Move freely and reduce stress: a new method to change our lives

New classes in a revolutionary movement therapy are to start soon in the Lake District and Lancashire.

Steve Cheslett, a practitioner of the Feldenkrais method, aims to help people move more freely and reduce stress.

Steve, who is the only Feldenkrais practitioner in Lancashire and South Lakeland, is also a physiotherapist and works with stroke patients on their rehabilitation.

He says that Feldenkrais is an educational methodology which uses guided movement in order to increase self- awareness. “Through increased awareness we can become more conscious of habitual patterns and then increase our choices of movement possibilities. This in turn can lead to increases in efficiency in functioning and more ease and pleasure in whatever we do in life.”

More popular in America, Australia and continental Europe, Feldenkrais is only now having an impact in Britain, with students appreciating the holistic approach in helping the body to function more efficiently.

“Feldenkrais concentrates on enabling the brain to improve the organisation of all the other systems such as neurological, and muscular-skeletal, in order for the whole to function well,” says Steve, who lives in Kendal.

“It’s a software approach rather than the traditional body-work hardware approach.”

Steve, who has worked extensively in the NHS as a physiotherapist and has specialised in neurology and stroke rehabilitation, decided to train as a Feldenkrais practitioner after seeing the effect on a colleague whose life was changed “and she looked 15 years younger”.

Benefits, he says, are relief from tension and muscular pain, easier and fuller breathing, greater relaxation and well-being, improved performance in sport, dance, music and drama, greater ease in everyday activities and increased vitality.

He spent four years studying part-time, and now gives individual sessions, known as functional integration, as well as classes at Ambleside’s parish centre. He now plans to run further classes and regular workshops in Lancaster and the South Lakes, starting in September.

The group classes are known as Awareness Through Movement lessons, verbally guided lessons where the students are led through structured movement sequences which are like movement puzzles. “There’s no competition and no achievement required – just the opportunity to pay attention, tune-in, sense and feel,” says Steve.

He believes that the benefits are considerable for people of all ages, and that increased self-awareness can have an impact on improving posture and increasing the efficiency and comfort of movement, whatever the function.

For details of classes, workshops and one to one sessions see his website: www.awarenessworks.co.uk or call 07854 645836.

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