“Wow!: Having struggled with chronic back pain and bad posture for close to 20 years, this was a revelation….the nasty ache in my neck and back are a thing of the past. This is truly remarkable therapy practiced by the highly proficient Mandy. I highly recommend it!” Lydia Danon
The Feldenkrais Method is known to effect significant improvement to many chronic ailments and conditions, including:
- chronic pain syndrome
- disc pathology
- postural issues
- degenerative disease
- injury rehab and recovery
- neck pain
- nerve pain
- Hip pain
- shoulder pain/ immobility
- Knee and joint pain
- workplace and home ergonomics
Back pain is the number one cause of absence from work. Back pain also encroaches on leisure time, increasing frustration from limitation, and a decline in confidence and self-image.
Many different theories regarding the cause of back pain exist, including structural anomalies and beliefs around ‘core strength’.
Many people however, are getting through life, often extreme structural differences, and without pain. I suggest to you, if core strength were essential for a healthy and pain free spine, then wouldn’t all old people, and all babies be in a world of pain?
And of course, we all know they are not. The fact of the matter is that there are many different reasons for musculoskeletal pain, the most obvious as a result of trauma or injury.
But have you ever had the experience of a pain that seems to arrive ‘all on its own,’ without any obvious cause?
The cause may likely be the way that you have learned to use yourself in action. You learned, or adopted these patterns when you were very young, or sometimes, as a compensation following injury. Even an extreme emotional trauma in life can set up the conditions for poor, even destructive patterns of action, which, over time, can cause structural damage.
A slipped disc is a good example of this. This can occur when a lot of stress and/or pressure is exerted in a localised area of the spine. This often causes a compressive issue on the shock-absorbing discs between the vertebrae of the spine. As a result, pressure on local nerves will likely create local and distal pain and cause muscles to seize and spasm. This can also lead to a thickening of fascia and a build-up of scar tissue. Immobility, pain, and the associated misery, are the usual consequences.
“The Feldenkrais Method has had remarkable success in complaints ranging from the debilitating to the merely nagging.”
The reason localised treatments such as surgery or targeted strength building often fail to work long term, is because neither approach effectively addresses the initial cause of the complaint. The movement pattern.
I like to use the analogy of the spine as a garden hose. For the health and structural longevity of your hose, you would want to ensure that it can bend easily all the way along its length to evenly distribute stress. You can imagine, and have likely experienced what happens when your hose is repeatedly bent in one place. This one spot would wear pretty quickly whilst the rest of the hose remains shiny and new.
The truth is that most of use our spines, indeed our entire skeletons, in much this same way. We mostly employ, and move, using just a few vertebra or familiar joints. Over time, this leads to a spine that no longer has an even distribution of movement availability throughout its length, with some vertebrae becoming unstable, and others stiff and immobile.
A common pattern in today’s often sedentary society, is the epidemic of lower back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain, from precisely this type of organisational problem.
Poor posture, life stresses and, again, the sedentary occupation, often leads to poor breathing patterns and relative immobility in the thoracic or upper back area of the spine, and chronic pain in the lower back and neck. This will also spark knock-on problems in the joints of the limbs.
By identifying your own unique habits of action and learning to redistribute this effort more evenly through the segments of the spine, and the rest of the skeleton, not only are you re-patterning the harmful action that caused your discomfort in the first place, but you are also learning how to avoid the problem turning up at another joint down the line in the future.
Re-integrating the now healthier and more flexible spine to the limbs, now offers much greater options of variability to the user. With more movement options now available to the now, more skilful user, pain is no longer as easily triggered, and structural health is re-established.
If you suffer from back pain, a stiff or sore neck, shoulder pain, or even pain or dysfunction in the knees, you would likely benefit from the neural reorganisation of your basic movement patterns in a Feldenkrais lesson.
Acute or severely painful conditions would most likely benefit from a private Functional Integration lesson, or you might consider joining a group ‘Awareness through Movement’ lesson, or attending a specifically targeted workshop or retreat.