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  • #61
    Hmm; I can't say I ever experienced that, but in fairness group dynamics depend on...well...the group. (Warning: you may encounter hippies )

    As I understand it, the spouse of your program director is a neuroscientist; I'd be pushing for a guest lecture
    Dan
    Tactile Raconteur

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    • #62
      Originally posted by rkathryn View Post
      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.
      Regarding passing around the microphone so people could share their feelings about lessons: We had quite a bit of that in my training. Only after the training did it occur to me how that process sabotaged my ability to understand some fundamentally important things.

      We heard what the students thought lessons were about, but only rarely heard the trainers explain what they thought the lessons were about. They seemed to limit explanations to give people wide berth in making a lesson about whatever the student felt it was about. This is a nice way to make people feel special, but a somewhat poor way to transmit information.

      A trainer might occasionally give answers about "differentiating the head and the neck" or "freeing the pelvis" or "distributing the work through the spine" or some other vague thing. At the time, those answers were sufficient to me because I thought richer understanding would come down the pipeline. It didn't. At least not from the feldenkrais teachers to whom I'd given more time and money than I'd like to remember.

      I'm probably both beating a dead horse and preaching to the choir at this point (an interesting mental image). To be more productive, I'm going to try to put together some more specific Warnings and Recommendations before school starts up again later this month.

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      • #63
        Balls; I had a good reply written up then hit refresh by accident. In summary recap...

        Originally posted by mpnyo View Post
        Regarding passing around the microphone so people could share their feelings about lessons: We had quite a bit of that in my training. Only after the training did it occur to me how that process sabotaged my ability to understand some fundamentally important things.
        I have to admit this never really bothered me. Frankly, I was more interested in my own, internal experience anyway, so getting the 'right' answer always seemed like a matter of contrivance. I knew what it meant for me and that was good enough. Of course, later on...

        I think the intention behind the way things are taught is to be 'opaque on purpose', such that the student fills in the blanks with their own history / life experience. The goal (no doubt) is to foster ownership over their learning and material.

        I think this works *wonderfully* as an experiential learning, but can fall short in terms of a professional apprenticeship, simply because many of us don't have enough 'stuff' to fill in the blanks, or we can't find meaningful linkages. I've seen people fill in the gaps with some pretty goofy things.

        IIRC, Moshe's original wish was for people to take his concepts and ideas and apply them to their own (established) lives / fields, whilst crediting his method. Looked at it that way, it gives a very different slant to a 'Professional training'. [Only later did the idea of Guilds and certified, stand-alone prax. come into it; that's my understanding at least]

        I've wondered sometimes what the outcome would be of doing a training solely for active, registered professionals (PT, DC, OT, LMT etc etc): would that produce more competent practitioners (by virtue of folding the method back into their own domains?) Would it be beneficial in spreading Feldenkrais?

        As you likely know, a topic of debate is: should we in-fact have two pathways: a less costly, experiential / immersive pathway for those seeking self development and a professional training pathway, either separate or articulated there-to? There's been arguments for and against that idea; on balance, I think I'm for it, but haven't given much thought to how it might best work.

        In a few months time (when life, studies etc) finally calm down, I think it would be of benefit to discuss 'Teaching Through Handling' and/or 'Acquiring the Feldenkrais Profession': I believe these two books are perhaps the most explicit explanations of the method (though I could be wrong). If nothing else, they seem interesting

        Guidelines for teaching ATM by Yochanan Rywerant ©

        Principles
        • Purposes of the Feldenkrais Method
        • Insights of sensory nature vs. verbal coaching
        • Group situation different from classroom situation
        • Curiosity and interest as learning principles
        • The form of an ATM lesson
        • Goal-directedness vs. attention to process
        • Learning-process associated with raising the level of control
        • Not “ correcting “faulty” patterns, but clarifying options
        • The proximal involvement in distally received patterns
        • Efficiency and easy vs. constraints coming from society (cultural constraints), from habits, trauma, of inadequate self-image
        • Choosing a central element (chest-pelvis connection, movability of hip joint, of ankle, scapula, upper dorsal vertebrae, or head) then integrating the element’s use with different patterns and ways of functioning

        Strategy
        • Involving the cortex and not arouse the self-defense systems:
        • doing the unusual, but in an acceptable way
        • respecting limits ( no testing), reducing efforts, “slowly”
        • reversibility , breathing while moving
        • doing one side, to perceive differences (not equalizing)
        • doing the other side in imagination
        • playfulness, increasing speed, group interaction

        Orientation in space:
        • perceiving the cardinal directions (gravity!), changing of the front
        • appreciating distances (static or dynamic) from the walls, neighbors or any other objects
        • changing the place by moving the pelvis
        • Clarifying sensory feedback (learning the corollary discharge):
        • visual: looking, following (the bug), pointing out
        • tactile: what touches me, where am I supported (weight distribution), changes of supporting surfaces, increasing or decreasing pressure on the floor
        • kinesthetic: what participates in the pattern (efficient or parasitic participation), appreciating effort or ease, balance, using body-parts for balance, moment of inertia, pointing out participation of proximal parts
        • proposing patterns of action which are related to the immediate environment (not abstracts movements

