As a Feldenkrais practitioner or fan you have direct experiential knowledge (I hope) of how human beings grow and learn through novelty and new experience. You know that the brain changes, regenerates and grows new connections. You have experienced it first hand and so have many of your clients and friends. We are living in an era in which more and more scientific research is being published that shows how the brain and nervous system changes through experience.
Feldenkrais Died Without Seeing It...
I find it a little hard to imagine right now, but when Moshe died in 1984, there was no published research that showed that the brain of an adult could change. In fact, when I first returned to college in the mid 1990's most scientists STILL believed the mature brain could not grow new brain cells nor regenerate connections and damaged functions. Incredible, isn't it? They believed that the brain had to remain relatively fixed or stable in order to maintain long-term memories and skills. It is an vastly different world that we live in today. We can now have conversations about neurogenesis and brain change without seeming like lunatics.
Brains Science For The Skeptical Practitioner
Now as you may know through my writings, I have been (and remain) highly-skeptical of Feldenkrais practitioners who look to the brains sciences as a "savior" for the Feldenkrais Method and for individual's practices. Brain science isn't going to save us. People very often come to the Feldenkrais Method as a "therapy" of last resort. They come because they are desperate to believe they can be helped by the work or by YOU or because everything else has failed them. They are most certainly not reading brain science journals and then making an appointment to do a session with you. That being said, there are practical reasons to stay up on, and to use, brain science research in our lives and practices... not the least of which is being able to deepen our understanding of the role of the brain and nervous system in our work, and being able to interact intelligently with clients and primary care providers when they have questions about the work. Health professionals and the public are getting more knowledgable about this topic, we need to keep up with them.
That is why over the last several years, I have been promoting the events of my friend and colleague Dr. Ruth Buczynski. Ruth has deeply focused her mind on the brain sciences and how to use research findings for the betterment of one's self and clients. She and her team at NICABM have designed a program to show you how the latest brain science can help you turbocharge your results and help make changes that last.
Their free webinar series on the New Brain Science - can help your transform your life and your practice. You can actually watch each webinar for free if you sign-up ahead of time and watch at the time of broadcast. Later, if you decide to, you can purchase audio and video downloads as well as transcripts for a very reasonable price. And those of you who need continuing education credits and such can get them as well. This Brain Science series is one of about 5 online events that I attend EVERY year. It gives me a way to stay up-to-date with the research base and further develop my skills without spending a ton of money to travel to the U.S. and attend live conferences and workshops (though I love going to live events too sometimes).
By the way, when I wrote above that Ruth is a friend and a colleague, I meant it. Ruth has been very generous to me with her time and knowledge and has been very helpful for me and my various pursuits. When you see me reaching out to new people with Feldenkrais products over the coming month, you will see me doing so with strategies that she has helped me develop. And ditto for Bill O'Hanlon whose book writing course you saw me promote a few days ago. As that great philosopher once said, "I get by with a little help from my friends.
Ryan C. Nagy, MA
Writing from the Italian Coffee Company, Centro, Mérida, Mexico.
PS NICABM's programs are highly practical - they're designed to give you concrete applications you can use right away, some in as little as five minutes. Take a moment, to click here to find out more.
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