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Saturday, August 11, 2018

A short video of a wonderful Feldenkrais lesson this week

Do you want to feel better in your whole body? Then this is your Feldenkrais lesson, though the video is just a tiny snippet from the very end of the lesson.  :-)

The lesson is a flowing body lesson and is one of my top favorite Awareness Through Movement lessons in nearly 10 years of teaching. It works on non-habitual movements through the whole body, in a very clear way and leaves you feeling aligned and great.  So I teach it many times a year. 

Classes generally seemed wonderful this week. I'm not sure why, they just sometimes do ... people really appreciate the lessons, or get a lot out of them. Or we just feel more connected, not only to ourselves but to each other and to life in general. You can turn up the sound and hear my words or read the captions, which I have added for the first time.  

If you want information about classes or private Functional Integration sessions, please use the contact form in the upper right hand corner of this page to reach me directly and quickly.  

Your will be surprised how much you can do to improve the quality of your movement and your comfort. This improvement enhances creativity, performance at work and even how you approach life's ups and downs. It is a shame to settle for less. 

Looking forward to hearing from you. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Better posture in the garden will save your back!

Deep summer wellness:  Staying fit in your organic garden.

  • Healthy Beginnings Magazine, JULY 25, 2018
  • |

Weed season is upon us — is your body ready for it? 

Dry, windy, sometimes horribly hot … Northern Nevada summer is shifting theatrically into high gear now. You know what I mean if you live here. If you have kids, pets or a garden — or all three — it’s a busy and challenging time, especially for we who want to keep gardens thriving organically during our tiny growing period.
In my backyard, it feels like war! The insatiable bad bugs are giving me a brutal run for my money this year, causing intensive maneuvering — stealthy companion planting, setting bug traps, going on weeding raids and applying chemically-neutral deterrents, like diatomaceous earth, not to mention sneaking in ladybugs and other ‘good’ bug saboteurs.
It’s ironic how the weeds don’t suffer the same problems that the other plants do! Survival of the fittest, I guess. Consequently, we have to defend our veggies and flowers, pull the weeds and keep toxics away from kids, pets and garden.
To that end, I’ve created a “weeding best-practices” list below. It’s short and Feldenkrais-based and will help you work fast and efficiently, which is so important during our harsh summer conditions.
Be sure to invite your kids or grandkids to help you. They need the work experience and contact with nature. And you can teach them to not rip the weeds off at ground line — how to get those roots out — something that has broad application in life!
Weeding Best-Practices
Start by doing a brief inventory of your body while standing or lying down. Scan your entire self, comparing right and left sides. Notice where you have pain and tension and where you don’t.
Just doing this will wake up your brain, stop autopilot mode, and help you not hurt yourself. Plan to pay attention to your body the whole time you’re in the garden. It’s worth the effort. Now here are the tips.
Smart weeding postures, 101:
  1. Feel where your feet are. Create a stable platform under your body.
  2. Organize diagonally over one leg while pulling with one or both hands.
  3. Grasp the weeds close to the ground so that you have maximum leverage and success getting roots out.
  4. Look at your hands as you use them, so your eyes can organize the rest of your body optimally. This is one of the most important, safety-related jobs that your eyes do, even if you don’t notice it.
  5. Alternate using your right and left hand, arm and leg — switch them up. Don’t stay in one position too long.
  6. Use your non-dominant hand and arm, alone or with your other arm to grasp weeds to pull. Your brain needs and benefits from nonhabitual, unfamiliar movements.
  7. Don’t bend at the waist through your spine. When bending forward, bend only through the hinge of your hips.
  8. When bending from the hinge or over either leg, push your bottom backward and up through your seat/sit/sitting bones.
  9. And last, keep paying attention to yourself while cleaning up — it’s easy to strain tired muscles.
Have a wonderful August, dear friends! Happy gardening and harvesting. Pesticide-free food is the best investment in your health you can make.
If you want to learn more about the Feldenkrais Method or Awareness Through Movement classes or private Functional integration sessions, you can contact me quickly and directly using the online form above. You can also learn more and PM there as well. 
Carole Bucher, BA, is a Guild-Certified Feldenkrais practitioner/teacher and owner of Reno Feldenkrais Integrative Movement. She has been teaching the only ongoing Feldenkrais classes in Northern NV since 2009. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A testimonial from a new student about her experience in a recent Reno Feldenkrais class.

We do Feldenkrais because it works! A spontaneous testimonial.

I write a monthly article in Healthy Beginnings Magazine about improving your movement, balance and all the things doing this affects, especially doing the things you love. When we move better, all of life gets better. We are more alive, vital, creative, positive.

Here is a spontaneous testimonial from a friend who attended my class once a few weeks ago, then found one of my articles in a Healthy Beginnings magazine in a medical office waiting room.

'Sitting in the Dr.’s office to get results from a test, feeling completely out of balance when I pick up the Healthy Beginning’s magazine and “accidentally” open it up to this article by Carole Bucher of Reno Feldenkrais Integrative Movement. I’ve only been once and I can tell you I was amazed at how much better I felt when I left that evening. I felt a sense of peace that night and again just now. This week I shall remember to be there.'
Tami C., Reno NV

Please contact me using the form above if you want more information about classes, have questions, or are interested in Functional Integration session. 

