Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey
Guest: Dr. Frank Wildman
Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
Moshe Feldenkrais, who died in 1984, created a very unique movement therapy system based on a systems understanding of the mind and body, a developmental approach to movement, and increasing awareness of movement. I have tried to read Feldenkrais books and had about ten individual Feldenkrais sessions. The books were daunting. The particular instructor I had while brilliant was so nondirective it was very frustrating.
I was delighted when I found Frank Wildman’s Change Your Age. First, I was thrilled with the concept of “movement age” being another way to measure aging. The developmental psychology and optimistic approach fit well with my developmental psychology background and unsinkable optimism. To my delight his book and approach is very practical, readable, and as directive as Feldenkrais can get. Not only does Frank break exercises into five-minute explorations instead of one-hour lessons, he even gives his private practice patients homework “prescriptions.”
To review key concepts in the interview, the change your age concept is that we develop habits and our habits become rigid, causing us to move like “old people.” To add to the problem, popular approaches to exercise tend to only move certain muscles in certain ways and leave us unprepared for lateral moves and dealing with varied situations. Taking some time to become more aware of our bodies and do movements we don’t normally do can undo movement aging and rigidity.
The payoff is moving with grace, integration, and coordination, moving more adaptively, reducing pain and tension, reducing the risk of accidents and fractures, and reducing wear and tear on our bodies. A bonus is these short exercises can be done at home, with no special equipment or special clothing and you don’t even break a sweat. For me one of the take aways doesn’t even require a five minute exercise. I am now encouraging myself to squirm and move around a lot when I sit in a chair or car seat.
Dr. Frank Wildman was a dancer and choreographer before studying with Moshe Feldenkrais for ten years. He was Feldenkrais’ first North American student and became his chief promoter in North America. During that time, he also acquired degrees in physical education, biology, and somatic psychology. His most recent (2010) book is Change Your Age: Using Your Body and Brain to Feel Younger, Stronger, and More Fit. He also is author of Feldenkrais: The Busy Person’s Guide to Easier Movement, Fibromyalgia: Relief From Chronic Muscle Pain and many CDs and DVDs.
His websites are www.changeyourage.net and www.FeldenkraisInstitute.org. He is Educational Director of the Feldenkrais Movement Institute and has a private practice in Berkley California. Dr. Brickey’s other websites are www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.