feldenkrais for ms

17Aug13

Recently, I have used a technique called Feldenkrais quite a bit. I’d used it off-and-on before, but an occupational therapist who works on my old neck injury has got me sold.

You’re either in full agreement with me that it’s a wonderful tool, or thinking that I’m speaking a foreign language… what is Feldenkrais? In a nutshell… it’s a movement system (very basic exercises) that Mr. Feldenkrais designed with the idea of helping our bodies move more efficiently, integrated as a unit, and (long-term) pain-free.

To someone used to doing hard-core exercise, it’s not very satisfying, since the movement is gentle. It doesn’t feel like you’ve gotten a workout.

But if, like me, you have a section of your spine that doesn’t want to flex or rotate like it should, Feldenkrais is a great way to retrain your body to move like it should. (It will not happen in one session, but little by little, over time. And your awareness of your poor patterns increases, so that you know what you should be correcting.)

Other than speaking of the benefits of this system, why talk about it here? I think that anyone with MS is a prime candidate for trying out Feldenkrais! Many MS patients report fatigue as their #1 symptom. Perhaps learning to move more efficiently through everyday activities would cut back on that fatigue, little by little.

More efficient movement of the body = less fatigue = more enjoyment out of life. (And greater ability to do those hard-core workouts, for those of us who enjoy those!)

If you want to give Feldenkrais a shot without the financial commitment, of course, there are some videos up on YouTube. There are also some very detailed audio tracks at the Seattle Feldenkrais website, separated out by category. All you need is a space on your floor (and perhaps a mat) big enough for you to lie down!

So… give it a try, you have nothing to lose!

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