Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Feldenkrais® for the Holidays

Dear friend!

A big holiday greetings to you!

Here it is.  ...  Here we are!  ...  Our soon encroaching holiday season!  This special time of year brings us all wonderful festivities, gatherings, and opportunities to reunite with our beloved families-at-large, as well as dear friends.  However, with all the rustle-and-bustle of the holiday event/party season can sometimes also bring about overwhelm and stress.  As a Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner, that’s where I come in.

As an Injury Rehab Therapist, the people that enjoy seeing me are those interested in the wonderful Neuromuscular Rehabilitation benefits of Feldenkrais® for their acute and chronic pain in the neck, back, shoulder, wrist, knee and hip.

In addition, many people also enjoy seeing me in order to "De-stress".  That is, they look forward to their own established private, quality time, that they have decided to dedicate to themselves, for my soothing Feldenkrais® sessions in order to relax, rejuvenate and feel great all over ... especially now, during the hectic holidays.

Regarding the benefits of receiving Feldenkrais® for alleviating stress, I often enjoy sharing with new clients the following two, Peer-Reviewed, articles.:
1.   Malmgren-Olsson E. Armelius B. Armelius K. A comparative outcome study of body awareness therapy, Feldenkrais , and conventional physiotherapy for patients with nonspecific musculoskeletal disorders: changes in psychological symptoms, pain, and self-image. [Journal Article: Research, Tables/Charts] Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2001 Jun; 17(2): 77-95. (55 ref). Peer Reviewed.


2.   Johnson SK, Frederick J, Kaufman M, Mountjoy B. A controlled investigation of bodywork in multiple sclerosis. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 5(3): 237-43, 1999. Results show lower perceived stress after Feldenkrais sessions compared to a sham intervention control group. Peer Reviewed.

I also have Sunday appointment times available!  Let my hands relieve and refresh you on your precious day off.

Please feel free to contact me to schedule a Feldenkrais session at tel. 310-395-1952.

Holiday Gift Certificates available!

The best of holidays to all!


James
Guan Yin Acupuncture & Feldenkrais® Center
Dr. Lin Cheng Speer, LAc, OMD, PhD
James Speer, Injury Rehab Therapist
Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner®
1003 Wilshire Blvd. Suites #203, #208
Santa Monica, CA 90401
tel. 310-395-1952
www.drlinspeer.com www.feldenkraisjamesspeer.com
"Health Is All that Matters!"

To see what I do as a Feldenkrais Practitioner, go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtNi-ilCJ30

For a video of me demonstrating the wonderful "'2-Minute Feldenkrais® Miracle' to Free Up Your Stiff Neck", go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9p7_XPK6lM

James Speer

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What I Do as a Feldenkrais® Practitioner









Thank you for coming here to my blogspot.  J  Please let me start by saying that in order to become a Guild-Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, one needs to complete a 4-year, Guild-approved, Feldenkrais Professional Training Program.  This 1600 hours of course work, spread over 4 years, is necessary before a student or Practitioner-in-training finally “gets it”.  In this light, let’s explore together what a Feldenkrais Practitioner does.  …


Are you able to recognize an approaching acquaintance long before you can see his or her face?  The way we move is an identifiable part of who we are.



We, as human beings, enjoy movement.  We love to move.  Babies love to move.  They love to learn.  It’s within the innate desire and curiosity of a child (and adult) to learn about themselves and their environment.  They enjoy to learn how to, for instance, roll, turn, bend, walk, or run.  It’s within our being the natural desire for rotation or rotating, flexing, extending, twisting or other kinds of movements.

Feldenkrais is about learning.  It’s a way to learn.  However, in order for someone to learn, it has to be fun and interesting to the individual, as well as comfortable.  Thus, trying to, say, abruptly do a somersault or roll on the ground, or to strain by forcing your hands to touch your toes with locked knees, if this is uncomfortable, your Self (your body) is not learning.

Clients originally come to me because of an injury … a back or neck injury, joint pain in the shoulder, wrist, elbow, knee or other orthopedic problem.

