- "Let's imagine that we're building a machine that's
comprised of a skeleton, muscles, internal organs and a brain. Does this brain speak
English? Can it read and do mathematical calculations? Of course not! When the brain
enters the world, it's only able to do the things that every animal can do: it takes care
of breathing, digestion, and the body's other automatic processes. Beyond these automatic
actions, we must "wire" that brain, so it can relate to the environment in which
it exists. For the brain to function fully, so it scan and read, or dance, it must undergo
a process of adaptation and connection".
- (Moshe Feldenkrais, The Concealed in the Apparent)
- In order to understand how we think, we must understand
the concept "philogenetics". Philogenetics is the genetic knowledge that's been
imprinted in all nervous systems throughout evolution. The central nervous system (CNS) is
the best structure on earth for individual (ontogenetic) learning. As babies develop,
their nervous system experiencesa series of movements which have physical structural laws
regardingthe field of gravity, and enable functional activities which lead todevelopment
- Babies must undergo a long and arduous process along the
developmental road until they can "stand on their own two feet". The long
process of coping with balance begins at the earliest age, with the first transition from
back to stomach. These basic movements prepare babies for crawling which leads, via
sitting, to standing and walking. These functions pave the way to organising movement and
stable posture. Senso-motory development is the foundation for the development of
thinking, intelligence and the child's perception of the world. Within that fixed
developmental process (philogenetic), the child's personality, stability and individual
appearance are created. They are unique to each child, just like handwriting and
- In summary, human beings develop from infancy as part of
a known,predetermined genetic procedure and as such, they create human individuality.
Moshe Feldenkrais studied the development of human learning and found that learning
development, intelligence and maturation processes develop by means of movement. In the
course of his research, Moshe Feldenkrais developed a learning model effected via movement
and contact, and which is based on the mechanical and physical laws of the skeleton in the
field of gravity. This model is made up of a series of movement-based processes that
comprise such basic functions as breast-feeding and swallowing, and more complex functions
like jumping, running, and even martial arts. When these processes are performed
repetitively, they organise the system for basic learning processes and help to
"wire" the system, creating a network between the brain's different centres.
Through this basic repetition, adult people can identify their habits, personality and the
way they act, and can choose additional means of acting and functioning - "Another
opportunity for starting all over again".
SEE THE WORK METHODS & TECHNIQUES
- Feldenkrais called this the "tabula rasa" -
the blank page.
- His unique technique permits remedial learning
interaction at all ages and under any conditions. So, in theoretical terms, the way we
work with babiesis identical to work with adults, and even with the aged. Every human
nervous system has the ability for excellent movement-based organisation. However, over
the years, events occur that throw the system off its balance and the optimal, delicate
equilibrium in which it is used to functioning. This equilibrium must be maintained at all
levels of human behaviour and functioning-in movement, mental-emotional aspects, and even
in social behaviour. Basically, the human system always regains equilibrium, and finds
solutions for continued survival. Equilibrium is mostly achieved unconsciously and so,
sooner or later, impediments are liable to develop, with allied sense of pain and
limitations to movement. These affect functional living and may even immobilise it.
SEE THE PHYSICAL ANXIETY PATTERNS
- Here is where the Method comes into play. Knowledge of
philogenetics and of the mechanical way in which the skeleton works within the field of
gravity is integrated with the thought processes that we use in the lesson. Eventually the
human operating system accords with philogenetic development patterns, and with optimal use of the skeleton within the field of
gravity. It becomes as close as possible to the original, natural pattern of our lives.