How I do know whether I need a knee replacement or not? Can the Feldenkrais Method help prevent a knee replacement?

“I have a severe arthritis in my knee.  Will I need a knee replacement or can I avoid a surgery with the Feldenkrais Method or any other modalities?”


This is a very common question I receive from my clients and friends.  I believe that the amount of information you can get on the internet is overwhelming, and it is not easy to differentiate reliable information based on good research from information based on personal opinions without a scientific basis.


My intention for this article is to clarify a reasoning for a surgical intervention and the Feldenkrais Method (TM) for some conditions such as arthritis, degenerative joint disease (DJD), and degenerative disc disease (DDD).


The diagnoses mentioned above are all chronic conditions that result from repetitive use over many years vs traumatic acute injuries.  It is important to remind you that degeneration of joints, discs is normal aging process, and that should not intimidate you.  No matter how well you use your body and move you will have some wear and tear.

So how do you know if you need a surgery or when you need a surgery?


Here are two important questions you need to ask yourself:


1) Is your condition causing pain/discomfort?  How severe?

2) Is your pain/discomfort compromising your daily activities?  How badly?


Notice I didn’t ask you about the severity of degeneration based on imaging studies (MRI, X-rays, etc).  Why didn’t I ask you that question?


Whether you will need a surgery or not depends on the severity of your pain experience, not necessarily based on the severity of arthritis, bone/joint degeneration.


* There are other factors: age, other medical conditions.


Research shows that the severity of pain is not really correlated with the severity of arthritis. In fact, many people experience little or no pain in the presence of severe arthritis, or vice versa.


It’s not uncommon for some people in their 90’s to have no joint pain.  I bet x-rays would show quite a bit of joint degeneration in most joints including knees, hips, and spine.


Does it make sense for them to have a surgery if they are not having much pain and their functions aren’t affected?  A surgery may not be necessary if a person is experiencing little or no pain regardless of the severity of arthritis/degeneration.


I’d like to clarify that I am not suggesting that you don’t see a physician, nor that imaging studies are unnecessary.  I believe it is important that you consult with your physician regarding your condition(s).  My point here is that the presence of degeneration does not necessarily determine whether a surgical intervention is warranted.


Can the Feldenkrais Method (TM) reverse my joint degeneration?  How can it help me?


The state of the joint integrity cannot be reversed with the Feldenkrais Method.  It is important to realize that your habitual movement patterns create uneven use of your body.  You use certain parts much more than others.  There is a very good chance that to some degree uneven use has contributed to increased joint degeneration in some areas.

Proportional distribution of effort and movement is one of the Feldenkrais Method’s fundamental principles.  We, Feldenkrais practitioners teach you how you can redistribute your movement effort more evenly and efficiently, which will reduce stress at the affected part, and you can move more comfortably and easily.

What is unique about the Feldenkrais Method is that we don’t work with the affected part in isolation.  We, instead look at its relationship with other parts and improve the whole relationship, as you cannot influence one part and not influence the rest.  


If one part is affected by any condition, your nervous system will find a way to compensate in an effort to protect the affected part.  While compensatory mechanism is helpful and necessary for a short period of time, it will have consequences in a long term.


That said, the Feldenkrais Method can improve the relationship between the affected part and the rest of the parts and can recreate a new experience and sense of how you use and move the affected part of yourself and change your pain experience as well.


Thus, whether you end up needing a surgery or not, the Feldenkrais Method can benefit you. You cannot go wrong with improving the quality of movement. It will benefit you tremendously even if you have a surgery.


In summary, the severity of joint degeneration is not directly related to the severity of pain.  Whether you’ll need a surgery (a knee replacement in this case) or not depends on the severity of pain experience and how much pain is limiting your activities (plus other factors such as age and other medical conditions).  Ultimately your physician and you will decide the best option for you.  The Feldenkrais Method can benefit you whether you pursue a surgical intervention or a conservative treatment.

 Get help to move more comfortably and be more comfortable in your body.

Movement is essential to our life. Improving movement quality is directly related to quality of our life. Teaching people to move well is my passion. Sign up for Trans4Move Newsletters that will teach you how to improve your movements, functions, and your life!

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My name is Taro Iwamoto. I am a Feldenkrais practitioner and movement expert. I help people develop new and more efficient movement patterns and expand movement options in order to overcome injuries/pain and move beyond limits. Feel free to post in the comments section below and feel free to share this with your friends!

