Feldenkrais - Alternative Physical Therapy

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Feldenkrais - Alternative Physical Therapy

Postby Naomi » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:09 am

Hello Everyone,

I thought I'd share about a physical therapy I am currently attempting called Feldenkrais. Here is the Feldenkrais website with some information: http://www.feldenkrais.com/

Let me first mention that Feldenkrais likely won't work for anyone with a true complete entrapment caused by scar tissue or encasing of the nerve. However it may work for people who are in constant pain with severe neuralgia, which could potentially be most people in pain. Either way, it's one more alternative before attempting surgery.

The official website defines Feldenkrais as a "pedagogy of movement". I found that all of the explanations of what Feldenkrais is were hard for me to understand until I went, and I only went because my HMO starting making PT approvals such a nightmare I needed to try to find something for the months I would go without. What I found is that in the classes, they touch, ease, and roll you gently into various positions, helping you see all the ways you tense, bend, and flex your body. Every person has a particular way of moving their bodies that is unique to them. For some of us, these subtle movements over the course of a year, five years, a lifetime, can accumulate into (for instance) shorter muscles on one side of the pelvis, an anterior pelvic tilt, hip displaysia, etc etc. My practitioner said that this is why some people may even have a surgery to get out of pain, then find themselves back in pain again, because some issues may be asymmetry issues from birth, but many asymmetry issues in the body are accumulated over a reproducing the same movements year after year. Feldenkrais is not just about "awareness" or "mindfulness" so to speak, although noting your body position is certainly part of it. Feldenkrais is about awareness in such a way so that you can eventually start training your body to do actions using different muscles than it is used to, reliving areas of tightness. I know, it might sound truly far-fetched or odd, but my practitioner was able to briefly move me out of pain last week for the first time in a year so I'm continuing to go. I see the point in what they are doing, it is a neuro-muscular skeletal treatment for a neuro-muscular skeletal disorder. Part gentle moving, part consistent re-positioning of the body, part self awareness of muscle tension. I don't know if I'll get better or if this will be the way for me, but I encourage everyone here to try it because it is non-invasive and incredibly gentle. It can't HURT you, even if it can't help you, because it is all about moving you OUT of your discomfort, not pushing or stretching the body in ways that cause pain.

I started attending classes at the urging of a Pelvic Floor PT in Los Angeles who I truly like and trust (Dr. Bonnie Cardenas in Studio City) who I found through the UCLA Pelvic Pain Clinic, at the referral of Doctor Andrea Rapkin. Bonnie is a highly experienced Pelvic Floor PT, and certified in Feldenkrais, but she urges her patients to go to classes as they can be more economical over time and help her patients help themselves. Bonnie often uses or refers to Feldenkrais when traditional internal release therapy (trigger point therapy, myofasical release) fails. It failed miserably in my case, worsening and severely compounding my pain. Feldenkrais I can always do, and if I am ever uncomfortable, Amie, my practitioner, will always see to it that I adjust to what I can do.

The website should help you find someone in your area, but if you are in Los Angeles, Amie teaches a class both on the west side during the week and on weekends in Studio City. Relative to most treatments she is extremely economical. She does her West LA classes at the YMCA for only $15 (day pass cost) or no fee at all if you are a YMCA member. Day passes are $10 if you are a senior citizen.

If you're interested in Feldenkrais in LA or have questions, I'm not the most experienced person to go to but I'd be happy to try to help. For people like me who have shown evidence of muscular skeletal issues (tight muscles on one side of pelvis, all the way up the back, & down the thigh, hip displaysia) it may be a good option for treatment.
4/13 - 2 Documented UTI's that were cleared but 24-7 burning, urgency remained
7/13 - Tamulosin cured UTI symptoms, but a deep "pinch" occured inside
8/13 - Pelvic Floor PT with Cindy Graham - Ended up with vaginal pain, rectal pain, pain at hamstring tendon, pain in buttock. All on RT
11/13 - Ceased PT after much injury. Started seeing Andrea Rapkin at UCLA
12/13 - monthly caudal injections - Dr John McDonald.
2/14 - Manual, external PT of tight hip rotator muscles and adductors
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Re: Feldenkrais - Alternative Physical Therapy

Postby Violet M » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:35 pm

Naomi, thanks for posting about this. I was just wondering how this is working for you after trying it for a bit. In theory it makes sense and it would be nice to hear if it's helping you. Thanks.


PNE since 2002. Started from weightlifting. PNE surgery from Dr. Bautrant, Oct 2004. Pain now is usually a 0 and I can sit for hours on certain chairs. No longer take medication for PNE. Can work full time and do "The Firm" exercise program. 99% cured from PGAD. PNE surgery was right for me but it might not be for you. Do your research.
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Re: Feldenkrais - Alternative Physical Therapy

Postby david s. » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:18 am

Feldenkrais disciple Josef Dellagrotte's first dvd hugely helped my walking, the day after one 45-minute practice session. (Walking became difficult approximately 1 1/2 years after surgical destruction, bi-laterally, of my sacrotuberous and sacrospinous ligaments). For more walking lessons, I have his dvd specifically on walking. I wear DonJoy Reaction knee braces, modified with industrial grade Velcro by a shoemaker, around the house. I also use Tubigrip as the brace undersleeve, extending several inches beyond the brace on top and bottom, rolled over the Velcro fasteners as further support. Outside the house, except for very short walks, say to the end of the block, I wear custom Townsend ligament braces. Townsend makes a hinge most resembling the action of the human knee. Richard DonTigny has a superb website on the lower back/sacroiliac joint. Also, prolotherapy every six weeks to strengthen my remaining pelvic and surrounding ligaments helps a lot. Hope this helps some persons.
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