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May 16, 2017

“On Health” by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais

“On Health and Dreams”, Feldenkrais always had unique ways of looking at life. Like a Zen master, he had the capacity to radically shake up one’s modes of perception. Take health for instance. While most people were looking at health through the lens of diet, blood pressure, exercise, cholesterol and other accepted measures, he saw through completely different eyes. After completion of the San Francisco training program in 1977, Feldenkrais offered an advanced training in the form of a practicum in which the practitioners gave lessons to a great variety of people under his watchful gaze. Among the people receiving lessons were dancers, athletes, yogi’s, along with people dealing with a great variety of physical challenges.

After observing many interviews and individual sessions, Feldenkrais asked the group of teachers “who was the healthiest visitor we saw today?” Following various answers, he said: “you are all wrong, it was that man with the big hunchback, the extreme scoliosis and the limp”. We were all shocked and confused. He continued, “did you see the light in his eyes when he told us about his life? Did you notice the love and care that he shared with his wife and children? Remember when he said he was the principal of a school and loved his job helping the students and teachers? This was his dream growing up. Also, how he devoted time to listening to the classical music that he loved and going to the San Francisco Symphony with his family? Here is a man living his dreams.”

From this and other comments by Moshe I learned, from his point of view, one of the greatest measures of a person’s health is whether they are still in touch with their dreams. Those dreams they had before the practical issues of life became dominant, their desire to paint, write poetry, travel, sing, to know the spiritual world or sail around the world. Often the dream includes sharing a unique aspect of ourselves with the world. Living in a way that includes your dreams does not require abandoning your responsibilities. It is listening to that quiet, often young, middle of the night voice that is asking for more in life, perhaps some creative expression that has been ignored. When the demands of our social roles become so dominant that our soul-life withers, we feel false to ourselves. This “wrong” feeling is actually a good thing because it can motivate us to locate that gift that wants to be shared. Unless we are sharing our gift, we will feel a nagging sense of incompleteness.”

(as told by Russell Dellman, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and Trainer.)

I believe Moshe’s message was one of Authenticity and Realness. He spoke of stripping away the conditioned layers that society, family and educators impose upon us to conform to the norms of society.

I have tried very hard to live my “dreams” by being congruent with what I’m thinking, feeling and sensing – inside and out. I’ve been empowered by practicing the Feldenkrais Method and finding truth within other somatic therapies, including Medical Orgonomy and Biodynamic CranioSacral Therapy.

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