Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
others in compensation. Learning how to
read these motions in the walking pattern of your
clients will make your work more efficient.
BodyReading 101]
In the upper body, the Lateral Lines alternate in short-
ening on the weighted side to keep the torso from falling
away from the weighted leg. The common contralateral
pattern of walking also involves the Functional Lines
and Spiral Lines bringing the right shoulder and rib
cage forward to counterbalance the left leg when it
swings forward and vice versa (Fig. 10.23). Beneath this
outer, appendicularly oriented movement, the torso
winds like a watch spring, countering the twist that the
metronome of the legs produces in the pelvis. This rota-
tional energy, working through the intercostals in the
ribs and the abdominal obliques, is created and released
with each step. When this small inner movement is
stopped for any reason, the movement is exported
outward and can be seen in excessive motion of the
arms in walking.
Lack of coordination or excessive myofascial binding
in any of these tissues sets up characteristic patterns of
walking, some of which are simply personal and idio-
syncratic, while others are downright inefficient, and
can lead to joint or myofascial stiffness problems.
ment explorations he termed 'Awareness Through
Movement' (ATM) lessons. The specifics of the lesson
and the analysis of the myofascial meridians related to
the lesson are my own interpretation, but the general
approach and the principles are definitely drawn from
the Feldenkrais work.
This particular lesson was chosen for its simplicity
and for its application to a number of common somatic
restrictions. Even more importantly, it is an example of
primal movement, representative of developmental
movements (see next section) that are primary building
blocks of our daily movement repertoire. It is the con-
tention of many movement therapists that missing or
eliding over any of the phases of developmental move-
ment can predispose the subject to structural or move-
ment difficulties. While such a claim is hard to prove, I
have found that use of this and other primary develop-
mental movements has been tremendously useful in
discovering underlying dysfunctional patterns which
lead to surface difficulty or tendency toward specific
Rolling over
The following lesson is absolutely designed to be expe-
rienced; just reading it over will not convey its essence.
You can read the lesson, then follow it on the floor, or
have someone read it to you, or record the text and play
it back to yourself as you move. Each suggested move-
ment should be repeated again and again, gently and
slowly, exploring the feelings they create in every part
of the body. Many such lessons (and far more sophisti-
cated ones) are available on tape and in print from a
number of sources in the world of Feldenkrais ATM
teachers (, www.feldenkrais.
Lie on your back with your knees up, so your feet
are standing on the floor (Fig. 10.24). Begin by bringing
both knees toward the floor to your right, and then
come back to where you started. Do this a number of
times, staying within the bounds of easy motion, not
trying to stretch or strain. Let the knees slide past each
other so that both feet stay on the floor, although eventu-
ally the left foot may leave the floor. You will feel the
weight shifting over to the side of the right hip as you
move, and coming back to center as you bring your
knees back up.
An 'Awareness Through
Movement' lesson
The short and simple movement exercise in the next
section ('Rolling over') is inspired by the work of Dr
Moshe Feldenkrais, who devised hundreds of move-
Fig. 10.23 The winding and
unwinding of the torso in walking
involves the Functional Lines
(pictured) in alternating
contraction, and the Spiral Lines
and Lateral Lines as well.
Fig. 10.24 Begin by lying comfortably on your back and letting
your knees go to the right.
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