re-calibrate the trajectory of movement
As soon as one hour of Feldenkrais concludes,
Overflowing with to-dos,
Another session is upon us,
Equally brimming with more variations,
And techniques to engage Isaac’s body,
In hope of awakening a greater awareness,
A greater function.
All to reduce the amount of effort he uses,
And so while we work on his body finding harmony,
To work as one,
Equally do we separate the movements,
To isolate them to body parts responsible,
To perform it optimally,
Without the added body squeeze,
He’s so characteristically prone to.
Unnecessarily bringing in a range of excess doing,
Which he associates with trying,
Yet brings about less success,
And a misunderstanding within his entire nervous system.
We almost need him to try less,
To achieve more.
We have over the years quietened his system right down,
But with growth,
Or the acquisition of other skills including verbal,
We see the loss of some gains.
And the effort engulfs him once more.
Whether it be trying to use his arms,
But tensing his chest,
As he tries to reach,
Making it virtually impossible to find any length as his shoulder becomes locked in place,
Which requires us to show him how to separate his shoulders form his chest,
In order to freely reach out,
And just how effortless it is possible to be.
Or sitting on a stool,
And letting his weight come forward,
Through his pelvis,
With arms disengaged on his lap,
So he doesn’t need to use his entire back muscles,
To hold himself up-right,
And for it to become a place of rest,
And what becomes more apparent,
And absolutely imperative,
Is taking away the battle of the body doing the opposite action,
To that which he is intending to do –
Pulling backwards from every part of him when he’s trying to come up to stand,
Which is a forward action,
A momentum starting from the top of the head.
Reaching to grab a toy,
While pulling the elbow and shoulder back behind him,
Despite his goal of picking up the item from in front of him.
Or when he tries to find words to send outwards in speech,
Yet have them become stuck in his throat,
Because his head is tilted back,
His chin skyward,
Jaw dropping to a wide open mouth,
Making the formation and execution of voice near impossible.
The acted of stamping his feet,
See’s his legs go forward from the hip flexor,
Instead of downwards,
Through the lower limbs.
Or simply lying over the Swiss ball,
Where his head insists on darting stiffly upwards,
Instead of resting down with gravity,
To place a cheek or forehead,
On the soft cushion surface.
All which are easier on the system,
Although far from instinctual due to his brain injury,
Many completely foreign,
And yet to be experienced.
It’s as if we need to re-calibrate the trajectory of movement,
To help reduce the amount of effort used,
The action to become possible,
And to pave the way for further progressions in his function.
Not an easy feat.
But one Feldenkrais therapy has the most hope in achieving.
Purely because it recogonises what’s happening.
And so we keep on keeping on.