Do you have scoliosis, stenosis or disc degeneration? Does your diaphragm move? Why you should care. This week's lesson connects the dots.

Diaphragmatic breathing -- Feldenkrais Seesaw Breathing - activating your true core, lengthening your spine. 

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement class this week focuses on freeing the diaphragm and finding more flexible, fluid movement in the ribs, hips and along the spine. This really matters if you have scoliosis, spinal stenosis and/or disc issues, especially degeneration. 

Among the almost unlimited aspects of movement that Dr. Feldenkrais explored and implemented was a form of breathing he termed 'seesaw breathing.' What is involved is breathing into either the upper or lower part of the torso, chest or belly, holding the breath and moving the volume of air via the diaphragm from above to below, then pulling it back up to the chest, pushing it down again to the belly, and so on, for 1-4 cycles. We hold the breath while doing this, so the number of times of 'pushing the breath down and pulling the breath up' is dependent upon how easily you can hold the breath for a short period. It should never feel violent, difficult or dangerous. This movement of air up and down the torso, from top to bottom, so to speak, activates the diaphragm. The video upload from youtube below gives you an idea of the potential power that can be directed through the diaphragm.

When the diaphragm is not activated, a great deal of movement is inhibited (stuck) through ribs and the entire spine; compression can occur. Your lumbar spine movement might be hypermobile in response. Neck and throat issues may also develop.

Thus freeing the diaphragm and allowing the breath to occur in your entire breathing container, i.e., the torso, is critical for coordinated, comfortable movement throughout the body, not just the ribs and lungs. It is also responsible for much of the power that one assembles in the core, whether thinking of the core as the 'Hara,' the abs, the pelvis, the Tan Den, and so on. The diaphragm is an almost mythic organ of breath that very few people appreciate. Find yours and see what happens! <3 span="">

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What is at the top of your to-do list? Feldenkais Method® for cleaning up...

How can you use Feldenkrais to bring about major personal change, even transformative change?  

Watch this wonderfully unusual video by Feldenkrais practitioner and dancer, Paul Pui Wo Lee. I happen to be involved in a beginning a long range de-cluttering project mixed with a little Feng Shui.

So Paul's creative video really hit home. [NOTE: You can find him on youtube, Facebook and by googling his name if you want to watch more of his work.]

People sometimes get so engulfed in the Feldenkrais 'relieving pain, improving balance, alignment, and movement issues' that we don't realize all the other extraordinary benefits of breaking out of our patterns and habits, doing things in new ways. SELf-discovery!

I hope you are as inspired and uplifted as I am by this little gem. Please contact me (using the form at the top of this page) if you are interested in finding out more about classes - Awareness Through Movement - or private Feldenkrais sessions - Functional Integration.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Can we rewire our brains? Yes! Learned skills can be done in many ways

A 12 minute presentation by Dr. Feldenkrais himself speaking during a Feldenkrais training (Amherst, NY) on freeing ourselves from mind-numbing, hard-wired brain/body repetitive responses and movement. And why we must care.   

Repetition kills the life in us, physically, mentally and emotionally. 

Dr. Feldenkrais developed and/or applied so many emerging neuroscience concepts without the technology to prove his theories other than what he observed and how these helped people to improve and change.

These short videos give you a taste of the genius of the man, who in effect, was the grandfather of neuroscience and neuroplasticity. He speaks clearly about how working with our movement habits activates and improves our brain function. It recreates the rich neural development that occurs in early childhood when we were learning continuously. He explains how learning in this way is the key to increasing brain function and maintaining an active mind.  

The International Feldenkrais Federation kindly makes these wonderful short clips of Dr. Feldenkrais available to Feldenkrais teachers and practitioners to share with the public. I hope you enjoy it! If you live in the Reno-Tahoe-Sparks-Carson area and want information about attending weekly Awareness Through Movement classes or individual Functional Integration, or have general questions about the Feldenkrais Method, please contact me using the form at the top of this page.
Here is to clear thinking and mindful movement!
Best wishes,

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Do you have mid or low back pain or problems in your hips? This class will help you if you do.

Much of our back pain and a great deal of hip, leg, knee or ankle/foot pain develops because we don't use/move the upper and lower parts of ourselves in a coordinated, connected, and organic way. This means your shoulders have forgotten that they are connected to your pelvis and legs, via your back! This can also account for misalignment that occurs down through the knees all the way to the feet. Of course knee pain can also be caused from misalignment of ankles, i.e., pronation or supination (rolling in or out; you can feel both or either, when you notice how the bones in your feet take the weight of gravity into the floor).

Class this week addresses this problem and will teach you to use your back to support movement through the hips, legs, knees, ankles and feet, AND to use your lower extremities to initiate, support and organize movement through your back, shoulders, spine and head.

