Art of Aging: Keeping seniors in motion

Thursday, November 16, 2017 01:27PM
Art of Aging: Keeping seniors in motion. Tamala Edwards reports during Action News at 12 p.m. on November 16, 2017.

A new technique is helping our bodies stay in motion as we get older. It's called the Feldenkrais method.

Feldenkrais Instructor Jaclyn Boone said, "We're going to do a lesson that is very good for scoliosis."

Settling in at the Ralston Center in University City, Feldenkrais classes may look like the ancient practice of yoga.

But it's the 20th century creation of Moshe Feldenkrais - an Israeli physicist and mechanical engineer.

He wanted to counter the pain and disability of his own knee injury.

Feldenkrais believed old movement habits cause or contribute to chronic pain.

"We can find more efficient and more effective ways of moving for ourselves," added Boone.

The Feldenkrais method uses body awareness and brain re-training to help people let go of the old and develop healthier new patterns.

Each person explores how their own body moves.

Boone is a certified instructor. She guides them to find those better ways of moving.

Eileen Harrison said, "It's taught me about my rib cage, opened my body up, improved my posture."

Over the years of teaching, Boone says Feldenkrais has helped them through a variety of movement problems.

"Arthritis, osteoporosis, any kind of recovery situation - from a fall or injury, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and stroke," Boone said.

Some class members have tried other exercise methods, but say the benefits of Feldenkrais can't be beat.

Peter Lister of Center City said, "When you're older, you tend to go like this (slumps), and now, I'm trying to do that (straightens up his back), which is much healthier, and helps my breathing."

Harrison added, "One time I was walking out, and somebody said - what do you do in there? Everybody comes out smiling!"
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