Feldenkrais

The Feldenkrais Method was developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, a Russian-born Israeli who earned degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering, and a D.Sc. in physics at the Sorbonne in Paris. He subsequently worked for a number of years in the French nuclear research program.  Physically active, Feldenkrais played soccer and, in 1936, became one of the first Europeans to earn a black belt in Judo. A chronic knee injury prompted Feldenkrais to apply his knowledge of physics, body mechanics, neurology, learning theory and psychology to the body and mind.  His investigations resulted in the formulation of a unique synthesis of science and aesthetics, known as the Feldenkrais Method.

The Feldenkrais Method is an approach for improving both physical and mental functioning through the exploration of body movement patterns and the use of attention.  It is based on the brain’s innate capacity for learning and the potential for lifelong development and growth.  Movement is used as the medium toward understanding habits and identifying, learning and acquiring alternatives that promote ease and well- being. The applications of the Feldenkrais Method range from reducing pain, improving neurologically-based difficulties and learning disabilities, and increasing mobility – to enhancing performance of professional athletes, dancers, musicians, and actors.  The Method’s two main modalities use movement as the means to promote changes in patterns of thinking, sensing, feeling, and interacting with others: Awareness Through Movement lessons are group sessions in which participants are verbally led through a series of structured movement sequences that utilize attention, perception, and imagination. As lessons progress, participants become more aware of their movement habits, affording new patterns of behavior. There are more than a thousand different lessons with movement ranging from developmentally based patterns to innovative configurations. The movements are usually done lying down or sitting, and in a manner that recognizes each participant’s own pace and range of motion. Comfort, ease, and the quality of movement are the main criteria used as one is developing more inner authority.  The other modality, Functional Integration, is a one-to-one, hands-on interaction specifically designed to meet the needs of an individual.  Through the use of noninvasive and interactive touch, practitioners guide students to a new and more varied use of themselves. Students usually lie or sit and are comfortably dressed.

Students of the Feldenkrais Method report results of increased vitality, enhancement of self-image, better breathing and posture, greater flexibility and range of motion, and reduction of pain. By bringing attention to the process of movement, students usually feel lighter and more graceful, and have greater ease and effectiveness in turning their intentions into actions.

 

 

Copyright 2007 Raquel Lazar-Paley

Alexander Technique

F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) developed the Alexander Technique more than a century ago. An Australian actor who lost his voice while reciting, he observed misuse of the body as a fundamental cause of maladaptive functioning. The approach he created to solve his own physical problem focuses on correcting misuse of the interrelationship and neuromuscular activity of the head, neck and spine.

The Alexander Technique has been beneficial to people with a wide variety of neurological and musculoskeletal problems. The Technique provides an index for observing and improving human movement and a means to gain proficiency in basic movement skills such as walking, bending, squatting, lunging, moving in bed or transferring to and from seated surfaces. The Technique also addresses habits of muscular response by offering a unique approach to neuromuscular re-education. The result is a more upright posture and less muscular tension in the neck, back and shoulders. In the case of repetitive stress or traumatic injury, a primary benefit is that students learn proper use of the peripheral joints involved in the injury. Most importantly, they learn a unique self-management process which directly affects the function of those joints: an understanding of balance and dynamic postural control.

The Technique has been found to significantly reduce pain, improve overall functional strength and mobility, modify stress reponses and enhance breathing coordination.  In a process of psycho-physical reeducation, the teacher uses specific clinical skills, including manual guidance and verbal cues, to improve each student’s postural and movement patterns.

http://www.alexandertech.org/hpinfo/maine.html

 

Copyright 2007  Raquel Lazar-Paley

Nutrition

The cells in our bodies are built from the raw materials we eat. The more suitable our food choices are to our specific requirements, the better cell structures we can build.  Nutritionists provide guidance to individuals or groups on food selection and preparation and food supplements (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, glandular concentrates, proteins, essential fatty acids, etc.).  They educate clients about the benefits of a sound nutritional program to encourage the body to heal itself. They evaluate a client’s food intake, usually over a given week; particular attention is paid to the proportions of protein, fat, starches, sugars and fiber consumed.  They design a program specifically for each client taking into consideration such factors as height, weight, age, sex, level of exercise or physical activity, dietary goals, food preferences, sensitivities to specific foods, and dietary habits in respect to their diet and nutritional deficiencies.

People generally seek nutritional consulting for weight normalization, pregnancy or lactation, sports nutrition, convalescence, understanding the use and abuse of food supplements, understanding the consequences of specific food choices, and learning how to make choices more appropriate to their needs.

http://www.ionc.org/index.cfm?page=faq

 

Copyright 2007 Raquel Lazar-Paley