Functional Integration: an exploration

A woman in her late sixties, acute pain in the left shoulder area, right handed.

Supine at the start with her legs bent.

I started trying to feel the level of freedom in the head rotation, the head is held in place strongly.  I reduce the movement to a tiny suggestion. the reaction is non uniform,  sometimes the movement is exaggerated, sometime is resisted.  I notice a variation in the breathing but intermittently intentional movements and change of position.

Mostly left arm and hand, but also right arms, legs with the feet resting only partially on the mat.  The head relaxes slightly and the breath changes, becoming more abdominal. Both shoulders are lift from the mat, I start to feel the right shoulder blade and to exaggerate the lift and to perform small simple movements of the shoulder blade away and nearer the column and toward the head and the feet, I start to feel the weight of the shoulder in my hand and a reduction of the muscular tension, but as soon as I reduce the lift, the muscles contract again.  Slight push travels to the feet with some dampening, all the muscular system  seems overexcited with excessive tension in the whole body. Keep working on the right side, exploring the arm movement and relation with shoulder blade, rib cage.  Again difficulty to quieten the system, I have troubles getting the weight of the arm, If I let it go it is kept, if I try to move I experience an oscillatory behaviour from continuing the movement or resisting it.  I reduce amplitude and speed and things slightly improve, try to have her to resist more and reduce the resistance progressively but again it does not help much.  I decide to try to feel the  lower body, staying on the right side, there is a good flexibility in the right ankle in terms of lateral movements,  the region near the Achilles tendon is contracted and there is little room for movement of the foot, now I understand the issue with the feet not touching the mat properly with the knees bent.  I work around the sole to elicit the gravity reflex.  There is not much change in the muscular tone, maybe I need to be more patient next time.  I move the foot using the lower leg muscles and feel the tonus, try the push pull, dampening still there but improved transmission. I check the hip joint flexibility and it seems quite good, better on the left that on the right, but much less jerky movements and holding on.

Turning on the side, moving like a rolling pin gives a good response, free of jerky responses and the same applies to exploratory movements to verify the ribs mobility.  I think that maybe it is enough as it seems to me that this newly found response is already beneficial, I decide  to stop the lesson at this stage, hopefully it is a better place.

Standing she is not aware of subtle changes that I can notice mostly in the position of the head now less forward.



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I am a condensed matter physicist and a beamline scientist. I am fascinated by recent developments in neurosciences. I practised the Feldenkrais method for more than fifteen years and I think that he developed an unsurpassed practical understanding of organic learning processes. A blog is the perfect way to share my thoughts and learn from others.

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