Feldenkrais and Compulsion – Not Just a ‘Physical’ Method

I gave a couple of FI (Functional Integration) lessons to a pro basketball player last week His knees have been bothering him, a couple of injuries and one operation. In the lessons I found the usual tension in the shoulders and hip joints that was the underlying cause of the knee injury, but as I worked he kept talking to me, almost stream of consciousness, about some drama with his girlfriend that was very complex and fraught with intense emotions and conflicts.

At one point in the second lesson he said, “What about compulsiveness? I feel the whole experience with this girl like some sort of compulsion. But interestingly enough, after yesterday’s lesson I didn’t think about her at all for the whole afternoon. That was very unusual and a little remarkable.”

I explained to him how every thought has a muscular c0mponent, and how the state of the muscles has an effect on thoughts – they are intermingled, linked inextricably. So when his brain picked up on the signals I was sending and brought his overall state of muscle tonus into greater equilibrium, his thoughts also let go their ‘habitual chronic contractions.’ That’s why he was calmer and less caught up in the drama. He was more in himself, more in the here and now.

I was glad he shared that experience with me – it  shows that although Feldenkrais appears to deal solely with physical organization, it’s actually more global than that…


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