LifeWorks Somatics - Somatic Education for Quality Living - The Feldenkrais Method
Home Events schedule Benefits Classes and Workshops Individual Lessons Nikhila Moshe Feldenkrais Articles Links Contact

Blissfully Free of Pain - A story of a lesson in 'Functional Integration'

I sit on a chair, in a light and airy room. I am about to receive a Feldenkrais 'Functional Integration' lesson. Shelagh sits opposite me. She is moving my knees a little - gently, this way and that. Every now and then her eyes find my face and she says "Can you feel this... in your back?" "Yes" "And I feel it more on the left. Like you push the right knee and I feel it on the left, and you push the left knee and I feel it also on the left " "Right".

I had come here today because I am having to spend increasing amounts of time working at my computer, and it hurts. I cannot sit for very long without pain starting somewhere in my back. Yes, I have the right ergonomics, I have checked all that.

"Can you feel your sitting bones? Is your weight evenly spread over the two of them? Shelagh asks. "well, I can feel the left one better" I reply, "But I actually think I sit more on the right. I often get this pain in my right side" "Ok", says Shelagh "so let's look at that, shall we" I agree. She asks me to lie down, on my back.

This is the way most sessions begin. I look forward to that delicious moment, laying down on the low, wide, table - fully-clothed, so I am warm enough and my limbs can be moved easily. A pad goes under my head, another beneath my knees. I relax, feeling very taken care of. Shelagh's expert touch, direct, gentle, supportive and non-invasive, guides my attention silently, connecting this bit of me, that bit of me, this bit - oooh! Moves beautifully, that - oh! Not so sure, Ah-ha! So that's what it is, mmmn... feel my whole self softening, tension disappears no longer needed, aches and pains with it. Every so often I'd feel a seemingly never-ending breath come through me, a long sigh - and in it's wake an increased softening, connecting. Sometimes feelings come, images, memories - and just as soon, they go, passing through me like the wind through the trees.

Now Shelagh has my foot. She is moving me, all of me, via my foot. I feel the push coming all up my skeleton to my head. She goes for the other one. Somehow a voice inside me says this will be different yet lo! It wasn't! both legs feel the same!

Shelagh asks me to sit up again. This time when she moves my knees, I feel it equally in both sides of my back. I am also sitting more squarely on my sitting bones. She has me make movements like I'm typing on a keyboard. Now, I feel my arms are supported by the rest of me, right down into my feet. It feels great!

Afterward, Shelagh asks me to stand and walk a bit. I 'float' about the room swaying like a belly dancer yet tall as an amazon.

Next day, back at my computer I worked for a blissful few hours. Blissful because I was free of pain. I could sit and work comfortably.

The Feldenkrais Method is taught in two ways. The above describes a typical one-to-one session - although no two are the same. The second way is the 'Awareness Through Movement' class - which takes varied sequences of movements, focused typically either on a particular function eg walking, turning; or on a particular body part. Both ways are complementary to eachother.

< Back to Articles


Nikhila giving treatment


home | benefits | events schedule | classes & workshops | individual lessons | nikhila | moshe feldenkrais | articles | links | contact
©2008 LifeWorks Somatics, S. Devon, UK. The terms Feldenkrais, Feldenkrais Method, Awareness Through Movement,
and Functional Integration are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild UK