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Old 25-04-2015, 06:08 PM   #201
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I agree Dan84, I think Feldenkrais is awesome. I was disappointed in having to drop that program, but there was just too much woo and not enough substance for me to justify the cost, not only the program itself, but the money I was losing from not being able to work during the segments.
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Old 25-04-2015, 06:25 PM   #202
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I sometimes wish that FPAW (a popular Feldenkrais facebook discussion page) was publicly visible. There are many interesting and sometimes concerning discussions that give glimpse behind the curtain. There is one current thread seriously considering the plausibility of craniosacral work for tinnitus, other threads on the use of manual therapy to treat GERD and many things inbetween.

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire...
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Old 25-04-2015, 06:53 PM   #203
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On the premise that "it's restful, it worked for me, so it must be ok", I'm making the case for a fifth of bourbon, a nice fat stogie and falling asleep in the sun under a shady tree as equivalently plausible treatment
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Old 26-04-2015, 09:09 PM   #204
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Hard to believe that it's been nearly two years since I first posted on this thread. At that point, I was about to begin my PT program. Now I'm about to wrap up the academics and head into a year of clinicals. It hasn't been an easy path, but I'm glad to be on it. If you are a critically thinking person in the Feldenkrais world, you will often feel very alone. It's a culture with a guru-fixation and its own weird traditions. These are layered on top of some brilliant insights into the human condition, but it's a process to try to separate the wheat from the chaff.

A handful of people are fighting to make the guild and its community into something better, but that's a battle that I don't have the heart to wage myself. Easier to wear slippers than to carpet the world.

Regarding FPAW: it's no surprise to me that Feldies don't communicate in an open forum. If people interested in the Feldenkrais Method could see the ignorance on display by many members of the "profession", they'd go running for the hills.
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Old 27-04-2015, 01:12 AM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpnyo View Post
A handful of people are fighting to make the guild and its community into something better, but that's a battle that I don't have the heart to wage myself. Easier to wear slippers than to carpet the world... If people interested in the Feldenkrais Method could see the ignorance on display by many members of the "profession", they'd go running for the hills.
Yup that's where I'm at with it, although I might say that I do have the heart to try to do it, and I lack the brains to learn from your slippers metaphor. Here's an accurate cartoon of a recent exchange I had with a trainer:
ME: How come there's no critical thinking component to the Practitioner curriculum? How can Feldenkrais be a softer science than many of the liberal arts? Is Feldenkrais a fine art?

TRAINER: Well I simply disagree that there is no critical thinking component. Studying a person's self-use1 and hypothesizing2 about what type of lesson will improve their self-use, then evaluating that hypothesis with ATM or FI, definitely builds critical thinking.

1 The Feldenkrais-contextualized meaning of self-usage is larger than neuromuscular functioning, but overlaps heavily with it. The other connotations bleed into sociobiology (although many sociobiological ideas are appropriated by psychologists.)

2 There is substantial consensus (for example, reflected in the International Feldenkrais Federation's guidelines for competent practice) that the Method is not deductive but rather hypothesis driven.
So the trainer thinks that we're supposed to be developing critical reasoning skills. But let's just say that all kinds of fallacious reasoning are demonstrated in class -- appeals to ignorance, most strikingly. And ultimately, any Feldenkrais Practitioner is walking a fine line any time they cite or contradict Feldenkrais as an authority in Feldenkrais Method. After all, "Feldenkrais evolved his Method over time."

The thing is, it bothers me to see the work of Feldenkrais so thoroughly mishandled. Just because he was postmodern before it was cool doesn't mean he actually meant that (for example) there is no objective reality. But there are plenty of ways to quote Feldenkrais out of context to support the notion that material reality is only a socio-psychological construct, and sometimes I'm in the same room when it happens.

The other thing that bothers me is, I (think I) know how to 'fix it' -- for starts, you define some consequences of malpractice, and then you apply professional standards that would be appropriate in other areas.

