Arthritis

"When the joint are over-compressed, pain will increase.  When the joints are decompressed, circulation increases, health is quickly restored, and pain diminishes or goes away.” -SH


A Mysterious Link

Once, a client in the early years of my practice, had been seeing me for FI about 6 weeks when she asked me “Steve, how is it possible that my arthritis in my left hand is getting so much better? You have not worked on the hand much, and it has kept getting worse all these years. Nothing much else has helped me.”

I was at a loss – even though in my Feldenkrais® Training I had heard stories about arthritis being helped – even cured – by regular Feldenkrais® work, but I did not believe it. Arthritis is joint damage – how could gentle movement and somatic education help it?

Naomi was only the first of many clients with that question. So I was forced to come up with some answers.

 

What do I now tell clients?

The answer is so simple, that I too missed it. It is that when the joint are over-compressed, pain will increase. You can call it arthritis, or whatever you want. When the joints are decompressed, circulation increases, health is quickly restored, and pain diminishes or goes away. Circulation is the best healer, as my mentor used to say.

But, while is sounds simple to decompress joints, that does not mean easy. The entire Feldenkrais® Method – and it is vast – may need to be recruited to accomplish this. If only it were so simple as just pulling on the joint! It means learning to move into length. It means changing habits of doing too much, working too hard, gripping the pencil too hard, holding the belly too tight. It means learning to stand tall on one leg at a time, as you walk and stand, it means learning to move with minimal effort, it means refining your balance skills so that the body is not so guarded and tight (afraid of falling), it means increasing awareness, to learn how to move with minimal effort, with ease and elegance. That means while reaching, standing, breathing, walking, running, even while sleeping and turning over from one side to the other.  It even means changing how you imagine doing a job – even in the imagination less effort can be made. For sure, it will involve some kind of mindful breathing practice, so that the breath does not remain forever out of reach – over stimulated by the restless mind – of a peaceful spirit.

Since that client I have seen dozens of people with all kinds of pains, including arthritis, who got wonderful relief. In each case, I knew the real reason was decompression and better circulation.

© Copyright 2015 Steve Hamlin  www.mybodycanlearn.com