Move the body, free the mind
16 Jun, 2017
Here at Soul Sanctuaries we love to let you know about the best ways to heal your body and free your mind. If you are working with a computer daily, you’ll love this! Our guests can incorporate Mandy’s therapy within their personalised luxury healthy holidays, designed by us here at Soul Sanctuaries.
Today we had the pleasure of interviewing Mandy Kealy, British Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner. You’ll catch Mandy teaching this gentle movement therapy at some of the world’s finest luxury wellness sanctuaries.
The Feldenkrais Method is a gentle movement therapy that can help anyone who wants to reconnect with their natural abilities to move, think and feel well. Whether you want to be more comfortable sitting at your computer, performing a favourite pastime, recover more swiftly from an injury, or simply improve your posture and alignment, these gentle lessons can improve your overall wellbeing.
Mandy, there aren’t many people practicing Feldenkrais, how did you come upon it?
True, Feldenkrais is not yet widely known, but is rapidly gaining notoriety and reputation worldwide as one of the most intriguing and effective ways to effect improvement to human function. The training is governed by The International Feldenkrais Federation, incorporating Guilds and Associations within 18 countries, and today there are approximately 8,000 practitioners worldwide. I was fortunate to encounter the method whilst training as a Pilates instructor in 2002. I was so wowed by the remarkable and immediate improvement to my own movement skills after just a few minutes, I simply had to go deeper and learn more. There really is no end to the learning, so I continue to update my training and advancement annually, from the most senior teachers of the method, several of whom worked closely with the originator, Moshe Feldenkrais. These trainings take me all over the world and enhance not just my knowledge of the Method, but my understanding of myself. For more information on resources and professional trainings around the world, have a look at the IFF website
What are the most common health issues you see and address with this method?
I work with people who wish to move their bodies with greater ease and comfort, either because of pain issues, or because they wish to enhance their physical performance in their sport or art. Think of the lessons as an owner’s manual for the human body- few of us are using ourselves to our full potential, so anyone can benefit, and learn to move with greater self awareness, efficiency and health. In Feldenkrais language, we talk about the lessons as ‘Organising’ our nervous system for greater movement efficiency, but the lessons go much deeper than just the physical, often inducing a deep sense of calm, and a feeling of being more ‘grounded’. So I also see people who are needing to de-stress and reconnect to themselves in a more intimate and pleasant way.
I would say stress and burnout seem to be prevalent, and of course, issues arising from hours spent in front of a computer. Despite more people than ever practicing yoga, pilates, or other exercise programs on a regular basis, I still see many people suffering poor posture, back, neck and joint pain. I observe that these are often the same people who have a chronic habit of holding their breath, a pattern which almost always accompanies poor spinal dynamics and posture, not to mention, anxiety. Until these underlying patterns are reorganised it is very hard to effect lasting change to a chronic pain issue.
How can guests incorporate it into everyday life? Do you offer tips on alignment and movement?
The way we move ourselves is as unique as a thumbprint or signature, no two people walk or move in exactly the same way. We all have our own learned unique habits of movement. Most of these habits are super useful- it’s our habits that allow us to get out of bed each morning without having to re-learn how to function- but it does mean that a lot of the time we are operating on auto-pilot, and become unaware of what we are actually doing. Over time, any poor strategies that we consistently employ can create pain, limitation, or even structural harm. Personal Feldenkrais lessons, known as Functional Integration, identify for each person which of their habits of movement are interfering with their potential to move well, and offer alternative, healthier strategies to take into daily living. Because the lessons stimulate learning at a neurological level, in a process known as neuroplasticity, the new strategies embed into the nervous system for spontaneous recruitment. In other words, the new learning becomes your new, more efficient habit.
How does what you do fit in with wellness sanctuary programs?
Really well!!! I love working as part of an integrated health team as I frequently witness the rapid and often startling improvement to a client’s health and wellbeing when approached from a multi disciplinary perspective. Each human is really a collaboration of systems within one greater whole, so the most direct way to improvement is to have a tailored wellness program that addresses each area of a person’s health -in mind, body and spirit. By promoting improved balance to the nervous system, and eliminating wasted energy on poor movement strategies, many guests prefer to place Feldenkrais near the beginning of their programs to enhance the quality of their other treatments.
If you’re interested in exploring a luxury healthy holiday in Asia with Soul Sanctuaries, please drop us a line
If you’d like to find out more about Mandy and her work here is her website below and you can also contact her direct
website : http://feldenkraisthailand.com