woman tumbling
Photos © 2009 Barbara Hohenadl
Heidelberg, Germany

FeldSciNet for Researchers and Practitioners

FeldSciNet is for people interested in actively doing or supporting research concerning the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education. It is a space in which Feldenkrais practitioners with research interests and researchers who are exploring human development in educational, clinical, and research circles can all cross paths. Through this forum, we can discover common interests, combine resources, and share our findings with others.

Featured  Article

Bodywork as systemic and inter-enactive competence: participatory process management in Feldenkrais® Method and Zen Shiatsu

By Patricia A. Buchanan, Feldenkrais® training program graduate

Please note: I submitted this for FSN member Martin Luger. I am not an author on this fine paper. Please contact Martin.

Feldenkrais and Shiatsu enable somatic learning through continuous tactile coupling, a real-time interpersonal dynamic unfolding in a safe dyadic sphere. The first part of our micro-ethnographic study draws on process vignettes and subjective theories to demonstrate how bodywork is infused with systemic sensitivities and awareness for non-linear process management. Expressed in dynamic systems parlance, both disciplines foster metastability, adaptivity, and self-organization in the client’s somato- personal system by progressively reconfiguring systemic dispositions, i.e., an attractor landscape. Doing so requires a keen embodied apperception of hierarchies of somato- systemic order. Bodyworkers learn to explore these in their eigenfunction (joints, muscles, fascia), discriminate coordinative organization in small ensembles, and monitor large-scale dynamic interplay. The practitioner’s “extended body” reaching forth into the client’s through a resonance loop eventually becomes part of this. Within a bodywork session, practitioners modulate this hierarchical functional architecture. Their ability for sensorially staying apace of systemic emergence allows them to respond to minute changes and customize reactions in a zone of proximal development (dynamic immediacy). They stimulate the client’s system with a mix of perturbing and stabilizing interventions that oscillate between eigenfunctions and their coordinative integration. Practical knowledge for “soft-assembling” non-linear synergies is crucial for this (cumulative local effects, high-level functions “slaving” the system, etc.). The paper’s second part inventorizes the bodyworker’s operative tool-box—micro-skills providing the wherewithal for context- intelligent intervention. Practitioners deploy “educated senses” and a repertoire of hands-on techniques (grips, stretches, etc.) against a backdrop of somatic habits (proper posture, muscle activation, gaze patterns, etc.). At this level, our study addresses a host of micro-skills through the lens of enactive cognitive science.

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Featured  Book  Review

The Psychophysiology of Self-Awareness: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Body Sense

Reviewed By Patricia A. Buchanan, Feldenkrais® training program graduate

In the Psychophysiology of Self-Awareness, Alan Fogel, PhD shares his expertise as a developmental psychologist and embodied self-awareness practitioner (Rosen Method Bodywork) in a manner that restores key concepts to the foreground for more expert readers while simultaneously preparing newcomers to delve deeper. He was a colleague and friend of Esther Thelen, PhD, GCFP for over twenty years, and began his interactions with the Feldenkrais Method® community in the early 1990s at the invitation of Mark Reese. Fogel has searched the literature of neuroscience and neurology, clinical psychology and psychiatry, immunology, cognitive science, linguistics, exercise science, evolutionary science, and developmental psychology to provide discipline-specific insights with common ground in human anatomy and physiology. Woven throughout his descriptions of the neurophysiology of posture, emotions, and chronic tension are practice examples, occasional experiential sidebars, and case reports that illustrate the scientific themes. He offers Feldenkrais practitioners foundational information to enhance their work and to answer students’ questions. Fogel hopes practitioners will see and make use of the common ground he lays before us in the Psychophysiology of Self-Awareness. (revised 4-12-10)

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Newest  Project


By Robert Webb, Feldenkrais® training program graduate

In this project a 30-week program of two ATM lessons per week will be provided to people aged 55-75 who have Osteoarthritis of the hip, knee or ankle.
Participants will be assessed at the Rehabilitation Sciences Research Centre, Melbourne, Australia before and after the program to determine outcomes. Tests include 3-dimensional gait analysis and leg power test, pre-post testing for function (timed up and go, four square step test, and 6 minute walk test) quality of life and activity level.

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Coming soon! Request for Grant Proposals from the Esther Thelen Research and Education Fund.

Plan now to share your research and scholarship with us at the Feldenkrais Method Conference in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, NC, July 7-10, 2016. Stay tuned for the Call for Abstracts in 2016.

Become a supporter of the Thelen Fund today. Here's how …

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