Mindfulness Exercises For Stress Reduction, Balance, Focus


I teach mindful movement class based on the Feldenkrais Method (TM). Mindfulness practice is about practicing how to be in the moment and how to bring your attention to the moment.

Mindfulness practice combined with movement makes it even more powerful, and in my opinion, it makes it very real because our body, thoughts, feelings are all constantly changing and moving. Thus, I teach mindful movement class called Awareness Through Movement.

Here’s a simple mindful exercise you can try:

Sit on the front of a regular chair with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Shift your attention to your feet and notice how your feet are touching the floor (are feet flat, turning?), how close/far apart they are. Notice your sits bones. Can you feel which sitbone you are leaning more on? Are you sitting more the back of your sitsbones or front? Slowly and gently shift your weight on pelvis forward and back several times (10~15 times) and pay attention to notice how your weight shifts on your sitsbones. And, slowly and gently shift your weight on pelvis side to side so you shift onto one sitbone and onto the other alternately. Do this several times (10~15 times). When you are done, notice how you are sitting now. Do you notice any changes in how you sit on your sitsbones? Has your posture changed?

What happens when you pay attention to your body and movement is that you direct your attention to yourself in the moment so your brain is fully engaged. When you are fully attending to yourself, you’ll begin to notice the way you use your body (the way you breath, sit, stand, walk, etc). This is the moment when subconsious becomes conscious.

To become mindful, you have to slow down what you’re doing so you can pay attention to what you’re doing. Then, you will really know what you’re doing.

Once you really know what you’re doing with your body, then you can pay attention to other things and people and will start to notice things you really haven’t before.

This practice helps reduce stress, improve balance, and focus because you’re shifting the brain’s attention to this very moment from other distractions. This calms the brain and nervous system. This balances autonomic nervous system. As a result, you feel more relaxed and less stressed.

 Get help to move more mindfully and feel more calm and balanced.

Movement is essential to our life. Improving movement quality is directly related to quality of our life. Teaching people to move well is my passion. Sign up for Trans4Move Newsletters that will teach you how to improve your movements, functions, and your life!

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My name is Taro Iwamoto. I am a Feldenkrais practitioner and movement expert. I help people develop new and more efficient movement patterns and expand movement options in order to overcome injuries/pain and move beyond limits. Feel free to post in the comments section below and feel free to share this with your friends!

How to Be "Grounded" Physically and Emotionally


I am sure you all injured yourself once or twice, or too many to keep track of. Recall the last time you were injured and in pain. Can you describe your feelings as you were going through your recovery?

Upset? Disappointed? Helpless? Sad? Scared? Depressed? Anxious? Nervous?,…. what else?

It is very apparent that what happens to your body directly affects what happens to your mind. Can you use this fact to your advantage?

What do you do when you are feeling very unstable for whatever reasons? How do you regain your stability?

Because physical stability and balance are closely related to emotional stability and balance, the benefits of exercise and movement extend into both physical and emotional aspects.

When you are feeling emotional wobbly and unsteady, instead of thinking or worrying about “it”, start working on your physical stability and balance then you will regain your "ground" from which you can move into any direction with ease and confidence!

Watch the video below (about 12 minutes) to learn how you can improve physical stability, which will help you feel more stable and “grounded.”

Before you do this exercise, observe and notice your emotions as well as physical sensation of your body, and after you finish the exercise, observe and notice your emotions again. Did they change? How?

 Get help to move with stability and confidence and feel stable and grounded in your body and mind.

Movement is essential to our life. Improving movement quality is directly related to quality of our life. Teaching people to move well is my passion. Sign up for Trans4Move Newsletters that will teach you how to improve your movements, functions, and your life!

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My name is Taro Iwamoto. I am a Feldenkrais practitioner and movement expert. I help people develop new and more efficient movement patterns and expand movement options in order to overcome injuries/pain and move beyond limits. Feel free to post in the comments section below and feel free to share this with your friends!

Toe Dexterity and Balance

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How well can you move your toes? I bet you can't move your toes as well as your fingers. Your feet used to get a lot more sensory stimulation from the ground when you were a child as you probably walked in barefoot than you do now.

Notice how babies use their feet and toes and use the feedback from the ground to develop movements. Your brain gets so much information from your feet and toes.

