stroke

A “Good-Bye Letter”

Discover Yourself with the Feldenkrais Method®

The following letter was written by a doctor who experienced a hereditary spine condition. He was a client of Carol Siddiqi, a trained practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method of Movement®. Carol worked with him for more than 8 years in the private Feldenkrais lessons called Functional Integration®. These lessons were tailored to his learning needs as Carol guided his movements through gentle non-invasive touching and words. The learning process was carried out without the use of any invasive or forceful procedure as he laid on a table or sat on a chair fully clothed. Over the many years working with Carol, his knowledge went far beyond the anatomy of his body. Read the following to hear his gratitude and the improvement of his physical condition.

Hi Carol,

This is a difficult note to write, but I’ve decided to discontinue our lessons. I find saying “good-bye” to you difficult because I deeply appreciate what you’ve taught me. You have inspired me and I respect and admire the person you are. Before I met you, I only knew I had ribs, shoulder blades, and a pelvis because I attended anatomy lab. Now, I can feel them and have techniques to free them up, not like you can, but I can “play” and make progress.

Some of the things I learned and am experiencing:
• I understand movement and walking so much better
• I can feel the unity of the body and the connectedness of the parts
• I’m always amazed how you work in one area and then I feel a softening and movement in another area
• I’m more confident walking
• Your stories of others striving to overcome disabilities, and seeing how you’ve responded to injuries has been inspirational

I’m so glad Dr. Feldenkrais devoted his life to developing these lessons, glad you found him and glad I found you. I feel the weight of responsibility to keep striving, playing, and working. I will keep you fresh in my mind as I do so.

I wish you the very best of health and satisfaction and trust you know what a wonderful difference you’ve made in my life and, I have no doubt, in the lives of countless others. For me, you’ll always be the woman who can make floors and tables soft.

Thank you, Carol

Charles

The Feldenkrais Method® is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. With this Method, you can increase your range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement.

By expanding the self-image through movement sequences, the Method enables you to include more of yourself in your movements. Students become aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities, and learn to move in new ways.

The Feldenkrais Method® helps those experiencing:

  • chronic or acute pain of the back, neck, shoulders, hips, legs, or knees
  • central nervous system conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and stroke
  • musicians, actors, and artist can extend their abilities and enhance their creativity
  • seniors enjoy using it to retain or regain their ability to move without strain or discomfort
  • healthy bodies, but wish to enhance their movement abilities

Group classes are called Awareness Through Movement® where the Feldenkrais teacher verbally leads students through a sequence of movements in basic positions. These precisely structured movement explorations involve thinking, sensing, moving, feeling and imagining.  By increasing awareness, the student learns to abandon habitual patters of movement and develop new alternatives, resulting in improved flexibility and coordination.

“Make the impossible, possible; the possible easy; and the easy, elegant.”       – Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc.

Awareness Through Movement® classes: Mondays 5:45 – 6:45 pm

Feldenkrais Method of Movement® private sessions: 

Call Carol Siddiqi, BS, GCFP, RYT

610-618-0467 or carolsiddiqi@hotmail.com

Breaking a Sweat Exercising?

atm_class1[1]Do it Easier and Better with The Feldenkrais Method®           

By Carolyn J. Reese

The best exercise for me, so I thought, was to move fast and push myself as much as possible.  Then I learned how important it is to exercise slowly and gently so that my body/mind system can work together more efficiently. Yes, when the body moves, the mind changes for the better! This new way of exercising has greatly helped with my arthritis and Post-Polio Syndrome. It is called…The Feldenkrais Method.        

WHAT OR WHO IS FELDENKRAIS?  The “who” is Moshe’ Feldenkrais, a physicist, mechanical engineer and one of the first Western black belts. After reinjuring his knee, having surgery and going to rehab, the doctors told him that he might spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

His understanding of how the laws of gravity and motion affected the mechanics of movement allowed him to develop short exercises that helped educate his body in easier, more efficient movement patterns. He eventually used this knowledge to teach patients effective techniques for self-rehabilitation.

THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD, based on the principles of physics and biomechanics, was developed from his experience and understanding of human physiology and the connection between mind and body. 

With this discipline, commands are carried from the brain to the muscles, tendons, joints, and skin, and then reports on their condition are sent back to the brain. The purpose is to improve movement patterns rather than treating specific injuries or illnesses.

The Feldenkrais Method claims to be successful in training the nervous system to find new pathways around areas of damage.

At first, lying on the floor in a relaxed way and moving slowly, I mean really slowly, didn’t make much sense!  Little did I know that the slower I moved, the more my brain was engaged (mindful) and the more my body responded. Even visualizing a movement changes the brain and helps the body!  Being a “senior,” has given me years of incorrect exercising and therapy, but now with the Feldenkrais way of exercising, I don’t have to worry about hurting myself the way I used to and my body is retaining the improvements I made.

The Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes consist of a series of verbally directed and carefully structured movement sequences involving the body and the imagination. The movements are performed in a variety of positions – lying down, sitting, standing – which address a range of functions necessary for the safe, effective and powerful use of one’s body.

This safe and easy way of exercising can help with:

  • Reducing pain, back and neck aches, headaches
  • Re-educating the brain and nervous system to develop new ways of moving and perceiving the body
  • Orthopedic problems in bones and joints (poor posture or habits of movement that may cause pain)
  • Stroke patients, head trauma, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, neuropathy
  • Degenerative arthritis, Fibromyalgia
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Segments of our society: athletes, children, elderly, martial artists, artists, musicians, movement teachers and health care providers

“…the Feldenkrais Method can undo many of the aches and pains that plague us, and I currently recommend it to patients whose movement has been restricted by injury or chronic pain.  I also believe the Feldenkrais Method can help older people achieve greater range of motion and flexibility, and help all of us feel more comfortable in our bodies.”        –Andrew Weil, MD 

This style of exercise is not only revolutionary, but an enlightening experience! 

Attend a Feldenkrais Class or experience a private session of Functional Integration call Carol Siddiqi 610-618-0467

 

Natural Help for Parkinson’s & Other Neurological Problems

 

HS_13by Gale Maleskey, MS, RD

 

If you are seeing a neurologist for peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, stroke-related damage, migraine headaches, epilepsy, or a movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease, you should know that good nutrition and certain nutritional supplements are proven to help these problems.

They can:

  • reduce pain
  • slow the progression of nerve damage
  • help you reduce your drug dosage
  • remove toxins from your body that may be contributing
  • to your health problems

 I have helped a number of people with neurological problems, working with them and their doctors to safely combine their medical care with natural, nutrition-based treatments.

If you have peripheral neuropathy, for instance, consider taking alpha lipoic acid, a nutritional supplement that can work as well as the drug Neurontin–without the side effects. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12, folate and Coenzyme Q10, which can help relieve some forms of neuropathy. And if you’re taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, you need to be aware that these drugs greatly increase your risk for developing neuropathy, and can also cause muscle weakness and mood changes. Getting your cholesterol down with a healthy, plant-based diet can help you lower your dosage of statin drugs and reduce your risk for developing these troubling symptoms.

People with MS often do better when they start on an anti-inflammatory diet, getting more omega-3 fats and fewer omega-6 and saturated fats. They also benefit from other nutrients: vitamins D, E and B12, n-acetyl-cysteine, phosphatidylserine, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid.

People with Parkinson’s disease often have had exposure to toxic chemicals, such as solvents, herbicides or pesticides, and may benefit from an evaluation to reduce ongoing environmental toxin exposure. They also often improve by following a detoxifying diet and supplements to help their bodies break down and remove brain and nerve-damaging toxins.

