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Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Apologies for Schedule Confusion

Dear Students and Friends,

I tried very hard to get the word out about the holiday schedule for Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes, and am sorry that the information did not get posted through the RBC.  My error. Thus to clarify, there will be no classes at any location during December 25 and January 8, and I am very sorry if you chose that time to come to your first class!

We look forward to your joining us in January, and in the mean time, please contact me via email, facebook or to sign up and let me know about you.  Kindly make sure that I have your email and other contact information.  I really do try to minimize confusion and difficulties, and having adequate contact time and info helps very much.

Now more than ever, it is important to feel and move our best, to conserve our energy and use our most precious resource, our body, at its highest and best level, with ease and comfort.  I look forward to continuing in this quest with you in 2013.  There is so much more we can learn to do to feel and move well, and to continue doing the things we love for a very long time.

Best wishes and Happy New Year to all!  

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sat 3 pm class RESCHEDULED to 3 pm SUN, Dec. 23

Feldenkrais CLASS CHANGE -- 3 pm Saturday Awareness Through Movement class (today Dec. 22) is rescheduled till tomorrow due to weather.

The ongoing Saturday AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT will be held 3 PM ON SUNDAY at Achieve Fitness. If this is your first class, contact me and come 15 minutes early.

Wishing you peace and many blessings for the holiday,

Monday, November 19, 2012

How Feldenkrais works and why it will work for you:

Our bodies are truly remarkable instruments, sensitive and responsive, and surprisingly easy to influence with our minds. Our systems actually desire and move toward balance and healing from within, and are capable of continuous learning and changing. This is true at every age, and in just about any condition, when we support this action in natural and simple ways.

So it is odd, really, how effective we are at using our minds negatively, to undermine our potential, instead of using this power in a positive way. We become expert at disrupting our natural abilities to find balance and potency,  and choose instead, to use our natural gifts to dis-empower ourselves! Think how we use our imagination to scare ourselves, causing us to 'choke' under pressure, dread the future, worry endlessly, creating stress, or even worse, making ourselves sick.

Doing Feldenkrais counteracts this negative tendency by bringing our attention deep inside  our body to the skeletal level.  We begin to find and sense the deepest and most supportive structures of ourselves.  And as we slowly engage in doing simple, though highly structured non-habitual movements, and follow them with our minds (to whatever extent we can), the effort itself, reestablishes a deep connection of support at the level of our nervous systems.  We begin to find something new: a wonderful feeling of empowerment, flexibility and support that comes from reconnecting and relearning about ourselves at this deep subconscious level.  How we move and feel improves almost immediately.

Thus rather than trying to change how we think about ourselves, we 'feel' ourselves into change, as we study and explore movement in our bodies in a slow and deliberate, focused way.  This study produces a change in our inner connection with ourselves, and opens the door to a new understanding internally. We begin to feel and see how our movement patterns and habits get in our way and where we can look in ourselves to find real improvement.

We become intuitively able to use our bodies differently, more potently and much more supportively. We begin to know where we are in space, with our feet on the ground, and our spines more naturally erect.  We are able to sense and let go of tensions and 'mindless muscular movement' that wear out our joints and cause injury and accident.

Dr. Feldenkrais developed this method to restore his own movement and function following crippling injuries to knee and arm. And it is just this same ability to refine and improve the connections between our bodies and brains that bring elite athletes and performers to the Feldenkrais method -- people who desire to obtain a higher level of performance or gain a critical, competitive edge.

The transformation that this 'sensing' knowledge and 'movement' learning can unlock in us, consciously and subconsciously, is life changing.  It naturally relieves physical and mental tensions, and reconnects us with our healing and balancing capacities.  We genuinely feel better as we move more comfortably and efficiently; we are more stable and graceful, and can engage in all our activities more effectively. And we already have everything we need to begin -- our bodies and our minds.

