Feldenkrais and Erickson on “Mistakes”

Rare is the day when I do an event in the Ericksonian and psychotherapy world and do not fit in a "plug" for Feldenkrais. The areas of overlap are deep and profound. I have been threatening for years to write a book or long essay demonstrating how Feldenkrais could be considered a brief strategic therapist....at least at times. Here a couple of quotes from both men that might demonstrate the point:

“No person is able to correct a movement that has been made because it is in the past. He could do an additional movement, a better one, a worse one, but it already is impossible to fix the same movement. In other words, it is impossible to correct mistakes, mistakes of action are lost.” (Moshe Feldenkrais, Alexander Yanai, ATM Lesson #359: Tanden with bending the knees.)

And here a similar statement from Milton Erickson. He is using it to end a hypnosis and psychotherapy session with a client, helping them to get deeply absorbed in a new way of viewing the world.

Well, the deed is done and cannot be undone, so let the dead past bury its dead. Bring me only one more good tomorrow and you will go home tomorrow with another good tomorrow and another and another, and all the other good tomorrows are forever yours.” (Milton Erickson, Collected Papers 1, The Nature of Hypnosis and Suggestion, page 354.)

Note: When I first published these quotes on my old blog, five years ago, someone wrote in the comment section: "I read the quotation from AY 359 and liked it. As I read Hebrew and have the AY books in Hebrew, I checked lesson 359 (Tanden with bending the knees, or as it is marked in the AY book: Reel 24, track 2 lesson 6) and didn’t find anything even similar to this quotation."

So the quote appears in the English version but not the Hebrew (?). If anyone can verify that I would be most apreciative.

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How Your Body Makes The Decision

This is a short YouTube video (10 minutes) with Stephen Porges about the Polyvagal theory in relation to trauma. I am finding it very liberating. Though I have done quite a bit of trauma work on myself over the last several years, there are some key ideas and reframes in the video that helped me to change my ideas and narrative regarding some early traumatic events in my life. Very powerful. I thought you might find it useful.


RE: What Are You Doing For Insurance?

I got an email recently from a Feldenkrais Practitioner in Canada (not a Guild member) who needs insurance for her practice. And just a few minutes later I received a Facebook message from an Anat Baniel Method Practitioner in Australia who needs insurance for her practice and workshops as well. It is not a topic that I know much about. Can you help? My question to you: Who or what do you use to get insurance? And would you be willing to post a comment below with a link to the provider?

I have been under the impression that some FGNA members do not use the Guild's insurance and that some eligible members do not join and get insurance via another source, such as a small business association or somatic association etc. And I have no idea what Anat Baniel or Mia Segal's students do. I would like to know what some options are.

Update: April 7th

Here are several options that people provided to me. U.S. based. If you are in Canada, Australia ¡, the UK or elsewhere please feel free to also leave a comment and let us know what you are doing.

Hands On Trade Association:

American Bodywork and Massage Professionals (recommended by Feldenkrais Practitioner Eveline Wu).


HPSO: Malpractice Insurance for Healthcare Providors:


FGNA Insurance

Some FGNA practitioners stick with their insurance, as one member told me, "I get insurance through the Guild. The policy they offer has improved greatly and it is was the best price I could find anywhere."

Your replies are much appreciated!



Do You Have Any Historical Feldenkrais Documents You Can Share?

My blog post last week, Feldenkrais Never Did This, Correct? was a simple attempt to get some stories and first person accounts from people from the early years of the Feldenkrais world. It failed on that account. But thanks to a long time blog reader, I got ahold of some new (to me) material that I can share with you.

Of particular interest is the court docket from the service mark lawsuit back in 2000. Are you familiar with my writing on the topic? Here is a reasonably complete article on it, though I am starting to think that it demands the treatment of a full-length book. The court docket helped me understand why the guild settled with Anat Baniel. Quite simply, in the pretrial phase the judge refused to dismiss Anat's claim that the FGNA did not own the service marks and set a date for a full trial. The Guild apparently got scared (who can blame them) of what might happen in a trial and settled the lawsuit.

If you have any documents - letters, court filings, notes, transcripts - or anything else that might shed light on ANY aspect of Feldenkrais history (not just the lawsuit) I would like to have a copy. I am particularly interested in what Feldenkrais thought about the guild and what plans he had or did not have for his service marked terms. For example, the letter mentioned in this blog post Feldenkrais: "I have No Interest In The Guild," would be quite a find.

Though I clearly have my own biases and point of view, if what you have is of interest, I will publish it in its entirety so that folks can make up their own minds. You can send emails to me via my contact form, where you can also find a mailing address for me. Or you can email me: ryan AT ryannagy.com. Or - if privacy is a concern for you - you can send me attachments securly and privately through this third-party service: https://anonymousemail.me/


I hope you are doing well out there.


Post-Feldenkrais Trampoline Sessions?

Some of the more notable changes that I have had in my Feldenkrais journeys have been unplanned and unexpected and have occured while doing unplanned and unexpected movements. For example, several years ago I started doing interval training (jumping rope) with a large, ugly, heavy piece of nautical rope. And in the process of jumping as fast as I could for brief periods, something shifted around my lower spine and pelvis. "Something" shifted? Yes, I do not know what exactly. But my center of gravity changed and it is different to this day. And it was a good change, one that made my movement more efficient and powerful.

Early last week I had a similar experience. I spent an hour going crazy and generally acting like a child at a large indoor trampoline park. As you may be able to see from the picture above, you can not only jump on a trampoline there, but you can jump from one trampoline to another and, yes, you can even bounce off the walls! These and the other activities at the park gave me some very non-habitual movements and some gentle and unique stresses on myself that reverberated for days. I feel more present, more alive and my more connected to my physical sensations as I move.

So...consider this your Feldenkrais tip of the week. Add something unique to your activities - whatever fits for you and your lifestyle - and see what Feldenkrais changes it can help you integrate into your life.

"We do a big mixture, we don't want any routine for the human brain, so that when it does start a routine it is the best thing it can do, and it is open to revision with any change in circumstances in order to make life easier" - Feldenkrais at the Esalen Workshop

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