The Return of Group Classes! Online Booking Coming Soon!

So far, so good — paying with credit and debit cards is now enabled (though with a small fee, because Square charges for the convenience), and by the end of the month at latest I will have a website where you can book lessons directly (testing now to make sure all goes as planned – none of the services I’ve played with fit my needs 100%, but Square seems to be the best fit for working multiple locations without a ridiculous amount of overhead).

Also, STARTING AUGUST 19TH, I will be returning to running group lessons! Classes will charge $20 and be bookable online (if all goes well, very soon). What is currently up in the air is whether you would all prefer said classes to be in person, online, or both. I can accomodate the latter if I run internet to my studio. Let me know if you have a solid preference, and I will be polling existing clients over the next two weeks.

Stay cool and shady if you can!

The case for Ongoing Lessons

One of the advantages of the Feldenkrais Method over methods such as massage and chiropractic is that since you’re learning, you can bring yourself to a finer level of self-organization and no longer need adjustments and structural sessions.

That said, it takes a few lessons for you to build the felt sense of yourself that allows you to maintain these higher and more-elegant forms of self-organization, and thus you have some real choices:

1. Do a short series of one-on-one lessons, learn what you like, and move on.
2. Do ongoing lessons, one on one or as a group, in order to continue to upgrade your standards of self-organization.

That is, the improvements which “wow” you a few lessons in may also open doors to possibilities you never even imagined before — and inspire you to chase them. I have a client named Jacob who fits this bill — as a performing musician, he’s keenly aware of the benefits of more-elegant movement, and takes weekly lessons. Those lessons have gradually taken him from the ability to teach and play cello without discomfort, to… well, I’ll let his words this week speak for themselves.

Ok walking is crazy different. I feel like I leveled up hahaha running is even crazier. The “A skip” and other runner exercises actually make sense to me now. Running at a 6:30 mile pace feels much much easier- if I got my diet back on track, I could probably run back to back miles at this speed or at least at 7ish min.

This man’s pre-Feldenkrais comfortable mile time was in the low 9s: he would need a half-hour minimum to run a 5k. So you can see that this is a very serious improvement, brought on by Jacob’s desire to master himself.

If you find that you really want the benefit of an ever-improving horizon line for yourself and would like to look at ongoing lessons, but are unsure of whether you can afford them, talk to me. While I have certain minimums I have to charge to stay in business, I will absolutely work with you to help you achieve your goals.

“SQUARE” Credit Card Payments Enabled!

I can now take credit cards via either “tap” or “chip reader,” as well as take cards manually.
This means that I can now take payment by Card, Cash, Check, Zelle, or Paypal!

I have to pay a fee to the credit card companies for processing, and that will have to be added onto the lesson fee (it’s minor, 2.6%). One BIG advantage for those of you who know you will be working with me on an ongoing basis is that I can keep a card on file and charge when you take a lesson w/o having to muck about in person with the cards, which will provide you with a receipt for every lesson.

That way, if you don’t like the online payment systems and can’t find your checkbook, you no longer need to muck about getting cash in order to pay for lessons! 🙂

Do I still do home visits? YES!

Unlike most of my peers, I will happily come to give you a lesson in your home.

That said, I generally have to charge a road fee in order to protect my time (time spent on the road is time I can’t be helping others or engaging in productive work). I use a very simple formula, which equates to $20/hour drive time, and a $10 fee to cover gas/tolls if the location is outside of Irving.

I will usually waive this fee if I’m teaching multiple lessons back to back in a specific location. It need not specifically be a home, either: I will gladly come to your office, or heck, a park if the weather’s nice and that’ll provide an environment that’s easy and comfortable for you.

“Grandfathered” rates changing.

A quick heads-up: rates (as warned), went up this year. Still nowhere near what most of my peers charge, but up. That will have to go up for established clients as well. For most long-running clients, as of May, fees for lessons will go up by $10 (i.e., what you’re paying now goes up by that much: Denton area clients will keep their special rate as negotiated). It’s just what I have to do in order to keep up with rents, which track inflation.

The Good News: recently I’ve had some new clients coming on board. (which means I’ve got a little wiggle room: the more I’m able to work with people, the more leeway I have to delay rate increases with current clients). If this rate increase would put you into hardship or make it less likely for you to seek out lessons, let me know and we’ll figure something out: the last thing I want is for somebody who needs lessons to have to let that go for inability to pay.

Enjoy spring, and more soon about an upcoming project you may enjoy, called Klutz Therapy!

Manage Pain While Healing (Proximal/Distal principle)

I have a student right now who’s working to get past a really NASTY case of tennis elbow that has completely put her out of business for months on end. Physical therapy has helped a little bit, but not enough.

One of the strategies we’re pursuing is helping her to “Re-route” her movement so that she can lift her arm from a surface by bending her torso (in any direction) or slide her hand along her thigh, thus allowing her elbow to get bent, rather than trying to use the muscles of her forearm to bend the elbow all on their own.

