Case Study: "Letting Emotion Move the Body"
   Maureen McHugh, Feldenkrais Practitioner                       703-751-2111

Letting Emotion Move the Body
By Arlene W.
Arlington, VA
March 6, 2002

    I was out walking my dog today, and I was feeling full of Tuesday evening’s class. I was walking and practicing the moves in random sequence. I was opening the chest, lifting the ribs, and using the shoulder to power the leg.

    At some point, my mind drifted. It was 2 years ago last Thursday that I put my partner in the hospital. It was 2 years ago March 20th that she died. As you can imagine, this is a very sad time for me.

    As I was thinking about this, I suddenly became aware of my body again. I realized that my shoulders had rolled forward and I had collapsed my chest. So I stopped walking. I stood and consciously let my body move how it wanted. In other words, I got out of the way of my physical movement. My body curled so that my arms came in close, crossing in front of my chest. My chest rolled forward, and my knees flexed. I was in a standing, fetal position. I felt enormous pain, and I let it come. I had tears, and I cried out, and the pain receded. Something had been released. My body uncurled. It took a few moments, but then my chest opened and I stood erect. I began to walk again.

    If it were not for the class on Tuesday, I would not have been as aware of what my body was doing, and I would not have let go to see where I needed to go. I would have suppressed the feeling. I would have forced by back to arch and would have continued to walk. My step would not have been as fluid had I suppressed my pain.

    Thanks, yet again.