Offering more Feldenkrais

To the editor:

Due to the great interest in the Summer Feldenkrais Workshop, two more sessions have been scheduled for Oct. 26 at the Saunders Sports Complex of Paul Smith’s College. Uwe Mester, a guild-certified Feldenkrais practitioner, will again, lead the sessions, which include “Oiling the Hip Joints” and “Softening Your Ribs.”

The Feldenkrais method is named after its originator, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc. (1904-1984), a Russian-born physicist, judo expert, mechanical engineer and educator. Upon suffering a serious knee injury, Feldenkrais was faced with a 50 percent chance for recovery and possible long-term confinement to a wheelchair. Unsatisfied with the prognosis and conventional treatments available, he developed a program of therapeutic movement and began teaching it to others. The Feldenkrais method is based on the principles of physics and biomechanics, an empirical understanding of human physiology and the connection between mind and body. Practitioners use gentle movement and directed attention with the aim of increasing ease and range of motion, improving flexibility and coordination and ultimately rediscovering an innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement.

While frequently used to help ease stress and tension, the Feldenkrais method has demonstrated success in the rehabilitation of stroke victims and others suffering from neurological injuries (brain tumors, head trauma, multiple sclerosis and ataxia) that cause disordered movement or a lack of coordination.

Those with orthopedic problems in bones and joints can use the Feldenkrais method to assist in correcting poor posture or habits of movement that may cause pain. Movement therapies like Feldenkrais can also benefit people who suffer from distorted body images that contribute to eating disorders and other psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety. The exercises can re-educate the brain and nervous system to develop new ways of moving and perceiving the body, as well as elevating mood and increasing overall feelings of well-being. Feldenkrais can be an effective part of an integrative-medicine approach to any painful condition from degenerative arthritis to fibromyalgia.

Anyone interested in learning more about the workshops or other programs are encouraged to contact Paul Smith’s College at 518-327-6097.


Patricia Coppola

Saranac Lake