Imagine how little freedom your feet and toes have in your shoes. Sensory feedback your feet receive from the ground help you develop balance.

Start activating your toes once again like when you were a child with "Monkey Toes Exercise" and improve your balance!

Get help to improve your balance and movement.

Movement is essential to our life. Improving movement quality is directly related to quality of our life. Teaching people to move well is my passion. Sign up for Trans4Move Newsletters that will teach you how to improve your movements, functions, and your life!

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My name is Taro Iwamoto. I am a Feldenkrais practitioner and movement expert. I help people develop new and more efficient movement patterns and expand movement options in order to overcome injuries/pain and move beyond limits. Feel free to post in the comments section below and feel free to share this with your friends!

What can you do to prevent the problems associated with sitting too much?

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Are you getting sore from sitting too much at work?  Wondering what you can do to prevent the problems associated with sitting too much?  

This seems to be a very common issue for many people, perhaps including you.  Proper ergonomics definitely helps, but that’s not enough, right?  Paying attention to your posture, but you can’t think about your posture all the time, can you?  So what can you do??


While sitting in itself is not bad and it is necessary, a lack of movement or less movement variability that sitting for a long period of time creates can be problematic.  I believe we, human-beings are designed to move.  Less movement means less muscle activation, less bone stimulation, less brain stimulation, less blood circulation, etc.  Your brain and nervous system will get your attention by increasing muscular tone and/or producing pain/uncomfortable sensation in your body, which is a cue that you need to move.  


Ideally you want to get up and move around every so often, but when you are at work or driving, it’s not very realistic to do that.  My guess is that this is a dilemma you are facing.  So, a real question is: What is a solution?


Solution:  Create more movements in sitting.  Sitting on an exercise ball or a dyna disc (shown in the video below) can help create more movements due to an unstable sitting surface.  I need to mention to you that you will want to start sitting on an exercise ball or a dyna disc for a short period of time and gradually increase time if you have never used it as a chair.  As it is unstable, it will require you to use muscles you haven’t used a while or you don’t use all that much, thus will require you to adapt to new physiological demands.

While an exercise ball or a dyna disc can be helpful in terms of creating more movements in sitting, they are not absolutely necessary.  You can also create more movements in sitting with simple exercises.  I suggest you try these exercises to improve comfort in sitting at work.

 Get help to improve comfort in sitting at work.

Teaching people how to move well is my passion. Sign up for Trans4Move Newsletters that will teach you how to improve your movements, functions, and your life!

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My name is Taro Iwamoto. I am a Feldenkrais practitioner and movement expert. I help people develop new and more efficient movement patterns and expand movement options in order to overcome injuries/pain and move beyond limits. Feel free to post in the comments section below and feel free to share this with your friends!

Applying the Feldenkrais Method in Working with People with Dementia

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I have been fortunate enough to have had many opportunities to help individuals with dementia including Alzheimer’s disease as a Feldenkrais practitioner and a physical therapist assistant in the past several years.  Although people’s diagnoses would not change how I work with people, working with people with dementia brings unique challenges.  

I’d like to share a few things that I’ve learned over the years and how I use some principles of the Feldenkrais Method to help those individuals.  I understand there are several types of dementia and they all present different symptoms, but what I am sharing here applies to people with all forms of dementia.

Principle #1:  Be present and meet them where they are at


This principle is not unique to the Feldenkrais Method,but is such a fundamental one to keep in mind.  Even if they don’t understand what you are saying, they can intuitively sense whether you’re giving them your attention or not.  It is very important to be able to  recognize all of their cues (verbal or non-verbal) that can suggest their needs because they may not have the ability to express them verbally.  Being present is a pre-requisite to notice those cues.


Principle #2:  Let go of expectations  


You teach them something, say, teach them how to get out of a chair more efficiently, and there is a very good chance they will forget what you teach and you will end up teaching the same thing again next visit.  We, Feldenkrais practitioners know that we should not expect any particular outcomes/results from our clients.  This is especially important when you’re working with people with dementia.  

We may guess and speculate what might happen, but it’s not our job to decide their outcomes.  It it their nervous system’s job to decide.  Just observe and notice their responses/changes.  The nervous system will take what it can take at that moment and will not take anything if it’s not ready.  Knowing this will greatly reduce pressure/stress on practitioners as well as clients.


