Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais –a physicist, mechanical engineer and judo black belt– and the creator of the Feldenkrais Method, conducted his first American training program in San Francisco in 1975– the year I was born.
For the first time he trained professionally a group of 65 students that were to carry on the core principles of his work. One of them, David Zemach-Bersin, later founded The Feldenkrais Institute of New York, now the largest center dedicated to Dr. Feldenkrais’ work in the United States.
Like Jane Brody, the legendary personal health writer of the New York Times, this is where I fully embraced Feldenkrais. I studied with David to become a licensed practitioner, and later worked professionally offering classes and private sessions there.
In 2017, Brody published an article describing her experience with private sessions and group classes at the Feldenkrais Institute of New York.
The End of Chronic Pain
Brody’s article details how she alleviated her chronic pain and learned new ways to stand, walk, sit, and improve her posture.
I was– and continue to be– profoundly grateful to Jane Brody for shedding national light on our beloved method. And especially for highlighting some fundamental Feldenkrais principles:
“The ultimate goal of both sessions is, in effect, to retrain the brain – to establish new neural pathways that result in easy, simple movements that are physiologically effective and comfortable. Although the Feldenkrais method was developed in the mid-20th century, neurophysiologists have since demonstrated the plasticity of the brain, its ability to form new cells, reorganize itself and, in effect, learn new ways to do things.”
Off The Hook
Needless to say, once the article was published, the phones started to ring.
It is still the most re-printed and shared newspaper article about our method, and –rightfully so– the one that has brought us most attention. People all over the U.S. east coast “suddenly” knew about Feldenkrais. Brody’s reputation as a health expert writer was behind it, and all of us practitioners were busier than ever.
Please enjoy this article, with my wish that you remember as you read it:
“Feldenkrais teachers do not give formulas for a proper way of behaving; rather, they rely on their patients’ ability to self-discover and self-correct.”
As such, what we offer is an invitation to reconnect with your whole self, align your body and mind’s natural intelligence, and use your brain’s potential to change.
This is not only my birthright, but also yours.