If you are interested in attending a class, please contact me at, on facebook at, or via

The picture shows a Saturday class at ACHIEVE Fitness, in Reno.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Feldenkrais Teaches Us Sustainability In Our Bodies

One of the hardest parts of beginning to work with the Feldenkrais Method® is realizing and accepting that we don't inhabit our bodies very much. This is true even for those of us who work on consciousness in various ways, or engage in physical activities like riding, skiing, running and golf, where agility and balance are part of our skill set.

But in fact, we really aren't very aware of how we use ourselves; whether we expend more energy than needed in our movement, and tax our steadily aging systems unnecessarily--especially our joints. We overuse our necks and lumbar spines, wreck our shoulders, damage our hips and knees.

As we begin, in classes and at home, to practice sensing ourselves more deeply, we quickly regain our ability to be connected.  We begin to see how often we engage in mindless muscular movement throughout the day, don't know where we are in space, or feel our feet on the floor. 

This experience opens the door to positive change of our movement patterns on a subconscious level--intuitively making better movement choices, sensing and finding better balance, breathing, and simply being inside ourselves, OCCUPYING US.

As we learn internally, at the level of the nervous system, we apply this information to all our activities, naturally improving our sensitivity, stability, capacity and comfort.  And it is from here that our sustainable body begins to emerge, ready to take us into the future!  Contact me to join me for a class or to learn more about the Feldenkrais Method®.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Great scoliosis, hip, shoulder, and back Class this week.

Because of its powerful effects on scoliosis, hips/pelvis, back and shoulders, I am giving this lesson again this week.  You can take it at the ACHIEVE Fitness 10 am class TUES, or 3 pm SATURDAY; or at the Reno Buddhist Center on THURS at 5:30 pm.

If it is your first ATM class, pls come 15-20 mins early.

This week's Awareness Through Movement lesson is a BEAUTIFUL LENGTHENING, VERTICALIZING study -- #5 from Chava Shelav, Ph.D. Feldy. Side lying, it is especially good for balancing the pelvis and moving ribs and spine, thus helps scoliosis, breathing and helps reduce tension and pain in all parts of the back and hips. It also opens the shoulder joints and chest as the arms move outward away from the torso, and circle. It is comforting, strengthening and healing, has very positive and immediate benefits. Please join me.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I will begin a new Pelvic Floor Series next Thursday, November 1, at 4 pm, Reno Buddhist Center.
It will continue with the pelvic floor work done in previous sessions.  If you are new to Feldenkrais, you must contact me on facebook or by email at, and come 20 minutes or more early to the first class.

Pelvic Floor work can greatly help people who have issues with SCOLIOSIS, BALANCE, BREATHING and other subtle, but critical functions that follow pelvic surgeries, injury, hip replacement, in addition to UROGENITAL FUNCTION in both men and women.  Working with the pelvic floor also provides a very refined sense of pelvic balance for athletes, dancers and equestrians.

The class is based on the work of renowned Feldenkrais practitioner and EPT, Deborah Bowes.  I took an advanced training in Feldenkrais Pelvic Floor work in San Francisco last June, which covered her her decades long pelvic floor work and research. Deborah has since completed her doctoral degree in physical therapy based on her Feldenkrais pelvic floor work.  An interview with her about this work is available here:

Saturday, October 20, 2012


THIS WEEK's WONDERFUL Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement (ATM)® Lesson - Sensitizing your fingers, hands, arms, while moving hips and shoulders (with a little rolling at the end!)

A back- and side-lying Awareness Through Movement lesson especially helpful for people who work with their hands, including riders, artists, musicians, AND for people with scoliosis and any pelvic or skeletal imbalance or issue. AND for everyone else too!

The lesson involves 2 parts
1) softening the USE OF FINGERS, HANDS, ARMS, as you explore face, neck, sternum, clavicle and shoulder structure, and 2) SEPARATING AND FREEING MOVEMENT IN HIP JOINTS while tracking effects on legs, back and shoulders (and of course ribs and spine) and keeping hands, jaw, etc. very soft and relaxed.