Principle #3:  Developmental Movement Patterns


It’s not uncommon that people with dementia decline in motor functions as well as cognitive functions as they tend to work together.  A beauty of being a Feldenkrais practitioner is that we help improve people’s functions through movement.  Based on my experiences people tend to regress in their motor functions in the very similar development sequence except in reverse.  

I find it very helpful for them to practice developmental movement patterns such as rolling, crawling, scooting, all transitional movements, etc.  Development movement patterns are fundamental building blocks for more complex movements such as walking.  Thus, when complex movements become more difficult, it’s beneficial to go back to earlier movement patterns.  

I had a client in her 80’s with mild dementia, and she was declining in all her functions.  It was getting harder for her to get out of a recliner chair, bed, toilet, get in/out of shower, walk, and more.  She was working on some strengthening exercises, which were helpful, but didn’t seem to improve her functions significantly.

 I started incorporating developmental movement patterns, which she had not done for years.  After a few weeks, she started to show significant improvements in all her functions.  It was getting much easier to get out of her recliner, bed, toilet.  She was walking faster.  She was much more confident in her balance.  I am not describing specific movements here as what is appropriate will depend on each person.  

What I’d like to emphasize here is that practicing developmental movement patterns can affect their functions so significantly.  However, please don’t be shocked if you don’t see any improvements or carryover from one session to next.  As I said earlier, it’s not our job to decide their outcomes.  Our job is to facilitate their learning by creating such conditions.  Then, we’ll just need to let their nervous system do their job.  Observe their responses and adjust what we will provide next time accordingly.

 Here’s a video that shows a few examples of developmental movements I use with my clients.

While there are more Feldenkrais principles that I apply in working with people with dementia, I wanted to select a few that I find particularly helpful.  I hope you find this information helpful.  Whether you are a Feldenkrais pracitioner or not, you can use these principles to help people with dementia.  


Get more information:

Blending the Feldenkrais Method into my Physical Therapy Practice

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My article “Blending the Feldenkrais Method into my Physical Therapy Practice” was published on the Feldenkrais Guild Website. In this article, I shared my experiences during the 4 year Professional Feldenkrais Training period and how I’ve transformed and how I’ve adapted the Feldenkrais Method in my physical therapy practice (I am a licensed physical therapist assistance in WA as well as a certified athletic trainer). If you’re in healthcare business (PT, OT, AT, personal trainers, body workers, chiropractors, etc) and are starting your career as a Feldenkrais practitioner, you may find my article helpful. This is only my own experience, which you may or may not agree with, but hopefully this is helpful for some people.

Here’s a link to my article:

Top 25 Feldenkrais Blogs on the Web

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I woke up this morning to a great news: I was selected as one of 25 Feldenkrais Blogs on the internet!! These blogs were based on: google reputation, google search ranking, influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites, quality and consistency of posts, and Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review.

I still cannot believe how I made it to the list, but I am very grateful and honored to receive such recognition for just simply sharing my passion with other people!

Thank you very much for all support from my blog readers! This has motivated me to keep sharing what I love as it’s reminded me that there are people who benefit from my blogs.

Movement is Life


"Life without movement is unthinkable." - Moshe Feldenkrais

What is movement? Is it just movement of the body? What about changes in thinking, feeling, and sensation? I think these are all movement. And these movements are happening simultaneously and influencing each other. Our thinking moves and emotions and body move at the same time. Our emotions change, and that movement/change move our thinking and body. In other words, we are constantly moving even at rest. Thus, improving movement means improving life. This is why I teach movement.

If you are feeling “stuck” in your life, try Awareness Through Movement class or Functional Integration session with me to “move” out of the state and start moving forward.

Feldenkrais Method and Developmental Movement


Feldenkrais Method uses developmental movement.  

Do you have any guess why??

There are several reasons but I will explain one here.  

Children rely on their own kinesthetic senses (subjective) to make a decision.  Adults, on the other hand often make a decision based on objective information (norms of the society, opinions of others).  

This happens as we learn to act in accordance with the rules set by our society.  As a result, we move away from our own senses to make a decision.

Then what happens?  

When our senses do not match our decision that was made based on objective information, stress (physical and emotional) will be created.  What we are doing is basically trying to make our senses fit into the norms of the society and others.  

So what can we do?

