A Feldenkrais® session is a somatic lesson, which means it is a lesson about our body: how we move and how we act when we are by our selves, when we meet with others, and when we move around in the world with all its variability. I will help you to discover and to learn about yourself fully as the individual you are who is participating in this life experience.
Wear comfortable clothes for your session. I will ask you to take off your shoes and your belt before we start, as well as jewelry, hair clips, etc. before we begin.
We generally begin by talking about how you are feeling, and about any questions you have about the Feldenkrais Method®. You may be seated on the table, or you may be lying down. As we talk, sooner or
later I will start to use my hands to ask you the same questions we are already talking about. I will watch the way you use your body as we talk, and I will use my hands to find out more information from your body about what you are saying about the way you feel.
My “questioning” usually starts simply, by placing my hands on you so I can get a clearer understanding from your body of what you are saying in words. There are very subtle physical movements and signals which I am able to sense and evaluate in order to elaborate on your words. Your verbal explanation of how you feel is very important, but it is even more
clear if I am also able to feel as much of what you are feeling as possible. Gradually I will move my hands over you smoothly and comfortably using varying degrees of pressure to learn still more about how you feel.
When I understand enough to be able to explain it to you by using somatic (physical) techniques, I will begin to support, then move parts of your body. If you like, I can talk to you about what is going on between us in this student/teacher relationship. Or you may quietly observe what is going on and form your own opinion.
My hands and I will observe how your body moves in ways which are specifically related to the concerns you have talked to me about earlier in the session, so that you too can see and learn more about how you move. I may also move your arm, or your head, perhaps your leg, etc. in other ways that will help you to learn that you have more options for movement than you realized.
I may also ask you to make small, repetitive movements with your hand, or your head or leg while you sit or lie on the table. At the same time I will be learning more with my hands. I will place my hands and give you support and other signals in order to help you learn that what we learned earlier in the session is also applicable now, while you are moving your own self.
At the end of your session we will observe together how you feel. When you sit, when you stand, when you walk about, do you feel differences? Where? Can you talk about the feeling of what was before and what is now? Or is it better just to stay with it on your own and have confidence in your process? The differences often create a sense of change which can’t exactly be explained, but which is clearly an improvement.
to become increasingly aware
of the differences you feel and to make note of them,
whether aloud in words to someone else,
or quietly without concept for yourself.
While a successful session can result in a better movement, or a reduction or elimination of pain, many sessions which are equally successful can’t be quantified in that way. Students feel better, they have a sense of this or that being easier or more comfortable, but they can’t explain exactly what or why.
This is why a somatic lesson works. It wasn’t trying to change your intellect. The learning process didn’t require any “intellectual” participation at all. Your Performance Feldenkrais session was directed to the part of your brain which controls your movements. Its goal was to promote change in your neurological circuitry. It was the circuitry in that part of your brain which understood the lesson well enough to make changes.
What does this mean? It means you don’t have to be able to “understand” anything or explain anything. You will see that you were able to learn without having had to think about it. You don’t even have to know what you learned. If something is different, that means you learned something, and with practice you will learn more.