Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia
Thanks to being both a physiotherapist and a Feldenkrais instructor (teacher) I was able to have many students (who weare in pain) join my various Feldenkrais groups (even before I developed the Softness Method which had evolvedgrown out of it). It was then that I identified the two common causes of such pain:
Absence of Compassion
If there is one thing in common that affects most if not all those suffering from chronic pain, it is their inability to be compassionate towards their own body first, as it conveys a sense of discomfort, which is a warning regarding the approaching pain and later then regarding the pain itself.
Treating Pain as Weakness
They move and act as if the pain they are suffering from is an expression of their own weakness, and with weakness one, ‘naturally’, deals with force, which is how we were culturally programmed by our society.
For as long as they can, such individuals continue to undertake exactly the same actions as they did before, until gradually the pain grows, takes over and they can no longer either rest, move or rest while moving. When that happens, they feel defeated, as if they had lost a battle with their bodies, or as if their body just betrayed them.
Their real loss is due to their unwillingness / inability to have listened to their body when it had warned them, at which juncture it was still possible and rather easy to avoid all that pain.
Practicing the Softness Method as a means for pain relief is a worthwhile lesson of self-love. Using force as a therapeutical approach does not really treat the pain’s causes and if it does provide any pain relief, it is effective only for short periods of time only.
When I asked how one of my students, who suffers from fibromyalgia, was doing, how does she feel during these days of the coronavirusCorona, she replied: “I’m rock solid these days.” She just had a granddaughter and that was all that had interested her at that moment. When I tried to better understand, she replied: “I don’t have the leisure to listen to my body at the moment. I function as if there is no choice and no tomorrow. I am solid as a rock.”
The Landlord Went Crazy
When the landlord (who is each one of us) fails to listen to his body, opting to move or rest in a manner that hurts the body, the body reacts defensively and consequently becomes gradually more and more rigid. Stiffness serves as a defense mechanism of the human body from its owner, a condition – that when left unheeded – sets in, even worsens over the years.
Many fibromyalgia patients, who are in search of a cure for their muscle and joint aches, discover the Softness Method approach.
Studies* of the Feldenkrais method (on which the Softness Method is based) together with my experience of over 20 years of training and treatment, show that people who practice the method often report a significant reduction in stress, pressure, fatigue and pain, even an improved breathing quality.
Unlike many other treatment methods and practices, performed in conjunction with strenuous efforts and stretching (which also encourage disregard of discomfort and pain), the Softness Method’s exercise regime involves learning to move while sacredly listening to the body.
Such attentiveness brings with it a great sense of relief to the body. The same relief one feels when, finally, she is being listened to after having been ignored for too long. Following such relief comes a great sense of relaxation, which manifests in both movement and inaction alike.
Loosening up While in Motion – Renewal
Acquiring the ability to loosen up while on the move is without a doubt one of the great accomplishments reported by practitioners of the Softness Method. That accomplishment is accompanied by awareness of athe movement fluidity that develops as a result of a slackeninged off approach to practicing, which causes one to behave differently; what follows is a shift in approach to one’s body, as the practitioner of the Softness Method lessens up the burdens affectingloaded on her body which, in turn, reduces its attrition significantly. These two abilities, which are taught by a Softness Method’s instructor, or teacher? lead to extraordinary results in relieving pain, fatigue and stress, and in improving the quality of sleep and breathing, as well.
Walking Between the Drops
The Softness Method demonstrates how to walk between the drops, utilizing pain bypass routes, when one has acquired the knowledge of how to do that. It is not only possible, it is in fact necessary. Every encounter with pain distances the sufferer from healing the painful tissue, thus, one should be detached from pain as much as possible. To be successful in accomplishing such a task, one must know the path that leads there.
The Parasite and the Chumps
The stiffness is mainly felt in the upper back, however, its effect spreads throughout the entire body. As a result of a progressively stiffening upper back over the years, it ends up participating less and less in body movements, thus becoming sorts of a ‘parasite’ – as it forces the neck and lower back to bear most of the burden entailed by relevant body movements with little or no participation on its part, making them a kind of ‘chumps’.
There are such common misapprehensions, where it is thought that a new mattress, for example, could rectify one’s back’s pains, or, as in other versions of such erroneous misconception, it would be some sort of a device, treatment or medication of one kind or another. In most cases, however, in order to produce significant relief, all it takes is to release the stiffness from the body in general, and the upper back’s in particular, is relief that could be generated produced even within minutes.
In personal conversations I have held with those who wish to check with me whether I could help them, I have recognized over and over again (in 97% of such conversations) that a gentle motion accorded the upper back could, rather rapidly, significantly reduce pain experienced in the lower back and neck.
If the pain can be treated effortlessly and without tension or any additional pain, even prevented from recurring, what are we waiting for? For a peek of a practice from: Tthe Softness, the Strength of Physiotherapy and Feldenkrais Combined program, which is also pertinent for individuals suffering from fibromyalgia and / or chronic pain, click here.
A study published in the Feldenkrais Research Journal, demonstrates that practicing the Feldenkrais method (on which the Softness Method is based) shows a statistically significant improvement in pain relief, of the quality of sleep and in lessening fatigue, along with increased awareness of the body, which produces more efficient movements.
Another study, summarized in the records of the American National Library of Medicine (PubMed), shows that, health-wise, practicing the Feldenkrais method can significantly improve one’s quality of life.