We can re-learn how to connect to our own senses, ourselves like children so we can make a decision based on our senses, which will free your tension (muscular and emotional). 

We use developmental movement to create similar learning conditions and processes to the first few years of our life when the only thing we could rely on was kinesthetic senses, which has nothing to do with the norms of the society or opinions of others.  During Feldenkrais class, a teacher does not show students how they need to move.  Instead, students will be verbally directed to their own kinesthetic senses.  As you practice more, you will become more sensitive and you will be able to recognize when you go back to your old habitual pattern of relying on objective information to make a decision, which may not match your senses.  At this moment, you have a new choice, that is, to tap into your own kinesthetic senses to make a decision.  Then you have more freedom than you did before.  

Here is a video of me doing simple movements to develop new movement patterns:

Get help to move freely, comfortably, and gracefully.

Improve Posture Exercise #1

Improve Posture Exercise #1

In this video I am showing you an exercise that will help you improve your posture.

Here’s what you need for this exercise:

  1. Floor space to lie down

  2. Yoga mat or blanket

  3. Towel/Cushion for head support

  4. Your attention

Now let’s begin!

Read More

How to Improve Your Posture

How to Improve Your Posture

Have you tried to change your posture consciously and tried some stretching/strengthening exercises to correct your posture yet you find yourself with the same posture? Why is it so hard to change posture? Here, I talk about posture from a different perspective.

Read More

Paradigm Shift in "Fixing" Posture

Paradigm Shift in "Fixing" Posture

Have you tried to fix your posture by strengthening and stretching muscles or by adjusting the spine or by consciously trying to correct your posture but you still have the same posture as before?  And do you wonder why you can’t change your posture?

Read More

Floor as a Tool for Learning and Teaching

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One of (many)my favorite teaching "tools" for my clients: The floor
I often invite my clients to lie on the floor or my Feldenkrais table during a session to give them a chance to sense and observe how they contact and dont contact the floor and how their contact with the floor changes during a session.

Here are a few reasons why I like having people lie on the floor during a session:

1. In standing we carry our habitual muscular tone and effort, which makes it difficult for the nervous system to inhibit the habitual patterns and allow new movement patterns to emerge.

2. Standing increases center of gravity. As center of gravity increases, the fear of falling increases, which increases habitual muscular tone. This is particularly obvious for people who have poor balance and have a high risk fall. As they maintain habitual patterns in an effort to prevent falls, their balance becomes even more compromised because habitual muscular tone decreases freedom of movement and it becomes harder to counter-balance. Thus, lying on the floor reduces fear of falling (you are already on the ground!) and you can adapt new patterns more easily.

3. The floor acts as a feedback device that provides us proprioceptive input and enhance kinesthetic awareness. As you lie on the floor, you can notice what body parts have more weight and what parts dont and while you move, you can notice where you initiate movement and how you sequence your movement by "listening" to the floor, which I call "kinesthetic listening." Developing this skill is very important to fine-tune your body awareness and motor performance.

4. Accessible and Inexpensive (Free)! I am a big fan of no fancy, low tech equipments, and the floor is the king of them!

Get help to improve quality of movement and quality of life.


Trans4Move is the name of my website and business.  It took me several weeks to come up with this name.  I'd like to share with you about why I chose this name for my business.  

I have been involved with "movement" all my life:  I am a martial artist, an athlete, an athletic trainer, a personal trainer, a physical therapist assistant, a Feldenkrais practitioner.  Apparently movement is my passion and obsession. 

As I started working with movement as a professional, I've realized movement can empower people when it's changed positively, and at the same time movement can also negatively impact people's lives when it's compromised due to injuries/illnesses and/or aging.

Since movement directly impacts our lives, I thought I could really help people with my expertise, that is MOVEMENT.  As a movement expert, I am able to identify people's habitual sub-optimal movement patterns that are contributing to their injuries or unsatisfying athletic performance, and I am able to teach them more efficient movement patterns that will allow them to recover from injuries and prevent injuries and to improve athletic performance, which will empower them and TRANSFORM their lives.  Transformation through movement; thus, the name "Trans4Move."  

I can help you overcome your limit(s) and challenges through movement!

