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Perhaps some Feldenkrais here

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  • Perhaps some Feldenkrais here

    I spoke on the phone the other day to Robert Burgess after being pointed toward his web site by Rod Henderson.

    Robert, a PT and Feldenkrais Guild member tells me that though he currently practices in New Hampshire he is originally from Adelaide Australia and took a Maitland course with David Butler years ago.

    If he agrees to participate he may become a wonderful addition to Soma Simple. Toward that end he's sent along a video here.

    Let's look at it.

    Maybe we'll get something going here.
    Barrett L. Dorko

  • #2
    I mentioned Robert on the Feldenkrais thread some time ago. Actually, I invited him here IIRC. We had a brief email exchange but to my demerit, I got snowed under with other things and lost contact.

    Hopefully the renewed invitation can entice him here.
    Tactile Raconteur


    • #3
      Perhaps some Feldenkrais here

      Hello SomaSimple,

      "Kinematics Rule"....

      My video is a very early stage process of a book titled: "the kinematics of low back pain".
      33 years as a PT, 21 as a Feldenkrais practitioner and a PhD in spinal kinematics. Time to put it all together.



      • #4
        Welcome Robert,

        Could you please elaborate " kinematics" a bit more?

        Thank you,




        • #5
          Hi Robert,

          Have you had much contact with Serge Gracovetsky? His book "The spinal engine" sounds in the same neighbourhood as what you are talking about. I am just starting to review his work. He is not well versed in pain research and doesn't have comments on it.

          Glad to see you here.
          Byron Selorme -SomaSimpleton and Science Based Yoga Educator
          Shavasana Yoga Center

          "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" Richard Feynman


          • #6
            elaborating on kinematics

            Dear Weni and SomaSimple,
            On elaborating on kinematics- the long answer from me at least will take 2-3 years until I complete my book. The abbreviated version today goes like this:
            In PT we are dealing with movement. Movement is probably number one of what we are about. You could argue for pain but always, in the way I work, I deal with movement.
            Kinematics is the geometry of movement. Sounds like a circular argument but everyone remembers geometry. You probably also recall from PT school days the description of lumbar motion, say lumbar flexion, as a forward rotation and translation of L1 on L2 and a forward rotation and translation of L2 on L3 etc… this is kinematics.
            Kinematics comes from classic mechanics in physics. Classic mechanics is Newton mechanics (as distinct from Quantum physics)- it is the stuff engineers use to build bridges and do PT research for us. Kinematics is officially defined as the study of motion of rigid bodies or a system of rigid bodies- eg the human skeleton. There is kinematics of joints which is ROM- we mostly only deal with rotation. However, with the Feldenkrais approach, I am concerned with both ROM and segment motion (rotation and translation)- eg how the whole leg moves from hip to foot or how the entire length of spine acts. It is believed that the CNS is concerned with body segment motion rather than with joint action or muscle contraction. There is a long time argument in motor control between muscles and movement (and for movement- kinematics v kinetics)- perhaps all are true.
            Human brains are wired for kinematics- believe it or not. Point light displays are a clear example of automatic human kinematics detection.
            Subjects perform motions in complete darkness except for small point lights placed on arms, legs and trunk. The only thing observable to the viewer is the motion of the point lights and yet anyone can tell it is a human and what action that person is performing.
            (see examples of point light displays here:
            More recently with the discovery of mirror neurons we now know that when observing another in action we perform that action off-line. That is as Damasio calls it, “We not only see the action but we feel it”. Kinematics is the stuff of seeing and feeling another’s action.
            I have just posted a review of an article concerning Professional Italian basketballers and their action observation abilities (
            In the video that Barrett linked on SomaSimple I illustrate the kinematics of low back pain during trunk flexion in supine. Trunk flexion, otherwise a basic simple sit up, conjures many things in a PT’s mind from muscle weakness, to muscle strength, to six pack abs, to transversus abdominis etc… here on this video we see the raw of human motion, another “core” to human action.
            When I see a person with or without LBP that is unable to utilize and differentiate their pelvis and lumbar spine, I hypothesize stiffness and a loss of degrees of freedom and poor kinematics. This drives my treatment.


            • #7
              Hi rburgess,
              It would be great if you would start a thread in the Welcome Forum. You could copy and paste your post#6 here, there.
              We could then welcome you properly. :angel:
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              Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division (Archived newsletters, paincasts)
              Canadian Physiotherapy Association Pain Science Division Facebook page
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              • #8

                Dear Byron,

                Gracovetksy has been a big influence in the evolution of my thinking about human movement. We are a lizard standing up on two hind legs. In the evolutionary perspective of the nervous system, nothing is lost -the fish and lizard brain are still there in the human brain and so too their actions- the trunk preceded the limbs (

                Side bend of the trunk (pelvis, lumbar, thoracic and even the cervical spine) is still a significant aspect of human gait and general action but it is much ignored also. Some years ago I posted a page on side bending and the concept of synergies:

                Before Gracovetsky I was much influenced by Gray's 1944 review of primitive vertebrate locomotion. see here:
                I believe that comparative vertebrate anatomy and function has a lot to tell us about human movement.
                If you like Gracovetksy, then perhaps you will read more comparative vertebrate anatomy. Seems to be a trend of these comparative vertebrate anatomists (
                and brain scientists
                to write about human back function. These descriptions are yet clumsy in my opinion.

                But I am working too hard on Superbowl sunday morning!