Lots of excitement these days among Feldenkrais students and practitioners: a new mainstream neuroscience book by a respected physician and professor devotes two of its eight chapters to Moshe Feldenkrais and the Feldenkrais Method. I’d like to introduce it to you as “required reading” for Feldenkrais students and anyone curious about the method. Here’s a collection of ways to learn all about the book.
Salon.com has excerpted a portion of one of the chapters and you can read it right here!: “She will dance at her wedding”: Healing the girl born without part of her brain. The origin of Moshe Feldenkrais’ therapeutic method reads more like a spy thriller than a neuroscience textbook.
This book, Dr. Norman Doidge’s The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity, is a brand new New York Times bestseller and the #1 book on the Amazon.com neuroscience list, following up on his excellent book The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science.
Here’s a description and some book review excepts put together by The Feldenkrais Guild of North America. And Ilona Fried, a colleague of mine, has written up an excellent book review of sorts with some responses and descriptions.
And here’s an interview with Doidge on the Brain Science Podcast, in which he summarizes research and thinking behind the book and speaks quite a bit about Moshe Feldenkrais. The whole interview is worth it. The section about Moshe starts at around 35 minutes.
The excerpted chapter contains the best description of The Feldenkrais Method that I’ve found available in one place. In the Salon.com excerpt you can read all about the man, the history of the method, and a wonderful story of its application. Unfortunately Doidge’s list and discussion of the principles of The Feldenkrais Method didn’t make it into the Salon.com excerpt.
I had a chance to present the Feldenkrais Method to a class at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing last week. In an effort to learn, teach, and promote this excellent new book, I created this list of Doidge’s eleven core principles as a study guide for understanding the Feldenkrais Method. After exploring a brief Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lesson together, I handed it out to the class as a basis of discussion about our learning through movement moments before. This experiential then intellectual study proved to be a very effective way to introduce and contextualize the Feldenkrais (meaning neuroplastic) learning process.
The discussion that follows each of Doidge’s core principle headings in The Brain’s Way of Healing includes accessible explanations, quotations from Moshe Feldenkrais’ books and resonances with his biography and extensive study in many fields, and context from contemporary neuroscience.
These chapters and the whole book are an excellent resource for anyone interested in Feldenkrais or mind-body based wellness. If you’re not familiar with Feldenkrais it’s a great place to start, and if you are, please help our growing community spread the word by recommending this book to your friends and family!