Friday, March 22, 2013

Postulate 5

5) The way I use my tongue, eyes and face is the foundation for my right handedness.

I really jump the shark here.  I have no empirical evidence. Even the subjective 'feel' that I have is not complete. It reminds me of when I was young trying to figure out the mysteries of sex. I guessed a great deal but did not understand the physical act.

I have worked the last 15 years as a Physical Therapy Assistant in various rehab settings inpatient and outpatient. I spent four years and graduated in a program based on the works of Moshe Feldenkrais. I have studied Akido and tai chi. I grew up much a book nerd but loved sports playing pretty much everything but not at a high level of competence. I am a worrier, somewhat paranoid, overweight advanced middle age white male of not that high level of intelligence.

I was drawn to the works of Moshe Feldenkrais after doing a simple exercise of laying on the back and stomach. I lifted the arms and legs in different sequences and by activating the proximal muscles of the shoulder it felt like my humeral heads were walking out of their sockets. It was a good feeling of freedom in the joints but scary in a way. I wondered why with my backgound in sports and some in the martial arts I had never experienced such an unusual transformation in such a short period of time. My dad was a Chiropractor so I was used to being manipulated, massaged and stretched but this was outside of my experience.

Moshe explaining his touch

I attended a seminar with Dr. Frank Wildman and jumped on the table when he asked for a volunteer. He put on quite a show and was flipping me on the table like a rag doll moving me hither and yon. I never felt so good or relaxed in my life. Almost like he had slipped me a shot of morphine that lasted about a week. I decided to quit my job as an estimator/project manager for a general engineering contractor and enroll in a program. Before leaving the seminar I ran into him in the bathroom. He did an odd thing.  He twisted himself up in a way that made me say to myself "this guy does not have it going on" and I immediately felt more confident. Later back in the class he said "if you show a mirror posture image to someone you can get others to relate to you as they drop their guard." (paraphrasing after many years) I think he showed a mirror image of myself to me and that is when I felt less threatened by him.  It suggested to me that I am twisted to a certain degree

I started the program with high hopes with other teachers but after a year I did not think I was progressing. I enrolled in a PT assistant program concurrently for a surer method of generating income and wound up doing the programs concurrently. The work based on the ideas of Moshe Feldenkrais made me a much better PT Assistant but I do not think I ever really 'got it'. I was hoping to transition to doing the work solely on it's own but after 4 years I did not still feel like I knew what was doing.

I kept investigating myself based on what I knew sometimes using the exercises but I wanted to understand how I was twisted. I started looking at myself in a very crude sort of operation where if I found one area of tightness on one side of myself, I would transposed it to my other side and try to contract it and have the first side loosen and relax. I began with the lower back and pelvis and over many years worked my way to the head, neck and jaw. I wound up creating this exercise below which suggested to me that the center of my search  was how I use my tongues. The left tongue showed up as something outside my usual control. In a sense it felt like it moved by itself. As I played with it more the more interesting it got from the standpoint of how come I never knew it existed.

 The Bit between our Teeth. The Sissy Bar in our Throat


I highly recommend seeing an experienced Feldenkrais practitioner if you have any sort of  physical problem that has not remedied itself by the more conventional therapies. To find a practitoner.


I do not consider myself a practitioner nor am I a member of their guild. I doubt if any would ascribe to my current thinking. I do not have a method that is appropriate to address someone's physical deficits or concerns. With all the work I have done I still feel like my posture and body mechanics are average at best.

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