People who’ve had a stroke, who have high blood pressure, or who are at risk for having stroke because of clotting problems can reduce their blood pressure with a diet high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, getting more omega-3 fats, and cutting back on sodium and saturated fats. This kind of diet can also help restore normal heartbeat in some people who have heart arrhythmia problems.

People with migraines and epilepsy sometimes find that they are reacting to certain foods or food additives.  A little detective work can help pinpoint these foods, but sometimes people need to get food allergy testing to figure out what is going on. I’ve found people often improve once they stop eating foods, or, especially, food additives like sulfites and MSG–and aspartame−that are making them sick.

Parkinson’s Patients & Care Givers are welcome to enjoy a relaxing day in a peaceful surrounding where they will discover simple, natural ways to improve their balance, reduce tremors, ease muscle tension, increase liver and brain function and much more!

Parkinson’s Retreat

Patients & Care Givers

Saturday, March 18, 2017

9:15 am – 4:30 pm

Lunch and light refreshments will be served

$35, to register call:

Dr. Tom Wachtmann 610-841-3395

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center

628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA 18031

www.TwinPondsCenter.com

Heart Attacks & Strokes Cut in Half

American Heart Association Says Meditation Helps

New research, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), found that people with heart disease who regularly meditate may be able to reduce their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke nearly by half.

For the study, which was published in the journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease patients were enrolled in a stress-reducing program based on Transcendental Meditation (compare Effortless Meditation). The participants were required to meditate for about 20 minutes twice a day, practicing specific techniques that allowed their bodies and minds to experience a sense of deep rest and relaxation.

Meditation has been practiced in various forms for thousands of years all around the globe. Transcendental Meditation / Effortless Meditation are simple, effortless and natural ways to settle down to a quiet state of mind.

Benefits may be::

  • Tranquility and inner peace
  • Awareness
  • Calmness & emotional balance
  • Helps with treatment of medical conditions (those aggravated by stress and anxiety)
  • Lowered blood pressure (an important role in the treatment or prevention of cardiovascular disease)

“Those who meditate can choose among a wide range of practices, both religious and secular,” said Dr. Charles L. Raison, clinical director of the Mind-Body Program at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, who participated in a study on the healing effects of meditation on both body and mind. “What they have in common is a narrowing of focus that shuts out the external world, which usually [also] stills the body.”

Effortless Meditation does not require any particular education and does not conflict with lifestyle, philosophy or beliefs. It’s a straight forward technique that is easily learned and effortless to practice.  Everyone can do it.

Greg Schweitzer, MBA, D.Ay, has been teaching meditation programs for 35+ years and has trained with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation program.  He taught TM® for 17 years and worked with best-selling author, Deepak Chopra, M.D.  For the past 20 years, Greg has been teaching his brand of meditation known as Effortless Meditation™.  

For more information on Effortless Meditation, please call 610-395-3355.

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Get Natural Help for Neurological Problems

If you’re seeing a neurologist for peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, stroke-related damage, migraine headaches, epilepsy, or a movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease, you should know that good nutrition and certain nutritional supplements are proven to help these problems. They can reduce pain, slow the progression of nerve damage, help you reduce your drug dosage, and remove toxins from your body that may be contributing to your health problems. 

I’ve helped a number of people with neurological problems, working with them and their doctors to safely combine their medical care with natural, nutrition-based treatments.

If you have peripheral neuropathy, for instance, consider taking alpha lipoic acid, a nutritional supplement that can work as well as the drug Neurontin–without the side effects. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12, folate and Coenzyme Q10, which can help relieve some forms of neuropathy. And if you’re taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, you need to be aware that these drugs greatly increase your risk for developing neuropathy, and can also cause muscle weakness and mood changes. Getting your cholesterol down with a healthy, plant-based diet can help you lower your dosage of statin drugs and reduce your risk for developing these troubling symptoms. 

People with MS often do better when they start on an anti-inflammatory diet, getting more omega-3 fats and fewer omega-6 and saturated fats. They also benefit from other nutrients: vitamins D, E and B12, n-acetyl-cysteine, phosphatidylserine, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid. 

