Feldenkrais and changing neural networks

The Feldenkrais Method is based on our current understanding of the processes involved in learning movement skills. It is a systematic approach to improving human movement and general functioning. Feldenkrais depends on our brain's ability to change rapidly, a process called neuroplasticity. It's basic premise is man's ability to learn and access a myriad of software programs for each and every action a human performs.

It would make sense that a system existed to upgrade brain hardware to keep up with these new software options. And there is. Scientists at Duke have found a new type of neuron in the adult brain that is capable of telling stem cells to make more new neurons. Though the experiments are in their early stages, the findings open the amazing possibility that the brain may repair and upgrade itself from within (retrieved 6/4/14 from Neuron Tells Stem Cells to Grow New Neurons.)

This research explains the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the Feldenkrais Method. It will be exciting to see what research comes next to validate this form of physical improvement.

 

Feldenkrais, Neuroplasticity and New Discoveries in Chronic Pain

More than 100 million Americans experience chronic pain. And although that’s more than the number of Americans who suffer from heart disease, cancer, or diabetes combined, chronic pain often goes untreated. Chronic pain is distinguished from acute pain in that it lasts for much longer than normally expected, usually over three to six months. 
Until now, the common misconception about pain is that it’s connected to tissue injury. Most people think that unless something’s broken, or torn, or herniated, that you’re not going to have persistent pain. In other words, some sort of damage that you can see or image should exist. We now know that this is not the case. Chronic pain is caused by changes in the brain and the spinal cord and the nerves that go through tissues. Because you can’t tell by looking at someone how much pain they’re in, and people assume that you can, patients with chronic pain face a lot of challenges (from New Discoveries in Chronic Pain Research, retrieved 11/1/13). 
Feldenkrais uses our nervous system's capacity for self-organizing and self-regulating to improve the quality of our actions, a process called neuroplasticity. Improving movement quality allows the body to function more efficiently. This efficiency creates environments for chronic pain to heal, and opportunities for athletes and others to excel. 
Having chronic pain? Don’t let it ruin your quality of life! Allow me to show you how the Feldenkrais Method can work for you. Please call 760-436-2403 for your free phone consultation.

Feldenkrais for the relief of sciatic pain

In spite of the impressive number of treatment options available, most approaches to back pain often prove less than satisfying and the relief is usually not permanent.

Sciatica represents a degenerative process in the discs of the low back. Each vertebra is cushioned above and below by an intervertebral disc. Discs can degenerate and bulge. The bulging disc places pressure on nearby spinal nerves, and is felt as pain in the back, buttock, thigh, leg, or foot.

The Feldenkrais process creates an environment for herniated discs to heal. It produces a lengthening of the spine through the selective relaxation of back, abdomen and diaphragm musculature. Feldenkrais also organizes the spine for movement by integrating spinal movements with the head, shoulders, pelvis, and hips. Finally, the back understands the work asked from it, and degenerative discs can heal.

See what Feldenkrais can do for your sciatic pain. Call me for a free phone consultation at 760-436-2403.

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

Knee surgery for torn cartilage not effective for knee pain relief

Two separate studies published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine have shown that knee surgery works no better than sham surgery for a torn meniscus. And while physical therapy was offered as an alternative to surgery, I believe the Feldenkrais Method has a greater potential to relieve knee pain and restore knee function than traditional knee rehabilitation methods. Feldenkrais works faster, and is a painless way to achieve knee pain relief. Call the Feldenkrais Center for your free phone consultation: 760-436-2403.

References:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa013259

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1305189

 

Scientific Evidence: You really are what you think!

Cogito ergo sum: I think therefore I am. René Descartes

And research now shows that what you think actually creates who you are by determining the expression of your genes. And not just whether you think positively or negatively, but what you mindfully attend to translates into the actual form and function of our bodies.

A recent study investigated the effects of 8 hours of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced practitioners, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. Results showed a range of genetic and molecular differences between groups, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from stressful situations. This happened in just one day of practice.

