I have also found the balls extremely helpful when working with older children who often don’t particularly relish the prospect of being manipulated by a stranger.

Eleven year old Sven, for instance, did not like the idea of having his painful back, wrist, and arm touched at all. Especially since the doctor had told his mother that a very badly healed left arm might need to be broken again and reset properly. The boy was suffering from severe back pain after falling from a tree and breaking his arm, and was too afraid to be his usual dare-devil self. As a result he was depressed, despondent, and morose, and certainly didn’t look happy when he came to me for a Feldenkrais lesson.

But ten minutes into the session I could hardly believe my eyes. Suddenly Sven’s sullen face began to brighten as some tremendous tension in his damaged arm, his neck, and back started dissolving quite visibly. Yet I had never touched him. The miraculous transformation happened while I gently rolled and occasionally tilted a big oval air ball on which Sven’s arms and hands were resting. The boy’s suspicion and doubts disappeared completely during that first lesson – and so did the pain. Sven seemed to be a changed child and made up his mind there and then to come for a second session to consolidate the miraculous gain. The doctor decided that the healing process had taken a turn for the better and the arm was allowed to remain imperceptibly crooked because it was perfectly all right for normal use.

Broken arm, bad back and depressed, but very soon a changed child