The Feldenkrais Method
with Ralph Strauch

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Selected Article Reprints

This page contains abstracts of some of my articles related to the Feldenkrais Method® and to various aspects of self-awareness and the bodymind system. These articles may be downloaded in Adobe Acrobat portable document format (pdf).

"The Somatic Dimensions of Emotional Healing" [12pp illus.]
We have a contemporary myth that body and mind are separate, but the bodymind is really an integrated system. This 10,000 word illustrated article explores the way that system experiences emotion as both a somatic and a psychological process. It examines the effects of emotional trauma on the bodymind, and looks at how that trauma can be healed somatically as well as psychologically. A printed version of this article may be purchased for $3.
"An overview of the Feldenkrais Method" [4pp]
The Feldenkrais Method is a way of learning -- learning to move more freely and easily, to carry less stress in your body, to stop doing the things that cause you pain. This article explains the philosophy behind the Method, its history, and tells you when you should consider it and how to get the most from your Feldenkrais experience.
Epistemology and the Feldenkrais Method [6pp]
Research takes place within a paradigm, which rests, in turn, on an epistemology, or theory of knowledge. Good research paradigms for the Feldenkrais Method do not exist, in part because conventional scientific epistemology does not adequately represent forms of knowledge important to the Method. This article discusses this inadequacy and explores one possible approach to developing a non- conventional epistemology to address it.
"Musings on Awareness" [7pp]
William Shakespeare observed that "all the world's a stage." Within that metaphor awareness can be seen as how we light that stage. Narrowly focused spotlights seem to work in some situations, but we are generally better off with broader more diffuse lighting that lets us see more of the world around (and within) us. The effectiveness of the Feldenkrais Method in enhancing awareness can be increased when practitioners pay greater attention to that aspect of their work.
"The Process of Functional Integration" [1p]
Clients who experience Feldenkrais Functional Integration are often surprised that such a gentle and non-intrusive intervention can so effective. This article explains that effectiveness in terms of learning resulting from the feedback provided by the practitioner to the client.
"Emotional stress and body organization" [1p]
Feeling states and body organization are intimately intertwined. Your body is a sense organ for feeling the same as your eyes are for vision. Emotional stress and trauma shut down the processing of experience with stress and tension in the body. The use of Functional Integration to reduce that stress is discussed.
"A Crisis in Perception" [2pp]
We are faced with an interlocking array of crises affecting us as individuals, a larger society, and a species. Underlying all these crises is an unrecognized "crisis in perception," resulting from the narrow perceptual focus that both shapes and is shaped by contemporary society. This article explores the nature of that perceptual narrowing, and how it contributes to the other crises that fill our lives.
"Connecting with the Earth" [2pp]
Our ancestors moved freely across natural terrain, in a continuing intimate relationship with the Earth beneath their feet. Today, that close and intimate contact with the Earth is gone, and with it, much of our natural grace and agility. This article explores what happened to us and how we can reverse that process and regain our ground, psychologically and spiritually as well as physically.
"T'ai Chi and the Feldenkrais Method" [4pp]
Though based on very different explanatory models (energetic for T'ai Chi and neurological learning for Feldenkrais), T'ai Chi and the Feldenkrais Method have much in common. Both use gentle, repetitive, attentive movement to enhance self-awareness and improve self-understanding, resulting in healthier, more fluid, and more efficient functioning.
"Training the Whole Person" [3pp]
Training often involves breaking the activity being trained down into logically distinct pieces and training each individually. This article discusses an alternative approach which uses increasingly complex approximations to the activity being trained, each involving the student as a full human being. Tennis instruction and the Feldenkrais Method are discussed as examples.
"Tigers and Tunnel Vision" [2pp]
When a tiger steps on the path in front of you, your perceptual focus narrows, as part of your body's automatic "flight/fight" to threats. This is an appropriate and effective response to the tiger. In contemporary urban society it has become maladaptive, however, and it contributes to personal and social ills ranging from bad backs to environmental pollution.
"Do Dolphins Think without Language?" [2pp]
Dolphins and whales communicate using complex patterns of sound -- the same modality through which they perceive and understand their surroundings. This allows direct communication of experience from one to another -- something we could achieve only through telepathy, if at all. This article explores the dolphins' perception through echolocation and the communications possibilities it offers.
"Good Posture Flows from Self-awareness" [1p]
Good posture involves a fluid balance and lack of effort, and should grow organically out of our innate sense of ourselves as we move through and function in the world. The key to improving posture lies not in effortful adherence to an external ideal, but in the ease and balance that flow from increasing self-awareness.
"Introduction to Low-Stress Computing " [14pp illus.]
This document contains the introductory chapter and table of contents from the preliminary version of my book Low-Stress Computing: Using awareness to avoid RSI. The introduction lays out the basic conceptual framework on which Low-Stress Computing is based and outlines the content of the remainder of the book. The preliminary version may be purchased for $11.95.

Rand Corporation Reports and Papers

Before I became a Feldenkrais Teacher I was a Senior Mathematician for the Rand Corporation, where I worked on a variety of problems related to defense policy and decisionmaking.

My research at Rand included critiques of the methodology then used in systems analysis, and exploration of the processes by which organizations perceive the world around them and the act in accordance with those perceptions. Two of those critiques are available below. That work formed the intellectual foundations for what later became my book The Reality Illusion, and for my ongoing interests in the nature of perception and reality. Abstracts of some of my other writings at Rand can be found in Rand's publications listings.

"Risk Assessment as a Subjective Process" [14pp illus.]
Most extant approaches to risk assessment stress methodological and procedural solutions to the problem, in part because method and procedure are viewed as bulwarks against the fallibilities and limitations of human judgment. This paper examines the other side of that coin, the use of judgment and intuition as bulwarks against the fallibilities and limitations of formal methodology. Those limitations are described, and capabilities which judgment and intuition provide to compensate for them discussed. The paper calls for a greater synthesis of judgment and methodology, in which they aid and support each other instead of competing.
"'Squishy' Problems and Quantitative Methods" [10pp illus.]
The edited text of a talk on potential hazards in the application of quantitative methods to "squishy" problems without well-defined structure, of the type frequently encountered in government policy and decisionmaking. Squishy problems are defined, and a three-level conceptual model of analysis which displays the relative roles of logical inference and qualitative human judgment is described. Two ways in which people use models of all types, as a surrogate for the substantive problem (e.g., Newtonian mechanics as a surrogate for "real" mechanics), and as a perspective on the problem (e.g., two-dimensional perspective drawing) are described and contrasted, and some of the implications of the difference for the analysis of squishy problems are discussed.

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