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Embracing the Fear
An introduction to the principles and ways of applying the Feldenkrais Method to cope with anxiety patterns
Anxiety is a psychological or physiological condition in which one feels restlessness due to great stress and deep concern. The concern, from threat or danger, is real or imaginary, conscious or unconscious, and in turn the person feels helpless.
Feelings of anxiety and feelings of fear have similar symptoms but fear is more closely related to specific active behaviors of the freeze, fight or flight response, whereas anxiety results from perceived and uncontrollable danger.
The state of mind called «anxiety» is an extreme state of stress that results in physiological and physical reactions.
And these are some of the main physical responses to anxiety:
- Contraction of flexor muscles, especially in the lower abdomen, and inhibiting erectile muscles.
- Stop breathing.
- Fixation of the rib cage.
- The secretion of hormones and various chemicals.
- Accelerating the pulse, increasing blood pressure, and so on.
A healthy person goes through experiences that stimulate his survival reflex in various anxiety situations such as taking a test, appearing before an audience, integrating into a new workplace, and in extended situations in the stages of life, such as moving from childhood to adolescence, adulthood to old age, etc.
The physiological response in a variety of experiences is similar, but in varying doses, depending on the nature of the event and the nature of the person experiencing it.
Most of the symptoms of the fear reflex dissipate within a few seconds. A few of them do not disappear — they remain, and intensify at every encounter that a person interprets as a state of stress until they can even break into physical disorders such as these:
- Pain: Headaches, joint and muscle pain, back pain.
- Functional disorders: Sleep disorders, gastrointestinal tract, breathing, blood pressure.
- Mental disorders: from moods to depression.
Over the years Yeudit Silver has worked with hundreds of students and clients, in Awareness through Movement lessons and in personal lessons. Their story focused mainly on physical symptoms, such as pain and movement disorders, inflammation of the joints and muscles, breathing disorders, sleep disturbances, mood swings and others.
The Feldenkrais Method can help in many ways:
- We learn to soothe the arousal of the nervous system.
- We learn to better identify anxiety and then use Feldenkrais tools to quickly exit from anxiety related movement and postural patterns and return to a healthy functioning.
About the content of this workshop
«Embracing the Fear» is an experiential workshop in movement and touch that combines knowledge from different disciplines: psychology, biofeedback, coaching and Feldenkrais, in order to change perception and behavior in stress, burnout and anxiety situations.
The goals of this workshop are:
- Understanding the concept of anxiety and its psychological and physiological aspects.
- Gaining knowledge of objective and subjective symptoms.
- Learning to identify anxiety patterns by observing and understanding how those patterns are reflected in a person’s movements.
- Understanding the principles of action that provide a quick response to anxiety situations.
- Developing awareness and changing perceptions through the use of different techniques.
- Photo – © Alex Radelich