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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