        Tactics
        • when to talk about change
        • when to scan
        • when to interfere: too much speed, to much effort, indication of direction changing into goal
        • when to change the course of the lesson
        • how many repetitions
        • when to tell a story
        • meta-comments
        • gradation in complexity within the lesson

        Planning a series of lessons
        • Graduation in complexity within the series
        • building around a theme with various integrations
        • choosing a sequence: flexors, extensors, side position, other positions, twisting, combinations, scanning, interspersing themes
        Last edited by Dan84; 16-08-2013, 09:52 PM.
        Dan
        Tactile Raconteur

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Dan84 View Post
          I have to admit this never really bothered me. Frankly, I was more interested in my own, internal experience anyway, so getting the 'right' answer always seemed like a matter of contrivance. I knew what it meant for me and that was good enough. Of course, later on...
          In retrospect, I'm over-reacting to my frustration with "passing the mic". It could be done well, and it could be done poorly. In my training, explanations were kept to a minimum to allow that kind of rich subjective experience. For awhile it felt great. It felt like I was improving.

          But I was improving toward a local maximum, not a global maximum. From my starting point, I could use the construct of a lesson to get to a more enjoyable state within the confines of the lesson. It seemed that I was learning something. But all I was learning was how to do Feldenkrais Lessons in a more easy and enjoyable way. I could slowly roll around on the floor with the best of them.

          But put me under load with a barbell, or with a sparring partner in jiu-jitsu, and I didn't really have any extra skillfulness or power available to me. Without the intention of a lesson being made clear, it was easy for me to wander in the wilderness and fool myself into thinking something worthwhile was happening when it wasn't.

          Any slow and gentle movement in a quiet room with nice lighting is going to elicit some kind of relaxation response. Evoking that relaxation is mainly what I got from the ATMs in my training, though it was gussied up as some sophisticated exercise in "neuroplasticity". What I learned of FI was basically how to do a very gentle form of PROM.

          It was pleasant, but it wasn't worth the price of admission and if relaxation was what I'd been looking for, I would have been better off investing in a weekly massage and better bourbon.

          I'm sorry. I'm on a rant here. And I don't know if the distinctions I'm making make sense to anyone because they are so specific to the perspectives I've been exposed to.
          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          To kick this can a little further down the road, I'll pick up on section 1, item 1 from Yochanan's list: Purposes of the Feldenkrais Method. The book is currently packed up in a box (we've just moved), so I don't know what he says. But how about this as a starting point?:

          The purpose of the Feldenkrais Method is to teach individuals how to move from one position to any other position without hesitation or preparation, based on the way they receive support from the surfaces they are on.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by mpnyo View Post
            To kick this can a little further down the road, I'll pick up on section 1, item 1 from Yochanan's list: Purposes of the Feldenkrais Method. The book is currently packed up in a box (we've just moved), so I don't know what he says. But how about this as a starting point?:

            The purpose of the Feldenkrais Method is to teach individuals how to move from one position to any other position without hesitation or preparation, based on the way they receive support from the surfaces they are on.
            Now Mac....if you're just going to blurt out the recipe to the secret sauce like that.... :clap2:

            Yes, this is probably one of the central tenets of FM. You'll note too that these Parkour chaps have a similar philosophy (go from 4:00 onwards). It's also an idea present in many martial arts (taichi comes to mind most readily).

            I'm not hugely surprised, as FM and Parkour have origins in martial arts (worth nothing: Feldenkrais was the guy who popularized Judo in France....which is where Parkour originates from; IIRC, Foucan cites martial arts as a major influence).
            Last edited by Dan84; 20-08-2013, 10:47 AM. Reason: typo
            Dan
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            • #66
              I mentioned taichi, where the concept (I believe) is called double-weightedness. As in "don't commit to something so blindly that you can't reverse out" (not - have your weight distributed 50:50). The reason for this? To be double weighted is to be unable to adapt to change in the environment (in this case, your opponent). Here's Chen XiaoWang (complete with Chinglish)

              [YT]DxrdPNw4Nyo[/YT]

              This concept ties in nicely with the idea of kuzushi (literally 'to rot') as it is used to unbalance an opponent in Judo. In judo, we talk about debana (detecting the decisive moment), tsukuri (placing your body just so), kake (the action) and kuzushi (making it so that the other chap cannot adapt to change). Debate rages on as to what comes first in that sequence. Probably it all happens at once.

              Two pertinent quotes to tie it all together

              "... it is bad in Judo to try for anything with such determination as not to be able to change your mind if necessary..." (M. Feldenkrais, Higher Judo, pg. 94)

              "From my perspective, which is of course as a martial artist, in the Feldenkrais Method you take my balance and I have to find a new balance." Chiba Sensei, 8th Dan Aikido, after receiving an FI lesson from Elizabeth Beringer, 4th Dan.
              These concepts are said to be very deep and form part of okuden (hidden knowledge).