As a Feldenkrais Practitioner, I do not directly go in with the intention to “fix” the other person or to even change the other person.  However, I stay in tune with the “process”.  I do the “process”.  As part of the “process”, I am always staying observant, to be observant or aware, of the “process” that is happening or continues to occur between myself and the client before me.  By me, as the Feldenkrais practitioner, being engaged in this “process”, this ultimately has wonderful therapeutic results, such as eliminating pain or improving the quality of life function, actions, or activities for the client.

As I am working with a client before me, the following are questions that continue to reverberate in my thinking as I am engaged in the process, or "working" in my relation to the client.:

“How can we ‘dance’ together?  …   How can we move together?  …  How do we move together?  …  What movement is it that we want to do together?  What is it (from preventing us) from moving together?  What do I put out?  What energy do I put out?  Where do they meet me?  …”

“Where my hands currently are on this person, rather, from where I'm currently working, what else within this person moves?   …  How much of them goes along with this movement?  Where along them does this movement stop?  How can I ‘catch’ the rest of themselves within this movement?  …  Are we dancing together differently?  …”
“As I push here, how much or how far does this movement or action trickle along them?  …”

I may or may not get immediate answers, or, at least, no cognitive or articulate answers to my questions.  This is very typical.  As part of the process that I am engaged in, I continue to move or “dance” with the individual, or continue to see where I can dance or move with this person, continuing to re-circulate these kinds of questions.

A physical example of what I do would be the following.  A client comes to me complaining of back pain.  I ask the client to lie down on my table on their back with supporting rollers placed under their bent knees for further comfort.  I am having them lie down in order to give their body the opportunity to be taken out of their habitual pattern of holding or tension while upright, in order to make them more comfortable, so that they can be more open to Learning.

Questions that begin to pervade my thinking as I am engaged with this person are.:

“What am I attracted to or drawn to within this person?  …  What catches my eye?  …  What ‘dance’ do I wish to do?  What dance do we wish to do together?  Where does this person want me to touch them?  … to dance with them?  … to move with them?”

Sometimes, I might be drawn to the shoulder area.  Yes, the shoulder, even though the client complained of back pain.  As I "work" the shoulder, I allow myself to stay aware and observant of where does this shoulder wish to move?  Where does it want to go?  How much of the rest of the person comes along with this movement of the shoulder?

Where within them, how can I "catch" the rest of their body within this movement?  I may then move to another place that I am drawn to.  I decide to lift their leg.  As I lift, what else of this individual is connected to this movement?  I continue to move and dance with the individual and allow myself to remain aware and observant of the process.

After a session, a client will sometimes say how she was surprised that I never touched her back but her "back pain" is gone now.  Again, I don't "fix", or rather, I don't have the intention to fix.  However, The Feldenkrais work, movement education work and awareness, brings therapeutic benefits.  Thus, it ultimately brings helpful results or fixes.

Another word we Feldenkrais Practitioners use is to refer to this session with a client as a "Functional Integration" lesson.  Note the word "functional".  We are working with a person's functionality, or how they function, how they move or act.  Feldenkrais is functional work.  It is not structural work.  We Feldenkrais practitioners don't have the direct intention to change or manipulate a person’s structure, albeit, their physical anatomy.  This may happen ultimately, but it is not my direct intention.  The functional work of Feldenkrais is unlike other structural workers such as, for instance, rolfers, who's intention is to manipulate or work the fascia structure of an individual, or the chiropractor, who manipulates or adjusts bone placement.

Every single Feldenkrais session, or "lesson", as we refer to them is different.  Each session is customized to the individual.  Each individual, each individual's body, his or her needs, is unique, just as each snowflake.


As a Feldenkrais practitioner, using my hands-on tactical feedback, I help to expand a client's kinesthetic, or bodily, awareness of themselves. By a person encompassing more of themselves, rather, a greater self-image, pain or discomfort is eliminated.Conclusively, I have given this individual the sensory-motor experience of moving easily, rather, what it is like to move effortlessly without strain or discomfort.  Thus, they now have a better “organized” body for movement.  Having a better organization, they are now pain-free.  They have learned a new pattern for movement.

Some of the conditions I have successfully treated include:
Acute and chronic joint pain, arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, as well as other orthopedic or neurological conditions.