Most people tend to use more force than needed for practically every task. This lesson helps us learn to modulate force in the hands especially, by internal sensing. Sensing in this way helps us to keep from tensing our hands and jaws as we move other parts of ourselves that aren't being helped by this tension. IT SAVES OUR JOINTS!

The lesson increases sensitivity in our hands while improving flexibility in shoulders/hips/spine. It is a lovely lesson from Cliff Smythe, one of the incredible Australian Feldenkrais trainers. He is partners with Deborah Bowes, the SF Feldenkrais Pelvic Floor guru I studied with in San Francisco this year.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

UPDATE - No Saturday October 13th ACHIEVE Fitness Class


Students and friends,

There will be no 3 pm class at ACHIEVE Fitness on Saturday Oct. 13. Regular 3 pm Saturday classes will resume on October 20 and continue through the middle of December. Please contact me if you have any questions, at

Thank you and best wishes,

Feldenkrais for Equestrians

Feldenkrais Raises the Bar on Equestrian Excellence
by Carole Bucher, BA, GCFP/T

Riders all over the world have used the Feldenkrais Method® for high level competitive edge and to establish in themselves an exceptionally refined capacity to sense themselves and their mounts. This refined capacity of sensing means that horse and rider are able to create a symphony of movement in which their rhythms blend and combine in a truly extraordinary way. You know it when you witness it--but more important, when you experience it as the rider, you feel it like heaven unfolding in motion and sensation. It defies description, goes far beyond words.

To shed light on this phenomena, I am including an article from the 2008 online journal, Here, the underlying aspects of the Feldenkrais Method® are dissected and explained in a simple yet elegant way, and reveal how the method is able to offer such possibility to riders.

The article also takes the reader through a simple, interesting Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® lesson to provide a taste of what the method is all about, first hand. I hope you enjoy it! Note that the article, with photos, is also linked on my page.

The Feldenkrais Method® and Its Application to Riding

Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Author: Margreet Bouwmeester

Do you know that working with Feldenkrais® can make you a better rider?

As a human and rider, we move the whole day. We are unaware of a lot of our movement and we do not think when we move. We are busy with what we have to do and not with how we are going to do the movement. When you are aware of the how of a movement you can experience an easier, more supple way to move. This seems a lot like Centered Riding :>))

This is the idea behind the Feldenkrais Method. The Feldenkrais Method was originated by Dr Moshé Feldenkrais (1904-1984), a Ukrainian-born Jewish physicist and judo practitioner who moved to Israel and eventually became an Israeli. Dr. Feldenkrais presented a view that good health means functioning well---working well, having satisfying relationships with emotional maturity, able to access a full range of responses to any situation ("Awareness Through Movement ®"). He asserted that his method of body/mind exploration leads to improved functioning (health) through individuals becoming more aware and finding improved use; this focus on exploration and awareness is typified by his statement "What I am after is more flexible minds, not just more flexible bodies". Mabel Ellsworth Todd, the woman who worked with Sally Swift, is cited as one of the persons who influenced Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais.

The basis of movement is skeleton anatomy. The muscles are second and are for control. Balance is action. Movement is always the whole movement of horse and rider. Do you know where the movement of your body stops during horse riding? Is your body moving with the horse? Better riding starts with awareness. Good teaching does also. As an instructor, specifically a Centered Riding instructor, watch where the movement of the skeleton stops; then you see were the force stops. The force is moving through the skeleton. The skeleton is the railroad track, the muscles are the train. When the railroad track is working, the muscles are doing their work right.

There are 4 parts in the journey of working with the Feldenkrais Method:
Awareness: if you know how you move, you can change (for example: do you know where your seatbones are?
Differentiate: This means you make the movement smaller. When you start to become aware of the movement, you notice the difference (for example: are your seatbones pointed to the ears, the tail or the back of the horse?)
Choice: If you can differentiate, you have a choice. You can make the choice to change. You can do your movement the old way or the new way.
Freedom: The first three principles give freedom. If you know how you learn, you can learn everything.

