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Constructing your own versatile Air-Table
Construction material: 4 Egg balls (diameter 65)*, a 6m long strip of material (width: 75cm), 4 draught-stoppers (as an alternative 4 rolled up blankets or towels), a sheet of foam rubber (160-170cm by 75cm; thickness 2-3cm), a blanket, a normal bed sheet, 2 foam ‘sausages’ (ca. 120 cm long, diameter 7cm), an attractive washable cover or sheet. (See sketch no1 in Bruno’s step by step guide of how to construct an air table below)
* original pezzi EGG balls produced by the Italian firm LEDRAGOMMA. These are available in different sizes, measured in maximal diameter: 45cm (yellow), 55cm (orange), 65cm (green), 85cm (blue). All sizes also come in stronger silver-coloured “anti-burst” material.
For full length lying (supine, prone, and on the side) 4 balls (65cm) are placed side by side on a 6m long strip of material (width: 75cm) which is then folded over forming a secure loop holding them together. The slight gaps between the balls are bridged by draught-stoppers or rolled up towels or blankets put on top of the loop material. (Sketches # 2-4)
The gap between the 2nd and 3rd from the top – where the pelvis will be - needs a little more (for instance 2 draught-stoppers). (#5)
A sheet of foam rubber (160-170cm by 75cm; thickness 2-3cm) covered by a blanket and a washable sheet on top completes the construction. (#8-13)
If you wish to give your table a little more ‘solidity’ and width you have two options:
a) Before placing the foam on the construction, spread a sheet crosswise on top. This can then be used to secure two foam ‘sausages’ along each side of the air table by folding the sheet so it forms a double layer between them. (# 6–7) The length of the foam should end up lying between the ‘sausages’. Then add the blanket and washable cover. (#8–9) See Bruno’s step by step guide of how to construct an air table.
b) Or try another solution, for instance giving the person’s arms extra support on each side in the form of a little stool with a cushion or blanket. (Initially, when the ‘sausages’ were not yet available, this was the way I made up for the fact that the air bed is not quite as wide as a regular Feldenkrais table.)
c) Slipping a soft round ball under the sheet on each side so that hands can rest on a comfortable extra support is another way of making people feel more secure.
(The first prototype consisted of 2 green and 1 blue ball. On this kind of couch a person can lie very comfortably on the back with the legs slightly higher than the rest of the body – and the feet supported by whatever seems suitable, a bench with rollers or a rolled up blanket on top. [photo as illustration]
For the kneeling position with a person’s front resting on the table 2 green balls secured in the loop are sufficient.
For supporting a person’s head and torso while their feet are standing on the floor 3 such balls are needed (or alternatively 2 and for the head and shoulders the biggest ball (85cm).
Smaller EGG balls (especially for children) and combinations of different sizes can also be used to good effect.
• Important: Some time may pass before you get the pressure inside the balls right: The four balls mustn’t become too hard through being over-inflated.
• Some practice is also required before you begin to gain experience in using your own body with ease and skill in order to stabilize the construction whenever necessary.