For My Feldenkrais® Colleagues

A note from Steve to the Feldenkrais® community


For My Feldenkrais Colleagues

No, this is not a traditional Feldenkrais® Website. I don't sell ATM (Awareness Through Movement®) recordings or books here.

But you do find many little hints and movement / posture ideas that can be very helpful. Some have expressed the idea that such an approach is a betrayal of the Feldenkrais® Method. Yet, It is true, many of the ideas did come from ATM.  Moshe Feldenkrais himself took, borrowed, stole (if you will) ideas from anyone and everyone.  As Picasso once said, “Ordinary artists borrow ideas. Great artists steal them.”  Nonetheless, a good number of these ideas (at least how they are presented) have been my own invention, based on the necessity to be effective with private clients. I have seen how just a few such ideas can take a person out of many years chronic pain – without doing ATM. These ideas are given freely without the usual ATM context. I have many good reasons for this.

I have, like all the rest of you - been well exposed to the 1001 many good somatic ideas, movements, strategies and perspectives that are found in the100’s of ATMs we all did in our Feldenkrais Trainings. But it was too much, and left me floundering and ineffective with clients, after my graduation. I have chosen perhaps 20 or 30 foundational ideas from this, and used them exclusively to help clients. And it has been working very well. You’ll see which ideas I choose as you browse this website, and my YouTube Channel. 

I built my private practice while living in a "compound" so to speak of similarly-minded people, most all of who were meditating and were committed fully to living an intensive spiritual life.  My opinion is that when meditation is properly understood, and rightly practiced, it is a far more beneficial – long and short term - way to spend time than doing ATM. That’s not to say that one hour a week of ATM would not have prevented many problems, postural misunderstandings, pain, etc. Of course that is true! But taking time to do a "strange thing" like ATM (Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement®) was not in the realm of possibility for most of my client base. Trust me on that. So if I was to be effective, with my community of friends and clients, I had to find another way. Nor could many of them afford long-continued private work. How was I to have an impact? I did find a way, and this website shows what that is.


This Web Site is dedicated to giving what works - with least time spent - with maximum results and minimal energy or thought without the use of ATM.  I have often seen people flounder for years with all kinds of yoga, therapeutic exercises, various kinds of therapy – with little improvement in their condition. That’s not been the case when they take up the ideas on this website – or at least those ideas that are pertinent for them.

The best ideas, anyway, involve doing less and how to stop hurting ourselves. That is what you find here in abundance. We don’t need more therapeutic exercises and maintenance yoga with which to burden our life. We need the quick path back to what is natural, where pain relief is automatic and effortless.  Yes, ATM may be the best way to do this, for most people, but not with the client base from which I operated for so many years.

While ATM is a wonderful learning tool, and the best way to really assimilate somatic ideas such as you find on this website, if I were to put all these ideas into ATM format, it would take you many years to go through the material. I have felt that in the Feldenkrais Community, there needs to be at least one person who steps fully outside of the usual ATM thinking, and presents the main, essential, helpful somatic ideas up front, with no window dressing. I fully expect lots of misunderstanding and even outrage, that I have done this.

True, this method of mine, throwing out lots of simple ideas hoping they will “stick”, is not best way to learn. But I have seen over and over again, that if a person is persistent and intelligent, and hopefully a little intuitive, and will take some guidance from an experienced Feldenkrais practitioner, they can “cherry-pick” such a list of ideas (and you find many such lists on this website), and actually assimilate them into their lives. If the right ideas are given at the right time, in the appropriate way, the effect in both pain-relief and life-transformation can be as profound as long-term involvement in ATM. I no longer doubt this, as I have seen the proof so many times before my very eyes, with a client’s eyes shining with gratitude after a few weeks of sessions.

 

If you are a Feldenkrais Practitioner just starting a practice, I offer this website to you as a free resource, to help gather and systematize ideas gleaned from ATM to make them useful for clients. Otherwise, that is a process that can take many years of doing ATM and working with clients. It took me at least 6 years from the time I graduated from my Feldenkrais® Training before the confusion began to clear from my mind, and only then did I really start to be effective with clients.  I have already been there, done that, and am freely sharing – such as it is – what I have learned.

 

Finally, I’ll confess that the main reason I have not created ATM lessons to sell, is that already there are so many, and I am sure my version of ATM would not be as good as what is already out there. There is no need for more ATM recordings, in my opinion.  There are so many wonderful ATM resources out there, enough for many lifetimes. Plus, I was never successful when I tried to build an ATM class – my personality is just not suited for that, I guess. So I had to find another way. My strong suit was helping clients individually, using FI and teaching simple strategies such as you find on this website.  So, I went with my strength.

© Copyright 2015 Steve Hamlin  www.mybodycanlearn.com