Reading notes: Feldenkrais

Book: “Awareness Through Movement” by Moshe Feldenkrais (1972, 1977)

  1. There are four components making up the waking state: Sensation, Feeling, Thought, and Movement.
    • Although we can temporarily “talk” about these components as if they are separated from each other, in reality, these four components always function together when we are awake.
  2. “Improvement of processes, as opposed to improvement of properties. (p.33)”
    • I resonate with this statement. Many change models (psychotherapy theories) focus on replacing “faulty” bricks with new bricks. For example, identifying a “irrational belief” and replacing it with a rational one. If we see things from the systematic lens, we will see how one’s belief is linked to one’s feelings and body movement procedures. These are all related to some relatively necessary coping strategies one needs to employ in early childhood.
    • For example, a core belief of “I am bad” may be related to the body posture of shrinking in; a smaller body size may be important for a child to reduce the chance to trigger more abuse from caregivers.
    • Hence, making changes first involve seeing the above process.
    • If a child still lives with abuser, we need to find a way to introduce protective strategies (a new process) without completely taking away the old strategy that plays a function in the environment.
    • Or, if a person is in a new environment, this person needs to have a chance to “experience” the new possibility  (new movement, new posture that accompanies new feelings and thoughts) and new outcome. For example, one could experience a sense of safety in practicing yoga or qi-kong standing pose; the body experiences the opening up the chest and lengthening of the spine; the mind thinks that it’s okay for me to be tall; the heart feels that I am, by nature, “good.”
  3. “Correction of movements is the best means of self-improvement. (p.33)”
    • Following the previous example, my thought is, movement involves all kind of muscular activities and action. Long before I became interested in somatic psychology, I learned psychodrama in group settings. By bringing one or few pieces of our own life stories to role-play, we are gathering information of the process in real “action,” also, we introduce a sense of space and time to our body and mind. Very often, when we are stuck in some form of survival mode, our sense of time and space become narrowed. Opening up the sense of time and space through body movement helps us to find new ways of existence that we couldn’t see when we feel we are stuck in a hole.
    • “Movements reflect the state of nerve system.” It is too easy for us to deceive our own mind. In order to survive, we are trained to compartmentalize our body and mind into somewhat dissociative parts. We could be talking forever about self-compassion or self-esteem, yet, our bodies are tensed up in a nerve system that’s ready to fight or flight!
    • “Breathing is movement” “…it is almost impossible to organize breathing properly without also satisfactorily placing the skeleton with respect to gravity.”


Note: This website does not intend to provide any specific individually-tailored psychological advice/services to replace any medical and/or psychological treatment. If the readers are in need of medical or psychological attention, please seek appropriate services in your area.

Copyright © 2018 Chia-Chi (Alicia) Hu; 版權所有:胡嘉琪

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