One Key to Lasting Lessons
Move into meaningful context.
Move from table to action.
Move out of trance, into the world.
Feldenkrais Practitioners, have you ever given a good or even great FI lesson, after which your student said how fantastic they felt? Their pain was less or gone, they were more relaxed, felt calmer and more at ease? Of course you have. Have you experienced that same client coming back for the next lesson and saying something like, “The effects of the lesson didn’t last very long” or, “I couldn’t hold onto the that nice feeling from the last appointment”? Probably you have, I’ll bet we all have had that happen.
For many clients, experiencing that blissful state of equanimity can be an important step in their learning and healing process. They may have never imagined that it could be possible to feel so well, or forgotten the last time they did. However, there is more to Functional Integration than bliss.
If they were not able to imagine that such a state could be possible, that might be a surprise, albeit a pleasant one. They were probably coming to get out of pain or something like that and the unexpected may just seem like an aberration or fluke. Our job as teachers is to help them integrate the new experience into their self image. They may also feel heavier, softer (even weaker) than they’re accustomed to, so have no idea how this state could be useful in their daily life, even it they are pain free. Or perhaps they just can’t incorporate too much change at one time.
Without the ability to integrate this state, they will often resort to what they know, and that may include that what causes their pain.
One thing I’ve found to be very helpful is using a technique I call, “Guiding Resistance.” The way to do this is to to add some gentle resistance to movements derived from an ATM in order to help your students organize their actions more clearly and effectively.
By guiding your student to a more dynamic state of self organization and then having them move themselves while paying attention to HOW they move, you can lead them to a state of dynamic presence.
Try using this technique in your next lesson and let me know how it goes. Post your discoveries in the comments section.
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