Monday, April 12, 2010

Feldenkrais Course

I spent 3-10 in Penzance in Cornwall doing a Feldenkrais course. Overall I had a really lovely week helped by good company in the course group, sunny, warm weather and the beautiful beach and scenery of Cornwall. The course, which was excellent was taught by S and focused primarily on breathing. At the start of the course we were doing some shoulder exploration work and I 'overreached' and as it turns out caused my hip flexors to grip and become very painful. It seems they were limiting me in order to protect me from over-stretching my shoulder area. My lower back also became very painful and sore for a few days whilst my thoracic and cervical spine area became freer, more relaxed and flexible. My lower back often becomes sore when it has to do even more work and for a few days my spine seemed all over the place. As the week went on the hip flexor and lower back pain went away and I was just left with a much more fluid spine. About 2 days into the course I suffered a few days of extreme fatigue. On the Wednesday I ended up in tears during one of the lessons but really my body was saying it couldn't do anymore and it needed lots more rest. For the remainder of that day I crashed out on the beach in the sunshine and read and slept. By the second half of the week my energy improved radically and I was left feeling very relaxed, peaceful, fluid, in no pain at all and with a wonderful range of movement in my upper spine. I had no headaches all week and felt very much better.

My one to one session of Feldenkrais was also very interesting. S said that she noticed in me and has noticed in other clients who have chronic fatigue that they overdo things in the body. She observed me doing an extra and superfluous movement in my lower rib area. Now that I am aware of this I will try and eliminate this. Since I felt so much better in the end after a week of Feldenkrais I have decided to reduce Pilates and increase Feldenkrais classes because they leave me feeling more mobile, yet much more relaxed and I do not end up feeling tight and tense and having muscle cramps. I did, however, experience some of my muscle spasms during some of the work - it is very much all related to the thoracic spine area and as soon as I go in there too much my body kicks off in the form of these spasms. S observed them also and told me to do a bit less or avoid overreaching before they start. It was hard as I am not always sure how and why they start.

I would certainly recommend Feldenkrais to other hypermobile patients. It involves gentle exploratory movements and exploring new and improved movement patterns. There are many rest breaks integrated in the lessons and it is possible to sleep or remain fairly inactive if one chooses to. I will keep hearing my teacher saying, "Good, Leave it, Rest!"

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