For example, take chiropractic, a body of practices that are, on the whole, contradicted by the methods of natural science. Even within that pesudoscientific profession, there's greatly differing standards of competence depending on the geographic region. The Danish organization absolutely forbid muscle testing and homeopathy from their practitioners. More specifically, a Dutch chiropractor can practice muscle testing, but it has to be in a different practice space than their chiropractic office, and they cannot bill their work as chiropractic if it includes muscle testing. In contrast, the US chiropractors seem to be allowed to do anything that doesn't involve genitals! The typical chiropractic treatment includes at least one example of muscle testing in the US. (That's all from Wikipedia except the genitals part which is probably true but I made it up.)

Why are there homeopaths in my training program!? Shouldn't they be obligated to completely isolate their quackery from FM? How about the energy healers? If they never renounce their previous belief in magic healing, how can they plausibly assimilate FI in other terms than a 'laying of hands'? (This is also relevant to PT and Medicine... I like to remind people that Evidence Based Medicine is an area of Medicine, not the whole thing. Insert Dr. Oz reference.)

Who thinks I'm just being a cantankerous bastard? I want to know why a body of knowledge as brilliant as Feldenkrais should turn into a drab puddle of postmodern claptrap. I think that's one reason why Anat Baniel is doing so well -- she knows how to explain what she thinks she's doing in terms that sound objectively reasonable and are consistent with Feldenkrais (even if the marketing seems slimy.)

So I guess I like Feldenkrais enough to lay a lot of carpet. It might seem futile but it's the only way I can practice and also sleep at night.

Last edited by rydog; 12-11-2015 at 03:07 PM. Reason: IT'S A METHOD!
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Old 27-04-2015, 02:24 AM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rydog View Post
[INDENT]ME: How come there's no critical thinking component to the Practitioner curriculum? How can Feldenkrais be a softer science than many of the liberal arts? Is Feldenkrais Technique a fine art?

TRAINER: Well I simply disagree that there is no critical thinking component. Studying a person's self-use1 and hypothesizing2 about what type of lesson will improve their self-use, then evaluating that hypothesis with ATM or FI, definitely builds critical thinking.[INDENT]
Yeah...I'm a pretty strong cynic in this whole domain. I'll just say that trying to talk with most trainers is probably a bit of a waste of time. It's an easy way to get a great deal of obfuscation.

The most clear answers I've ever gotten from a trainer have come from Jeff Haller. If you're serious about teaching this stuff some day (or reaping the most benefit from it), then he's the guy to go to:

http://www.iopsacademy.com/

Though here's a caution since you've mentioned considering practicing one day: making a living armed only with a GCFP is damn near impossible. Beware the feeling that the flakiness of many Feldies explains the dearth of successful, independent practitioners. It's so much worse than that...

I remember having this hope that I could somehow help the community of practitioners, the guild, the method. But it's like diving in to save a drowning man. He'll pull you down with him. So I'll just toss out a life vest and get on my slippered way...

my two cents.
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Old 27-04-2015, 09:15 AM   #207
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Critical thinking is not taught because it's not (usually) an area of expertise for most trainers nor an interest of most trainees. Make of that what you will

A lot of this can be resolved by realising that Feldenkrais intended his professional trainings to be undertaken *by* professionals (with the requisite background), not absolute laymen. I think that got waived somewhere along the way...which might explain certain frustrations.
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Old 27-04-2015, 07:40 PM   #208
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It got waved Dan when they started to need to fund "Institutes".

13 days away from completing my training. I have continued to struggle with the irony of the program, but it has captivated me in my personal practice and movement playfulness outside the ATM structure. It certainly stimulated a lot of thought and self research which I will take with me now as I get out of the theater production the program has become.

It is clearly not a profession to me though at this point. Kudos to the folks who are making it work for them and maybe as time goes on it becomes more of what I do. It has influenced me greatly but in my neck of the woods it isn't even worth marketing the name.

They would do well to shorten the program, 4 years, 800+ hours and when I asked what the plan was for the final 2 segments to be told by the trainer, " Do I look like I have a plan!" , really said it all to me.

Thankful I did it, but really thankful to not be doing anymore after 13 more days.

Regards,

Chad
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Old 27-04-2015, 11:31 PM   #209
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"Do I look like I have a plan!"
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Old 27-04-2015, 11:50 PM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan84 View Post
A lot of this can be resolved by realising that Feldenkrais intended his professional trainings to be undertaken *by* professionals (with the requisite background), not absolute laymen. I think that got waived somewhere along the way...which might explain certain frustrations.
I thought it got waived at Amherst by Moshe Feldenkrais himself. He may have had some vision of what could happen and how a 4 year training might unfold, but never got to complete it. As much as I like to blame the crowd of early American students who ran off with the service marks and became hyper-proprietary about everything, some of the responsibility for the mixed legacy rests with the man himself.
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Old 27-04-2015, 11:52 PM   #211
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" Do I look like I have a plan!"
Reminds me of my old trainer. DZB by any chance?
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Old 28-04-2015, 04:16 PM   #212
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Quote:
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I thought it got waived at Amherst by Moshe Feldenkrais himself.
Just to follow up on this with some actual documentation, here's a sample of one of the Amherst advertisements from Feldenkrais's last training:
http://www.ryannagy.com/2014/feldenk...-advertisment/
A couple comments:
  1. "3, and possibly 4, consecutive summers"? Feldenkrais didn't know what he was going to do either, and he never got to finish making it up as he went along before his health failed him and his assistants took over. Keep in mind that this training formed the basis for all modern Feldenkrais Guild trainings.
  2. This was expensive. $2k in 1980 is like $5,700 today. Over 4 summers, that's $20,280. So you need an extra $20k lying around and the freedom to take off summers…and after that sacrifice you get "professional status as a Feldenkrais practitioner"… So he really does seem to be envisioning this as a stand-alone profession, which was a leap of faith at that time that I think history demonstrates was off the mark.

For the early American students, I can absolutely see the temptation to do what they did. You gain legal control of the service marks. People are willing to shell out a bunch of money for very little in return so you structure new trainings on the one that just happened. Tell people it will all come together at the end. At the end, people have sunk a bunch of money and discover they haven't learned what they thought they would. So you reassure them that they just don't appreciate how much they've learned. How they know so much about the Feldenkrais Method ("You only have to know more than your student!"). It's all hugs and good times and self-congratulatory speeches. Cash the checks. Bring a new batch in for another 4 year training. Sell advanced trainings to the struggling graduates who still have the time and money for it.

It's a living, I guess.
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Old 29-04-2015, 01:54 AM   #213
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I don't want to throw anyone under the bus. Even with its failures and warts I am glad I did it, so I'll leave it as is, it really wouldn't matter who it was, the mentality that led to the answer is unfortunately pervasive.

Have to agree with you, well said. It has been something to watch a group being told there is no structure, and the power of this kind of thinking and process, all of a sudden have to adhere to a structure as they invite the public in for handling. The anxiety of the trainers and the trainees is unfortunately palpable in the air.

I have met some good people, enjoy the work, enjoy the handling and the practice of it, so all in all it was worth the time. I never did it as a profession training though so really feel for people who are trying to redirect their life with it.

Best,

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Old 29-04-2015, 12:03 PM   #214
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I'm conflicted about my training. One the one hand, it was profoundly, personally enriching. On the other hand, I think I barely made back my course fees ($20-30K) over the last 10 years. If I'd relied on FM to make a living, I'd be dead by now.

Fortunately, I work in a co-aligned career, so the skillsets aren't entirely wasted....but a lot of my classmates have chalked up their FM training as a pleasurable experience leading to (perhaps) a diverting hobby.

Bluntly put, FPTP is not a good ROI if one does not have some avenue to plug those skills into, above and beyond being a GCFP. Which is a shame, because "the technology" is fantastic.

I'll be curious to hear how Wicked Slow and Mpnyo fold the skills back into what they do (if that is their intention).
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Old 29-04-2015, 01:28 PM   #215
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Hi Dan,

So the setting for me is a small private clinic in rural US. Very general practice and very community oriented. By that meaning I see a lot people I work with outside of the clinic setting.

I rarely do full FI work, only by request outside of work hours, and I don't get many requests at this time. I do lots of smaller FI/handling in clinic though. It is my preferred way of handling along with lots of superficial skin work. For me the most learning has been attention to my own organization while handling, pretty sure I have found something that will keep me interested now for the rest of my life. It is like skiing to me now, different every run.

I teach 2 ATM classes a week outside of work hours in a new space here at our clinic. I use lots of ATM variations in clinic. My experience with self discovery has greatly influenced my relationship with myself and my ability to be dynamic with movement education to fit my clients. While no one is outwardly interested in what I am doing with regard to fellow employee's I have watched as they have done similar things and have attended ATM class more often. It has greatly enhanced my ability to find a connection for people, locus of control and all that good stuff.

Once I am done with training and have some breathing room in my life again I will be bartering riding lessons and teaching ATM for a local equestrian center and equine therapy practice along with a local skiing program. I am hopeful to re connect with my university alma mater and give back to my rowing program via ATM too.

I don't advertise the FM, I have info here at the clinic via small pamphlet and will always take time to talk with interested people. It has been an ebb and flow thing, I assume it will always be so.

While I have struggled with the format of the training and battled with the notion of worth and woo, I have learned a great deal. MF's writings resonated with me and I have found something outside of skiing that gives me great internal insight. It was a great catalyst for self learning beyond movement too. I get the woo hatred, but it pushed me to put the sensations into my own words and it continues to evolve. Add in the friendships and a new life long friend I have no problem with the expense. I wish it didn't feel like they were killing so much time of spending time on a soapbox but sales must be low. I think there a variety of ways people can get the same development, it just so happens that this was mine. Looking forward to the next journey already.

Best,

Chad
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Old 26-08-2015, 04:47 PM   #216
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Jeff Haller Article - "Challenges".

First sentence, to give you an idea of the article:
Quote:
I was asked by the editors of feldenkrais zeit to write an article on how I view the training of practitioners. ...
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Old 26-08-2015, 07:48 PM   #217
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Well, in that vein, let me share two new FM videos I stumbled across. Both are kind of watch and do along with sort of things.



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Old 27-08-2015, 11:43 AM   #218
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I feel "Feldenkrais Method" is like brand death, for a variety of reasons. If you could wave a magic wand and rename the things, what would you name it? I'm fond of "clinical somatics" (because the word clinical is sticky), except Hanna TMd that.

Functional is good to (eg: functional movement screen).

I feel like a three part name (functional movement screen) with a simple acronym (FMS) is part of the human catnip formula but I can't crack the rest of the code. Any thoughts? This is for a course I'm putting together
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:52 AM   #219
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I AM

Image Adjusting Movement

I just stuck with the feldenkrais name and ATM in my area. It was all going to sound bizarre here to everyone anyway. Might as well go all in.

Doing more FI now that I am "official" outside of my PT work week. Word is getting out. Starting my after school program in Nov at my daughter's elementary school, should be a fun crowd to move with.
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Old 15-09-2015, 05:05 PM   #220
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Recent presentations by Deborah Bowes, DPT @ Stanford University Back Pain Education Day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK5Fz0F9I3g#t=03h33m55s

Jump to 3hrs 33mins if that doesn't link properly.

"The Feldenkrais Method is a learning model...a biopsychosocial model of working with yourself".
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Old 16-08-2016, 05:44 PM   #221
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Chiming in on my take on the trainings...

I'm a year into my Feldenkrais training. Before starting the program, I'd been taking classes and private sessions in the method for two years, anywhere from 1-5 times a week, and several workshops, from a wide variety of practitioners. I know a couple seasoned practitioners socially, and had a pretty decent notion of "what this might all be about" before starting the training. I've also pretty thoroughly reconfigured myself over the years. And I've worked as a personal trainer, in a field where people CLAIM to be able to do the things Feldenkrais does, but are rarely particularly effective, resorting mostly to parlor tricks.

So let's say that I arrived very much "primed" for the experience.

The variety of students in class is wide. VERY wide. Some people grasp a LOT of nuance and ask really pointed, insightful questions. Others are much more green to the concept.

The caveat with this kind of learning is that it seems MUCH more effective if you come onto discoveries on your own. So the trainers open doors for you. A LOT of doors. But most of the time, people don't even realize those doors have been opened. People are very much primed for "academic learning", and think that they'll be told the answers eventually via some set curriculum. But the way this training seems structured is a lot more in the way of subtle riddles. Once you realize that it's in riddles, you can get a LOT out of it.

For example, in Feldenkrais's book "Embodied Wisdom," he says something to the effect of "If you ever want to really know yourself with a perception-altering experience, blindfold yourself at home for three hours."

So I did it.

And damn. Mind blown, in so many ways. The first hour was pretty humdrum, going around the house trying to make myself a snack and so on. But then two things set in: boredom, and some notion in my body that "this is something you'll have to get used to". And then I noticed all sorts of ways that I could hear and feel things, and my whole relationship with objects in the house changed. I would feel things with the back of my hands and feet. Climbing under and through things was immensely pleasurable. I wouldn't go around things, as over them was much more efficient. Completely blind, I was DANCING throughout the apartment. And when I took the blindfold off, the visuals did not at ALL match the sensory map of the apartment I'd created for myself in the preceding three hours, showing me that there's a significant disconnect between the two.

I shared that experience with the class the next day, and said that I *HIGHLY RECOMMEND* it as possibly the most important thing you could ever do to get a grasp of how your senses and body map can reorganize themselves.

And everyone oohed and aahed. And to this day, a year later, not a single soul has tried it. Not even the trainers. Some might have done it for twenty minutes at some time, which doesn't get the desired effect (hence Feldenkrais recommending three hours).

This kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME in the training, and once you see that there are possibilities, you can take them left and right. It becomes a meta-training. I'll sit out a lesson sometimes and watch how a trainer's phrasing and word choice helps or hinders people's movement. They recommend all sorts of readings and resources, but mandate none of them, such that it's up to you to go after them.

Essentially, it's up to you to do the learning, and the trainings serve as a sort of crucible for it, if you allow it to be. If all you ever do is come to the training sessions and do the things they tell you to do, you'll probably get some basic level of skill in it. But not that much.

I liken it to the art school I went to for my masters in music. They had some top-notch faculty and an amazing breadth of course offerings, and a ton of support for independent projects. And the academic standards were extremely lax. You could do nothing but smoke weed and show up to a few classes, and you'd get a degree. But most people did so much more. Independent projects, interdisciplinary performance art, all-night concerts, experimental genre-benders, metal bands, etc. Most of the students there didn't have a half hour free in their schedule all week. I racked up 100 performances in one form or another in the course of two years. Many of us came out changed people, primed for anything, with an incredible breadth of skills and the ability to put on a show at the drop of a hat.

That level of skill and immersion is available at a Feldenkrais training, if you treat it as such. If you come into the program, having practiced the method for a while, curious about it, reading up on it, and applying it to some other areas, going to workshops, interacting with other professionals... there's a lot THERE for you to soak up. And very much of the time, the things I learn are not what the lesson is about. If the trainer is elusive in language when a question is asked, that doesn't mean to me "wait and see", it means "why would he say it that way?"

But I think only a portion of the class has had that click. And it does feel like we spend a lot of time "getting up to speed," and some of the group discussions can be infuriating. It's almost like there are three different methods being learned in the class. A format I think could be really effective is to have some sort of basic-grasp prerequisite, and an intensive "bootcamp" to get the greener students up to speed before the actual training begins. But with such a comparatively small following, that would be a hard sell. This seems like a decent compromise. So I've been treating this year as a "getting-everyone-up-to-speed" period and using it to delve deeper into areas of interest and pay attention to the nuance of how things are taught.

The method is, in my current interpretation, very much structured around a particular tenet, which is "How do you get someone to do something without explicitly telling them to do that thing?" I think they could be a lot more explicit in nudging people to grasp THAT, because to me it seems absolutely core to grokking a lot of what goes on in the training. It's all about setting up the CONDITIONS for learning, then allowing the learning to take place. Much of the skill and the meat of Feldenkrais is becoming aware THAT there is something that can be learned.

I'm reminded of my tabla professor. He would have no time frame to teach you how to change the pitch on the bayan (the left hand drum). He would not bring it up. Pretend it didn't even exist as a skill. He would wait until one day the student did it naturally on his own, and THEN he'd show you how to refine it.

What I would like is a lot more rigor in understanding the underlying mechanisms of what's going on. Which suggests to me that it's time to do some of my own research into the matter.
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Old 08-10-2016, 04:35 PM   #222
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Default ..... been off exploring and now back to science..

I've not read all the thread completely, but to comment.

Feldenkrais first popped onto my radar in 1990, through a client. Then through Horses (T Touch, then voice work, performance, movement classes.
1993 I did the 4 day intro & 1994 to 1999 the full FM course.

2000 I finished my Masters in Public Health & walked away from science. I went off 'playing' with all manner of creative, arts & experiential psychological training.

So what do I think of the 4 year course & the whole Feld community ?

The 4 year course (My Apprenticeship in Self) was great, for self development.
The first 5 days I was upset confused, angry disgruntled asking "when does 'training start?"
Then the penny dropped.
That I was required to be a student, to commit & learn & practice, not expect to be taught.

So I put all my years of being 'taught' to one side and immersed.

I rolled around, watched, wondered to myself.
"how is this all affecting my mind/system/body ?" " What's the true science behind this?"

I experienced change that conflicted with beliefs.
My persistent pain went, areas of 'lack of sensation' in my body became 'normal' I experienced a massive emotional shift & moved differently.

My Physio thoughts always ticked, principles started to emerge, challenge my views.
At the end of the 4 years.... I went off exploring ... again....

For me, I got what I wanted. It wasn't a training to be a finished qualified practitioner.
It was more akin to martial arts training.
Well, maybe there is a clue. Moshe was a Judoki, a Sensei.
I came off the course with a belt.

Now I'm back, in the science community.
As for the entire FM community, who knows where they are all going. I'm not in a guild.
In terms of most of what current practs are presenting on youtube, it's not true to the original and they just say it includes some Feldenkrais principles

Larry Goldfarb has set up a 4 year IFF course grads can join an international somatic educators/therapists society.

IMO we are at an interesting phase in regard science and 'named techniques'.
Moshe never wanted his work to be therapy and he seems to have been a wise canny bod
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Old 24-02-2017, 01:40 AM   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan84 View Post
I've invited a few Feldy's here. Maybe some will show up. I don't want this to be a one man show.

IMHO Feldenkrais is the Sumatran orangutan of HPSG: wonderful but critically endangered. I'm proposing SS as a kind of wild life preserve.
What is HPSG?
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Old 14-04-2017, 09:01 AM   #224
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I completed Larrys Trilogy back in 2000 and found it a very useful integration with the training I completed in 1999.
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