News from the Center  
Inside this Newsletter: All Our News, Plus:
Weekly Classes
Classes for Kaiser Permanente Members
Workshop: Free and Easy Legs
Workshop: Cultivating Effortless Movement
Article: Reflections on Health and Feldenkrais
Coming Workshops
Article: Neuroplasticity and principles of the Feldenkrais Method
Registration for Workshops and Class Series
Ways to Unsubscribe

In this Newsletter Deborah Bowes reflects on 5 years at Stanford's Coordinated Care Clinic and the role of Feldenkrais Method in healthAlso in this Newsletter: the last installment of the article on principles of the Feldenkrais Method as described by Norman Doidge in The Brain's Way of Healing
Upcoming Workshops and Classes
Sunday April 9: Free and Easy Legs' with Carolyn Fleg.
Saturday April 22: How does your garden grow: Cultivating effortless movement with Marcia Scott.

Scroll down for descriptions, or your can find descriptions and online registration here.

More workshops coming up in May: see below.

Don't forget our new Sunday 11:00 am class with Kwan Wong: do class on Sunday to feel good on Monday!

Register early, don't miss out!

If you are thinking doing a workshop we encourage you to register early. This is for two reasons: many workshops fill up, and we don't want you to be disappointed. Conversely, sometimes registrations are slow and we have to cancel a workshop to give those who have signed up some advance notice - and then we get late inquiries and have to disappoint people when the workshop is no longer offered. Either way, we suggest you register is soon as you can.

Our workshops are a fun way to explore a theme and get a nice big dose of Feldenkrais all a few hours!  

Take care, FCMA

Weekly Classes
Awareness Through Movement ® 
Classes  at the Feldenkrais Center 
98 Chenery Street, corner of Randall  
5:00 pm
with Heidi Carlsen 
General class for new and continuing students.

12:00 Noon
with Cliff Smyth
or Marcia Scott

For people with physical challenges and anyone who wants to explore the basics.


6:30 pm 
with Heidi Carlsen
General class for new and continuing students.
10:00 am
with Deborah Bowes 
Class for experienced students

11:00 am
with Kwan Wong
General class for new and continuing students.

All these classes are drop in, for one hour and cost $15. 
Awareness Through Movement  Classes at the 
Community Center
3200 California St, at Presidio 
Mondays and Wednesdays 1:00 pm

with Karen Ingebrigtson

Contact JCC at 415.292.1299 X 1148
for more details.

Yoga Classes 
at the
Feldenkrais Center
9:00 - 10:00 am 
with Dawn Summers 
$15 per class/
4 classes $55

For more information click here.
Feldenkrais Classes
for Kaiser Permanente members
Kaiser Health Education Department sponsors Awareness Through Movement classes for its members at a reduced rate. Pre-enrollment and pre-payment are required. To register,  call Kaiser Health Education Department at 415-833-3450. 

New! Dates for 2017 at Kaiser Mission Bay 
Tuesdays 5:30 - 6:30 pm, with Marcia Scott 
* March 21 - April 25 
Dates for 2017 at the Feldenkrais Center
Mondays 6:30 - 7:30 pm, with Abby Miller 
* April 24 - June 5, skip May 29
* June 12 - July 17
* September 11 - October 16
* October 23 - November 27
Read More on Our Website
Free and Easy Legs
with Carolyn Fleg
April 9, 2017 
1:00 - 4:00 pm 
Cost: $60
Find ease & freedom in your hips and hamstrings.  
Learn how to have flexible hips and hamstrings without stretching. Having more freedom and ease in the legs improves daily activities including walking, running, riding a bike, sitting and standing, and even breathing.  W e will explore the relationship between mobile hips and softer hamstrings and easy movement in the back. Experience how changes in the habitual movements of the muscles of the legs enable new freedom and movement to emerge in the hamstrings and hips.  Learn to feel the influence that the eyes and breath have on the mobility and softness of the legs.  Get to know your hips and hamstrings and walk away with an easy, graceful spring to your step.
How does your garden grow:  cultivating effortless movement.
with Marcia Scott
April 22, 2017 
1:00 - 4:00 pm 
Cost: $60
How do we cultivate what we have and are? And do we have to work so hard at it?  The root is in attention. What are we paying attention to? What do we notice and what happens then? Attention enables choice: to continue on our path or to change direction.
Building from more quiet to more dynamic Awareness Through Movement Lessons, you will discover how to direct your attention to find more ease in your movement.  You will also learn to feel your particular way of breathing when both at rest and in more challenging positions.  You will sense how freeing your eyes frees your attention.  And you will explore the power of your pelvis to direct your movement. Come unearth some of the many possibilities that can sprout up when you weed out effort.
Reflections on Health and Feldenkrais
by Deborah Bowes, DPT, GCFT

Photograph of Deborah Bowes
For the past 5 years, I've been working both at the Feldenkrais Center 2 days a week and at a primary care clinic called Stanford Coordinated Care for the other 3 days. This clinic specializes in working with people with chronic conditions. I've been reflecting on what I've learned from my patients about how the Feldenkrais Method helps to improve and maintain your health. I'll be leaving my Stanford position in April to return full time to the Center.

