Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Three Books

The Case of Nora

I have never heard Moshe Feldenkrais talk or any of his students teachers of his method talk about a left tongue.  However this is a good book if someone is interested in his thinking. It has been many years since I read it but there was one part where he was trying to have Nora differentiate between the left and right. It is amazing that we can lose that ability.

In a sense though my left tongue has been lost for most of my life. There was no need for it to be independent of my right tongue. There still isn't. However if I had a left hand and did not know it could function independent of the right hand I think I would like to know about it.

Moshe as far as I know did not discuss Wigan's theory about The Duality of the Mind. Most of his exercises however are taught with that concept embedded in them. First you do the exercise on one side then the other. One becomes aware of the discrepancies of the sides by attention during movement. There is a story about Moshe when he injured his knee playing football (soccer). He needed to get something done and though the muscle was severely wasted on the opposite leg from the injury by being bedbound he was surprised by it's ability to function.

 The story resonates with me in Dr. Oliver Sachs book.  A Leg to Stand On  I have worked with several severely injured lower extremity patients and at times I have recommended this book to read during their recovery.

In A Leg to Stand On, it is Sacks himself who is the patient: an encounter with a bull on a desolate mountain in Norway has left him with a severely damaged leg. But what should be a routine recuperation is actually the beginning of a strange medical journey when he finds that his leg uncannily no longer feels part of his body. Sacks's brilliant description of his crisis and eventual recovery is not only an illuminating examination of the experience of patienthood and the inner nature of illness and health but also a fascinating exploration of the physical basis of identity.

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