“When you learn to move different ways, it causes your brain to create new pathways. This can allow you to change your way of thinking or perceiving, hopefully in a good way” said Sandra Belzile.
Belzile is a certified Practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method. This area of study focuses on “awareness through movement”. It uses gentle manipulation of the body through directed attention. In addition, the Feldenkrais Method improves mobility enhances human functioning. With this method, you can increase range of motion, flexibility, and coordination. These improvements will often start enrich other aspects of your life as well(source).
After taking an interest in veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Sandra agreed to conduct a research study at Barry University. The mission is to examine effects the Feldenkrais method has on veterans and others with past trauma. Sessions are held every Thursday at 5pm and is being hosted by The Combat Hippies through the School of Social Work.
Although she is not supposed to disclose any details of the study, Sandra was willing to share some of her 10+ years of expertise in this interview.
Interview with Feldenkrais Method Practitioner, Sandra Belzile. Video Courtesy of The Combat Hippies Youtube Page. Edited by Andrew Cuthbert.
“The Feldenkrais Method can help you increase your awareness of how you sense your feelings and how you sense yourself. Once you have this awareness, it may help you to release past traumas and allow you to be present in the moment” said Belzile.
She mentioned studies done by Norman Doidge and how the brain can heal itself. Through movements such as moving your hips in all directions or being fully aware of your body in certain situations, the brain can make new pathways and begin to heal itself.
Trauma usually gets stored in the non-verbal parts of the brain. Through this method, one can actively process traumatic memories, which is why Sandra believes it will with work for veterans with PTS.
Belzile began experimenting with Feldenkrais in the early 2000’s and has been a practitioner, or instructor, for over 10 years. As a contemporary dancer, she used to experience debilitating back pain. She wanted to make the point clear that it was not the normal soreness that one can experience after a workout, it was much worse. Sandra shared that the Feldenkrais method helped heal her back pain in addition to to improving all areas of her life. She experienced enhanced focus and all around balance by improving her mind body connection.
For anyone interested, please visit http://www.feldenkrais.com/ to find a practitioner near you.