How can the Feldenkrais Method help you as a rider?

Working with Feldenkrais helps you to discover how to use your bones in support of the body instead of using your muscles. Feldenkrais teaches you to get a better balance, a better feeling and the experience of more freedom in your body. This means your horse can move better. Communication between horse and rider is affected by how the rider sits and moves. The Feldenkrais Method can also be very helpful when you have pain in the body, back pain, limitations of an old injury or limitations you didn’t know you had. Movement improves with the four parts of the journey as written above. (Photo: The rider's hand is placed on her back for awareness)

Using this method on and off the horse helps you to have more relaxed shoulders, softer hands, hip joints (and other joints) that can move. You will develop awareness of how a neutral pelvis feels, how soft knees and ankles feel. Breathing will be easier. You become more aware in the use of your eyes. The Feldenkrais Method gives choices in movement, awareness and balance which are both very important parts of horse riding.

Here is a simple / easy exercise to do based upon the Feldenkrais Method. The most common position for Feldenkrais lessons is lying on the floor. This exercise is on a chair, however, because it relates to riding. (making turns)
Be aware that you move very slowly, this brings awareness that you need to get a higher quality of movement.

Sit on a chair (not leaning back) and look to the right side over your shoulder. Look to the farthest point (most distal point) you can see. Be aware of the way how you are doing this, what your habit is. Where is your weight in your seatbones? What are your eyes doing? Are you pushing on the ground with one or another foot? Is the movement going freely or does the movement stop somewhere in the body? You will notice this only when you move slowly. Go back to your basic seat. (This is the test move).

Turn your head to the left and shoulders to the right side and look to the left.

Next: Turn your head to the left side, your shoulders to the left side and look to the right side, then: turn your shoulders to the right side, head left and look to the right side,

Next: turn your shoulders to the right side, head left and look to the left side.

Next turn your head, shoulders to the left and look to the left side.

At least turn right again, and let the movement go through the body. Is there a change in the movement? Where is the weight in your seatbones? Do your legs move with the turn? Do you feel the diagonal better? Can you look farther then the first time? If not repeat every movement again and be aware to move slowly.

There are a lot of different movements in The Feldenkrais Method - somewhere around 1000. If you want to know more about Feldenkrais lessons, go to a certified Feldenkrais® practitioner for a lesson. Even if it’s without a horse, your body will learn.

Photos: In the first photo, the rider sits crooked in the saddle. In the second photo, the rider sits straight after the exercises.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Feldenkrais Class Updates Fall 2012

AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT® classes Week of Sept. 7-14,
ACHIEVE Fitness and RBC: 

Because it is such an important lesson and many people missed it last week, we are repeating the wonderful, foundational Mark Reese lesson from from 'Moving Out of Pain.' The lesson gently addresses differentiating movement in the legs, pelvis and chest; freeing, clarifying and integrating movement in each of these areas. You will feel changes in shoulders, chest, pelvis and overall posture.  The lesson also lengthens the spine and opens the ribs.

Starting A NEW PELVIC FLOOR CLASS, based on Deborah Bowes cutting edge pelvic floor system work, on Thursday Sept. 13 at the Reno Buddhist Center. This class is excellent for SCOLIOSIS as well as all pelvic floor system issues, including breathing and balance.

Contact me at for more information or if you have questions.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mia Segal, Differentiation and Integration

Defining Differentation of the Arms, Shoulders and Ribs

Another wonderful example of the magic of Feldenkrais from legendary Mia Segal, one of Dr. Feldenkrais' first students.  Principles of both Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration become clear.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Introduction to the Feldenkrais Method, from Alan Fraser, renowned Feldenkrais teacher, pianist, and practitioner

THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD: difficult to explain, wonderful to experience. 

Monday, July 30, 2012


Hi everyone,

Just a little interesting feedback about what we are discovering together in the new pelvic floor class, currently being given at ACHIEVE FITNESS.  (Please contact me if you want details about the class.)

