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Persistent pain? Move the whole body not just the painful part!!


Did you know therapies such as Feldenkrais and yoga are an effective chronic pain treatment?


As a well-seasoned Feldenkrais Practitioner and Yoga Therapist, many people come to me who have been struggling with a chronic injury for months and sometimes years.  The focus of their treatment and attention has been mainly on the injured and painful part and in most cases the issue has persisted with only temporary relief.


The tools of my trade; yoga and Feldenkrais take a systems approach to injury, strain, and pain. All the parts of our body are interconnected through the soft tissues and joints. So, pain in one part may be due to restriction in another part of the body or due to movement patterns that cause tension and strain in the whole body. Just working with the injured part often has limited impact and does not address postural patterns, breathing patterns, movement patterns or body awareness.


We seem to have forgotten about the power of our awareness. Awareness in relation to the body is called interoception. Interoception refers to the ability to sense our body’s signalling and respond appropriately. Interoception has been shown to improve mental and physical health and more recently social connection. Mind body practices such as Feldenkrais and Yoga support us to feel more at ease in our body leading to healthy movement patterns, postural patterns improvements in how we relate to our social environment. Yoga traditions thousands of years old have always realised this potential – Feldenkrais is a new kid on the block but works in very similar ways to Yoga.


Let’s look at sitting for example. Many shoulder issues arise from too much sitting and hunching of the spine which restricts and tightens the shoulder girdle. Most people try to correct this by pulling their shoulders back which can cause more tension and a feeling of “this is too hard I give up “.  Tensing the shoulders also causes the breathing patterns to become restricted stressing the nervous system and further reinforcing pain and fear.


how yoga can help chronic pain and injury


Posture is a bit of a loaded word. Most of us think we have “bad posture “that needs to be “corrected”. What if you were to “adjust “your body in sitting from the base and let the rest of the spine stack itself. Moving the pelvis and lower back to support your shoulder instead. How radical … not really!! Isn’t this a more efficient way to help support your body and release patterns that lead to chronic tension and pain. Maybe we need to look beyond the painful part to find the keys to feeling better.


In a Yoga or Feldenkrais session we will explore movement from the inside out. Instead of me telling you what to do you get to explore and find what feels good for yourself.  This is powerful tool and facilitates long term change.  So maybe you’re struggling with a long persistent issue? Moving the whole body and finding pleasure in movement is a potent and beneficial way to break the cycle of fear and pain. Feldenkrais and Yoga are an effective chronic pain treatment that will help improve your body, mind and wellbeing.


Feldenkrais and Yoga feel good!! When we feel good, we move more and breath better and feel happier. It sounds so simple but sometimes we need some support to move out of the cycle. This is where my skills, experience and support can come in handy.


It can be hard to break the cycle on your own and it takes some encouragement and willingness to explore and engage. But the journey itself is rewarding and feels good and leads to places we might never have imagined. Life is a journey and an adventure. Moving is part of this process and thinking outside the box and looking at the bigger picture may be just what you’re searching for.