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Monday, July 7, 2014

Improve bending, rotation, movement of spine, shoulders, hips!

This week's Reno Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Class:
COORDINATING THE SIDE FLEXORS

Our focus this week is to improve your side-bending in various positions, working on the side flexors, improving your connection to, awareness of and range of movement in your ribs, shoulders, hips and spine. All our movement, of course, done in the mindful, attentive and slow language of Feldenkrais that your nervous system understands.

Sound like a lot?  It is!  And it is important. We use side bending in all of our rotation, for example, turning to look behind us walking or sitting, while driving our car, while riding horses. Rotation is critical in our being comfortable while we sit at our desks, in a movie, even at dinner.
With better side flexion, we can recover and maintain a healthy, powerful pelvis to support our important daily activities and the wonderful things we love to do -- from long, leisurely summer evening walks, to hiking, kayaking, equestrian activities, GOLF, or tennis -- just about everything you do.

If you have questions about Awareness Through Movement® or Functional Integration® or classes and private lessons, please contact me using the form in the upper right hand corner of this blog.  Be sure scroll down the page and watch the youtube video clips about the Feldenkrais Method® on the right side bar if you haven't seen them before.

Classes are held every week in Reno on Tues mornings 10 am, Thurs. evening, 5:30, and Saturday afternoons at 3 pm.  See my schedule on the right side bar for details.  Comfortable, efficient movement is within your reach!


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Awareness Thru Movement class this Sat. 3 pm ONLY July 5 canceled

Just a reminder that there will be no Saturday 3 pm class at Midtown Fitness on the July 4-5th weekend.  See you next Saturday, July 12. When coming to your first class, contact me and come 15 mins early.  Happy, safe 4th of July!
Carole

Friday, June 27, 2014

Better Peripheral Vision Can Prevent Falling

Hi everyone! Here is a re-post of the short peripheral vision exercise from my recent newsletter (that focused on why Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons may improve brain function).

After an injury, surgery or when we are afraid of falling for any reason, people of all ages will begin leaning forward and bending their necks to watch what is in front of them on their path in an effort to avoid anything that might cause them to mis-step and fall. The irony is that the very way we attempt to protect ourselves from falling actually increases the likelihood that we will, by introducing instability into our posture and movement. Here is a solution to work with that will create more skeletal stability and empowerment in your walking.


Improve Peripheral Vision

Instead of looking down to avoid falling, we can practice directing our vision outward toward the horizon and consciously include/expand our peripheral vision to include a greater field. This prevents you from taking the head and neck forward, a movement that ironically predisposes the body to move into a falling position! Thus by bending the neck downward, you are more likely to be create the outcome you are trying to avoid.

This exercise will also assist in relaxing your neck and diminishing tension associated with eye strain or spending too much time in front of the computer. To sign up for my newsletter, come to classes and to find out more about learning to use the Feldenkrais Method to improve all your activities, please contact me directly through the contact form in the upper right hand corner of this web page.



Learn to expand your visual field (consciously using your eyes) while relaxing your neck:


1. Look straight ahead and notice your visual field and what you see comfortably.

2. Turn your head slowly from side to side a few times and notice the range and the quality of the movement.

3. Now allow your visual field to increase so that you have more peripheral vision. Notice that your visual field has expanded and you can see more with less effort.

4. Continue to keep this expanded visual field and turn your head slowly from side to side noticing how this changes the range and ease of the movement.

5. Consciously practice expanding the visual field whenever you feel tension in the neck and eyes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How Feldenkrais helps your brain work better.

Hi Everyone!

Students often ask me what is the mechanism that makes the Feldenkrais Method such an important vehicle in improving our physical functioning--and sometimes even more important--in the functioning of our brain? Today the answers are found in neuroscience.

