Tag Archives: Functional Integration

Communication retraining the brain

In Cultivating Awareness foundational for experiential learning one will read about the similarities and differences between Renee’s educational programs and a Mindfulness Mediation Practice.

The focus of this article is on cultivating awareness to retrain the brain and balance used of left and right sides of the brain that Renee encourages her students to learn in the process of becoming self-directed and connected to what and how they are speaking.

The importance of a particular practice of identifying types of  thoughts became relevant when a student came back to class and shared their life changing self-awareness experience.  They discovered that they compare themselves and others while making critical moral judgments based upon their filter of jealousy. By slowing down to observe these patterns, this recognition can shift and transform their experience. The types of thoughts we address are in the following illustration.

In this diagram a maze is in the area of the fore-brain that depicts the essence of figuring it out and hitting walls until one finds their way forward. This can be complex and draining process.

In the following diagram a larger spiral leading directly into the center point is shown in the fore-brain area that demonstrates the ease in which cultivated awareness through communication can mirror.  This cultivation is not unlike the growing ability to focus ones attention as they would in a sitting mediation.  It is a different focus, pattern and foundation that one would practice that would include more of ones whole functional ability than the limiting thought process shown in the above diagram.

 Go back to – Cultivating Awareness foundational for retraining the brain

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Encouraging others to become self-directed, improve abilities to notice and discover new connections, refine self-use, and integrate new and practical skills is life enriching for this teacher and students.

Copyright 2014 – 2019 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000



Cultivating Awareness foundational for retraining the brain

Each of the these experiential learning opportunities share the same objectives of  cultivating awareness and focusing attention.

Another thing in common they have is that they are inclusive of the four aspects of the human condition and function:  mental, emotional, physical and belief systems.  These components are not isolated as separate functions as in other wellness styles.  In each of these functional events there is an education aspect that includes a mindful pattern cultivating expanded focus.

Here is a way of cultivating awareness through a pattern one may be familiar with:

Mindfulness Meditation

Change through Cultivating Awareness
  • 3 Steps to Mindful Meditation to Cultivate Awareness

Step #1 – Begins with a foundation

Mat, Cushion, Posture

Step #2 – Then a focus point


#3 – Followed by a pattern

Observe your thoughts & environment while following your breath

Improving the ability to notice, discover new connections, refine self-use, and integrate your new skills through the experiential learning techniques anyone can integrate the skills and action steps that creates a ‘being in the moment experience‘ like in a dedicated  meditative practice.

Read more:

First communication steps for retraining the brain

Book an appointment with Renee

Learn more about Renee’s  educational programs, workshops and events

Follow Renee’s Calendar on TwitterInstagram  Pinterest or Facebook

Encouraging others to become self-directed, improve abilities to notice and discover new connections, refine self-use, and integrate new and practical skills is life enriching for this teacher and students.

Copyright 2014 – 2019 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000


The Robins call brought my attention to the Birch Tree outside my window almost a year ago.  This week he began his 2017 mating call while I reflected on how during this past year his Birch Tree has been integrated into our lifestyles. From gathering the leaves, twigs, buds, and bark last summer and fall to create teas, medicinal tinctures and oils for use during the fall, winter until new growth begins in the spring.  Last week tapping the Birch to try its watery sap by drinking it fresh, adding to teas, waters or making syrup!  This Robin started a journey of learning and experiencing this magnificent Birch and how it can contribute to our health and well-being.   For more information, read more about the ways to use your neighborhood Birch.

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, of the Feldenkrais® Method of Somatic Education, was someone who had many interests himself, which he integrated into his method of enhancing functional movement.  Feldenkrais taps into ones own curious nature and I am thankful that it connected with my need for exploring and being adventuresome.  This quality has increased my inquisitiveness in my communication interactions, movement patterns and lifestyle.  It gave me back the permission to ask questions that drove my mother crazy when I was a child!

  • Surprising Physical Changes: missing moles & surprising weight loss

This past year there are a few plants that I have integrated into my daily routine that somewhere along the way made considerable changes while I wasn’t paying attention.  A large mole on my arm and two large moles on my cheek by my ear disappeared.  When I discovered this I started to pay attention to a dark patch on my back.  It has changed color from black to soft brown and the texture has diminished.  It is slowly fading away. The plants I used as oil on my skin are Mullein, Shasta Daisy, Yellow Dock and Rose.  The oil was from olives.  In the creams I used beeswax and coconut oil.  In bath infusions I used Mullein, Birch Tree and recently Bamboo. In the soap I used mainly Mullein and Olive Oil.  All the plant materials are from my own immediate garden or neighborhood.  Either grown or picked by myself and created into a fresh product that has had no other hands, chemicals, travel time or shelf life added to the products.   Along with the bonus of blemishes and age spots disappearing my skin feels amazing.   I have an experience of  differentiation between store-bought natural and chemical based products with living products.  There is a significant difference in comparison of the sensation on my skin.  I would hesitate before going back to store-bought products now.  Saving money is not the only bonus! I am discovering natures pharmacy right outside my door!  Some of you may remember that nine years ago I began a huge promotion for getting out the door and discovering your neighborhoods through Walk Victoria.  This can now include getting to know your own neighborhoods flora and fauna and how you can introduce them into your lifestyle.