As a keyboardist, as well as former all-state trumpet player and all-county cross-country runner, I especially enjoy working with musicians and athletes, for enlarging their body and self-awareness to enhance performance.  I was previously honored to have presented Feldenkrais, twice, to the International Association of Fitness Professionals (IDEA) at their 1996 and 1997 World Fitness Expo & Conventions, as well as at the 1996 North American Feldenkrais Guild conference.

I completed, as required, 4 successive summers of study from 1991 through 1994 at Sarah Lawrence College in New York City, with the in-between times filled with curriculum activities for movement learning, to ultimately graduate from the Feldenkrais Professional Training Program in 1994, and have ever since greatly enjoyed my work as a Movement Education Therapist. 

If you haven't already, you may be interested in viewing a short, 2-minute video of me (made within a full, 45-minute session) working with a client, by clicking on the link above.

Please feel free to contact me for any further questions you might have.




Your first Feldenkrais session:


Feldenkrais is a wonderful, body-centered method for self-exploration using movement.  I recommend to my clients to wear loose, comfortable clothes.  You will find that this special form of bodywork is very relaxing.  In fact, you’ll probably find that as a result of the pleasant unwinding experienced, your body begins to slow down.  Therefore, you may have a tendency to more easily feel cold during a session.  For this reason, you probably do not want to wear shorts.  Thus, I recommend you wear long pants.  Some clients like to wear sweats. 

Also, you may want to wear socks and possibly even a sweat shirt if you might need, otherwise, to avoid feeling cold.

After the session, you will be in a nice, calm, relaxed state.  Some clients after receiving Feldenkrais work desire some quiet time afterward to be by themselves to be alone.  This may be as little as 15 minutes, or substantially longer.  After your session, your body is still continuing to nicely process the “lesson” for some time afterward.  Therefore, you probably don’t want to do anything especially hectic or active, or any heavy lifting, after a session.  Preferably, you may want to wait until the next day before doing anything especially active as your body continues to process.  However, living in today’s fast times, within our fast, familial and societal obligatory world, this isn’t always possible.  Therefore, I usually tell clients to at least not do anything especially active for at least 3 hours after a session.

Clients ask me about “working out”, or a “workout”, afterward.  I tell them that it’s better if they work out before they see me, and then they have the nice, relaxing Feldenkrais session to look forward to afterward.  This is more productive than the opposite, that is, to receive Feldenkrais work and then to immediately afterward go out and do a rigorous workout.

However, I should add that if you have decided for yourself that it is imperative that you work out, and there is no other time to schedule your workout than for after a Feldenkrais session, then, fine.  Receiving Feldenkrais before working out and then working out afterward, … this is probably better for you than only solely working out and never receiving any Feldenkrais work at all.

Come on in and enjoy!

The best of health to all!

James


Guan Yin Acupuncture & Feldenkrais® Center
Dr. Lin Cheng Speer, LAc, OMD, PhD
James Speer, Guild-Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner®
1003 Wilshire Blvd. Suites #203, 208
Santa Monica, CA 90401
tel. 310-395-1952
http://www.drlinspeer.com/
http://www.feldenkraisjamesspeer.com/
"Health Is All that Matters!"

James Speer

Friday, July 12, 2013

Is this Mozart reborn? An amazing 5 year-old musical genius.


Greetings my friends!

I am so grateful that a friend of mine recently shared with me the following link to a childhood protégé. That term is probably a great understatement.

Check out this 5 year-old boy, a uniquely, "above and beyond" human being.

Here's the link to hear this musical genius.:

http://sorisomail.com/email/289445/tem-5-anos-e-toca-assim-piano.html


My friend included the following blurb with the above link.:

Mozart Reborn?

April 16, 2013

Astounding five (5) yr old!!!! No music sheets needed. Seems to thoroughly enjoy playing these songs, and becomes fully absorbed in the flow of notes, as if he has heard/played these pieces 100's of times before! He certainly hasn't had the years to comprehend what he's doing, nor practice to be this good, so somehow his brain and finger dexterity have been pre-programmed, when, how, why is a complete mystery! What a talent!

Mind boggling!



Indeed!  It sure is!  I love articles like these that show the potential for we amazing human beings, how our learning can ultimately be enhanced, how we can ultimately strive and reach a great learning potential.

Bon Apetit!