People with Parkinson’s disease often have had exposure to toxic chemicals, such as solvents, herbicides or pesticides, and may benefit from an evaluation to reduce ongoing environmental toxin exposure. They also often improve by following a detoxifying diet and supplements to help their bodies break down and remove brain and nerve-damaging toxins.

People who’ve had a stroke, who have high blood pressure, or who are at risk for having stroke because of clotting problems can reduce their blood pressure with a diet high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, getting more omega-3 fats, and cutting back on sodium and saturated fats. This kind of diet can also help restore normal heartbeat in some people who have heart arrhythmia problems.

People with migraines and epilepsy sometimes find that they are reacting to certain foods or food additives.  A little detective work can help pinpoint these foods, but sometimes people need to get food allergy testing to figure out what is going on. I’ve found people often improve once they stop eating foods, or, especially, food additives like sulfites and MSG–and aspartame!–that are making them sick.

Gale Maleskey, MS, RD, is an Integrative Nutrition Counselor and Certified Wellness Coach

 

Spinal Cord Injuries and the Feldenkrais Method of Movement Education

Cindy Allison, a University of Canterbury, (UC) PhD student, is carrying out the world’s first research on spinal cord injuries using the Feldenkrais Method to provide people the chance to recover movement and stability.

In the 1940s, Israeli physicist, Dr Moshe Feldenkrais, combined his knowledge of martial arts, biomechanics, neurophysiology, anatomy, learning theory, child development, systems theory, physics and psychology to develop the Feldenkrais Method, a form of sensory motor education.

Research has provided evidence of benefits including reduced pain, fatigue, stress and medicalcosts; and improved mobility, stability, coordination and breathing. However there has been no research done with spinal cord injury.

Cindy was drawn to the Feldenkrais Method because of her own pain and loss of movement and sensation. For her PhD she is developing the first Feldenkrais program in the world for people with spinal cord injury.

Rather than isolating muscles and working hard in an attempt to restore movement, Feldenkrais encourages expanding body awareness, and paying attention to the quality of movement and the effect that the movement has on  the coordination of the whole body.

You stay within your comfort zone; it is process oriented and fun. The focus is also on learning how to learn. Clients grow to understand biomechanics and learning principles, they are eventually able to improve their movement independently of the practitioner.

“I was so impressed with the method that I began researching its potential for people with spinal cord injury. Some of the world’s top neuroscientists advocate the method. I have people around the world with spinal cord injury discovering significant
improvement using Feldenkrais principles despite negative prognoses.’’

Kevin Hitchcock, a former director of news and Channel Ten in Sydney was told he would be paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of his life, she said.

He has made an almost full recovery and written a book after improving via the Feldenkrais Method.

American Molly Hale, subject of a documentary film, broke her neck in 1995 and was told that she would be paralyzed from the shoulders down. Hale has made significant progress. In recent months she has walked unassisted for the first time since her accident.

Germany’s Irene Lober was able to ditch her wheelchair, ski, and climb hills despite being told she would need a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She documented her recovery in her Master’s thesis and then went on to train as a Feldenkrais practitioner.

Australian triathlete, Michael Forbes, describes on YouTube how he learned to walk again using Feldenkrais. More examples are on Allison’s website www.neuroplasticity.co.nz.

I suspect many more stories that haven’t been documented. Recovery is a gradual process but my clients have reported a number of benefits including reduced pain and spasm; and improved coordination and ease of movement, posture and breathing.

“Clients who had no sensation below their break are reporting that sensation and
movement are returning. I want to develop group programs that are accessible
and affordable for disabled people.’’

Voxy.co.nz

If you know anyone with paralysis from stroke, head injury, spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis, please have them contact us concerning Feldenkrais Private Sessions and Classes. Visit our website for information about Feldenkrais and Carol Siddiqi, Feldenkrais Practitioner.