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Anna started having Feldenkrais lessons soon after she had badly twisted her knee during a fall on stage. Despite increasing discomfort, the thirty-five year old keen amateur performer had insisted on taking part in the remaining two presentations of a prestigious local pantomime. By the following week the pain was so severe that Anna could not go to work.

Anna has a slight learning disability but lives on her own and earns her living as a chambermaid in a hotel. This is what her mother wrote about Anna’s experience of the Feldenkrais Method.

“The doctor told Anna to rest and gave her a sick-note for two weeks. It was then that we thought of Feldenkrais. Her leg improved quickly and she was able to resume bed-making at work; this was easier for her as she had been shown how to move. Since then Anna has had regular Feldenkrais lessons every fortnight. At first she came away glowing with energy, smiling and full of the joys of Spring. Then one day she was in a very angry mood. The muscles holding some of her anger since childhood had been relaxed and the anger erupted with this. After that we always made sure that Anna came home to us after her Feldenkrais sessions so we could help her deal with any emotions that might be released.

I asked Anna if she thought Feldenkrais had helped her. She gave an emphatic “Yes”, but couldn’t say why or how. I have seen her grow in confidence over the year; this has made her a happier person. How much is due to Feldenkrais I find hard to say, she also had radionic treatment and some counselling.

However I saw a great improvement in Anna’s performance between this and last year’s pantomime. Last year she was in the back row in every number and though she did quite complicated movements perfectly she was always a fraction of a second behind everyone else. This year she was in perfect time and at the front of the stage in two dances. She gets great encouragement from the rest of the cast and her confidence is very much increased by feeling accepted in a group which is not particularly for disabled people.

But I think the improvement in her co-ordination can only be due to her Feldenkrais lessons which keep giving her much enjoyment.”

Learning Disability: Growing in Confidence and Becoming a Happier Person

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