We need to use the “big power” muscles at the center of our bodies to generate force, and the little muscles to refine that force. Pain is not actually damage: it’s a signal to us that we’re doing something improper that requires attention (the “pay attention” part is why chronic pain is so exhausting). That pain can in many cases go away if you can learn to move your body in a way that isn’t causing the injured place additional damage, and that recruits muscles differently. “Nerves that fire together, wire together.” If you change the muscular recruitment pattern, you can diminish the risk that pain levels you. There is a tremendous difference between allowing your shoulder blade to move while you bend your elbow, and not allowing it to move!

Tai Chi is full of examples of learning to move from the center of your body, and my upcoming book Klutz Therapy will have several specific examples of how you can add these habits to your daily life so as to get the majority of the benefits that tai chi players get from their art*, at no additional cost to your daily schedule.

*of course, if you’re learning tai chi to fight, rather than for health benefits, that’s a different kettle of fish and a lot more work.

“Get Loose at Lunch” Discontinued: will be Private Lessons

An odd thing has happened recently post-Covid(tm), and that is that interest in group (Awareness Through Movement) classes has gotten really odd. I am still teaching ATM by arrangement (so if you have a group, please do reach out to me!), but interest in “walk-in group classes” is low enough right now that I’m discontinuing them in favor of private lessons at lunchtime. The interest now appears to be from pre-existing groups who want to study and learn together, and that’s how I’ll be pursuing ATM classes for the next year.

Quick Changes Coming to Irving Feldenkrais

  1. Our rates are going to have to go up. I am deadly serious about making the Feldenkrais Method accessible to everyone, not just the well-heeled, and because of that, my rates have been roughly half of what most my peers charge. Unfortunately, inflation is what it is, and since that hits studio space as well as food and gas, etcetera, I’m going to have to start bringing my rates closer into line with what most folks charge (or at least, no longer 1990s rates). Already-existing clients will see the rates go up slowly.
  2. I will be taking credit cards moving forwards. The fee they charge is real, and adds up, but for some folks the other payment options are notably inconvenient. Message heard. 🙂
  3. Irving Feldenkrais now has two subsidiary locations: one in Denton, and one in Addison. Stay tuned for details and addresses, etc. — Existing clients: if either of these is easier for you than Irving, let me know.

    Stay Warm! Winter isn’t quite over yet!

Booking A First Lesson

Hi folks! Some important things for people booking their first lesson.

1. “Fit” matters. The first lesson is half consultation, and half “getting to know you” to see whether or not we are a good fit and likely to enjoy working with each other. If you determine that we are not but are still interested in pursuing more learning, I will happily refer you to others who might be that better fit for which you’re looking. I am a professional with a thick skin. 🙂
1.a. Public-Service Discount — As a thank-you, I ask lower tuition rates from Teachers, Active-Duty Military, and Public-Safety Personnel (LEOs, EMS, etc etc) working in extreme high-stress environments on behalf of the public good. Inquire if this is you.

2. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. I may ask you to remove your shoes and on occasion your socks if any if it turns out that they are restricting you more than they should, but that’s it: this is a fully-clothed modality.

3. You have a variety of venue options: Please see the LOCATIONS post for what’s currently available.

4. These are lessons, not “sessions.” The more curious you can be when you walk through the door, the more and faster you will learn. While I typically schedule in hourly-blocks simply to maintain sane time management, the duration and scope of the lesson will depend on
a) what you need
b) what I can provide you
c) what you can absorb

This means that a lesson could go as long as an hour (or occasionally longer upon agreement), or come to a close more quickly. There is no reason to waste your valuable time “filling up the clock” once you have learned what you’ve come to learn,, and “larding up” lessons to do so is counter-productive for your learning.

5. Payment Details. Payment is due at time of service. I cannot accept insurance, but I can accept payments via HSA accounts. I reserve the right to request payment in the case of a last-minute cancellation. I will not always do so, because we all get that “life happens.” But if we confirm for a time and cancel at the last moment, that’s a block of time I set aside from other projects and/or family in order to earn a living….but didn’t.

6. Collaboration. I am always happy to collaborate with people working in related fields, whether that is PT, OT, Structural Integration, Neuro-Psychology, etc.

Thanks, and talk to you soon!

Sistine Chapel and its Live Models

It was a pleasure this morning to see the Sistine Chapel exhibit in Irving Mall, and also to notice some true-to-life details not really visible at a distance.

These hands have eaten some hammer blows — check out those knuckles.
Besides the really nice sense of movement here, check out that Cherub going “hey God! Imma tickle his foot…”
See the inside of that dude’s foot (emphasis, red oval)? That heavy musculature on the inside of the foot is a classic sign of somebody who collapses their arches and shoves their body weight onto their big toe. EVERY person I have worked with who “had flat feet” showed this excess foot musculature as a necessary compensation for lack of proper arch use.

It’s “inside baseball, but still, really subtle stuff that shows Michelangelo was paying real attention to his models. If you can see this exhibit, it’s WELL worth your time.