My physical therapist training and license, along with 30 years as a Feldenkrais practitioner, makes me uniquely suited to help people with complex and challenging health conditions. I am also very comfortable working in a medical setting that has a bio-psycho-social orientation.

A bio-psycho-social model of medicine considers the experience of the whole person. Treatment in this model recognizes that your health is influenced by many factors, such as: your biology and genetics, your psychological make-up and resources, and the culture in which you grew up and the one in which you live now. In most ongoing health conditions, there isn't one cause nor one solution.

Feldenkrais Method is a bio-psycho-social model for improving human function. The following ideas are congruent with this model. These ideas are part of the 'mental furniture'* for my work as a Feldenkrais practitioner. 
  • Healing happens within a relationship. Trust is essential for this relationship to work. Listening is essential for trust to develop.
  • Each person has their own goals and my job is to help guide towards these goals.
  • Awareness of the body is essential to know how something is affecting you, either positively or negatively. No one has perfect awareness of what they are doing, everyone can develop greater awareness.
  • Poor movement coordination and lack of awareness leads to pain. Everyone can improve coordination and awareness.
  • Breathing, good posture, changing positions, and knowledge of how the body - how it actually works, can lead to big improvements in the sense of well-being, and having greater function and less pain.
  • Small changes in how you move lead to big changes in how you feel.
  • Many people have been injured by health care providers who did not listen either with their ears or with their hands.
  • Getting stronger is not the only answer. Improving your ability make sensory-motor distinctions will improve your comfort, help you to pace yourself, and basically stop doing what is hurting your body.
  • Each person has the desire to feel better, they just may not know what to do, or have learned the skills needed to get there.
I will write more in the next Newsletter. Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have about my reflections.

(*The term 'mental furniture' was coined by Feldenkrais Trainer, my friend, the late Dennis Leri)
Coming Workshops
Save the dates.  Registration will be available soon.
Ease Your Shoulders: Lighten Your Burden with Abby Miller
Saturday, May 6,  10 am - 1 pm
Cost: $60
Finding Your Power Through Voice with Heidi Carlsen
Saturday, May 20,  1 - 4 pm
Cost: $60
Face, Eyes, and Jaw with Deborah Bowes
Saturday, June 17,  1 - 4 pm
Cost: $60
Exploring Breathing with Carolyn Fleg
Saturday, October 14,  1 - 4 pm
Cost: $60
Pelvic Health and Awareness with Deborah Bowes
November: Date t.b.a
Cost: $75
Chanukia ('candle holder') lessons with Deborah Bowes
December: Date t.b.a.

Registration will be available soon.
Neuroplasticity and principles
of the Feldenkrais Method
by Cliff Smyth, MS, GCFT
In his 2015 book, Dr Norman Doidge devotes two chapters to the Feldenkrais Method. He provides a useful list of 11 Core Principles of the Method as he understands it. Here is a quick review of the final three.
9. Random movements provide variation that leads to developmental breakthroughs.
Doidge points to Feldenkrais' observations of infant's movement learning: that their random movements, driven by their own curiosity and stimulation from the environment, lead to new movement coordinations, such as rolling over, leaning on elbows, beginning to crawl. In fact as infant movement researcher and later Feldenkrais practitioner, Esther Thelen PhD, discovered: each child has their own individual pathways to learning movement. This insight suggests pursuing an ideal movement in a regimented way does not lead to the kind of movement improvement stimulated by Feldenkrais lessons. Recent research in physical therapy shows that variation, not repetition of the same thing, are essential to learning new movement patterns as part of rehabilitation. Such variations are built into Feldenkrais lessons and generated by students as they explore how to make a movement.
10. Even the smallest movement in one part of the body involves the entire body.
The body always works as a whole. Every part of the body requires the support of the whole body to move. Even the smallest movement modifies the patterns of nervous system and muscular activation, along with the organization and orientation of the skeleton. This is felt particularly in some Awareness Through Movement lessons that involve the minimal lifting or lengthening of one part, e.g. an arm or leg, and sensing how the rest of the body responds. Feldenkrais lessons allow you to move any part of the body, and allow the forces to flow through your whole self, without any inefficient holding or bracing that can cause pain and strain.
11. Many movement problems, and the pain that goes with them, are caused by learned habit, not be abnormal structure.
Doidge points out that, "most conventional treatments assume the function is wholly dependent on the 'underlying' bodily structure and its limitations". Feldenkrais comes from a functional point of view. Your habits are the ways you respond to your physical structure and history of injury, etc. They are learned preferences that can restrict your options and contribute to dysfunction and pain. The question then is how to unlearn your habits in ways that help resolve your movement problems and reduce pain, regardless of your physical structure and history of injury.
Norman Doidge, 2015, The Brain's Way of Healing. New York, NY: Viking. Quote from page 177.
To read the whole article, go to the articles page on our website. 

Registration for Workshops & Class Series  
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2.  Send us a message through our website or email us at,
3. Call us at 415.826.3680 and leave a message. We will get back to you to confirm your registration and with information about payment.
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Thanks, FCMA.
Feldenkrais ®, Feldenkrais Method ®, Functional Integration ®, Awareness Through Movement ®, and Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner cm, are service marks of the FELDENKRAIS GUILD ® of North America.
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