Imagine running effortlessly through the park, no pain, just exhilaration. Few can, and neither could I until I began to take lessons in the Feldenkrais Method. Then, in just a few hours, after learning to move my hips in directions I had never before imagined, I was loving it. My back was straight, my head was up and I felt like a natural runner. I suddenly realised that you don’t have to be fit to run, you just need to know how to do it.
Feldenkrais teaches you how to move without having to think about it. It sounds far-fetched. After all, there are so many chiropractors, physiotherapists and masseurs about that all claim to be able to change you. But after seeing Catherine McCrum for just over six months my back no longer hurts, my knees – that have both been operated on – are painless, and my hamstrings have not complained for weeks. It’s not a quick fix: it requires a bit of dedication, but it is the best thing that has happened to me. And best of all – anyone can do it.
It’s the opposite of a pushup – no pain, no burn, no puffing and panting; just a succession of movements done in the most effortless way possible. Hard to believe that any good can result from a process so painless, but astonishingly when you get up you feel loose and free and you’re walking on air with extraordinary ease. In my case, nervous tension accumulates around my neck and shoulders and my stomach, and a lifelong penchant for 4 inch heels has done dreadful things to my toe, foot and leg muscles. After a lesson, walking becomes a pleasure and my voice which gets high and constricted (like Mickey Mouse on helium gas!) sounds lower and easier – normal. The osteopath I go to says that he can’t believe how the exagerrated curve in my lumbar spine has straightened out.
Feldenkrais has helped me discover a suppleness I never dreamed possible. Life enhancing stuff!
Catherine’s sensitivity, depth of knowledge and humour mean she is an exceptional teacher. She creates an environment in which learning can best develop.
Feldenkrais has helped me immensely, not only in my personal life, but also in my work as a tennis technique specialist.
I was sceptical but amazed by the results of the first session. There was no doubt that I had improved my range of movement and my internal sensing of the movement had increased although I couldn’t explain or rationalise it. Subsequently, through helping me improve my awareness of how I move, my posture and breathing, it has done for me personally what I thought was impossible – for the first time in 10 years live a pain free life after a serious spinal injury. I had come to accept that I would always struggle with my lower back but incredibly I can now really do whatever I want to do without suffering adverse reactions.
Feldenkrais is a minimalist approach to improving how we move. Tiny, multi-directional movements – some barely discernible but imagined intensely – strengthen and restructure the skeleton. Whatever the focus (pelvis, feet, jaw…) each series of exercises takes you gradually from a simple idea through to the seemingly impossible without sweat or strain. The result: a strong new centre of gravity, clear head and lighter, more flexible movement.
I am 66 years old and started with the Feldenkrais Method as I was very stiff in the back and not nearly as flexible as I should have been.
Since then, there has been a remarkable transformation in my stance and body movements, which is also reflected in my general health.
From my experience of sport and from working with elite level athletes I often find that natural ability towards sport is interchangeable with high levels of awareness. The Feldenkrais method offers the chance to develop your natural awareness levels and experience or relearn efficient movement patterns.
Despite a twice-replaced hip, my movement feels better organised and coordinated than ever.