Movement is Life

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"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.

Kinesthetic Awareness: Road Map for Movement

Our brain has "maps" that represent parts of our body for movement and sensation.  These brain maps are constantly updated when we move our bodies.  The parts that tend to be used more frequently have a larger representation on the brain maps.  Maps are also unique for each individual.  For example, pianists have much larger representation of fingers than most people. Likewise the parts that are not often used have smaller representation.

So what does that mean?  It means that movement clarifies brain maps.  Updated and accurate body maps mean good kinesthetic awareness.  The body parts that have smaller representation on the maps tend to have less clear sensation.  It's hard to feel/sense those parts.  How clearly can you sense your low back one vertebrae by one vertebrae vs individual fingers, with your eyes closed?  For most people, sensation on low back is not that clear.  

Our brain relies on these maps for movement.  If your brain maps are outdated and inaccurate, what you're actually doing may be very different from what you think you're doing.  Every time I have my clients notice such mismatch between actuality and their thought, they are so amazed.  Most people cannot feel/sense the shape of their spine accurately.  Sometimes they sense the opposite of what they are actually doing.  For example, when I ask people whether their lumbar spine is arched or rounded, they tell me that it's rounded when it's actually arched.  Try this:  "Close your eyes and raise your shoulders out to side to shoulder height so your arms are parallel to the floor.  Open your eyes to confirm whether your perception was accurate or not."  

This is why I focus on improving client's kinesthetic awareness so movement becomes more precise.  Don't you want to have an accurate road map or updated GPS when you go on a road trip??  In both Awareness Through Movement classes and one-on on movement re-education sessions, I draw your attention to various parts of your body while you're engaged in movements.  This process clarifies your body maps so actuality and what you're doing become much much closer.  As Moshe Feldenkrais said, "If you know what you're doing, you can do what you want."  

Less is More

Effort is generally encouraged in our culture.  No pain no gain mindset is still prevalent in health/fitness industry.  More effort doesn't necessarily result in more gains when it comes to rehab.  The reason for this is that trying harder will only exaggerate your habitual movement patterns.  If habitual movement patterns are contributing to repetitive stress injuries because of lack of movement variability, then increasing effort by increasing resistance or speed probably won't solve their problem(s).  Instead, when you reduce effort, you'll have a much better chance of improving in your movement ability as less effort allows the nervous system to recognize patterns of movement and learn more efficient movements.  This is why Feldenkrais Method, Tai Chi, Aikido all emphasize reduction of effort.