Completing the self-image

When we act, we use only a small part of our capacity, and a small part of ourselves, to accomplish what we set out to do.

Feldenkrais would sometimes contrast his approach with Freudian theory: Freud said that maturation involved growing out of the anal or oral stages of development. Feldenkrais thought in terms of a global process of coming to make available for ourselves our whole person, without compulsion.

We all workhorses and blind spots. There are parts of ourselves we make great use of–doing everything with them. Maybe for you it’s your shoulders: you work 9-5 with your shoulders, prepare meals for your family with them, even watch TV with them. And it never occurs to you really that your feet have anything to do with these tasks. There’s an unequal distribution of work in the “household” of yourself, and and unequal distribution of injury, strain, exhaustion at the same time.

To some extent imbalances are built into us. The sensory cortex contains much more space dedicated to the lips than to the area between the shoulder blades or the back of your head. The motor cortex “has enormous fingers” (to speak of the homunculus) but much smaller toes. (Can you even feel all your toes or move them individually?)

These lessons are designed to “complete the self-image” by helping you reassemble all of yourself for use in action.