Another shift that occurred naturally when introducing edible plants and trees into teas, flavored waters, salads and recipes is the lessening of hunger and urge to eat and snack all day long.  The combination of the plant qualities reduced my appetite and I have l dropped 6 sizes without dieting.  Something new since giving birth 24 years ago is that I can have a 12 to 15 hour break between eating now that with kids was not possible. They created a habit of snacking morning until night that I happily participated in.  The types of foods I enjoy has shifted organically over this  time too.  These plants have encouraged a healthier diet that is far more exciting than previous junk foods and I believe it is a lifestyle change versus a diet of desperation and fear to lose weight.  I am thoroughly enjoying the differences!  There was one blip in the year that reminded me of the dangers of being a know it all, in a power over position directing someone’s health care by fear and threats.  I am thankful to Marshall Rosenberg and the time I spent with him learning and practicing Nonviolent Communication for which this behavior was immediately evident.  Right after experiencing this treatment myself one of my clients had the same experience.  One who was vulnerable and susceptible.   Read more

An added dimension to saving money, creating great recipes and amazing skin products is that the landscape has more meaning simply walking in and out to the car and there is a strong feeling of groundedness.  There is a lot more connection and appreciation.

I believe spending time and engaging in nature can be the social change that would support, mental, emotional and physical well-being.  I encourage others to consider how they spend time outdoors and be inquisitive  how they could integrate more of it into their daily diet and personal care products.  In these times raising one’s consciousness is the new wave of activism.  It is taking our power back moment by moment!

Ways you can raise your consciousness and take your power back moment by moment is participating or engaging  in learning opportunities like these:

Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Movement Education

Recent Comment:  Thank you for the amazing session which helped me to better understand the pain and anxiety issues I’ve been dealing with. Very insightful experience. I felt way more relaxed Friday evening and I’m monitoring myself to help ensure I’m releasing tension and breathing properly. Am impressed by it and by your skills. D

Transitioning from Language of Conflict into Language of Connection (based on Nonviolent Communication)

Recent Comment:  I love your cogent analysis of emotions = energy + story. So, emotions – story = energy freed. Yeh! thx, pat zzz
Recent Comment: Thanks very much for your wonderful classes and the way you teach us. I really appreciate that you have given the class a bit of extra time at the end to allow everyone to have their turn. I look forward to truly learning this technique of communicating and experiencing richer relations with people. R
Lifescapes (Landscapes)


Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Jaw Release Program since 2007, Authored  Achieving your Goals  31 Day Program, Sleep Sweet Sleep, Kid’s Peace Bus Calendar of Values  Educational Program & InTouch with Your Values Self-Actualization Program.  Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Labyrinths of Victoria since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Grassroots Calendar Founder, Vice-Chair of World Children

Body Balance: Inverted Foot

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Observing and exploring  an inverted foot posture I was told that due to a medical condition as a child the tendons in some of the toes had been cut.  With no opinions and continuing to investigate what movement was available, without any one particular focus, the lesson ended with new joint movement in the ankle.  There was also more contact between the foot and the floor  with less inversion.

Upon return for the following lesson the foot presented itself without being inverted!  The curling in was not present.

Renee’s notes:  When viewing the inverted foot the image of a baby who has not put any weight on their feet yet or developed their limb, ankle and foot muscles is what came to mind.  Exploring it from this perspective created a curiosity that led the lesson.

Recommendation:  Explore the facts with a curiosity and forget the labels!

©by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP, May, 2014
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement since 2000
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The Feldenkrais Method

The Feldenkrais Method®  is a form of experiential education that improves daily actions and human functioning.  The Method uses gentle movement and directed attention to create personal change, through group classes (Awareness through Movement® ), or individual sessions (Functional Integration® ).  The Feldenkrais Method is based on principles of human development.  the Method is named for its originator, Moshe Feldenkrais, DSc (1904-1984), a Ukrainian-born physicist, judo expert, mechanical engineer, and educator.

The Process of Functional Integration® by Ralph Strauch, Ph.D.

“How can something so gentle be so powerful?”
“You hardly did anything; how could that cause the
changes that I feel?”
I’m often asked questions like these at the end of
someone’s initial Feldenkrais Functional Integration
session. The work seems so gentle, so non-intrusive, that
people often find its effectiveness surprising. As you
come to understand the Method, however, the reasons
for its effectiveness become more understandable.
In a typical Functional Integration session you lie
fully clothed on a low table (similar to a massage table
but lower and wider) while the practitioner touches and
moves you in gentle, non–invasive ways. The intent of
this touch is to explore your neuromuscular
organization — your subconscious responses to touch
and movement — and to have a tactile, nonverbal
conversation with your central nervous system about
how you organize your body and your movement.
The process is akin to biofeedback, though more
subtle and complex. In conventional biofeedback you
are “hooked up” to a sensor measuring some aspect of
your physiology that you are normally unaware of,
such as the tension in a group of muscle fibers or the
temperature of your fingertip. The biofeedback machine
transforms this measurement into something you can see
or hear — lighting a light or sounding a tone when the
muscle fibers relax, or when your skin temperature rises.
Without knowing exactly how you do it, you can learn
to keep the light lit, or the tone on, thus consciously
controlling what are normally unconscious processes. In
this way you can learn to relax habitually tight muscles,
or to increase peripheral blood circulation by warming
your fingertip.
In Functional Integration the practitioner is the
biofeedback instrument — sensing and providing
feedback (through touch) about internal processes more
complex than those addressed by conventional
biofeedback.  Read more – article