Ten years ago I was fortunate enough to be referred to Madeleine Edgar, a Physiotherapist and Feldenkrais Practitioner, by a chiropractor.
Previous to that I had been visiting chiropractors, physiotherapists and acupuncturists in an effort to get some relief from my chronic back pain that was the result of complications from injuries I had sustained in a car accident as a teenager. I had become skeptical of therapists, because whilst their treatments provided me with some relief, they also kept on reinforcing my dependence on them. Hence my relief seemed to depend on spending large amounts of money on weekly visits that only served to increase my dependence on them.
From the first lesson that I had with Madeleine I knew that I had discovered someone who was not only a healer but also a teacher.
Madeleine‘s confidence in my ability to relearn patterns of movement and her ability to help me develop awareness about my body and how it moved, provided me with not only pain relief but also confidence in my own ability to self-heal.
It was the self-education component that Madeleine so expertly developed that identified the Feldenkrais Method as different to, and more authentic than other therapies. Here was an effective and genuine method of achieving good health that promoted self-education and self-healing rather than reliance on the practitioner.
For me this type of empowerment helped me develop confidence in my own body as I became more conscious of the way I physically negotiated and moved through my environment. Moreover I developed more trust in my body and learned to listen to the messages it was giving me.
One of the most important lessons that Madeleine taught me through the Feldenkrais lessons, was to treat my body gently. This occurred through the way in which she worked with me. Other therapies seemed to operate on the old adage of “no pain, no gain” hence some degree of discomfort/pain always accompanied their treatments, whether it was from physical manipulation or acupuncture needles.
Madeleine’s gentle and soothing manner in the way she worked with me made me aware of two things. First, under the guise of being helped, I had been allowing, for many years, other people to punish my body because it wasn’t working in the perfect manner that I expected. Second, Madeleine’s caring and a comforting way was the type of nurture that my body needed to help it move more effectively. My body responded positively to both the respect and interest that Madeleine shows, as well as the type of comforting Feldenkrais work that she did with me. I often leave a session with Madeline with the impression that she has learned just as much as I have about how I move.
I continue to work with Madeleine whenever my body requires two or three more lessons as reminders of my body awareness. Recently I underwent a hip replacement. I knew that Madeleine would be the right person to work with to help me become accustomed to my new hip and after three visits she has helped me develop confidence in moving more effectively.
Because of Madeleine’s expertise and knowledge in the Feldenkrais Method I have no hesitation in continuing to practice this method of improving movement. I would strongly advise people to experience the empowerment and nurturing that this method can offer them.
Dr.Lorelei Carpenter, Labrador, Qld. October 2007