Emotional Security and Pain


If you have been dealing with pain for years, there’s a very good chance that you have seen several health care professionals and been given several diagnoses (e.g., spinal stenosis, arthritis, herniated discs, pinched nerves, scoliosis, SI dysfunctions, spondylolosis, etc).  And, perhaps, after years,  those “labels” (diagnoses) may be so ingrained that they became a part of your identity and they may even provide some sort of security for them.  If someone you never met tell you that you don’t have those labels/diagnoses, you may somehow feel offended and uncomfortable and may even argue with him/her that you have all those diagnoses because maybe you feel very insecure by the thought of detaching your diagnoses (which became your identity and emotionally attached) from you?  If you lost your identity, who would you be and how would you identify yourself?  A scary thought, isn’t it?  This may sound strange, but I think this happens more often than you realize.  Despite the fact pain is an unpleasant feeling and experience that no one wants in general, our nervous system always tries to stabilize and secure itself in this case by associating pain with you and your life.


Just remember you are not your diagnoses, you are not what someone else said.  You don’t have be the person others describe you as, but you can also be the person who you want to become.  Who do you want to become?


Enjoy the sunshine!

Right Exercise and Wrong Exercise


What makes something right or wrong? It depends on what perspective you view "something" from. It is possible for “something” to be right and wrong at the same time. For example, eating with hands is completely acceptable and normal in some cultures, while it’s considered inappropriate and wrong in other cultures. The same thing can be said when it comes to physical training/conditioning/rehabilitation. This is why some trainers/therapists argue that particular treatment and training models are the right ones, while others may argue different models are the right ones. Does that mean that some people are right, and some people are wrong? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what perspective you are viewing something from. But, you also have to remember your clients’ perspective as well. You may believe you have the best knowledge and clinical experience and have the research that supports your belief, but your clients may not agree with you intellectually or kinesthetically. What would your reaction and response be?? Who is right and who is wrong? Maybe both are right? Maybe both are wrong? A situation where there’s a difference in opinions and beliefs can certainly create a friction and tension as long as you believe that something can either be right or wrong and you hold onto your belief. When you come across this situation, can you let go of your beliefs for a moment and notice what will happen to a response from the person you’re interacting with, and the relationship with the person?

By the way, a “tension” created by a situation manifests itself as muscular tension. How do you address your clients’ complaint of “tight muscles?”

Is Sitting on the Floor Better than Sitting on the Chair?

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When my friends see me sit on the floor instead of couch, they often ask me why I sit on the floor because it's not comfortable.  

First of all, it's much more comfortable for me to sit on the floor than to sit on a chair or couch no matter how fancy or ergonomically designed they are.  Besides my personal comfort, there are several reasons why I advocate floor sitting.  

It is not so much a surface you sit on, or a position you are in.  For me, the biggest difference is in movement variability from floor sitting vs chair sitting.  When you look at all possible movements that can take place during transitions from sitting to standing, standing to sitting, and compare floor sitting and chair sitting, you will notice right away that there aren't that many variety in the way you move from chair.  Sitting on the floor, on the other hand can provide many more options in a sitting position and movement options from each position.  

So, why does movement variability matter?  To understand it you will have to put in a context.  Here are a few contexts:  1) Flexibility/Mobility 2) Strength 3) Coordination/Balance 4) Health of Joints

1) Flexibility/Mobility:  Let's experiment to understand this:  Try SLOWLY sit on the floor and SLOWLY get up and notice how much movement this action involves at toes, ankles, knees, hips, spine, ribs, arms. Now, try do this from a chair.  I think the difference is very obvious.  Imagine how much of difference this could make over months and years.  Our bodies adapt to demands placed on, thus those that are used more become flexible and mobile, and those that are not lose flexibility and mobility over time.  No wonder why those who grow up in countries where sitting on the floor is common have, in general, good flexibility and mobility even when they are in their 80's.

2) Strength:  Do the same experiment as above, and notice any differences in muscles you engage.  Moving from the floor and to the floor requires more movements at all joints, meaning it also requires more muscle engagement, particularly in hip muscles, which is the "powerhouse" as it generates the greatest power in our bodies.  "Use it or Lose it" principle applies to this.  

3) Coordination/Balance:  This may not be as obvious as the first two.  To illustrate this domain, observe toddlers and/or judo/aikido masters how they move to the floor and from the floor.  You will notice gracefulness, softness, smoothness, ease, and elegance, which are some of the characteristics of coordinated, balanced movement.  What gives movement such quality is the use of the entire body and coordination among the body parts so all parts are working in harmony.  Movements from the floor involve more body parts than from a chair and to make transitional movements easier requires improvements in coordination among all body parts, which is essentially improving your balance.  

