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.



Copyright 2007  Raquel Lazar-Paley


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.



Copyright 2007 Raquel Lazar-Paley


Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

NLP is a set of models of how communication impacts and is impacted by subjective experience, and consists of techniques based on those models.  Developed in the early 1970’s by Richard Bandler, Ph.D., an information scientist, and John Grinder, Ph.D., a linguist, NLP began as an exploration of the relationship between neurology, linguistics, and observable patterns of behavior. Bandler and Grinder were interested in how people influence one another, and in the possibility of being able to duplicate the behavior – and therefore the effectiveness – of highly influential people.  What made their search special was their use of technology from linguistics and information science, combined with insights from behavioral psychology and general systems theory, to unlock the secrets of effective communication.  Much of early NLP was based on the work of Virginia Satir, a family therapist; Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt therapy; Gregory Bateson, anthropologist; and Milton Erickson, a hypnotist.

See the Conscious Woman program, NLP: A Birth Model for Change with Kathy Welter-Nichols!

Heavily pragmatic, NLP is more of a collection of tools than an overarching theory.  During their early studies, Bandler and Grinder developed a unique system of asking questions and gathering information that was based on the fields of transformational grammar and general semantics. Later they and their colleagues discovered certain minimal cues people give that indicate very specific kinds of thought processes. These include eye movements, certain gestures, breathing patterns, voice tone changes and even very subtle cues such as pupil dilation and skin color changes.  NLP is this gathering of information to make models, based on the internal experience and information processing of the people being studied and modeled, including the part that is outside of their conscious awareness.

The actual technology, or methodology, that Bandler and Grinder used is known as human modeling; actually the building of models of how people perform or accomplish something. This modeling process actually means finding and describing the important elements and processes that people go through, beginning with finding and studying a human model. To do this well means to actually study the structure of people’s thought processes and internal experience, as well as their observable behavior. NLP has several techniques for diagnosing and intervening in certain situations: There is a phobia cure, a way to detraumatize past traumas, and ways to identify and integrate conflicting belief systems that keep people from doing things they want.

Performing NLP techniques is a skill that requires a significant amount of training to be employed properly.



Copyright 2007 Raquel Lazar-Paley

Network Spinal Analysis (NSA)

NSA is an evidenced-based approach to wellness and body awareness practiced exclusively by Doctors of Chiropractic.  It is applied to the body through a series of gentle contacts, called “spinal entrainments”, along areas of the spine referred to as “spinal gateways,” which range from the bottom of the skull to the tailbone.  “Entrainments” cue the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex (the part of the brain associated with conscious choice and higher human thought) to develop new strategies for the dissipation of stored tension and energy.  The release of tension in the nervous system, accompanied by a greater awareness of breath and body movement, facilitates better adaptation to change and to life’s stressful events.  This manifests in the form of oscillation in the body, a rhythmic movement called a somatopsychic (body-mind) wave, which tends to produce a meditative state and the ability to focus on internal cues – and the adaptive response – rather than on one’s cultural and habitual defensive reaction to the world.  Greater self-awareness and conscious awakening of the relationships between the body, mind, emotion, and expression of the human spirit are realized through this healing work.

NSA, developed by Dr. Donald Epstein, has evolved over the past 30 years.  During his early years in private chiropractic practice, Dr. Epstein noticed that certain chiropractic techniques worked better in some areas of the spine than others.  He also noticed that some adjustments did not work at all.  Consequently, he observed that if the order of the segments adjusted was performed in a particular sequence, the body was better able to process the adjustments.  Dr. Epstein proceeded to network many existing techniques and developed a new practice that consists of properly sequenced adjustments that are more effective than improperly timed techniques or ones that are not suited for a particular body.  Extensively researched, Dr. Epstein’s discoveries have been found to be repeatable and predictable.  The result has been the creation of a wellness modality that promotes the body’s natural rhythms, natural movements, and the natural unwinding of its own tension and interference patterns, without exercises or the use of therapeutic machines.

A retrospective study of 2,818 patients receiving Network care around the world has demonstrated that this modality is associated with profound and statistically significant improvements in physical, emotional and psychological well being, changes in lifestyle, and overall improved quality of life.  Respondents reported having less pain, improved spinal flexibility, more energy and less fatigue, fewer cold and flu symptoms, fewer headaches, a decreased need for prescription medications, more positive feelings about themselves, decreased moodiness, improved temper, fewer angry outbursts, less depression, more interest in life, improved ability to concentrate, less anxiety, greater ability to cope with daily problems, improvement in relationships, better ability to adapt to change, improved job satisfaction and work performance, openness and compassion, interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, improvement in physical appearance and self-awareness, and greater overall health and general well-being.




Copyright 2007, 2011 Raquel Lazar-Paley


Naturopathic Medicine, or Naturopathy, is a system of medicine that uses natural substances to treat the patient and recognizes that the patient’s mental, emotional, and physical states must all be treated for a lasting effect. Though the term Naturopathy was coined in 1895, this type of medicine has been practiced for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  In the mid- and late-1800s in the United States, the standard medical schools taught herbal, homeopathic, and nutritional medicine. Gradually, the pharmaceutical direction to isolate components of the herbs created more potent (but potentially more toxic) drugs and the slower, more gradual effects of Naturopathic medicine almost pushed it into disuse by the early 1900s. The current resurgence is due to a recognition of the limitations of the current medical system and the efficacy of Naturopathic medicine.

The foundation of Naturopathic medicine is the vitalistic philosophy of the healing power of nature.  This means that within every human organism there is a healing energy, which includes our immune system in the fuller sense of both the physical and the psyche, which is responsible for our wellness and our ability to heal and maintain health. The therapies used to support and stimulate this healing power of nature must be the gentlest, least invasive, and most efficient possible.  In addition, Naturopaths do not simply treat the manifestation of a disease but rather search for the cause and treat it. To accomplish these goals, Naturopathic medicine incorporates many therapeutic modalities: herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, hydrotherapy, food, exercise therapy, physical therapy, manipulation of the bony and soft tissues, lifestyle and counseling.  Naturopathic medicine treats the patient from the preventive stage through to serious, chronic and debilitating disease.



Copyright 2007 Raquel Lazar-Paley

Health Care System (General)

Illich, Ivan, Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemisis: The Expropriation of Health. Marion Boyars (1975).
“People need no bureaucratic interference to mate, give birth, share the human condition, and die.” Relentlessly and with full documentation taken from recognized medical sources, Illich proves the impotence of medical services to change life expectancy, the insignificance of most contemporary clinical care in curing disease, the magnitude of medically inflicted damage to health, and the futility of medical and political counter-measures.


Transforming the Legal Profession & the Legal System

Glendon, Mary Ann, A Nation Under Lawyers: How the Crisis in the Legal Profession is Transforming American Society. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA (1994).
This book takes the reader into the late twentieth-century legal world. The author views the legal profession as a profession in turbulence. She gives her frank evaluation of the people and ideas that are transforming the law-dependent culture.

Katz, Roberta, Justice Matters: Rescuing the Legal System for the 21st Century. Discovery Institute, Seattle WA (1997).
The author brings to her writing experience from both anthropology and law. She encourages fundamental rethinking of the adversarial process, asks basic questions about the American Legal System and makes suggestions for improvement.

Sells, Benjamin, The Soul of the Law: Understanding Lawyers and the Law. Element Books, Rockport, MA (1994).
This lawyer/psychotherapist author focuses on the stresses in society as reflected in lawyers’ experiences. He offers insight on how one can enrich life by bringing ideals and passion back into the legal profession.

Interdisciplinary Theory

Gallway, Timothy, The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance. Random House (1977).
Disguised as a manual for harnessing the “inner skills” necessary to compete on the tennis court, this easy-to-read manual translates to any endeavor. It might be easy to categorize this book as another of the “east meets west” genre; however, such a description would miss the pragmatic wisdom of the exercises and examples that inspire new approaches to old challenges.

Illich, Ivan, Toward a History of Needs. Pantheon Books (1978) and Tools for Conviviality. Marion Boyers Publishing (new edition 2001).
From a unique perspective that’s never been replicated, Illich illuminates and challenges many of the purported immutable cultural “habits” that determine the course of education, health care, the legal profession and economics. These books lay a good foundation for discussing new relationships between law and society, and more specifically, the lawyer and client.

Lipton, Bruce, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles. Elite Books (2005).
Dr. Lipton is a molecular biologist, who has contributed cutting edge research to the emerging science of Epigenetics: how biology and genetics are influenced and even controlled by environment, stress, emotions and beliefs. Understandable, entertaining and informative, this book gives simple, concrete examples of how “connections” within any system determine the health and advancement of that system more than any other factor – thus emphasizing that law, as the means by which our society regulates its relationships and connections, is a healing profession.

Pink, Daniel H., A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Penguin Group (2006).
Dan Pink motivates today’s professional to explore a new resource for problem solving and client-relations. Whether the reader interprets the “right brain” metaphorically or literally, Pink makes a case for why and how more creative thinking is not just useful, but required for success.

Wilber, Ken, A Brief History of Everything. Shambala Publications (2000).
Among the more accessible of Wilber’s works, this particular book offers some basic vocabularies and conceptual tools to aid analysis and discussion of any “transformational” process. His analysis of holons and the evolutionary dynamic of “transcend and include” are seminal pieces of post-modern systems theory. In addition, this work sets the stage for one of Wilber’s more brilliant and original ideas: the “pre/trans fallacy,” an idea that identifies the problematic tendency we have to “long for the good old days” to the detriment of original transformation.

Balance, Joy and Satisfaction in Legal Practice

Keeva, Steven, Transforming Practices: Finding Joy and Satisfaction in the Legal Life. Contemporary Books, Chicago, IL (1999).
This author gathered stories of lawyers who have changed the way they practice law. The emphasis is on coordinating inner values with the outer life and work. Inspiring lawyer profiles trace this search for deeper meaning.

Kaufman, George, The Lawyer’s Guide to Balancing Life and Work. ABA Law Practice Management, Chicago, IL (1999).
The signs of burnout along with suggestions to prevent, cure or cope with it are addressed. The author has included information, anecdotes and simple “how to” exercises.

Palmer, Parker, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA (2000).
Writer, teacher, activist Parker Palmer explores the “vocation” in this clear, vital and honest book. Telling stories from his own life, he shares insights from darkness and depression with learnings from fulfillment and joy.