The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable discoveries and recoveries from the frontiers of neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge, M.D. was released only six weeks ago and is already a NY Times bestseller. It recognizes Moshe Feldenkrais as one of the world’s first “neuroplasticians”. The book does a great job of describing the Feldenkrais method through the biography of Moshe Feldenkrais and case studies. Doidge also articulates some of the core principles of the Feldenkrais method:
- The mind programs the functioning of the brain.
- A brain cannot think without motor functions.
- Awareness of movement is the key to improving movement.
- Differentiation — making the smallest possible sensory distinctsion between movements — builds brain maps.
- Differentiation is easiest to make when the stimulus is smallest.
- Slowness of movement is the key to awareness, and awareness is the key to learning.
- Reduce the effort whenever possible.
- Errors are essential and there is no right way to move, only better ways.
- Random movements provide variations that leads to developmental breakthroughs.
- Even the smallest movement in one part of the body involves the entire body.
- Many movement problems, and the pain that goes with them, are caused by learned habit and not by abnormal structure
If you only can remember one, then it should be the last one:
Many movement problems, and the pain that goes with them, are caused by learned habits and not by abnormal structure.
And since we learned the habitual patterns that are causing problems and pain, we can resolve them by learning new habits. I highly recommend this book. A short excerpt on the Feldenkrais Method can be found at salon.com: