“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.

Form Grants (pain-free!) Function

Just spent a good chunk of the morning with a professional artist, and I have to say, I want to (kindly, gently, figuratively) punch “well known local art-education school” right in the nose.

That’s because the artist is in constant pain trying to work, and the reason this person is in constant pain is because the training institution didn’t check the students for proper form and body usage. Being an artist while rotating your wrist by generating your power to do so right at the wrist joint, rather than by turning from the elbow (to rotate the bones in your forearm and let your little joints and muscles rest/relax) is a really bad idea.

Ask a typist: “good form or you break.”
Ask a laborer: “good form or you break.”
Ask a musician: “good form or you break.”
Ask a (pro) cook: “good form or you break.”
Ask a weightlifter: “good form or you break (fast).”

It’s the same thing for art. It’s the same thing for everything. The better you use yourself, no matter how “obviously physical” the task, the less likely you are to find yourself in pain and struggling to do what it is that you love to do.

If you love doing something, it’s worth doing it well (and not being in pain). If pain is stopping you from doing what you love, let alone endangering your career, reach out. To me, or to somebody else, so we can help you get back to “doing the thing” with less strain and more joy.

Building Blocks

Helped a gent improve his judo roll/somersault this morning by helping him feel how on one side he’s able to flex forwards while rotating his shoulders, and on his other side he had no idea how to do that. Visible improvement in a guy’s forward roll in five painless minutes flat. I’ll link it up from Youtube once I have it online.

If you’re an athlete or musician or dancer, THIS IS IMPORTANT:
“Techniques” are not fundamentals. Flexion, extension, rotation, translation throughout your joints as a cooperative human whole — THIS is fundamentals. The better you can coordinate yourself, the better your techniques will get… even if you’re barely practicing them.