After only 1 class, 2 people found clear improvement related to incontinence and urinary issues, and everyone had a better capacity to find, sense/feel and contract/relax their pelvic floors. This also helps bring awareness to the whole pelvis, our center of movement power, meaning moving in the direction of stability and strength.

During and after the 2nd class, extreme improvement in balance was noted by one long-time student, and numerous people, especially riders, felt more stability and groundedness in the pelvis in a new way.  Everyone experienced continued improvement in ability to contract/relax PF in a more complete way, meaning they will be better able to do it at home and begin to assess the impact more directly on their uro-genitory issues, and upon balance.

Breathing was also generally better, as a widening of the chest and hips is again directly connected with PF work.

To me, the influence of PF work on balance is especially intriguing.  I am going to go back into my notes and videos to search for the physiological link up between them and will share what I learn.  

But please don't hold your breath...summer in Reno means busy in the garden in addition to Feldenkrais classes and individual sessions. Instead, sense your breathing and breathe into your entire abdominal cavity, PF included!

Take good care!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


My new Feldenkrais pelvic floor class, followed by the regular, ongoing 3 pm Awareness Through Movement class (given at ACHIEVE Fitness today) was a hit! The class was full; and the 11 people who stayed for the second class got even more from the immersion into sensing and movement--meaning more pain relief, greater feeling of flexibility, stability and balance.  Everyone felt improvement, and we had fun.  As the teacher, it is really meaningful to be learning about using our bodies more efficiently and intelligently, right along with my students.

Studying the application of sensing, contracting and relaxing this important part of our anatomy from a Feldenkrais perspective means that we can rather rapidly reap the benefits of greater internal control of our pelvic floor functions.  If you want to learn more about this by attending a class, please contact me directly.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Re-post Moving out of pain - functional integration®

For anyone who wants to see what Functional Integration looks like, Mia Segal's work gives you a clear feeling of method and path.  You can find much more of her work (and other Feldenkrais people) on youtube.  It is individualized Feldenkrais learning at the level of mind and body.

The legendary Mia Segal, original pupil of Dr. Feldenkrais, demonstrates a simple and stunningly elegant example of a Functional Integration lesson.


Because it directly affects the functioning of your entire body, including spinal function, elimination processes, urogenital function, your balance and your breathing. So you can have more control over all these functions yourself...A few reasons that you MIGHT CARE.


If we think about the pelvic floor as the bottom of the abdominal container (situated between the sitting bones, the sacrum and the pubic bone), the top of which is your diaphragm), its easier to grasp why condition of your pelvic floor affects so many of your important physiological functions.
This container is attached to the lumbar spine, thus people with SCOLIOSIS always have some degree of pelvic floor imbalance. Yet another way Feldenkrais helps us work directly and effectively with SCOLIOSIS.


Learning to Work With Your Pelvic Floor

Next Saturday July 21 at 1:45 pm I am beginning a new series of 6 classes to help people improve the health and well being of this important and poorly understood system.  To reiterate, a healthy PF supports improved functioning of everything inside the pelvis, as well as critical components of breathing, balance and spinal function. You must contact me to participate.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Conscious Deviation?
Look at the sensitive, emotional, intelligent, lovable face of my horse friend below! Could this be the face of a CONSCIOUS DEVIATOR?  

The real story (and question!), How my skeletal alignment affects my horse's alignment... and What can I consciously do to improve this situation, using the Feldenkrais approach?

Did you know that when you, the rider, are not aligned vertically with your ears over your hips (the 2 places where the greatest number of our proprioceptors exist), your horse CONSCIOUSLY DEVIATES from its own alignment to try to match yours? Does that sound safe to anyone? This is one of many reasons equestrians do they know that they and their horses are aligned in a safe, stable (:-)) way! Smart they are...

