The basic premise behind the Feldenkrais Method is movement with less effort. With respect to back and neck pain, Feldenkrais therapy would aatempt to teach the patient balance, flexibility, and coordination to move and function without pain.
Here are a few articles and an excellent video that will give you more information on the Feldenkrais Method and may be helpful in reducing your back pain, neck pain, or sciatica:
Feldenkrais Therapy Helps Resolve Pain
Huffington Post writer, Michael Sigman, presents a 2 part series on Feldendrais therapy.
Feldenkrais Therapy Part 1
What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies, but flexible brains
— Moshe Feldenkrais
For an obsessive swimmer who craves the endorphins, the past two years of failed therapies for a bum shoulder have been a bummer. I’ve been acupunctured, acupressured, cracked, Rolfed, electro-stimulated, nutritionized, lasered, therapized, osteopathed, hypnotized, rheumatologized, cortisoned, massaged, medicated, iced, heated, surgerized and more. Much more.
All these treatments have yielded benefits, except for the “much pain, no gain” neck-wrenchings of a certain Dr. Hertz. Our brief relationship ended when, after waiting an hour, I was asked to reschedule an appointment because Donald Sutherland had arrived. I love Donald — he was a super doctor in M*A*S*H! — but not that much. I would happily have stepped aside for his son Kiefer, a.k.a. 24’s Jack Bauer, though, so he could save civilization as we know it before the next commercial break.
But it always seemed the healer was doing something to me or instructing me to adhere to a specific, do-or-die nutrition, exercise or stretching regimen. Some gave interesting advice that didn’t quite address the problem at hand, like the enigmatic Zen acupuncturist who said little during our sessions except “You must eat very slowly and chew each bite at least 40 times before swallowing.”
Advice is frequently contradictory. Ice or heat? Breathe in or breathe out? Rest or test? Meditate or medicate? Physical therapy or surgery? Yoga or Pilates? And where, exactly, is my core?
So when a friend told me I ought to check out Stacy Barrows, a Century City, CA-based Feldenkrais practitioner, I figured I had nothing to lose.
(Read full Article Part 1)
Feldenkrais Therapy Part 2
Here, per the Gospel according to Feldenkrais, are five other common misconceptions:
1. Faster is better.
We’re brought up to think that faster is better than slower and the more reps the merrier. In fact, we need to slow down, slow down and slow down. According to Feldenkrais expert Fred Onufryk,”When moving or exercising quickly, you can only do things how you have always done them. It’s a habit. Moving slowly allows you be aware of what you are doing, lets you make distinctions and lets you choose a new and different way of doing things.”
2. “Stretching out” the injured area facilitates healing.
Static stretching exercises for specific areas — hamstrings, calves, arms, neck — are frequently unhelpful and often counterproductive. Barrows: “Our modern lifestyle — the hours we spend driving, sitting at the computer, watching TV, etc. — saps the dexterity and mobility that we had as children. We’ve thought we could loosen up via static stretching regimens but research shows that what we really need is to reestablish the fine-tuned coordination necessary to access that childlike flexibility. Our nervous system has become accustomed to bodily tension and immobility, and sets ‘trip wires’ to protect and limit our movement.”
3. Good posture means standing straight and throwing your shoulders back.
Posture is intimately related to movement, and we need many subtly modulated postures to maximize effortless movement. Think Michael Phelps gliding through the water.
“Posture is generally taught as static when it’s really a dynamic alignment that relies on spontaneous calibration of movement,” Barrows says. “When people stop to think about how to stand or sit they often freeze in a position which sets up rigidity, and does not allow for resilience, adaptability with loss of balance, or shock absorption. The idea of straight is not an appropriate cue nor is pulling your shoulders back.”
4. Strength — as in six-pack abs and rippling glutes — keeps us in shape and prevents injuries. Obviously we need strength, but intense weight-lifting and heavy calisthenics to develop the kind of muscles touted in Men’s Fitness can hamper graceful movement.
Barrows says, “We tend to look at strength to solve our movement problems, but unwanted muscle tensions — what Moshe Feldenkrais called ‘parasitic contractions’ — are merely useless holding patterns that actually interfere with movement.” According to Jeff Haller, PhD., “Dr. Feldenkrais would say, ‘I’m teaching you to be strong.’ I believe he meant for us to have the internal resources to meet the necessity of the changing moment.” “This can only be accomplished with trained muscular sensitivity,” Barrows adds.
5. No pain, no gain.
Feldenkrias emphasizes only movements that are comfortable. When something starts hurting, the teaching is to stop doing it.
(Read Full Article Part 2)
Feldenkrais Therapy Video
In this Feldenkrais video students of the method describe how it has enriched and changed their lives. Video produced by Anthony Bellov Video Production.
Do you have experience with Feldenkrais therapy for back and neck pain? Leave a comment below describing your use of the Feldenkrais Method for treating your condition.
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