James

Guan Yin Acupuncture & Feldenkrais® Center
Dr. Lin Cheng Speer, LAc, OMD, PhD
James Speer, Injury Rehab Therapist
Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner®
1003 Wilshire Blvd. Suites #203, #208
Santa Monica, CA 90401
tel. 310-395-1952
www.drlinspeer.com
www.feldenkraisjamesspeer.com
"Health Is All that Matters!"

To see what I do as a Feldenkrais Practitioner, go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtNi-ilCJ30

For a video of me demonstrating the wonderful "'2-Minute Feldenkrais® Miracle' to Free Up Your Stiff Neck", go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9p7_XPK6lM

Saturday, June 8, 2013

How The Human Face Might Look In 100,000 Years


Hello again, friends!

How is everyone?  First of all, to clarify any possible confusion lately, the photograph above is a picture of me working with a client very recently.  This picture has nothing to do with this posting.  Thus, it was not taken in the year 102,013 A.D. as some of you have contacted me wondering.   J  :-)

Some of you may recall last week how I posted the link to an exciting and thrilling video on YouTube titled "Anthro", which reflected the concept of "artificial evolution".

You may be interested in checking out the link below regarding an interesting story which appeared on June 7, 2013 on Yahoo, titled, "How The Human Face Might Look In 100,000 Years"
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/human-face-might-look-100-171207969.html



Amongst interesting reading, the article shows at the bottom three different photographs which display the human face in progression of a man and woman in 20,000 years, 60,000 years, and 100,000 years from now, due substantially to our own induced genetic engineering.

Although the depictions of what our successors might look like were somewhat unnerving, i.e. large foreheads and eyes, I still found the article fascinating.

The best to all for great health!

James


Guan Yin Acupuncture & Feldenkrais® Center
Dr. Lin Cheng Speer, LAc, OMD, PhD
James Speer, Injury Rehab Therapist
Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner®
1003 Wilshire Blvd. Suites #203, #208
Santa Monica, CA 90401
tel. 310-395-1952
www.drlinspeer.com www.feldenkraisjamesspeer.com
"Health Is All that Matters!"

Friday, May 31, 2013

A Cool Short Video, "Anthro"

Dear friends,

I just came across the following cool video on YouTube, titled "Anthro".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_XR8bJwOZ0, 5 minutes, 41 seconds in length


I think that the special effects look great! The video shows a small outtake
for a proposed, potentially full movie regarding "artificial evolution"
experiments being conducted on the moon, via a moon colony of scientists. The
dramatic clip opens up with a "MayDay", or Distress Call from the Lunar Base
directed to earth, requesting immediate help.

This video incites within me a philosophical question, in that, will we as a
species, albeit the "human being" species, over the next few million years or
so, if we don't happen to otherwise die out of existence or somehow exhaust our
gene pool, evolve to be a more superior being, that is, possessing greater
superior strength and intelligence, as suggested in the "Anthro" video? Or,
would we humans instead evolve into being a more feeble or weaker species having
lesser intelligence as well? If you believe in Darwinian Evolution, we, as a
species, that being "Cro-Magnon man", came into existence about 100,000 years
ago or so, as the offshoot of our ancestral predecessors, they being
"Neanderthal Man".  Neanderthal people had much greater strength than we current Cro-Magnon people. However, we Cro-Magnons possess much greater intelligence than the Neanderthal people did.  That last sentence is perhaps debatable.
J

The "Anthro" video suggests that men of the future would possess both greater
intelligence and strength, even perhaps having telekinetic abilities. For
example, observe how the "Anthro" creature is able to unleash his will, rather,
his mental powers, onto the much weaker human being, thus, resulting in
increased pressure onto the human being and ultimately cracking the human
being's face mask.

However, come to think of it, the Anthro creature is not a result of Natural
Evolution. Instead, apparently, "Anthro" is, I guess, some sort of
laboratory-controlled evolution. Therefore, I'm speculating that the scientists
were responsible for tweaking the humanoid species toward whatever particular
direction they chose to go in, that is, to ultimately produce some sort of
humanoid being ("Anthro") capable of much greater strength and intelligence than
current human beings. The whole thing brings up an interesting concept and
subject matter.

