to healing in every way, using a gentle and mindful perspective and methodology.

http://anoone.org/success-stories/ann-a-cancer-thriver-using-feldenkrais-after-a-cancer-diagnosis/

Thursday, December 29, 2016

FELDENKRAIS, BODY CONSCIOUSNESS and HEALTH.

2017 already looks like a challenging year, doesn't it? 

  • To be your healthiest, with energy and groundedness, to move and feel well, please join me for Feldenkrais Awareness Through classes next week.
  • Doing this with commitment will prepare your body and brain for everything you need to do -- with better alignment, balance, comfort, more vitality and self confidence.

TUESDAY, January 3, at 10 am at 600 S. Center St., Reno
THURSDAY, January 5, at 6 pm at the Reno Buddhist Center,
820 Plumas at Taylor Streets, Reno  

SATURDAY, January 7th, at 3 pm at 600 S. Center St., Reno


Contact me directly for handouts and information if you are coming to class for the first time.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Feldenkrais Awareness Thru Movement Class Photos at the Reno Buddhist Center and at 600 S. Center St., Reno

You can begin classes any time. Everyone works at their own level, at their own pace. The objective is to begin to learn what that is, what my body can easily do, where there are impediments or where I need to modify a movement or even visualize. The more we learn about our movement patterns from the inside out, the greater the improvement in range of movement, comfort, stability, and efficiency in everything we do, including thought and creativity.