I suffered from hand/arm/shoulder/back/neck pain due in great part to playing the oboe for many years. After I stopped playing, rather than subsiding, the pains intensified over time. I spent many years learning about methods and disciplines that helped me learn to help myself, but I made slow progress. It was a relief when I settled in to the Feldenkrais Method®. I quickly found out that each lesson was able to help me make important neurological changes more quickly than I had been able to make them on my own or using the other modalities I had tried.
However, I realized that if I were still playing the oboe, I would not do well with Feldenkrais ATM classes or FI lessons. FIs are excellent and personal, but they are expensive, and they can have more significant results than an active performer is able to assimilate. My own performance technique relies on the stability of many habits – my habits depend on my habitual neurological pathways.
The Feldenkrais Method® teaches our brains to find more efficient neurological pathways. Even if I had a practitioner sensitive enough to avoid making changes in these pathways too quickly, I couldn’t afford FIs on a regular enough basis to make adequate progress.
ATMs are also excellent, but a teacher cannot give each student in class the personal attention they need as performers.
As a performer I need the personal attention FIs provide, but I can’t afford them. Nor can I sustain the constant change Dr. Feldenkrais’s ATM lessons provide without getting individual guidance.
In order to accommodate these difficulties, I developed a modified ATM structure with performers’ particular circumstances in mind.