FYI. When doing an online search for the word, "Anthro", I come up with the
following.:

Anthropo - (from Greek "human"), a prefix meaning human, humanoid, or humanlike,
especially with regards to sentience.

The word "sentience" means the ability to feel, perceive or be conscious, or to
experience subjectivity.

Anyway, enough cerebration! 
J  Simply enjoy the short video!

Check out the "Double Eyes" of the evil "Anthro" creature. Coooooouuuuuuulll!

The best to all,
James

Guan Yin Acupuncture & Feldenkrais® Center
Dr. Lin Cheng Speer, LAc, OMD, PhD
James Speer, Injury Rehab Therapist
Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner®
1003 Wilshire Blvd. Suites #203, #208
Santa Monica, CA 90401
tel. 310-395-1952
www.drlinspeer.com
www.feldenkraisjamesspeer.com
"Health Is All that Matters!"
 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ability to Sit and Rise from the Floor

Dear Health Enthusiast!

Greetings to you!  With our recent celebration this week of Chinese Lunar New Year, “Year of the Snake”, I am reminded how here in beautiful, sunny Southern California (most of the time, anyway) in just a few weeks we will be able to enjoy our wonderful Southland Springtime accolades.

It’s floating all over the Net. …  You may have seen or heard how a very interesting article was recently published on December 13, 2012 in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention, titled:

Ability to Sit and Rise from the Floor Is Closely Correlated with All-Cause Mortality Risk

Test of musculo-skeletal fitness is 'strong predictor' of mortality in the middle-aged and older

Many similar versions of this notable article can now be seen in many different websites such as in the Science Daily, European Society of Cardiology, as well as in several other documented sources.


You may like to check out the following link:

http://www.escardio.org/about/press/press-releases/pr-12/Pages/ability-to-rise-correlated-mortality.aspx?hit=dontmiss


where it is written:


"
If a middle-aged or older man or woman can sit and rise from the floor using just one hand - or even better without the help of a hand - they are not only in the higher quartile of musculo-skeletal fitness but their survival prognosis is probably better than that of those unable to do so."

Here’s the link to read the same article on the Science Daily:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213085202.htm



The Science Daily writes within their rendition of the story:


"
A simple screening test of musculo-skeletal fitness has proved remarkably predictive of all-cause mortality in a study of more than 2000 middle-aged and older men and women. The study, performed in Brazil by Dr Claudio Gil Araújo and colleagues at the Clinimex -- Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, is reported today in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention."


If this all sounds intimidating,
as an Injury Rehab Therapist, my background being a Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner
, I can greatly help you with this.


This “going-to-the-floor article” validates and reaffirms what every Feldenkrais Practitioner already knows, that being the importance of movement education.  There have been many recent articles and documents of late publishing how 90% of the brain is attributed toward movement or sensory-motor learning skills.  Thus, the desire for working with improving our movement skills fortunately carries over into the education and improvement of all of our Being.


Thus, when a high priority is placed on establishing for ourselves to be able to gradually learn how to move about more easily, this ultimately equates to improving our overall health into all areas of life.


I greatly enjoy working with Seniors as well as those of you experiencing movement challenges, helping you to learn body awareness, how all of your body comes together, how it is all connected, in order to be able to ultimately give you an inner knowing for finding your optimal way to very comfortably get to the ground or floor, and to also be able to easily and elegantly return to standing.  This is Movement
Re-education!

Wearing my hat as a Feldenkrais practitioner, I will give to you a sensory motor experience of what it feels like to move easily, effortlessly and comfortably from sitting to standing, and from standing to sitting.

Please feel free to ask me more about how I can help you with this.


Health is so important.  After all, as my business logo since the early 1990’s declares:


"
Health is All that Matters!"

The best to you for a wonderful Chinese Lunar New Year, "Year of the Snake"!

James


Guan Yin Acupuncture & Feldenkrais® Center
Dr. Lin Cheng Speer, LAc, OMD, PhD
James Speer, Injury Rehab Therapist
                          Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner®
1003 Wilshire Blvd. Suites #203, #208
Santa Monica, CA 90401
tel. 310-395-1952
www.drlinspeer.com
www.feldenkraisjamesspeer.com
"Health Is All that Matters!"
 

James SpeerJames Speer