Because the Feldenkrais Method speaks the language of the nervous system, it is especially effective in working with neurological conditions. It has long been clear to practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method and other modalities, and to those experiencing this type of work, that new neural pathways can be formed and that a damaged brain can dramatically improve its ability to function. This is now being validated in recent scientific research; “neuroplasticity” is being proven to apply not only to the brains of young children but also to the brains of adults (see references below).
Working With The Brain
Moshe Feldenkrais worked extensively with people with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and stroke, who frequently traveled around the world to see him. One of his books, The Case Of Nora, documents his work with a college professor in her sixties who lost her ability to read and write as a result of stroke. Through their work together Nora regains these abilities and is able to resume normal functioning.
Louise Runyon has worked with individuals with a wide variety of conditions, including neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy - see article, brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease. She has also done successful work with someone in a coma – see article.
“6 years ago I suffered a stroke which left my left leg and arm impaired. After many months of physical therapy I still had very limited use of my left side; my left hand was in a tight fist all those years. In working with Louise my hand has opened and softened and I am gradually feeling more and more sensation on my left side. My left foot stands flatter, my walking is much stronger, and I can even kick a soccer ball with my left foot - my granddaughter is amazed!”
—Donna Stanton, Tucker, GA
“Whatever you are doing has HELPED. My mother's demeanor is a lot better. She has more confidence in things she tries to do and also in her attitude. I've heard a couple of our friends say they've seen a difference. THANK YOU!”
— Julie Kuntz, Daughter/Caregiver of a Stroke Survivor
Louise has also worked with people with scoliosis, chronic pain, severe trauma, learning disabilities, broken limbs, spinal fusions, repetitive stress syndrome, and frozen shoulder; she has worked with athletes, martial artists and equestrians as well as with actors, singers, dancers and musicians; and with children of all ages as well as adults.
“After chiropractic care for over 20 years, my pain from a severe scoliosis only continued to intensify. I discovered the Feldenkrais Method and in a year's time the pain and stress, which I had considered a permanent part of my life, actually became manageable. My sessions with Louise have tremendously improved my quality of life, not only physically but emotionally. My self-image has taken on a ‘can do’ quality. In the past I worked so hard to hold myself straight through muscular effort. Now I feel much more accepting of who and how I am — and who and how I am keeps changing and improving. I walk several miles a day and, as an artist, my creative channels are flowing!”
—Suzanne Clements, Stone Mountain, GA
“I've been an athlete all my adult life: cyclist, swimmer, rock climber, dancer, backpacker, canoeist, runner. so I've spent a lot of time refining my stroke, stride and form. Around the time I began training for my first marathon, I started Feldenkrais classes and Functional Integration sessions with Louise Runyon. As I've pushed up the miles, my work with Louise has helped me develop a much more efficient stride, allowing me to run more efficiently and with significantly less strain on my joints.”
— Tom Bell, Atlanta, GA