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  • #46
    Hi Mac - trust PT school is suitably kicking your butt

    Originally posted by mpnyo View Post
    Hi Dan,

    I'm checking in on this occasionally, so you may not be talking to yourself.
    That's good to know. On the other hand, no one else I invited has shown, nor have any of the other Feldies/lurkers engaged. As I said, c'est la vie; I think it's been a productive thread in more ways then one so far.

    I've been enjoying Diane's analysis of Melzack. I may try something similar with Yochanan's book

    Regarding how people have gone "astray", I think that your quotation from Ellis Amdur pretty much nails it on the head. But not only has information not been transmitted effectively, I think that it's worth noting that there were gaps in MF's approach. Even if a person ignores a deep model, they can still attend to a critical evaluation of what empirically works. But few feldies will swim out into the "where was Moshe wrong?" water.
    Interesting; what do you feel are the gaps in MF's thinking?

    Poor transmission + No growth --> well...something not good.
    That plus the other "hobbyist" issues you correctly identified, I think.
    Last edited by Dan84; 14-06-2013, 04:42 AM.
    Tactile Raconteur


    • #47
      Originally posted by Dan84 View Post
      Hi Mac - trust PT school is suitably kicking your butt
      Ha! Yes. When they said I would be in class from 8am to 5pm, I think deep down somewhere I thought they were being figurative. But I'm really loving it.

      Originally posted by Dan84 View Post
      Interesting; what do you feel are the gaps in MF's thinking?
      It's hard to say if my thoughts on this are a function of what Moshe taught or if they're a function of the way that this work is generally taught by his successors in this day and age. With that caveat...

      Too much emphasis on generalized (non-specific) learning

      MF seemed to believe that lessons on the floor (ATM) could be used to refine a persons internal representation of themselves and that with this refined self-image, they could improve action in a variety of other situations.

      To a certain extent that is true. How could it not be? We all started out by rolling around on the ground. But in many ways learning seems to be a much more specific endeavor. People learn something in one context and it's entirely foreign to them in another. Time has to be spent in the situations where you want to improve performance, not just in the safe environment of an ATM.

      Students will spend 40 minutes on the ground, come to stand, and hear something to the effect of "Feel what's different and notice any changes from before. See you next week!". People need much more lesson time in orientations where they actually experience difficulty--often sitting, standing and walking. I know there are lessons in these configurations, but most people teach with a bunch of people rolling on the floor and then they expect the student to make the connection to daily life and then somehow make it ingrained.

      Undervaluing repetition as a tool to create change

      I get the impression that many feldies think that if a previously unconscious habit comes into your awareness and a better alternative is presented to you, then you will spontaneously stop that habit and adopt the better alternative. Maybe you will in the context of the lesson, while you are focused on it and there are no other demands on your system. But once you go out in the world it fades, and often quickly.

      This is a big issue. You get up off the table and feel so different, so much better. You want to keep the feeling. It's a common question: "How do I make this last?".

      At that point, I think people don't really have an answer beyond "Get more FI's, do more ATMs ." I think it would be much more valuable if people could understand at a biomechanical level how a lesson nudged someone toward better organization, make that change understood and correlated with specific sensory experiences (pattern of pressure of the floor on their feet or sitz bones/distribution of their breathe in their torso/ freedom of the head to look in any direction/etc...), and then be clear that if you want it to really be spontaneous, you will have to find that sensation consciously over and over and over again in your daily life.

      To really get that pattern in a groove, it's gonna take a lot of repetition. But I think many feldies (and perhaps MF) would bristle at that idea.

      Not making ideas explicit in order to let someone figure it out on their own

      MF was rarely straightforward and I think this may have come from a belief that telling someone what to do would rob them of the valuable experience of figuring it out on their own. But when I reflect on my own learning experiences in the Feldenkrais world, I have really appreciated the rare occasions when someone was blunt with me and explained specifically what they thought I could do differently in order to improve my situation. I am not grateful toward the many people who let me flounder in my ignorance out of "respect" for me. As an aside, I think this lack of explicitness is rooted in practitioners not really understanding good function. In MF's case, it seemed more of a principled stand.


      There may be other things that I think of later, but these are the big ones that pop out to me. I'm sure that some feldenkraisers will disagree with my assessment. It would be great if they would discuss it, but I'm not holding my breathe.

      Last edited by mpnyo; 15-06-2013, 06:53 PM.


      • #48
        I think one of the things that's important to any learning is repetition of concepts in multiple iterations / configurations. Ideally, that's what all Feldenkraisean learning encourages.

        Interestingly, this also implies that there are a handful of ideas that are being re-iterated. As I have (theoretically) some time next week, I'll maybe go through some of my training materials and see if I can't tease out a list of Feldenkrais 'big ideas', and maybe cross match them to an ATM from OpenATM for people to play with. That might generate some discussion.

        "Feel what's different and notice any changes from before. See you next week!"
        Agreed. It's crazy just to do something laying down and then expect it to automatically take root. Context matters, I think.

        Frankly, I've always liked the idea of iterative resistance / challenge. I think this was Mel Siff's one complaint against Feldenkrais' approach (or at least the way it's usually taught).
        Last edited by Dan84; 16-06-2013, 12:13 AM.
        Tactile Raconteur


        • #49
          As time allows, I keep beavering away at this thread, wondering what it might turn into. I'm sometimes tempted to start a new one. OTOH, I can see this one has had more than 1300 views - and that can't all be me hitting refresh. Besides, I think this is the longest a Feldy person has stuck around on SS, so that makes for two records.

          I've just discovered that David Butler is coming to town - and on the back of that and National Pain Week, have suggested the local chapter form a pain study group, looking at how pain science can intertwine with what we do. Can you imagine?

          "Suck it from your own thumb", as Moshe said. I believe that means feed your own damn self
          Last edited by Dan84; 27-06-2013, 10:32 PM.
          Tactile Raconteur


          • #50
            Mac, thanks so much for your insight. As mentioned, I just finished year 1 but what you write makes a great deal if sense with my experience thus far. I'm determined to complete the program so I can feel comfortable in talking to my clients about movement. I also feel there is something in there useful especially to combine with neuroscience.

            I really appreciate you coming forward with your insight.
            "The danger is not that the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but that, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry" (Simone Weil)


            • #51
              I've learned a lot in this thread and hope our participants keep participating - great insight here.
              Jason Silvernail DPT, DSc, FAAOMPT
              Board-Certified in Orthopedic Physical Therapy
              Fellowship-Trained in Orthopedic Manual Therapy

              Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

              The views expressed in this entry are those of the author alone and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US Government.


              • #52
                I agree Jason. The open source material is very much appreciated.
                Rod Henderson, PT, ScD, OCS
                It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. — Jonathan Swift


                • #53
                  Wonderful post, Blaise.

                  To a young therapist embedded in a physio culture that is mostly content with staying with the old models and gurus, therapists such as yourself, Diane and Barrett, offer light at the end of the tunnel.
                  Nicholas Marki, P.T.


                  • #54
                    I'm glad to see the Bobath concept mentioned here.
                    If I'm not mistaken, Bobath and Feldenkrais both come out of the same era of "movement therapies" and, at least I think that, there is a lot of generaly overlap between the two approaches.
                    What I like about both (Disclaimer: I'm certified in neither) is the focus on individual movement and top-down motor initiation and control.

                    There's not much "meshing the meat", little passive approaches, little attempts to alter movement and tonus "from the outside-in".

                    Like I said, I'm not entrenched in either camp, never had the misfortune of having the kool-aid forced down my throat and have no contact to either organization/inner circle.
                    The only contact I had with both approaches is from reading their works and from autodidactics as well as clinical introductions (feldenkrais more of the former, bobath the latter).

                    I'm not sure "normal movement" is a goal one should approach with permanently neurologically impaired people, as I think it might set a wrong, maybe even discriminatory, standard for them.
                    It also implies, that there is one "right" software package of a "normal movement" hidden somewhere between cortex, basal nuclei and cerebellum, that needs to be re-accessed for everything to be "okay again".

                    This contradicts what I know of neuronal organization in generaly and motor organization in particular. It also misrepresents the brain as a static entity, unable to cope with an altered periphery.
                    Disregard all the valuable research on embodiement, brain-machine-interfaces, prosthetics, etcpp.