              Like I keep saying...therapy parallels a lot from the martial arts
              Last edited by Dan84; 19-08-2013, 05:34 PM.
              Dan
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              • #67
                Recommendation for study

                Classes start next week so I'm about to fall down a black hole. Before that happens I wanted to finally mention some recommendations. In my mind I'd been anticipating writing some long essay about this, but the truth is my advice is pretty simple: If you really want to learn more about the Feldenkrais Method, pick up Jeff Haller's Learning Self-Organization DVD set.

                It's 13 days of material from the second or third year of one of his last trainings. The main topic he's addressing is how to be organized for effective action while working with people in Functional Integration, but he ends up providing a wealth of information that would be relevant to anyone who has a body and moves around in gravity. If you want to learn more, that's a wonderful place to start.

                And finally a word of warning to those considering a full blown training. I was very disappointed by the quality of training I received from David Zemach Bersin through the Feldenkrais Institute in NYC. Because David runs multiple trainings around the country (more than anyone else, I think) it's very likely that you might consider working with him, particularly if you're on the east coast of the US.

                In general I would not recommend it. David exemplifies much of what I find problematic with the Feldenkrais culture (low standards of training; opaque explanations; guruism; lack of athleticism; pseudointellectualism….).

                Anyways….I could go on and on and on. For hours. For real. So I'll stop now. If someone out there is thinking of doing a training and has any specific questions, please feel free to PM me and I'll answer whatever I can.

                Regards,


                Mac
                Last edited by mpnyo; 22-08-2013, 09:35 PM.

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                • #68
                  Yes, Haller and Goldfarb are go-to guys for materials, in my mind. Questel has a very 'human' style as well.

                  Dunno anything at all about David, so can't comment.

                  There are few Austalian based Feldenkraisers who are also physios; don't think they have training materials that are publicly available, but very worth while meeting if ever down under. Actually, come to think of it, physio-Feldie seems to be a theme in Oz (I know about 10 off the top of my head); looks like I'll be making that 11
                  Dan
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                  • #69
                    And I'll second the sentiment about Larry Goldfarb. I've seen some of the material he's produced, met some of his students and heard about how he structures his trainings. He seems like a dedicated and resourceful guy.

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                    • #70
                      Holy crap, Mac. This tread has had almost 5000 views

                      I'll chip in some more stuff tonight / tomorrow; I'm sure I still have my student journals floating around.
                      Dan
                      Tactile Raconteur

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                      • #71
                        On a whim, I decided to do a search of the FeldyForum to try uncover how many in the Feldenkrais world were/went on to become PT's. As it turns out, I found mention of Dr Robert Burgess, PT, PhD who apparently unsubscribed from FF due to a perceived lack of professional discourse.

                        I'll invite Robert here; it seems like he might have some useful insights.
                        Last edited by Dan84; 24-08-2013, 10:05 AM.
                        Dan
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                        • #72
                          On a whim, I decided to do a search of the FeldyForum to try uncover how many in the Feldenkrais world were/went on to become PT's
                          This is specific to North America, but as of 2013 there were ~1200 members of the FGNA and the breakdown was something like:

                          ~30 Trainers
                          ~50 Assistant Trainers
                          ~180 PTs
                          ~940 Other Rank and File

                          So 15% PTs...My guess is that PTs have much lower attrition rates than the other rank and file. They can actually make a living for a variety of reasons (education/credibility/insurance). So even though they aren't 15% of the people in the training, they end up accumulating in the system. I wonder if things are much different in Australia...

                          It seems few people go GCFP-->PT though. I think the trainer Roger Russell did. There's a guy in Boston I know of who just started PT school (though I don't think he'd wrapped his training yet). I think you said someone from your training did. There's me, and it sounds like you, Dan. So maybe we aren't unicorns, but we're still pretty rare.

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                          • #73
                            Yes: apart from my afore mentioned friend (and myself, all things going to plan) you would be the only other person I know who's gone in the other direction.

                            Amazing you got those stats; hard to find. Last time I checked, there were something akin to 300ish Feldy's in Australia (I think we now have 2 trainers and a handful of ATs. Both the trainers are physios!).

                            If I had to guess, I'd imagine the stats would be on par (15-25% PT's); that may be a good thing, ultimately (?).
                            Dan
                            Tactile Raconteur

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                            • #74
                              Bones for Life

                              Originally posted by Barrett Dorko View Post
                              Check out this thread from 4 years ago and you'll see what we're up against in the Feldenkrais community.

                              Bones For Life has never impressed me and the participants (so far) have REFUSED to speak.

                              I don't know, but I've always thought that what has happened with Moshe's work is just what he imagined would.

                              Just because Bones for Life trainer has spoken up here, it does not mean they have refused. I found the thread on referral from a Feldenkrais forum. To refuse one must receive a clear invitation. If you would like to invite me, I can pick up with it next week a bit after I get done offering a new workshop that is requiring all my time and certainly cognitive attention.

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                              • #75
                                Okay Cynthia, you're invited.

                                Perhaps that isn't clear enough, but for that I may need some help.
                                Barrett L. Dorko

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