Feldenkrais in the Pool?

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Pic by Pixaby

Recently a client asked if I would come into the pool for our Feldenkrais session.  I couldn’t see any reason not to and was curious about the upcoming experience.

The day arrives and this clients physio and I are at the outdoor pool with them.  I begin with listening and observing what their routine is in the pool before sharing any possible movement patterns.  What I recognize is simple and doable movements are missing.  Movements such as rotating leg in a circle to loosen hip-joint and create a brains connection to using this rotation in future patterns of movement.  A movement the client can successful do in the pool without strain or pain.  I suggested this pattern and then added ankle joint circles.  In the water this movement was more available and the client had more ease in turning one foot in a circle once again increasing the connection between the brain and the action.  Finally going to their knees and to explore bending them to bring them up one at a time to mimic walking which is doable in the water.

After a few minutes of creating these easy patterns that are difficult on dry land I suggest that the client stretch out in the water face down and begin to bring knees towards chest to mimic crawling.  Beautiful precursor to walking!

Feldenkrais in the water?  YES!

One take-a-way was what happened when a stretching exercise created a leg cramp.  In explaining it the physio said to the client, …. “this is the same cramp that you have had since last year.”  I waited a for a time and said that cramps come with movements that are happening in the moment.  I asked the client what movement they  did that resulted in the cramp.  Both the physio and the client identified immediately that it was the stretching exercise.  The function of being able to associate with the real action is imperative if there is to be effective change.  Generalization, association and storytelling has no therapeutic value in my opinion.  Why?  There is no connection or awareness of the action to be able to replace it with a new action.

Another take-a-way is that rotating the limb was called, “range of motion” by the physio versus a movement the client can make to increase their functional ability to increase the way they move.   Generalizing this movement by labeling it “range of motion” creates a degree of separation in the clients conscious awareness of it’s intended function.  It’s time to get back to the basics and focus on real function.  Lets stop talking a language of separation and start speaking  a language of connection to functions.


Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication,  Empathy,  Values Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Labyrinths of Victoria since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Grassroots Calendar Founder, Vice-Chair of World Children’s Summit on Peace & Nature in 2015

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