I began practicing Feldenkrais® in 2008 in order to deal with chronic pain from a neck injury I incurred while snowboarding in 2002.
The pain was bad - but what was worse was the fear of losing the ability to do the things I love to do. I was living at a Zen monastery at the time, and my injury had started to compromise my ability to do the meditation schedule. I was an all-state soccer player in high school, and now I no longer felt athletic. Instead of approaching physical tasks with enjoyment and vigor, I felt apprehensive about them - would working in the garden or taking a long hike leave me in worse shape?
While different physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists had been able to temporarily alleviate the pain, it wasn’t until I started practicing Feldenkrais that I began to truly understand my injury and work with it successfully on my own. Through a process of exploring my own movement habits and sensations, I have come to see how chronic pain stemming from injury (or just common misuse of oneself) can lead to further tightening, causing more pain, and so on in a vicious cycle.
The process of unwinding that cycle has been a great gift to me, and one in which the Feldenkrais Method has played and continues to play a big part. I feel freer in my body and more confident in my movement now than I did ten years ago, and I fully expect that trend to continue! This does NOT mean that I "healed" my injury - I don't think my neck will ever the same as it was before my fall (and how could it be - our bodies are alive and always renewing themselves!) Yet I learned how to inhabit my body with more awareness, how to move with greater skill, and how to read signals of stress or oncoming pain and use that to make smarter decisions.
After graduating from the 800-hour Rocky Mountain 2 Feldenkrais Professional Training Program, I began working as a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner®. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to share with others this method and practice that have been so fruitful for me.
I work as a developmental editor at Shambhala Publications and am completing a PhD in History at the University of Colorado - Boulder, writing a dissertation on the history of somatic education.