A Proposal for a Strategic Hierarchy in Functional Integration®

functional integration Jul 28, 2021
David Zemach-Bersin, Feldenkrais Trainer, Feldenkrais Access Founder
Moshe Feldenkrais was explicit, "Improve the person, not their problem. If you improve the person, their difficulty will improve." This dictum represents one of the essential reasons he successfully improved and transformed human abilities and restored lost function. 
Feldenkrais is telling us that the vast majority of human musculoskeletal problems are reflections of poor organization. He understood that there is a way of being 'organized' that is optimal for all human beings; a particular organization between our skeleton, nervous system, and musculature. This organization gives us our best possible options for efficient, easy, and effective movement or action. 
The neutral neuro-muscular-skeletal state that is synonymous with good organization reduces the attraction and the burden of past adjustments to culture, trauma, punishment, and anxiety. The neutrality of good...
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The Importance of Rest in Awareness Through Movement Lessons

Uncategorized Jul 10, 2021
David Zemach-Bersin, Feldenkrais Trainer, Feldenkrais Access Founder
Feldenkrais students often ask why we take so many rests during Awareness Through Movement lessons. This new research supports what I have been saying for many years, that resting during learning allows for better or more effective consolidation, and I would add that it also allows for the replenishment of the specific neurotransmitters involved in learning. 
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Can We Improve Your Access?

access news Jun 25, 2021
During the registration period for every live online series, we receive emails from people saying, "I'd love to join you for this series, but I live in XXX, and the exchange rate makes it impossible. Can you help?"
The answer is "Yes!" Whether you live in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, or any other country with an unfavorable exchange rate, we're happy to help. How does it work? Simply email Ira at [email protected] and let him know the course you're interested in and the currency you pay with, and he'll provide you with a link to register at a favorable, local-appropriate rate.
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Some Thoughts on Reducing the Body Pattern of Anxiety

David Zemach-Bersin, Feldenkrais Trainer, Feldenkrais Access Founder
Anxiety was a problem that interested Dr. Feldenkrais for over 40 years. He devoted an entire chapter to the problem of anxiety in his first book, Body & Mature Behavior, and then returned to it again in his last book, The Elusive Obvious. 
Our nervous system responds to fear or stress in ways that are universal to all living organisms. These responses are unconscious, self-protective, and in every instance, involve muscular contraction. For us, this means contraction throughout our musculature, constricted breathing, inhibited movement of the diaphragm, a forward carriage of the head, an almost static contraction of the abdomen and pelvis, restrictions in the movement of the spine, neck and shoulders, and clenching of the hands, mouth, and jaw. It also means a quickening of our pulse, an inhibition of our digestion, and significant changes in our circulation.
This is the...
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Why Consider the Feldenkrais Method® for Relieving Stress & Anxiety

access news May 15, 2021

Ira Feinstein, Managing Director

The grooves of my anxiety were set at a young age. It was 1987. I was nine years old. My 41-year-old father went to work one morning and never came home. A fatal heart attack. This, alone, would've been traumatic enough if not for my 40-year-old mother's breast cancer diagnosis a year earlier. I spent the next two years until her death waiting to be an orphan. I lived in a state of high alert, always looking for signs that her death was imminent. Every time she failed to greet me at the door after school or was late coming home, I feared the worst. I can still remember the adrenaline pumping through my body and the freezingness of the fear. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't see. The only thing that was real was the sound of my heart thumping erratically in my chest and the refrain, "She's dead, she's dead, she's dead," playing on a loop in my mind. 

Even into my early twenties, despite years of therapy and anti-depression medicine, the same wash of...

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About Our Scholarship Program

access news Jan 04, 2021
Hi! My name is Ira. I am the Managing Director of Feldenkrais Access. Though I usually hide in the background, I wanted to come to the foreground for a minute in order to talk to you about Feldenkrais Access's scholarship program.
When we began announcing live online classes this year, we put a notice at the bottom of every email saying "Scholarships available." I thought those two words would be enough to encourage people to reach out. I was wrong. What was needed was an invitation. We've been doing our best to invite you to apply for a scholarship via our emails and FB posts over the last few weeks. Maybe you've seen them?
There has been a theme to the emails that have arrived since we've started promoting this program: people feel bad asking for one. Maybe they already received a scholarship from us early this year, or they feel like the series is worth more than they can pay, or they've never had to ask for a scholarship before, and it is an uncomfortable place to...
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What to Do When the Lesson is Over…

As a Feldenkrais Teacher, I often hear: "I feel great after that lesson! How can I make the improvements last and maximize the benefits?" To support the benefits of a lesson, first consider this: Awareness Through Movement lessons do not end when the movements stop.

For approximately an hour, as we do an Awareness Through Movement lesson, our brain has an opportunity to sample new options. Old, habitual patterns become flexible, and our brain has a chance to learn something new. New neurological pathways begin to develop, which allow for better posture, easier movement, and better organization. But those new pathways are unfamiliar. If you stand up after doing a Feldenkrais lesson, and immediately start rushing around or grab your cell phone, you will miss the potent minutes--or hours-- when the lesson's effects are the easiest to feel, and the most easily integrated.

Your awareness immediately following a Feldenkrais lesson is very powerful, and helps to ensure the...

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Free! New Online Lessons

access news Apr 09, 2020
The threat of the coronavirus has activated our ‘sympathetic’ nervous system, and we are feeling it with stress indicators like anxiety, aches and pains, tension, shortness of breath, indigestion, and difficulty sleeping. Our 'fight or flight' response is great in an emergency, but it is not healthy for us to maintain it -continuously- for long periods of time. Prolonged sympathetic activation is exhausting and associated with high blood pressure, high cortisol levels, muscular tension, inflammation, anxiety, and a suppressed immune system. During these unprecedented times, we are offering numerous free lessons to help you maintain a healthy nervous system: 
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Still Reverberating

moshe feldenkrais Feb 25, 2020

Over the last year, a new approach to Functional Integration® has blossomed in my individual work. I call it 'Harmonizing' because that's what it feels like; a dynamic, three-dimensional way of working with a strong undercurrent of joining in action. In the past, I've used this idea at the end of my FI® lessons to help clients integrate their new learning in an upright position. But recently, a new avenue opened up, and I find myself giving entire lessons this way. I was surprised when it started happening; for a moment thought I'd invented something new. But then, I remembered that actually, this approach invented me.

In 1975, I was a student in the San Francisco Feldenkrais® Professional Training program when, on a Thursday or Friday toward the end of our second month, Moshe invited me to come to the front of the room and sit on the edge of his table. He began to work with me, and as I recall, his goal seemed to be to find an effortless path to bring me...

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Wholeness vs Segmental Thinking:
On the Path to Becoming a Feldenkrais Practitioner

western thought Jan 17, 2020

From a talk given in response to a question during the second year of the New York VIII Feldenkrais Professional Training Program

Transcribed and Edited by Morgan McKenzie Kauffman

It is your ability to turn towards your own sensation that brings another to sense themselves. It is your ability to feel and know yourself in your wholeness, that enables the other person to feel their wholeness and to act in a more integrated way.  

A common idea in Western thought production is that knowledge derives from the cutting of things into fragments or pieces. Of course, cutting things into parts can lead to a certain kind of useful knowing, but it’s a different way of thinking than the one I find most useful to us as Feldenkrais Practitioners. It is tempting to think that by “segmentalizing” the self into this muscle or that muscle and focusing on individual parts, we will understand what needs to be fixed or what is relevant to know about a person in order to...

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