Mindfulness-based trainings have shown beneficial effects on inflammatory disorders in prior clinical studies, and are endorsed by the American Heart Association as a preventative intervention. These results provide a possible biological mechanism for the therapeutic effects of mindfulness practices, including a possible biological mechanism for the effects of regular Feldenkrais practice.

In press: Kaliman, P., Álvarez-López, M. J., Cosín-Tomás, M., Rosenkranz, M. A., Lutz, A., & Davidson, R. J. (2014). Rapid changes in histone deacetylases and inflammatory gene expression in expert meditators. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 40, 96–107.

Retrieved from http://www.tunedbody.com/scientists-finally-show-thoughts-can-cause-specific-molecular-changes-genes/# on December 30, 2013

What exactly does a Feldenkrais Practitioner do that is so special and different?

Many have tried to describe Feldenkrais to their friends and family with marginal results. So here is what I say to answer this question:

"I am a Medical Doctor trained to design innovative, pain-free and effective movement programs to achieve rapid and permanent relief of various pain and disability syndromes."

I am essentially a somatic engineer that sees and teaches the future of physical therapy!

Call me for a free phone consultation : 760-436-2403 and we can talk specifically about how all this relates to you.

Back pain and sciatica relief for people over 40: Five Feldenkrais tips everyone should know

If you have lower back pain with or without sciatica you’re not alone. Millions suffer from low back pain and leg pain every day. Given the vast array of treatment choices, how does one decide on a course of back pain relief? The following 5 tips based on the Feldenkrais Method for relieving back pain and sciatica may help:

  • Back pain is not prevented by strengthening of the muscles of the back
  • The stability of the back rather than the strength of the back prevents back pain
  • Therapy for stability is quite different from strength training
  • The stability of the back depends on a properly functioning spinal core
  • A properly functioning spinal core has vertebrae that relate functionally to each other

Functional relationships differ immensely from structural relationships. Structural relationships can be seen on an x-ray and MRI, and are often used to justify back pain diagnoses and treatment plans. Functional relationships on the other hand can be seen with the naked eye. Can you turn as easily to your left as you turn to the right? Does one direction create back pain, while the other direction feels more comfortable? Can you easily bend forward to put on your shoes, get up from a chair, and get into and out of the car without pain? Can you sleep restfully?

Sciatica and back pain relief result from improving functional relationships within the spine, and optimizing the function of the spine as it relates to the rest of the body. How is this accomplished? Each and every Feldenkrais lesson, of which there are thousands, addresses the functional relationships of the spinal core while teaching you to reach, roll over, and sit without pain. Feldenkrais Method lessons create environments within which the body can begin to heal itself by bringing the function back. Function which may have been lost for years by overuse, injury or misuse. Function which will return in a matter of weeks. Let Feldenkrais help you live more comfortably, out of pain.

Chronic headache relief overnight using Feldenkrais

A 23-year old male student with a history of headaches had been suffering from a horrible headache for almost three weeks.  He had not injured himself at play or at work, and the only thing that definitely made it worse was sitting for too long. He had no other symptoms except a stiff lower back. I treated this young man with a single Feldenkrais lesson. On awakening the next morning, his headache was gone, and had still not returned after 2 weeks. This is just one of many stories that could be about you! Call me for a free phone consultation: 760-436-2403. And read more about Feldenkrais and headaches by clicking here.

Could you have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Have you injured a toe or a finger, just to have your whole extremity flare up in pain? Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition affecting one of the limbs (arms, legs, hands, or feet), almost always after an injury or trauma to that limb.  CRPS is believed to be caused by damage to the nervous system, and is defined by prolonged or excessive pain, and changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in the affected area.

Currently there is no single medical test to confirm CRPS. Its diagnosis is based on your medical history, signs and symptoms. No one treatment for CRPS has gained popularity, although physical rehabilitation is recommended.

The Feldenkrais Method is a modern approach to CRPS pain relief without drugs, surgery, or injection. I have treated dozens of people with this problem and had excellent results. Sick of your chronic regional pain? Consider the Feldenkrais Method to treat your CRPS comfortably and easily.