Monday, July 2, 2012

How Feldenkrais Helps Scoliosis


SCARY TO KNOW, but the cause of more than 80% of scoliosis is basically unknown, not understood! (Medical term: idiopathic.)
      Intriguingly, at a recent advanced training on the pelvic floor in San Francisco with renowned Feldenkrais Practitioner Deborah Bowes, DPT, CFP I learned that there is growing evidence that function of the pelvic floor system plays a significant role in scoliosis.
     As many of you know from my earlier workshops, Dr. Feldenkrais approached scoliosis in a unique and effective way, and you can learn this.  As Feldenkrais practitioners, we use variation of movement as a primary intervention to the progression of scoliosis. Thus to introduce work with the pelvic floor as a component of this variety makes sense and adds a new dimension to our study and learning about relieving scoliosis.
     The notes below are excerpts of an article about improving scoliosis using the Feldenkrais Method, written by practitioner Maureen McHugh. The important thing is to begin look at scoliosis in a new way -- to open your mind to improvement from a different place in yourself, literally and figuratively.
///// Carole Bucher, BA, GCFP/T

Relieving Scoliosis by Cultivating Deeper Sensory Awareness and a Greater Variety of Movement Patterns... 
Despite so many unknowns, improvement (in scoliosis) is possible.
The first step is a mental one, and that is to see scoliosis as a pattern of movement. This is Moshe Feldenkrais's big insight.
     "Scoliosis" is a noun, and in hearing it you get the sense that one is discussing something fixed. When the young teen first hears, "You have a scoliosis", it sounds as fixed as the statement "You have a right arm." But what if scoliosis is better understood as a pattern of movement?
"You have moved so that your ribs are turned like this and your hip is hiked up like that." And then the statement is added: "And you can learn to move in another way."
The fixity of scoliosis is best seen as a habit, a strong and unconscious habit. Seen like this, the problem comes into the realm of how to modify habits.
     The main Feldenkrais approach to modifying habit is to create more variety. Not to contradict the pattern because that works as badly with movement patterns as it does with people. Instead, the process is to cultivate more variety. Scoliosis is a movement pattern favoring one direction and neglecting the other. Through Feldenkrais we cultivate the ability to move with ease in all directions.

/////Please contact me at if you live in the Reno/Tahoe area and would like to explore how to use the Feldenkrais Method to help your scoliosis.  Best wishes! Carole

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MINDFUL GARDENING yields great results

PAIN-FREE GARDENING?  You can do it!

Here are some important 'COMFORTABLE GARDENING' tips from Reno Feldenkrais:

(1)  Always keep some attention on your body so that you don't forget about yourself and hurt yourself unconsciously; 
(2)  CHANGE POSITIONS frequently if you feel uncomfortable or if you feel pain;  
(3) Use your whole body to support weed pulling and other tasks, working at an angle or from the side, not straight down in front of you; 
(4) Bend from the knees and hips, not from your lower spine; 
(5)  Being more mindful as you tend your beautiful garden will save you pain and give you pleasure.  AND you will reap the rewards in your well-being!
(6) If you want to learn more about how to move more comfortably, with greater stability, grace and with less pain, contact me at 775-240-7882 or about classes or private lessons.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

MORE Help for Scoliosis and Back Pain

2nd Scoliosis & Back Mobility Workshop - An introductory event to teach you just how much you can do to improve your condition. You don't have to put up with pain!

WHEN/WHERE:  Sunday May 20, 1-5 pm, at the Reno Buddhist Center, 820 Plumas, Reno.
COST: need-based sliding scale, $35-50.  Class is limited to 12 people; you must preregister & prepay.
BRING:  A mat, blanket or comforter and a small towel, water and a snack.
CONTACT:  Carole at or 775-240-7882.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Finely Tuned

Yo Yo Ma and Yehudi Menuhin were probably among the first and most famous musicians to find that the unusual, non-habitual Feldenkrais movements, done slowly and with focused attention, improved their musical abilities.  And since then, literally thousands of musicians around the world have discovered the Feldenkrais method as a unique and meaningful support for their music and for repetitive motion strain.

