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Feldenkrais method on suicide watch

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  • Feldenkrais method on suicide watch

    What did they mean by this? (highligheted)

    Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 10.53.04 PM.png

  • #2
    It's a tricky situation. There's been unfortunately very little research done into the efficacy of the Feldenkrais Method, largely because what it sets out to do is elusive in the context of quantifiable research methodologies.

    Feldenkrais, I see as primarily a means of movement education, which CAN have pretty significant and profound carryover into various pathologies. However, to set up a research study for "Does this method reduce back pain by x% in y% of individuals" isn't really the best metric of what Feldenkrais *does*.

    And what it DOES is highly subjective. It enhances one's sense of self and the ability to use one's own body effectively. Further, the method's effect is often largely systemic rather than targeted... an improvement in the whole, rather than in various parts (where reductionist studies tend to focus).

    Which leads some to consider it "well, what the fuck does it actually DO, other than have people roll around on the ground?"

    And there are two problems in trying to answer that question:

    1) There's a pretty unclear notion of that among the Feldenkrais community, in my experience. Given that the method CAN have pretty heavy carryover into seemingly unrelated areas, people are wont to make outrageous claims, which MAY be true in isolated situations but will not be in the general case.

    2) Practitioner quality seems to vary a lot, sadly. If the quality is not up to par, it becomes very practitioner-dependent whether the study will show any improvement, other than the participants feeling nice for having rolled around on the ground for an hour.

    What I *WOULD* find interesting would be a study into the effectiveness of the method in teaching various movement skills. For example, hinging at the hip, using the core for counter-rotation, etc. When I worked as a personal trainer, I'd see other trainers trying for AGES to get someone to learn the skill, when I knew that they'd have it pretty well mastered with an hour on the ground doing some particular lesson.

    Essentially, I think it's hugely important to get some peer-reviewed validation that Feldenkrais is damn good at what it is actually consistently verifiably damn good at. Get solid street cred for the movement pedagogy aspect, and THEN suggest potential clinical and/or metaphysical side-effects. But this hasn't seemed a priority in the community. They want to jump straight to curing Parkinsons for street cred.

    I'm a practitioner-in-training, and a frustration of mine is how little airtime is given to intense intimacy with movement skill, compared to philosophical wonderment and general feel-goodery.

    Unfortunately, the body-of-knowledge as to what makes the method tick, and the rigor in which it's impressed upon trainees, I find lacking. Hopefully someone pulls it together, as there's some incredibly potent stuff in the method. I may have to do it myself.


    • #3

      I've pretty sure I've read various posts in the FB group for Feld Practs about Wiki & Feldenkrais. A number of people questioning who the author of the page is. One time last year or so I sent a message to the wiki author asking what definition of health he was using. No response.
      That the author is so set on loading the FM as a therapy is rather a joke. Moshe Feld never promoted his work as a therapy, he wasn't medically trained, nor a therapist.
      There is an argument that the only person who ever really did the FM, was Moshe and we who now work as practs are just carrying out Feld based work. Everybody who arrives on the FM training takes their our own life history, beliefs, perceptions and take on what the work is. What each learns/discovers on the 4 year course, is mixed, learning with all their rich history.
      People on my training had a wide range of background people and all had their own take on the work.
      Yes there are principles that can be found and elements/techniques in the work that can be used in a clinical setting with people who have pain, neurological issues and more.
      Yes, there are principles that can be taken into performance, art, expressive dance. Indeed principles from his work work can be taken into any application that involves movement.

      His book Body & Mature Behavior gives us a clue because emotional, physical, intellectual and functional maturation is a central part of FM.
      Now what was that quote or 6....“Once the method is found and the new pattern is clearly presented, many can do as well and often better than the originator of the method.” – Moshe Feldenkrais, The Potent Self. “What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies, but flexible brains. What I’m after is to restore each person to their human dignity. ”, “I believe that the unity of mind and body is an objective reality. They are not just parts somehow related to each other, but an inseparable whole while functioning. A brain without a body could not think.” “Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.”