We have confirmed the observations that Dr. Feldenkrais made nearly 70 years ago as he saw his students, clients, and patients respond to the modalities known today as Functional Integration (FI) and Awareness Through Movement (ATM). We have the technology to measure and track activity in the brain and can see which activities enhance our brain function. We can verify that working mindfully with attention while doing non-habitual movement produces specific reactions in the brain, reactions that are good for us in every way - not only in our movement.

To explain this a little further, below is an interesting article from the Feldenkrais Journal. It explains more about brain function and why doing ATM lessons produces the kind of response in the brain that we want -- for better movement, cognition, vitality and life. At the very end of the article, you will also find a micro-ATM that lets you explore your peripheral vision and discover how our mindful attention can even expand what we see. It's pretty cool.

I hope to see you soon! Happy Spring and Summer! Carole

______________________________________________
FLEXIBLE BRAIN - by Fiona Morris Upward, GCFP.

Flexibility in the brain can be described as the ability to find new pathways that interconnect, so that a change can be observed. How can we view this change in the brain function? Neuroscientists have been able to apply modern technology to discover which parts of the brain are ‘lighting up’ with information: either efferent nerve function (messages going outwards), or afferent nerve function (messages coming into the brain) with new signals registering on the cerebral cortex. Awareness Through Movement® lessons can deliver both improved flexibility for our bodies and also the stretching of the mind to sense, feel, discover and apply the new idea of learning with ease and attention to detail.

The key is in attention to the details; and the brain can sort quite a lot of signals in an orderly way when we are relaxed, happy, and not under the pressure to perform or to do more or to be better. Awareness through Movement lessons support each individual’s functional ability for improvement inviting a relaxed, sensing brain that is more apt to be open to change.

Dr. Feldenkrais was curious about how we as human beings can learn and change and so demonstrate higher function. In his Method, each person in an Awareness Through Movement lesson is given verbal guidance to explore this idea of change.

In his book, The Master Moves, Dr. Feldenkrais poses the question: ‘What sort of learning is important? You find an incredible thing. Once you look at it very closely you find that the learning that enables you to do the thing you know in another way, and one more way, and then three more ways, is the learning that is important. And when you see learning in that light, you find that a whole world of important things is open to us.’


In an Awareness Through Movement lesson each person learns to attend to him/herself in a new way and this ‘attention’ may be the link that triggers the brain to become more flexible.

Daniel J. Siegel writes: ‘The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is thought to play a major role in working memory…and the focusing of conscious attention…The middle prefrontal regions are part of a ‘team’ that work together as a functional whole to link widely separated areas to one another. They have important integrative functions that help coordinate and balance cortical activity of thought and feeling with the lower limbic, brainstem, and bodily areas’ functions.’ Awareness Through Movement lessons are designed to promote flexibility in these integrative functions and thereby allow improved functional ability. This is why Dr. Feldenkrais emphasizes that openness to learn is of such paramount importance. There is the possibility that as one improves one’s awareness and learning through movement, the brain’s flexibility will also improve.

Moshe Feldenkrais, The Master Moves, Meta Publications, 1984, p 19.
Daniel J. Siegel, The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are The Guildford Press, NY, 2012, Second Edition pp 18-19.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pelvic floor class starts Apr 24 at the Reno Buddhist Center.

UPDATE:  The 6 wk Pelvic Floor Class Starts this Thursday, April 24, at 4 pm.


We improvised and came up with this new start date that worked for more people, me included. If you still want to sign up, just come at 3:45 this Thursday and that will be fine.

The nature of this class is that you get a really good understanding of what and how to do the lessons, so that you can do them at home successfully at the end of the 6 weeks. The effort may be life-long, but the work can be done at home, in your car, in the grocery line, in a movie and so on!  Success means renewed capacity, and you will get that from this class.

Doing the work will help the usual issues, plus low back pain, spinal conditions, scoliosis, hip joint pain, pre or post hip replacement, etc.  I will also teach you how to sit comfortably and update your self use!  If you have questions, contact me via the upper right hand corner contact form, or via renofeldenkrais@aol.com.

See you Thursday!
Carole



Thursday, April 3, 2014

6 week Pelvic Floor Class - sign up now!


Hi Everyone! The 6 wk PELVIC FLOOR CLASS begins again - great work for balance, breathing, scoliosis, low back pain, riding, walking/hiking and vital energy (and, of course, all the more well-known pelvic organ conditions).
The pelvic floor class starts next Thursday April 10 at the Reno Buddhist Center, 4 pm. We will decide together about scheduling into the future, days and times, etc. so contact me NOW to sign up. Be sure to be there if you want to be in on the scheduling process.  Minimum sign up 7 students, maximum 15.  If you are new, plan to at arrive no later than 3:40. See you soon!  
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The class is highly recommended for people who have issues with pelvic organ function, pelvic structure concerns, SCOLIOSIS and lower back pain, problems with balance or breathing.
Specifically pelvic floor work can dramatically improve incontinence, ED, constipation/IBS, many urogenital issues and can be critical in recovery from certain pelvic surgeries. But for best results the work should be begun prior to surgery.
Generally, working with the pelvic floor introduces a groundedness and balance to the whole skeleton system, which when combined with Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement sequences, reestablishes function throughout the system that will help you regain and sustain a higher level of functioning system-wide.
Because it is so helpful, I prefer that everyone attend 1 or more regular Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® classes before beginning the Pelvic floor class.  You must contact me and arrange to meet with me 20 mins early for preparation prior to your first class.
Bring water, a towel, blanket/comforter and wear layers.  You may contact me via email if you have other questions.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Subtle Movement of Breath in the Body

Sensing and Breathing

This week's Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® lesson is a quiet exploration of the subtle movements of breath in the body. We begin to see and feel how our breath supports and connects to other movement functions as we discover each small and delicate response to breathing in and out. The movement sequence is done on the back, front, lying on both sides, and in sitting.  The results include an easier and more spacious sense of breathing in the chest, lungs, and torso, much more movement in the ribs and shoulder girdle and a feeling of lightness in the whole body.
 
This is an exquisite example of the way in which work with our attention to via the simple organic movements of our bodies creates a deep grounding with life and joy.  It is a derivation of Lesson 4 by Dr. Feldenkrais in his book, 'Awareness Through Movement.'
 
See the Class Schedule in the Right Side Bar for details of times and places.  
 
This lovely photo is from Anatomy in Motion. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pelvic Floor Workshop #3, Mar. 30


Just a brief heads-up to announce that our 3rd Feldenkrais Pelvic Floor/low back pain workshop is now scheduled for March 30 at Midtown Fitness, in Reno, from 12-noon to 3 pm.  It is completely different material from the previous workshops and will be lots of fun and practical use.

I will post more info about it this weekend.  Please sign up as soon as possible if you want to get in.  The first 2 PF events were sold out within 10 days.  There are only 20 spots available, and 9 people have already signed up since last night's email. The workshop is an excellent support for equestrian activities and for scoliosis management.

Have a great week! Carole

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Why Feldenkrais? Great reason! Move it or lose - please read on:

The need for movement increases as we age.  However, the actual amount of movement we get is far more likely to decrease drastically, the older we get. And not surprisingly, the results of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle are extremely debilitating, as the article below explains. 

You might be interested in the important reasons to get yourself into shape to move more, by decreasing your sitting time and increasing the things you enjoy and love: walking, gardening, hiking, riding bikes or horses.  Feldenkrais will make it possible to do nearly everything more comfortably and stably.  Remember Spring is just around the corner. 

I hope you will investigate Feldenkrais as your pathway to engaging in life again, getting more movement, as you sit less. The great advantage will be that you can use everything you learn in both Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes or individual Functional Integration lessons in everything you do.  

My priority has been to make Feldenkrais accessible and affordable for people in the Reno-Tahoe-Carson-Minden-Gardnerville area.  I have offered the only ongoing Feldenkrais classes and lessons in this area since 2009. Please contact me if you have questions.  Best regards, Carole



Mature man sitting in a wicker chair (Copyright Rex Features Ltd, 2012)
(HealthDay News) -- Too much sitting has been linked to increased risk for health problems such as heart failure and earlier death. Now, a new study finds older adults who sit too much are more likely to be disabled -- regardless of their exercise habits.
"Sedentary behavior is its own separate risk factor [for disability]," said study researcher Dorothy Dunlop, a professor of medicine at the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. She evaluated the exercise habits of more than 2,000 men and women, aged 60 and above, and their ability to perform normal everyday activities.
"Regardless of how much time they spent in moderate physical activity, the more time they spent being sedentary, the more likely they were to be disabled," Dunlop said.
However, another expert wonders if the relationship may occur in the opposite way -- that the more disabled people are, the more sedentary they are due to inability to exercise.
The study was supported in part by the U.S. National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases. It was published online Feb. 19 in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.
Dunlop and her colleagues evaluated responses given to the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The men and women answering the survey wore accelerometer devices to measure their activity on at least four different days between 2002 and 2005.
Few met the guidelines of getting moderate activity for 2.5 hours a week, Dunlop said. Only about 6 percent met that goal, and the other 94 percent did not, the study found.
On average, the men and women spent nine hours a day being sedentary during waking hours. About 4 percent reported being disabled. Disability was defined as having much difficulty (or inability) in performing activities of daily living, such as getting out of bed, dressing and walking.
For each additional daily hour of being sedentary, the odds of disability rose about 50 percent, Dunlop said. For instance, a woman aged 65 who was sedentary for 13 hours a day was 50 percent more likely to be disabled than a woman who was sedentary for 12 hours, she explained.
What is it about sitting? Dunlop can't say for sure, but said experts think that sitting for an extended period causes muscles to burn less fat and blood to flow more sluggishly. Idle muscles and sluggish blood flow can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, swollen ankles and diabetes.
Dunlop's study found a link, not a cause-and-effect relationship.
The connection may actually go the other way, said Andrea LaCroix, a professor of epidemiology in family and preventive medicine and director of the Women's Health Center of Excellence at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. She recently found a link in her own study between higher amounts of sedentary time and higher risk of death in older women.
In the new study, however, the disability may be driving the inactivity, she said. "The more disabled people are, the more sedentary, because they are unable to exercise," LaCroix said.
Among the study's limitations, she noted, was that it looks only at a snapshot in time -- four days of tracking over a few years. A better approach would be to follow people over time and see if being sedentary leads to disability, said LaCroix, who is also an affiliate investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle.
The take-home message, study author Dunlop said, is that older adults, regardless of how much they exercise, should decrease their sedentary behaviors. So, she's still encouraging exercise. But if that's difficult, decreasing sitting time is another goal.
How to do that? Stand up when you talk on the phone, she suggested. Park in a far-away space at the mall or market when you shop. At work or home, walk around a bit when you get up for coffee or water, she advised. Walk to nearby errands instead of taking the car. If you're able, take stairs, not elevators. You can use a pedometer to track your activity.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Feldenkrais Pelvic Floor Workshop Pictures.

The Power and Movement Center of Our Bodies!  
Learning to use ourselves in stable, supportive, reversible ways is the most important aspect of understanding our skeletal structure.  Here are a few pictures from yesterday's Pelvic Floor workshop, which addressed and presented the pelvis as the initiator of movement and center of balance and grace.

The Reno Feldenkrais Integrative Movement and Health Pelvic Floor workshop, January 26 - it was a great group and many many aspects of the application of this work were explored. A strong and balanced pelvic floor pertains to so many things, balance, movement function, breathing, uro-genital function, strengthening the body in scoliosis, overall stability, equestrian activities, running and hiking, to name a few. 

This was the second of 3 pelvic floor workshops, each a stand alone experience and resource. Each has been sold out well in advance.  If you are interested in attending workshop 3 (date not set yet), please contact me.