In 2005, I was in my twenties, living in Makiki and there was a heavy downpour in the middle of the night. I awoke to the splashing of raindrops on my bed, jumped out of bed to close the windows, and proceeded to fall to the ground having thrown out my back. If you have never felt paralyzed by sharp pain that prevents you from wanting to move a muscle, consider yourself blessed. I had been having muscle spasms like this in my back since I was going through puberty at 10 years old.
Over the years, I had depended on acupuncture and massage to bring me relief from my pain. I would surrender my body to the hands of a skilled practitioner in the hopes that the pain would leave and perhaps decide to stay away. Going to a Feldenkrais practitioner helped me to find some gentle movements that eventually helped me to relax the muscles that had gone into spasm, and helped me to develop an awareness of what the warning signs might be in my body before I headed toward discomfort and pain. The Feldenkrais Method empowered me to notice what I was sensing and feeling in my body, and to use movement as a cure for my pain. It inspired me to become a practitioner to help others.
I’ve never been interested in painkillers that dull sensation because I know that pain is present for a reason, and don’t want to act as if there isn’t a source of discomfort, which may aggravate the discomfort. I wanted the pain to stop and I wanted relief as soon as possible, but the more times I found myself urgently calling an acupuncturist or massage therapist for an appointment, the more I realized that I wanted to feel more control over my body and have a better understanding of my options.
The Feldenkrais Method wasn’t a quick fix, but it has helped me to be curious and playful when it comes to looking at the process of healing the pain in my back. I am more apt to look for the smallest movements that I can do without discomfort, and to build from there. I look for places that feel less willing to participate in movement, and the places where there is ease so that I can focus on comfort and not just on pain. I have learned many lessons in my own body that I have been able to teach others on their paths to better self-care, and though my Awareness Through Movement classes focus on a broad range of movements that change week-to-week, the lessons I focus on are the ones that have brought me the most comfort and joy in the many years that I have been practicing the Feldenkrais Method.
I encourage you to come and try a class. The class is not an exercise class, though it will enhance any exercise that you do. I fell in love with the Feldenkrais Method because it made movement easier, in an almost effortless way! Classes are slow, gentle movement sequences focused on everyday functions like sitting, standing, walking, and squatting comfortably. There’s no need to look like anyone else, or to do the lessons like everyone else. Each person has a chance to discover the wonders of their own movement through their own body. There is laughter and lightness of spirit, there is comfort and restfulness. There are opportunities to ask questions of me, as a practitioner, as well as introspective moments where you can just focus on what you feel, sense, think, and believe.
I am teaching in the Synchronicity Wave Room at the Wellness Center three times a week. Mondays and Thursdays at 6pm, and a 10:30am class on Wednesdays. Feedback from the classes has been positive, and participants have commented that they feel more connected to their bodies, peaceful, relaxed, and energized by their experiences.