Why Would a Medical Doctor Get into the Feldenkrais Method?

Lori Malkoff, MD surfing in the annual Stone Steps contest finals 2013

Lori Malkoff, MD surfing in the annual Stone Steps contest finals 2013

I am often asked, "Why would a Medical Doctor get into the Feldenkrais Method?" Great question!!

It all started in 1993 on a surfboard. I was doing a drop knee cut back on a longer board, and I felt a pop in my left knee. My knee swelled up and hurt for a few weeks, but seemingly healed. That is unless I tried to do anything fun: run with the dog, play golf, basketball, SURF! In which case my knee would swell up and hurt all over again. I tried everything to make my knee better: physical therapy, massage, energy healing, rolfing, yoga, acupuncture, Pilates and finally SURGERY for a torn medial meniscus. Yes, I finally caved and let the surgeon in. That was desperate, and useless! Nothing helped the pain in my knee that I still had even one year after surgery. Nothing until I found a Feldenkrais Practitioner three miles from my Encinitas home, Dr. Mark Reese (RIP). Yes, I am a lucky girl!!  Not only did Mark Reese, PhD live close, he happened to be one of the best Feldenkrais Practitioners in the US. The Feldenkrais Method not only made all the pain in my knee go away, I felt better, younger and more vibrant! I was so amazed, that after several treatments, I decided to become a practitioner in 1995. I was going to be 4 years older anyway, I might as well be 4 years smarter with a certification and new level of expertise!! I loved my Feldenkrais Training with Mark, and I am proud to have graduated from his teacher training program in 1998.

In 1999, I hit a rock on my skateboard while simply cruising down my street. My left foot, the foot on the skateboard as I was pushing myself along with my right foot, came to a full stop, while my left femur (thigh bone) continued forward. Ouch, @#$&^, that hurt. I just knew I had really hurt myself. This time my knee swelled up immediately. Within one hour it was quite huge, and the pain was severe. I went to my doctor the next day, was examined (large + drawer sign) and immediately got an MRI. My ACL was completely severed, and the medial AND lateral menisci were torn. Wow, I had "blown it out"!  My primary care doctor offered me an orthopedic consult and physical therapy. But instead of conventional care, this time I used the Feldenkrais Method exclusively to heal my knee pain. After several table lessons and an immersion in Awareness through Movement lessons, two weeks later I was walking well and able to gently bike on level ground. Five weeks post injury, I was surfing. Yep, and without pain or fear of instability.

My last MRI was in 2010 after a minor skiing incident. The MRI showed that all the injuries I sustained during my skateboard accident were still present and accounted for. In fact, my MRI so confounds my surgeon given my age, activity level, and observable images of injuries, that "colorful" is the only word that comes out his mouth when he reviews it. But no new changes this time; yea!

Now it is 2017, many years post-injury. My knee remains functional and pain free!!  I still surf, play golf, and play just about anything I want. No, I do not jog. Why? Because it hurts: my body doesn't like it, so I just don't use jogging for my aerobic activity!! I do other things. My standing knee x-rays continue to show an excellent, well-preserved joint space, with a few arthritic changes.  And that's why I got into Feldenkrais...it is the most empowering decision I have ever made.

What to do if you injure yourself in Encinitas, California

Encinitas is a beautiful place. And a wonderful place to live and work. I know all of us who live here are grateful every day for the richness and diversity of things to do and places to go in the 92024. From the La Paloma theater to Queen Eileen’s, and from enjoying some golf at Encinitas Ranch to hanging out at Dog Park, Encinitas has endless opportunities for enjoyment. It also has some interesting architecture, a myriad of neighborhood design concepts, a world class library, the Self Realization Fellowship, the San Diego Botanical Gardens, and our magnificent beaches.

Runners, swimmers, and cycling enthusiasts flock to our perfect weather and endless variety of workout venues: beaches, pools, stairs, streets, trails, parks and gyms abound for both recreational and professional athletes alike.  And eateries are everywhere, healthy and otherwise. But mostly healthy!

So you live here, work here or are visiting Encinitas, and unfortunately you hurt yourself. If you are in a great deal of pain, if it is really an emergency, please visit Scripps Encinitas Hospital. If you have a sprain, strain, backache, neck pain or other non-emergency problem, then you have choices. Start with your primary care physician. They are a great choice to evaluate you as they already know you and your history.  If you do not have a primary care doctor there are many of them to choose from depending on your insurance situation. Try a resource like Encinitas Pain Resources to choose a primary care doctor or specialist. If you’ve seen a doctor and they have recommended some type of physical therapy to help you relieve your pain, your choices are endless. Because this is Encinitas, alternative therapies are huge and growing in popularity every day. We have chiropractic and acupuncture, massage and wheat grass shots. But maybe you’re looking for something else?

Encinitas also has the only Medical Doctor in Southern California certified by the Feldenkrais Guild of North America to practice the Feldenkrais Method, Lori L. Malkoff, MD, MPH. If you have been looking for an effective alternative pain treatment and pain relief center, the Feldenkrais Center of San Diego, located in Encinitas, may be a great choice. The Feldenkrais Method is a modern approach to acute and chronic pain relief without drugs, surgery, or injection. The results can be remarkable. Feldenkrais uses a series of lessons and gentle manipulations tailored to the individual. This process “reorganizes” the way the parts of your body work together to enable free and easy movement without pain.

Once you’re back on your feet, you can continue to explore the endless opportunities for fun that is Encinitas, California: one of the most beautiful places in the world! 

Source: http://www.thefeldenkraiscenter.com