In this video, cellist Uri Vardi and his wife, flutist Hagit, bring the extraordinary, vivifying elements of Awareness Through Movement® to a classical orchestra setting, " the service of enhanced musical expression and to prevent injury."  You will see how it works for yourself.

Whether you are a musician or want to learn more about the deep and remarkable changes that can occur in your brain and body from working attentively in this way, I know you will enjoy watching this video.  From it you will get a clear taste of the magic that can be found in applying the Feldenkrais Method to any activity.  And the music is gorgeous, the depth of feeling wonderful.

Friday, February 10, 2012

2nd SCOLIOSIS WORKSHOP, A different perspective


How we use our bodies in our daily activities, sport and in workouts exerts a significant influence on our skeletons and bone remodeling (bone build up and breakdown), per Wolff's law.  This means that the forces traveling through our skeletons as we move (or don't move) affect the shape and structure of our bones at a minute but powerful level.  This is seen most easily in athletes whose bones are actually larger in the parts of their anatomy most affected by their sport.

If we move and use ourselves more mindfully, intelligently and with more efficiency and comfort, the effects can be very wide reaching indeed.  This is of particular importance to people who have structural irregularities, chronic pain, or limited movement, including scoliosis.

Thus, we can --and do-- whether intentionally or not, affect the integrity and comfort of our bodies. We have the capacity and power to do this in a positive way, but it requires working with attention and intention.  If you are interested in rediscovering yourself in this way, I invite you to join us for a workshop or class.  The next Scoliosis workshop is May 20. Best wishes, Carole Bucher, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A New Approach to Chronic Pain

Bridget Quebodeaux, a GCFP in Los Angeles, shares her experience and insight into chronic pain in this very interesting article. If you suffer from pain, I bet you will find this intriguing:         

Why toaster ovens don't get fibromyalgia...By Bridget Quebodeaux, GCFP

As a Feldenkrais® practitioner, I often work with people who have chronic conditions and unexplained pain. They come from different walks of life. They have different personal histories and life experiences. They have different strengths and weaknesses and different temperaments and moods. They are different. Their pain is different. And yet the first words they speak are often the same: “I’ve tried everything and nothing helps.”
Sometimes it’s as if I’m being offered a fair warning, “Don’t feel badly if what you do doesn’t work. Nothing does.” Other times, I feel as if I’m being dared to make any difference at all. Always present is the hesitant hope that the Feldenkrais Method® will be the something that finally helps.

In recent decades, the biopsychosocial model has become the most accepted model for viewing chronic pain. The biopsychosocial approach says chronic pain is just part of the experience of a whole person living in the world. Hurting bodies cannot be understood in parts or in isolation of the thinking, sensing, feeling person walking around in them and the environment in which they live and ache. Personal histories, feeling management strategies, relationships, and beliefs are no less a part of felt pain than an old injury or a job that requires repetitive movement, and getting better is not a linear process of problem identification and symptom removal.

Research suggests a multidisciplinary healing strategy. Many people take that to mean they need a physical therapist, psychotherapist, massage therapist, energy healer and breath coach (to name a few). My belief is that less is usually more. Doing more won’t make what you do more helpful. Doing more won’t make it more likely that you will stumble onto the one approach or combination of approaches that “fixes” your problem and ends your pain. Doing more makes you tired and it isn’t necessary.
Doing well is much easier and will yield much better results. I suggest beginning by banishing the hope of being fixed. People can’t be fixed like kitchen appliances and old cars.
It may feel as though all your pain exists in one or more parts of your body and if you could just fix those parts, you’d be flying high. Indeed, if you were a ’69 Mustang or a toaster oven, you could have those parts repaired or replaced and be on your way. Not so with the parts of you that hurt.
I began the last lecture I gave on chronic pain with the following quote from the NOI group, “Discs do not cause pain anymore than genital stimulation causes love. Discs contribute to the pain experience.” If discs in fact merely contribute to the pain experience (as I believe they do) then consider the following: