used to say: “movement is life. Without it, life is inconceivable.”
Even sucking, the first action a baby takes to ensure its survival,
is a movement pattern involving the muscles of the face. Like all
human activity, it has to be learned.
Movement is the first object of our brain’s remarkable capacity
As babies, we all went through this learning process – moving
and learning, developing our brain through the process, and achieving
constantly new levels of mastery over our environment – and
the success or failure of the process determined the quality of our
life. We had no teachers and no verbal instruction. Sensing, feeling
and moving were but one action that had one biological purpose –
becoming a functional, healthy and fulfilled human.
magnificent kind of learning - involving feeling, thinking and moving
- is available to us throughout our life. But the introduction of
language and schooling into a child’s life creates, along with
the benefits it brings, an interference in this organic process. If
teachers and parents are not careful, it can sometimes stop it altogether.
By using movement instead of words, the Feldenkrais Method makes the
model of learning we developed in the beginning of our life available
to us again.
does it work?
each new movement we learn as infants, the connections in our brain
multiply to create a map of ourselves, literally a self-image, which
in turn is used by our brain to send signals to our muscles when we
want to do something. Our nervous system constantly solves new problems
and evolves to meet the world we live in. Muscles don’t think,
bones don’t think, human brains do. If we have pain –
back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, etc. – we need to learn
to move differently so as not to put the same pressure on the same
joints all the time. If we want to hone a performance skill –
playing an instrument, acting, dancing, swimming, playing baseball
– we need to learn how to better use ourselves. If we don’t
find a way to change the map in our brain so that the orders given
to our muscles are more efficient, every other solution will be temporary
and will not enhance our life. Solutions that do not engage our basic
self-image will not bring lasting improvement.
Method is unique in its approach to solving these problems of self-use.
Through carefully developed movement lessons based on developmental
stages it accesses the brain’s innate capacity for plasticity, learning
and adaptation. It uses the language the brain understands best –
the language of movement. While the results may seem miraculous to
us, they are no more miraculous than the learning a baby does in its
first years of life. Improved self-use and better adaptation to the
demands of a given task are natural outcomes of returning to an organic
way of learning.