Gloria, a beautiful 92 year old woman came to me this week in such severe pain in her lower back she could hardly bear it. I know I would be lucky if I could even get her to come back for more than one Feldenkrais lesson. What was I going to do to make the most import impact in only one or two sessions? The pain she described to me sounded more like an injured disc and we all know that it takes quite some time to get the disc back to its nice firm, yet supple shape and design, if we can even do so, but more so to reduce the pain associated with it.
Wraps To The Rescue! Having personally seen and experienced the miracles created from the gentle support and movement we can do when wrapped in strategically placed fabric wraps, I knew this would be the perfect strategy to help Gloria. This is what Ruthy Alon has created in her own genius right. During the first lesson Gloria lied on the table on her side while I very gently touched along the side of her spine, showing her how she can breathe and release any muscular holding that was associated with the pain, so that we could start to move in the direction of ease, comfort, and joyous movement. When she came to sit after her lesson the pain came back, and this is where the wondrous work of the wraps came into place. I wrapped the fabric around her lower back to give it support, crossed it in the front with a twist, then gently pulled the fabric so to move her back in a very gentle turn right to left, forward and back. She was in awe that she absolutely had no pain! And of course, after all these years of practice, so was I, continuing to be in awe along with her!
Gloria left after the first lesson with no pain and with huge smiles, as was her helper and me, too! All the while singing praises! I made them promise they would come back the next day for a follow-up, because we needed to see what was going to be the result of less pain and to more clearly show us what is actually the injury, which would become more clear.
The video below is the next day. Gloria arrived still singing the praises of this work and the wraps, and yet there was some pain but much more bearable by now and more precise to its true location, which again lead me to believe the possibility of a disc issue. I knew she would not be able to come back the many times I need to work with her so I used this time to teach Gloria and her helper how to use a wrap at home to help her with this beautiful easing up, using gentle support and movement to create a lovely home for learning and less and less pain in her body. In this film clip I am showing her helper, Maria what I am doing and how to use the wrap for this situation. Just moments before I actually used the wrap on Maria so she could feel it in her own body to understand better what I am doing.
This last video we are using the wrap to create a “papoosing” effect to support her whole body while sitting and being moved. Anyone that has had severe back pain knows they cannot easily come to sit without terrible pain in the whole lower back. What this did for Gloria was absolutely amazing in only a few moments and that her helper, Maria, will be able to do on their own time will be absolutely invaluable.
The best gift you can give someone is to restore them back to their dignity and this is what we are doing!
Always, Kindly, Elinor Silverstein,