From The Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy, Winter 2009.
Lavinia Plonka, GCFP is an Feldenkrais teacher, workshop leader, and Director of Asheville Movement Center in North Carolina. She has over 30 years of movement experience and is the author of several books. Thesetwo CDs contain an introduction and four 20 minute lessons in pelvic movementand awareness based on the Feldenkrais Method®. It is designedfor general consumer use. Each section can be done separately allowing theuser to progress through the program at their own pace.
All sections are narrated in a clear and well modulated voice. The narrator speaks slowly enough and includes rest breaks making it easy to follow instructions, and giving the listener an opportunity to pause or to return to a previoussection. The introduction is a short explanation of the basic Feldenkrais concept and an outline of the program. The author does not assume familiarity withFeldenkrais teaching and sets out appropriate guidelines for working throughthe program.
In the succeeding 4 sessions (entitled The Center of Everything, the Spinal Chain, Activating Your pelvic Floor, and Freedom to Move), the user is guided though a series of lessons focusing on becoming aware and activating the pelvic floor, abdominal, and hip muscle groups in various ways. Activities beginin supine and lead to side lying and finally to standing exercises. Appropriate emphasis is placed on technique and correct breathing patterns while focusing on increasing the user’s awareness of how the movement feels. There are repeated instructions not to force movement, and to encourage both activation of muscles and subsequent relaxation. Activities include activating the pelvic floormuscles, pelvic clock imagery, pelvic bridging, and hip internal and externalrotation exercises that are both differentiated from and coordinated withpelvic motion.
A few instructions could use more clarity. The author introduces a concept called “ton den” which appears to correlate with the body’s center of gravitybut does not really tie the concept in well with the activities. As a consumeroriented CD , there is no evidence offered to support the concepts or the Feldenkrais Method. Overall these are simple, basic, and relaxing sessions that could be an excellent adjunct for home use early in the treatment of the patient with pelvic floor or spinal dysfunction or with pelvic pain syndromes.
Linda A Steiner PT, DPT, MS, OCS, Boston, MA