Learning to move like this is a basic principle of the Feldenkrais Method - distributing work (movement) throughout the skeleton, through the whole body. Initially this can only occur when you are paying attention to how you move, meaning  paying attention to your existing movement habits and patterns. Then you will see where the disconnect actually lies, or rather, you will FEEL it.

Even if you've never been to a Feldenkrais class before, you can do yourself some good now by noticing how you move, what you feel, where your body parts are, as you go through your day. Try it and you'll begin to see changes that your body will instinctively make to organize your movement more intelligently. Our bodies are fabulous that way; once you understand how much difference using your attention makes on your movement and your brain, you'll begin to see the possibilities for real, lasting change in yourself.

If you wish to attend a class, please contact me using the form on this webpage and I'll send you the class handout.  I'll also be glad to answer any questions you may have about the Feldenkrais Method.

Feldenkrais classes can make a huge difference in your life when you are out of touch with your body, or if you have aches and pains, or want to restore vitality, creativity and effective movement again. It will improve your performance in nearly every activity you do.  All you need to do is participate with commitment -- i.e., be interested in: developing attention and self-awareness of your brain and body; learning about yourself and your movement in a new way; and being prepared to feel better and more effective in your life again. Does this interest you?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Neck pain - Is your head tilted forward toward the front of your chest, rather than on top of your spine?

A little more about dowagers' hump, also known as buffalo hump, kyphosis, kypho-scoliosis and simply, osteoporosis of the upper thoracic, and/or lower cervical spine. 

When the head is pitched forward over the chest due to habit or anatomy, it affects your whole body, including your vertical and horizontal alignment, your balance and it creates downward shearing forces that enter the skeleton due to misalignment. These are elements that affect your safety, comfort and the ability to move and feel well. 

When I searched 'dowager's hump' online,  I found differing and inconsistent names, symptoms, definitions, descriptions and discussions about the cause and treatment of the fatty deposit around the base of the cervical spine:  from taking more calcium, up to and including injecting a synthetic cement-like substance into the vertebrae to hold them in place and keep them from collapsing forward. Or scary manual manipulation. But there was very little agreement on causation or treatment.

I also did not find anything much to do with improving movement, neither in the entire body, nor in the affected and related areas, as a sane and effective approach to treatment and/or prevention. Simple, non-invasive approaches are the hardest to find, sadly.

In the Feldenkrais Method, however, mobility through the entire body is a key principle of health: our general approach to the body is that the greater capacity for movement and flow through the body that one has, the better one feels. The more that work is distributed through the entire skeleton, the better the body functions, bears weight, balances, stays upright, and is able to do the tasks and activities that make life a joy and worth living. 

In general we humans tend to have far more issues and trouble related to too little movement than problems from doing too much, excluding, of course, our ridiculous capacity to over-do in short spurts and actually injure ourselves. This we do because we do not pay attention to what we are feeling in our bodies, but that is a discussion for another time.

Thus increasing mobility and comfort means more and better movement and quality of life. More energetic flow, creativity, vitality and sense of freedom, all of which contribute to a better sense of self, more self-awareness and consciousness. When we improve movement in any part of our body, it affects everything else. Reclaiming more movement between the shoulder blades gently and rediscovering the upper thoracic spine will change your outlook on life, literally. 

So at minimum, 
  1. Begin to pay attention to where your head and body are in space. 
  2. Lie on the floor and see how far away from your chest is from your chin. 
  3. If your chin is far from your chest and your head rests on the ground toward the top of the head, it means you probably have the pitching forward from your 7th cervical vertebra that is associated with a developing dowager's hump or immobility in this region. 
If you'd like to learn more about classes or individual work, I'd be happy to talk with you. Use the contact form at the top of the page to reach me quickly.  
Best wishes,

A beautiful demonstration: Feldenkrais - How it Works - with English subtitles

Once our awareness is awakened, our possibilities for improvement on nearly every level are almost limitless.

If we wish to transform habits, patterns -- physical, mental and emotion – that no longer work for us, our awareness, attention and connection through sensation will open this magic door. True, whether the non-working pattern (accommodation) is due to injury, surgery, repetitive action, disorganized brain map, age, or has been with us since birth.

I invite you to watch this lovely short video by Feldenkrais trainer Mara Fusero, in Milan, Italy. Feldenkrais trainings and the practive of the Feldenkrais Method, i.e., Awareness Through Movement classes and Functional Integration individual sessions, are done all over the world by people of every age, background, condition and requirement, from infancy to those nearly end of life.

If you are in the Reno-Tahoe-Northern NV area and want more information, please contact me, using the form at the right, above.

Best wishes,
Carole Bucher, BA, GCFP

Thursday, July 5, 2018

What is Feldenkrais Functional Integration? Jeremy Krauss demonstrating a Feldenkrais - Functional Integration lesso...

If you have wondered about the individual, hands-on part of Feldenkrais, this is a demonstration of  lengthening the body through the arm, shoulder, ribs and spine. It is a lovely, empowered way to improve your musculoskeletal organization, comfort, efficiency and alignment, while learning new ways of moving that will positively influence nearly everything you do.  Contact me if you are interested in finding out more about the Feldenkrais Method.