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Dive into Conference

By Carla Feinstein

Have you ever experienced an Awareness through Movement® class or had a Functional Integration® lesson?

Perhaps there was a moment when you were turning your head or your foot or your shoulder and suddenly, there was a “shift.” Maybe this “shift” was something you didn’t even know that you needed and yet there it was: a new way of being in your world. And to think that can happen from a single lesson!

Now, envision yourself going to a Feldenkrais Method® Conference. You’re immersed in the Method for an entire day or maybe even an entire week. Imagine of all the possibilities for change. One thing is certain: you won’t leave the Conference as the same person who arrived.

This year, the Conference takes place at Loyola University LS campus in Chicago, along the shore of Lake Michigan. I find it to be a uniquely appropriate place for a Feldenkrais Method Conference because the Great Lakes remind me of the Method. Sitting along the shoreline, the calm, clear water stretches out before me and though I know that there is land on the other side, I’m unable to see it. There is such clarity in the water that I can see down to the lake’s sandy bottom. As a child, I interpreted this visibility as a lack of depth, yet I was never able to dive all the way down to the bottom without running out of air.

As an adult, though I live a short drive from the Pacific Ocean, I find myself longing for the Great Lakes. Sitting at the beach, I can watch the waves roll in and out with the tide, but I don’t get to feel the same stillness. I have, however, found that stillness as a student of the Feldenkrais Method. When I lie down on a table or a mat and turn inward for a body scan, I find in that calm environment that I am able to reach towards the depths of my own body and sense my way down to the core. From this place, my movements, my habits, are just ripples on the surface, easy to change not because I am suddenly aware of their presence but because I am aware that my natural state is change.

Please consider joining us in July! Below are the workshops open to the public. And don’t forget that each morning starts with a free Awareness through Movement class!

Change Your Age! with Frank Wildman

In Dr. Frank Wildman’s groundbreaking “Change Your Age” program, you will learn a series of simple, but powerful, exercises that will actually train the brain to send the correct signals to the body so it begins to move in healthier, stronger, more coordinated, and even graceful ways. Based on principles of childhood development applied to adults, this new “Change Your Age” program is flying through the USA, Europe and Asia. Throughout the two days, you will break away from physically limiting habits and progressively feel younger as you learn to perform movements that will increase your agility.

Child’Space, a method for working with infants and toddlers, based on the theory of Dr. Feldenkrais with Chava Shelhav-Silberbush

The ways infants perceive, organize and process information directly affect the development of their movement skills and the ways they relate to their environment. In recent years we are witness to a growing number of children requiring special education services, as early as in kindergarten. Supporting infants and their parents on this critical journey influences infants’ physical, social and emotional adjustments throughout their life span. The Child’Space Method emphasizes the importance of stimulating all biological systems in the critical developmental period of the newborn up to independent walking. Involving the parents in this process is at the heart of the method and an essential component of its success.

Expanding our Reach in Research: Working on Several Fronts with Pat Buchanan and Jim Stephens

Meet with practitioners who are conducting research on the Feldenkrais Method in a number of arenas. This presentation will include a poster session and time to talk with the researchers. Jim Stephens will be reporting on new research involving mapping of body image and it’s relevance to our work. Pat Buchanan will lead a discussion of the FeldSciNet project and its potential for expansion. She will also give an update on the status and future development of the Esther Thelen Research and Education Fund for research.

Happier Meals with Children: A Workshop on Eating and Swallowing Disorders with Chava Shelhav-Silberbush

Mealtime is often difficult when someone in the family has a neurological or developmental challenge. Eating and swallowing are connected not only to motor aspects of the mouth, but also to the relationship between the organization of movements and breathing, and their coordination. This workshop deals with the connection between hunger, eating and the motor aspects of the mouth. We will learn through developmental movement exploration, observation and diagnosis skills, live demonstration of mother and baby, and hands-on work.

The (Im)Possible Dream with Lavinia Plonka

Moshe Feldenkrais often said his method could make “The impossible, possible, the possible, easy and the easy, elegant.” But this doesn’t just apply to movement. He wanted us to “realize our avowed and unavowed dreams” in our lives. How can Awareness Through Movement lessons help us reach what seem to be impossible dreams? In this workshop you will learn how to apply Feldenkrais® principles such as “less is more,” “stay within your comfort zone,” and “pay attention,” towards physical, personal and professional goals. Other tools, including dialog and writing will round out this “Feldenkrais” approach for your aspirations.

The Intelligence of Moving Bodies: How Somatic Learning Allows for Less is More with Carl Ginsburg and Lucia Schuette

Recently neuroscience has begun to catch up with Moshe Feldenkrais’ contention that developing kinesthetic and kinetic awareness stimulates our system to learn new patterns of action in life. Using Awareness Through Movement lessons and discussion of systems biology we will explore how ‘less is more’ when evoking the plasticity available to ourselves for improving our lives. In their new book The Intelligence of Moving Bodies, Carl and Lucia explore space, time, perception, affect, coupling, and animation as keys to somatic methods. In this workshop these themes will be brought to life – within your own body.

Toward Healing Chronic Pain: Embodying Essential Knowledge with Bridget Quebodeaux

Knowledge of how pain manifests in the body is an essential part of the healing process for recovering from chronic pain. Often, the search for answers creates confusion and conflicted feelings about the source of symptoms and the validity of treatment options. In this workshop we will review relevant findings in pain science and explore how movement and imagery can be utilized to calm the body’s “danger alarm system” allowing for new ways of interpreting and responding to sensory input. You will increase your understanding of how we make pain and how we can learn to do something else instead.




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