One of the things that have drawn Abraham’s attention since he has taken part in Feldenkrais Method lessons, as a trainee and as a practitioner, are the changes that most of the participants go through.
Indeed, the Feldenkrais Method is designed to be transformational. It is a method that can change individuals by facilitating a better, upright, and aware experience of and with themselves, in such a way that a new self-image can materialize.
A common view regarding self-image is that it represents the behavioral, mental, emotional, or spiritual aspects of the person. In the Feldenkrais Method, however, the key to the self-image is to be found in the body and its movements. A fundamental notion of the method is that the self or self-image is the body image.
Moshe Feldenkrais made such an idea concrete, by modeling a method, a series of somatic practices that generate changes in the organization of the body movements, its flexibility, and in acquiring comfortable postures for the different practices of everyday life, such as sitting, standing, walking, and safely lifting objects. Given that there is no movement without sensation, no sensation without feeling, and no feeling without thought, with due practice the changes become functional modifications that resonate with the person’s sensations, affects, feelings, and thoughts. And it is by integrating all these layers of the motor-sensorial experience, that the body-self-image is transformed.
The question that intrigues Abraham is how does the Feldenkrais Method generate such changes? What are the principles of the method and how are they staged in its practice? This is indeed a challenging task since the knowledge supporting the method comes from different sources such as physiology, anatomy, neuroscience, body mechanics, kinesthetic and somatic studies.
To face the challenge, in his book The Feldenkrais Method: Power of Transformation (forthcoming), he brings exemplary lessons selected from the large corpus that Feldenkrais left for us, that follow those principles, thereby showing how they are staged and activated in the practice of the method.
Mansbach. Abraham. (forthcoming by Feldenkrais Resources) The Feldenkrais Method: Power of Self-Transformation.
Mansbach, Abraham. 2016. “Becoming Ourselves: Feldenkrais and Foucault on Soma and Culture.” Feldenkrais Research Journal, 5: 2-15.