                    What I value about both approaches (and this might just be the naive outsider looking in) is that they potentially leave a lot of doors open for each individual patient/client to discover his/her own "optimal movement" and to enrich his/her movement repertoire.

                    I borrow a lot from both schools when working with various types of patients and they fit nicely into a more interactor-centric approach to therapy.


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Blaise
                      Hi Max
                      Thanks for this.
                      Your comment about "optimal movement" is much closer to the mark, and reminds me of Cott, Finch et al (1995) The Movement Continuum Theory of Physical Therapy (in Physiotherapy Canada). Aiming to get someone's maximum achievable movement potential (MAMP) might be more what it's about. It is those involved in the Bobath Concept that harp on about "normal movement".
                      That's where they are in stark contrast to our scientific knowledge of motor control, behavior and biomechanics. Also to Feldenkrais (as an aside).


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Dan84 View Post
                        Hi Mac

                        Thanks very much for coming forward and voicing your opinions. Of all the people that I'd invited here, you're the only one that seems to have taken the time to stop by.

                        I have to admit I echo a lot of your sentiments and am deeply...morose...about the outcomes. I think I mentioned elsewhere about a friend of mine, who upon graduating the training (the next month, IIRC) enrolled in Physio. When I asked her why, she stated (plainly) "I love the work; I want to be paid to do it". Smart cookie. Today she runs her own physiotherapy practice, utilising FM. Part of me thinks that's a touch disingenuous...most of me wishes I had done it too.

                        Like you, I'm looking at PT school (though age and opportunity-cost are getting hard to defray).

                        What I find ironic that most of the people who have success in earning a living with Feldenkrais work are PT/OTs/Psychs...yet those are the very people our culture seems to sideline. We should be talking to them more - not less - to see we can share with each other.

                        Next post: the FM video
                        I agree with the discussion that there is not enough intellectual rigor in the training program. I am a PT with 29 years of experience and have just completed the first year of the training. It is my professional classmates who do the assigned readings and ask the more intelligent questions. I completely agree that to elevate the work several key things need to be done, 1) more professionals (PT,OT, RN, massage therapists, MDs) need to take the training, 2) there needs to be more clean research comparing the Method against other modalities, and 3) Feldies need to be able to explain what they are doing in a clear and concise way to the lay person as well as to MD's and other professionals. Janet


                        • #57
                          Hi Janet

                          Agreed. Given that there are a wealth of ideas within Feldenkrais relating to body schema, motor control, information theory, habituation etc the dearth of research is surprising. Perhaps not - as I mentioned previously, there are likely 5-10,000 Feldenkraisers world wide and Id wager that only a small % of those are interested in research.

                          This may be of interest - or at least a step in the right direction.

                          Tactile Raconteur


                          • #58
                            Ditto this (see p4 for index)

                            Last edited by Dan84; 08-07-2013, 03:07 AM.
                            Tactile Raconteur


                            • #59
                              Someone sent me a copy of this via email. I believe it's taken from a recent event for Chronic Pain week. If nothing else, it's interesting to hear the language the practitioner (in this case, also a physiotherapist) and the patient use to describe things.

                              As blurb goes, I think this is a step in the right direction for our community.

                              Tactile Raconteur


                              • #60
                                Yes, critical thinking is sorely lacking. Especially in my class where most people don't read the material and we don't really discuss it. Not to mention the folks I've seen reading magazines titled "Things Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You", people who actually don't believe that honeybees don't sting, others who believe in "chem trails" (chemical cocktails that the government dumps on people via jet planes), that eating gluten free cures everything and much more other nonsensical crap that I've been hearing from my classmates.

                                Not only do we not discuss science based info or critical thinking but we spend free hours talking about our feelings and how we feel and notice things.

                                Maybe it's just my particular class, I don't know.

                                Either way, I was happy to read this thread because it helps me put this course into perspective. I still want the training to learn how to talk to people about movement, but I've tossed the rose colored glasses into the trash along with the kool aid.

                                Fortunately, there is a PT and a couple of scientists in my class- so all is not lost......
                                Last edited by rkathryn; 14-08-2013, 06:24 AM. Reason: misspelled word
                                "The danger is not that the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but that, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry" (Simone Weil)