Episode 12: The Magic of Healing Through Movement

Movement is life, and movement can help you heal from pain, stress, anxiety, depression, and pretty much anything that is interfering with the quality of your life. On the other hand, we all have habits and patterns of moving that can create or add to our physical or emotional pain.

Knowledge is power, and so is lifelong learning. Keeping an open mind and learning about alternative health practices gives you the power to take control of your body and puts you in charge of your health rather than relinquishing it to someone else.

This episode outlines one of my favorite alternative modalities, one which I have studied extensively and eventually became certified in after four grueling years of study and training.

However, it was well worth the time, money, and effort invested. Yes, it’s that good. Learn a little bit about this method and discover how using your awareness, along with simple changes in your movement patterns can help you heal your life, in a natural, organic, and visceral way. After all, the human body has an incredible ability to heal itself.

As I said, knowledge is power. And so is the magic of movement. It will even restore your human dignity.

Who Needs A Gym?

Are you one of those people (like me) who absolutely hate the thought of going to a gym but does want to be fit and healthy? The key is to keep moving, and find activities that you absolutely love to do. I personally enjoy taking classes because I enjoy the social interaction, the camaraderie, and having someone that I need to be accountable to. After all, if I were left to my own devices I would sit on the couch all day eating bon bons and wonder why my butt was so big.

However, there are so many things to choose from for physical activity. Notice I said “physical activity” rather than “exercise.” I did that on purpose, because I am a physical therapist who hates exercise and thinks that chocolate is food. Fortunately, I love to move.

Movement is life, and our bodies were made and meant to move. Keeping that in mind, you may want to experiment in a variety of different classes or movement modalities that appeal to you. A few examples are Pilates, Tai Chi, yoga, dance, and/or Feldenkrais, just to name a few. The beauty of studying any of these methods is that they are portable, meaning that you can learn the basic movement techniques and practice them in the privacy of your own home every single day.

However, don’t think that you have to do each and every movement pattern that you learn. Again, I am avoiding the “e” word to take away the pressure. Just do the ones that you enjoy or feel good to you. Just doing them for 5-15 minutes a day will do wonders to strengthen, tone, and condition your entire body. It can be even more effective than going to the gym 3 times a week, because the effects are cumulative.

If you make a habit of setting aside a few minutes every day to simply move, you might be surprised how good you feel. Keep moving, be healthy, and don’t be afraid to enjoy a bit of chocolate every now and again.

Feldenkrais®: Science and Magic

I am passionate about science, especially neuroscience. If I hadn’t been accepted into a master’s degree program for physical therapy, I would have earned a master’s in neuroscience instead. However, I couldn’t see myself working in a lab all day. I’m more of a people person. Besides, if I had gone in that direction, I may never have discovered Feldenkrais.

I absolutely love the method, and I love being a practitioner. My greatest reward is witnessing the magic of this method as it helps my clients improve the quality of their lives. However, my greatest challenge as a Feldenkrais practitioner is trying to explain what Feldenkrais is, how it works, and why it is so effective.

Feldenkrais is not magic; it’s science, and is based on the scientific principle of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity means that we are able to change and learn new things during the course of our entire lifetime. I don’t mean the kind of learning that we get from a book, or the kind of learning that we get from school. It’s the kind of learning that takes place deep in our nervous system, and it is more of a visceral, organic type of learning that changes our neural pathways, strengthens our neural connections, and actually grows more nerve tissue in our brain. How cool is that?

Feldenkrais uses the concept of neuroplasticity to access our nervous system in a very gentle but powerful way, through movement. Feldenkrais lessons gently interrupt current patterns and habits through movement explorations, thus allowing for new patterns to emerge. The learning and integration of new patterns are not limited to just movement, but include moving, sensing, thinking and feeling as well.

With Feldenkrais, you can eliminate aches and pains, improve your flexibility, posture, and balance. You can discover new ways of moving effortlessly and more efficiently. You will be able to improve your proficiency in all of your functional and recreational activities, regardless of your age and current level of function.

It does sound like magic, doesn’t it? It is, and it isn’t. It is the science of neuroplasticity, and the magic of our nervous system to discover our inner wisdom and realize our full potential. I don’t know about you, but it feels like magic to me. The magic of the Feldenkrais Method and the science of neuroplasticity.