Improve flexibility. Stand up straighter. Get rid of stress and strain. Relieve back pain. Such are the reasons that people come to the Feldenkrais Method lessons Deborah Dutton gives at Little House (pictured) and Burgess in Menlo Park.
The Feldenkrais Method is a form of complementary medicine that’s designed for anyone “who wants to reconnect with their natural abilities to move, think and feel,” according to the Feldenkrais Guild of America. Practitioners like Deborah become certified following a three-to-four year professional training program.
“Feldenkrais helped me recover from a shoulder and neck injury I got from swimming,” explains Deborah. “I started with the individual sessions, which are hands-on gentle manipulation, and then graduated to the group class. It was the only thing that worked.”
“I am also fascinated by how the lessons (exercises) challenge my way of thinking and my movement habits,” she continues. “The lessons are like a puzzle you have to figure out physically, and when you do, the movement is really easy even though it seemed impossible before. What I thought I couldn’t do, I can – it’s a wonderful surprise!”
Deborah has been giving lessons in Menlo for over a decade. Some participants come for a series or two and take what they learn and do the exercises at home. The Little House lessons, which are open to all ages, are given on Fridays from 11:00 am to Noon; the Monday evening Burgess lessons focus on back pain relief but all are welcome. She’ll be giving additional lessons this summer at Burgess.
Even while she’s passing her knowledge of Feldenkrais on to others, Deborah continues to benefit: “I love the way the lessons calm me down and get rid of my aches and pains and help my posture.”
Photo by Chris Gulker