July 2019 Beach & Lifeguard Station
Feldenkrais Method® for Everyone
July 5, 2019
In This Issue
From the Editors
From a kinetic melody, to an inner melody, to being able to play melodies (on the melodica no less!) this issue looks at options for improving the prospects of living with Parkinson's. The deep connection between movement, music, and expression with mobility and stability is worth exploring. The Feldenkrais Method offers an avenue to improve that connection.  We hope this issue inspires your own inner melody. 
Lavinia and MaryBeth
River flowing through rocks
Image by Beng Wang on Unsplash
ErnieThe Feldenkrais Method® and Parkinson's Disease
by Ernie Adams, GCFP

For a person with Parkinson's Disease (PD), the natural rhythm and flow of perception, feeling, and movement is disrupted. There is a disconnection between the intention to move and the ability to start or complete an action. Routine automatic behaviors, such as those involved in walking, speaking, breathing, swallowing, and facial expression, become difficult or unavailable.

In his book, Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks describes how the "Kinetic Melody," or the "smooth, graceful flow of movement," becomes a "Kinetic Stutter." The "kinetic stutter" in Parkinson's is related to the depletion of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that allows information to travel across synapses to a part of the brain that helps control movement and coordination. When communication becomes disrupted, tremor, slowness of movement, or rigidity can result. Balance and coordination become progressively worse.

PD originates in the brain. Even so, neuroscientists have proven that. . .

MBFinding A Voice
by MaryBeth Smith, GCFP

Swans heart shape
Image by Markus Distelrath on Pixabay
As a classically-trained singing teacher and vocal coach, it has been my privilege to teach aspiring performers at all levels. I always think of developing the person first, believing that the voice inside will emerge. To me, voice is an almost sacred form of self-expression. To help someone unleash that expression - or to find a self that has something to express - is interesting and wonderful.

And so, an unusual voice lesson sticks in my mind.  

A new client, E., has sought several Feldenkrais ® sessions to help him to manage his symptoms resulting from Parkinson's disease .  He is tall, slender, and in his late 60's. His wife now accompanies him everywhere, including his Feldenkrais lessons. He says he was diagnosed shortly after he retired, three years ago. His left hand trembles almost continuously.  His walk is slightly stooped, with the characteristic Parkinsonian shuffle. His natural soft-spoken demeanor has been rendered wispy, weak, and almost inaudible. He complains of unstable balance, and fatigue when walking. This was his third session.
Previously, he and I explored how he. . . 
Read More

AnnetteKeep Playing! 
by Annette Weiss 

Paralysis-Agitans - sounds like a great name for my new band.

Paralysis agitans is the Latin name for Parkinson's disease and it vividly describes what happens to professional keyboard players like me: when you want to move, you can't, and when you want to be still, you move involuntarily! I was diagnosed with this movement disorder six years ago, and the diagnosis made me want to play as much music as I could for as long as I could. Luckily, I have discovered that with the help of strategies from the Feldenkrais Method ® of somatic education, I don't have to desperately clutch music as tightly as I can, all the while dreading a dismal future of ever-dwindling choices of movement; I can actually enjoy the creative process of discovering new possibilities for movement. . .
Check out the Parkinson's Podcast: 
Mindful Movement with Matt Zepelin.
An information resource and audio library of movement lessons, guided meditations, and interviews with leading researchers. Listen for free here!
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