In 12/2019 I lost the feelings in my fingers and had significant pain in my shoulder and arm. The condition was treated successfully and I am having regular physical therapy from a sports and medicine perspective. I have been a guitar player for many years with a degree in jazzcom/music ed. Are there any practice regimens or recommendations related to recovery or rehabilitation of skills due to a cervical spine condition?
Moshe Feldenkrais has developed his method in the war 2 with wounded soldiers and in prisoner camps. He was teacher of Yehudi Menhuin and Moshe Dayan.
Exercises for rehabilitation and and reintegration after illness won’t probably differ much from normal training of a healthy person.
But the Feldenkrais method is helping to avoid bad learnt reflexes and non functional bad habits.
The Feldenkrais Method is an educational system that uses movement to teach self awareness and improve function.
The Feldenkrais Method was developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984). The Biography of Dr. Feldenkrais shows his diverse fields of study and hints to the sources of the genius of the Method he developed.
From Moshe Feldenkrais, “Body and Mind”, 1980:
The way the mind and body are united has preoccupied human beings throughout the centuries. ‘A healthy mind in a healthy body’ and similar sayings show a conception of one kind of unity. […]
*I believe that the unity of mind and body is an objective reality. They are not just parts somehow related to each other, but an inseparable whole while functioning. A brain without a body could not think; at least, the continuing of mental functions is assured by corresponding motor functions.
There is little doubt in my mind that the motor function, and perhaps the muscles themselves, are part and parcel of our higher functions. This is not true only of those higher functions like singing, painting and loving, which are impossible without muscular activity, but also of thinking, recalling, remembering and feeling.
*The advantage of approaching the unity of mental and muscular life through the body lies in the fact that the muscle expression is simpler because it is concrete and easier to locate. It is also incomparably easier to make a person aware of what is happening in the body, therefore the body approach yields faster and more direct results. On acting on the significant parts of the body, such as the eyes, the neck, the breath, or the pelvis, it is easy to effect striking changes of mood on the spot.
*A person is made up of three entities: the nervous system, which is the core; the body – skeleton, viscera and muscles; and the environment, which is space, gravitation, and society. These three aspects, each with its material support and its activity, together give a working picture of a human being.
Individually acquired action (ontogenic action) pertains to the senses. Such action can be altered or learned as one can become aware of the actual differences, such as the extent of the effort, its coordination in time, the body sensation, the spatial configuration of the body segments, the standing, the breathing, the wording, etc.
This kind of awared learning is complete when the new mode of action becomes automatic or even unconscious, as all habits do. The advantage of a habit acquired by awareness is that when it shows unfitness or maladjustment when confronted with reality, it easily provokes new awareness and so helps one to make a fresh and more efficient change.
My inmost belief is that, just as anatomy has helped us to get an intimate knowledge of the working of the body, and neuroanatomy an understanding of some activities of the psyche, so will understanding of the somatic aspects of consciousness enable us to know ourselves more intimately.
You’ll find also videos here:
I share this critical view about Feldenkrais trainers:
There are so many ways to look at the material. One could study how each lesson given was physiologically correct and see how he utilized reciprocal inhibition, balance and counter balance, force and counter force, reversibility, even distribution of tonus, in each lesson to create a quality of effortless efficiency for his students. You could look at the materials and see how he taught class from the point of view of physics, biology, psychology, mysticism, educational or systems theory. The lectures he gave are a study within a study and stand on their own in their use for the serious student.
One could dive into the inner dynamics of each lesson given by Moshe, seeking to find the essence of the lesson resting there, or one could expand their view into an overview to see how all the elements were threaded together to create the outcomes that were generated. It is a complex study to enter into each lesson and discover the rough jewel hidden within and then see how the lessons are threaded together so one gradually polishes the jewel by reducing effort, finding support from the floor, reducing unnecessary muscular action, and using ones ability to image action, to come to simple effective movement.
So few people in the Feldenkrais community met Moshe personally. Most practitioners in the world were trained by a trainer who has offered their interpretation of what they heard and understood from Moshe. Or perhaps, at this point, someone who is a second or third generation trainer who never met Moshe, trained them. Take the time and make a comparative study of Moshe’s teaching with of what you learned and came to believe in your training. Triangulate your learning. Hear from him through the DVDs and correlate what you heard in your classes with what you hear him say. It will make you a better teacher and improve your clarity immeasurably. If you want to master the Feldenkrais Method, the study of the Amherst materials, and all of Dr. Feldenkrais’ original teachings, will move you well along that path.