April 23, 2021
The Magazine By, For, and About
Feldenkrais® Practitioners and Trainees

In Touch is a monthly e-newsletter about developing one's competence as a Feldenkrais® teacher. Issues will contain articles about teaching the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education, running your own business, and more.
From the Editors
Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

As we all know, the state of one’s jaw may dramatically alter posture and self-image. As practitioners, we often work with clients who have jaw and neck tension, which once resolved may have a tremendous impact on one’s well-being. 

In this issue, we are pleased to present strategies and tips offered by very experienced practitioners on how to help clients and students resolve TMJ issues. David Zemach-Bersin shares his ideas on connecting the jaw through tongue and spine; Erin Finkelstein gives a detailed and fascinating account of working with a client; and Bonnie Kissam offers practical ideas on creating a jaw workshop series and the foundations of working with the jaw. 

Wishing you inspiration in your work,

Lavinia and Yulia
Working with TMJ issues: An Interview with David Zemach-Bersin

If you want to know how TMJ issues could cause sciatica - you need to watch this video! Feldenkrais® trainer David Zemach-Bersin was one of the first Feldenkrais practitioners who taught a TMJ audio series in collaboration with Mark Reese. His interest originates from working with Biofeedback specialists to see immediate effects in the jaw from Feldenkrais exercises. David presents some fascinating ideas about connections of the jaw, tongue and overall state. Interviewed by Yulia Kriskovets. 

Missed part 1 of this interview in the April SenseAbility issue? Click here to watch. 
About David

David Zemach-Bersin studied with Dr. Feldenkrais from 1973 to 1984 in the US, Europe and Israel. He also studied extensively with Gaby Yaron, and Yochanon Rywerant. He has maintained a private Functional Integration® practice since 1977 and for the past 25 years has been the Educational Director of Feldenkrais® Professional Training Programs in the metropolitan New York City area. David is co-author of Relaxercise (Harper Collins) and has created many Awareness Through Movement® audio programs for the public and video programs for practitioners. David currently teaches continuing education programs for Feldenkrais practitioners online, and offers a popular online class series for the public. His website is https://www.feldenkraisaccess.com
Addressing TMJ Another Way . . .

By Erin Finkelstein, M.M. and GCFP

How does your jaw relate to the whole of you? Oftentimes we do not consider how important our jaw is until there’s a problem with it. When our temporomandibular joint (TMJ) develops discomfort from clicking, grinding at night, or dental reasons, it can develop into all-consuming and memorable pain. From difficulty speaking to problems chewing our food, the tiny TMJ can be disruptive to our overall well-being. 

In the Feldenkrais community, we have many lessons that help deal with jaw issues. However, sometimes the pain is so intense that moving the jaw is not ideal. The seemingly simple act of opening and closing the mouth can cause significant pain. The following case study is taken from my private practice where I helped someone in this very situation learn how to find support for her jaw from her sitz bones through working with the rectangle of those four points, and through finding a softer coordination of the rib cage and spine in between. This is just one example of addressing TMJ disorder through indirect means in order to better distribute the weight of the head more evenly over the skeletal structure, and improve the self-use and carriage of the head. (...)
About Erin

Erin Finkelstein is a professional clarinetist with Urban Nocturnes in Phoenix Arizona and the Carmel Bach Festival in California and has been a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner since 2007 working with musicians and people and children from all walks of life. She teaches ATM classes and private sessions online and anyone is welcome to join! Erin discovered the Feldenkrais Method® in 2004, when she was struggling with a painful jaw disorder and general tension that threatened to compromise her music performance career. Her website is www.SoundMovementServices.com.
Working with TMJ issues: An Interview with Bonnie Kissam
Assistant trainer Bonnie Kissam shares her insights into working with TMJD, both in group workshops and individual sessions. She has practiced Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education for over 40 years, 30 of which she taught TMJ workshops for the general public. Learn new strategies for work with groups and individuals from this highly respected practitioner. Here's a link to the Rindercella story Bonnie mentions in the interview. 
About Bonnie

Bonnie Kissam, M.A. in Physical Education/Dance, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner® and Assistant Trainer, graduated from Amherst Training with Moshe Feldenkrais in 1980-1981. She maintained a private practice in Hartford, Connecticut for 20 years. In 1996, Bonnie became an Assistant Trainer in the first Training Program in Boston with Dennis Leri and then assisted at the Movement Institute’s New York Training Program before she moved to Sarasota, Florida in 2002. Her website is www.feldenkraisinsarasota.com
You can still register for all 3 workshops of 2021 Speaker Series!

Celebrate Moshe's birthday by joining colleagues and friends for a special presentation on May 6. Patrick Hanaway offers another prism for us to look through as we dive deeper into understanding both our exteroceptive and interoceptive selves. Then on June 3, Linda Tellington-Jones will connect us to her exciting process of TTouch which has revolutionized equestrian care around the world.
And Don't Miss!
Don't miss the 4th Annual Feldenkrais Awareness Summit with free access to talks, lessons, live panels and so much more with some of our leading practitioners as well as special guests like James Nestor, author of Breath and Stephen Nachmanovich, author of The Art of Is. Truly a banquet of awareness!

  • Release Your Jaw, Your Voice, Your Wholeself” program is one of the Special Programs created by Bonnie Kissam. Touch To Inform, a certificate program, with Seminars for Professionals that focus on the neurological, mechanical and healing aspects of movement.

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