Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Feldenkrais method

Have you ever read a book that completely changed your direction in life, well I did, a book that I got from the library (don't you love libraries) called Uncommon voyage by Laura Shapiro Kramer. It is about Laura and her son Seth who has cerebral palsy and their journey through various alternative therapies after the traditional therapists had not given him much hope of walking, talking etc. The reason I read this book all started because even though we didn't have a formal diagnosis all the therapists Annabelle was seeing all said she moved like a child with cerebral palsy so I wanted to find out as much about it as possible and stumbled across this book, I am so glad I did.

After reading this book it inspired me to find alternative therapies for Annabelle, one of the therapies was The Feldenkrais method. It was instrumental in helping Seth walk, he did intensive sessions with Anat Baniel every week.

With a typical child they are what is called "incidental learners," they learn how to do things through small incidental movements, they don't just learn how to sit it is a progression of small movements that take place over time and eventually they are sitting. But with an injured child these small incidental movements just don't happen by themselves so the map in their brain doesn't exist to get to those positions.  Comparing traditional therapy to Feldenkrais is like these 2 analogies, as Marcela so adequately describes in her post on ABM going for for a drive in a car if you are the passenger in a car and somebody drives you from A to B you are less likely to remember how to get there - this is like traditional therapy, a therapist takes the child and puts the child in a seated position the child never learns how to get there himself. But if you are the driver and you drove from A to B after a couple of times going the same directions you will have no problems finding your way - this is like Feldenkrais it maps the routes in the brain to find the right paths to movement. This is why I love Feldenkrais Method for my child.

This lesson was with Elinor at the beginning of the year

I was looking for a practitioner close to home (Annabelle was never good at long car journeys) that is when I found Elinor, in March '09 and within 5 weeks of seeing Elinor once a week Annabelle was commando crawling short distances (the move looked like she was swimming as her arms would get trapped at the side of her body and she would roll to free them). Now after more than a year of seeing Elinor, Annabelle is still learning new ways to move.

A Lesson with Elinor July '10

1 comment:

  1. Thats GREAT to see! This lady really looks confident in and knows what she is doing! God bless her.