4) Health of Joints:  There's a saying "Motion is Lotion."  Joints naturally produce lubricants for themselves, and the production of joint lubricants is stimulated by movement.  Thus, as movement decreases, joints produce less lubricants and eventually dry up.  Movement is literally essential to our life as movement increases circulation and all joints receive essential oxygen and nutrients through blood.  When joints are deprived of movement, they are deprived of nutrients.  It's very obvious what will happen, isn't it?  

While there are many benefits in floor sitting, I'd like to mention to you that floor sitting may not be appropriate for everyone, especially if you haven't sat down on the floor for many years for some reasons.

In conclusion, from my perspective, the real value of floor sitting is in movement potential it creates rather than a position.

The Nervous System Optimizes Itself

If you’re a PT/OT/ATC/personal trainer, my guess is that you’ve come across a moment at least once where you put a blame on your clients for a lack of progress because they haven’t been doing their “homework” consistently and it’s their fault.

As a Feldenkrais practitioner, we practice on the premise that the nervous system is always doing its best to optimize our functions, thus our job is only to create a condition for learning to take place.  Once we create such a condition and provide what’s possible, we simply let their nervous system take care of itself.  

I’ve come from athletic training background and outpatient PT clinic, and most clients had high level of functions and were cognitively intact.  Then I moved to a home health PT setting where most clients were elderly and many have cognitive deficits.  I could not rely on them to remember what I taught.  No matter how many times I give them the same verbal cues/visual cues, they are very unlikely to show a carryover to a next session.  Some of them cannot even comprehend verbal instructions.  Yet, sometimes I noticed changes in their gait and other movement patterns.  Those changes were spontaneous and subconscious as apparently they didn’t remember anything from previous sessions.  After I have observed these changes in many people, I’ve come to understand the meaning of the premise that the nervous system is always doing its best to optimize our functions.  It really is.  

When you see your clients making the same “mistake” again or not making a progress, you may ask yourself what if their nervous system is optimizing their functions by doing what it’s doing because it’s serving them well, or maybe it’s not ready to accept what you present??  I’ve come to realize that our nervous system is truly smarter than we are.  I find this very fascinating.  What do you think??

What kinds of results do I reasonably expect for my money and time from ATM class or FI lesson?

Many people naturally wonder about this question especially if they have never taken any Feldenkrais class or Functional Integration lessons before.  

I do have slight hesitation to answer this question because I am a Feldenkrais practitioner.  As a Feldenkrais practitioner, we try to shift people away from a goal oriented-mindset and shift them towards a self-directed learner because our society and culture tend to influence us to become more goal-oriented, which is not a bad thing.  However, when we become fixated on achieving a goal, we tend to lose our awareness and attention from our own internal senses.  And, as a result, we often overexert ourselves to a point we suffer both physically and emotionally.  Setting expectations may cause you to look for and try to achieve those expectations.  At that point, you've already lost your interest and curiosity about learning something new about you that may serve you well.  

That being said, I will tell you what you should reasonably expect from ATM and/or FI.  Both ATM and FI will provide you with opportunities to discover something new about you that will help you overcome your difficulties/challenges.  That may be a new pattern (or new image) of movements, and that new pattern of movements (such as new way of breathing, walking, bending, running, swimming, singing, painting, dancing, etc) can have a profound effect on your life as it becomes integrated in your daily life.  Anyone regardless of age, physical/mental conditions can learn and improve from their current state.  There is no limit to learning and improvements.  Even if you don't have any physical difficulties, you can improve yourself further and feel stronger, more agile, and younger than ever before.  I can guarantee that you haven't reached your full potential yet.  Why not move towards your full potential?  ATM and FI can certainly help you with that.  I don't know any other work besides the Feldenkrais Method that approaches from this perspective.  Discovering possibilities and your full potential is definitely worth your time and is priceless if you ask me.  If this work didn't have such a huge impact on my life, I would not have become a Feldenkrais practitioner in the first place.  My answer may not satisfy you.  I suggest you come to my class or FI session, or another practitioner's class in your area and immerse yourself in this sensory experience to decide whether it's worth your time and money.