Carolyn Bell, Gabriola
I was the owner of a small business and invited Gwen to do a series of Feldenkrais lessons for my staff. I believe we went through the cycle twice in several years because the staff kept changing. It is now many years from that time. I work in a different place now but with the same people. Just recently, D made this comment…
D: “I stepped off a curb and injured the ball of my foot near the big toe. I did not break anything but it took over a year to heal. Gwen’s exercises for the foot and how to roll through the step, helped me to learn how to walk normally again.”
And, many of the staff recall the exercises for sitting and getting up from a chair. They practice these routinely, especially after a new episode of phone neck. Wrist tendonitis used to be rampant amongst the staff but is now rare as they have all become more body aware and have tools to help them thanks to Gwen.
My husband suffered from tendonitis of his thumb and forearm, extending into his shoulder after several intensive years of guitar classes. He is now mostly pain free. He “remembers” these injuries every once in awhile when he overdoes things but has learned postures and techniques to help him through the rough spots.
He has also had rather severe attacks of pain in his right leg presumably related to his back problems. He still has back issues but has learned to take care of himself better. The hands on training for his back and leg have left him pain free in the leg department for a long long time now.
I think of myself as sensitive but obviously I am not very body aware. I have ongoing troubles with my shoulders, tension and pain…. I store my stress in my right shoulder. I have to use a mirror to see those postures and problems that I should be feeling. After years with Gwen, I finally feel my shoulder. My flamenco dance instructor remarked recently that my shoulders and posture had improved remarkably all of a sudden. Now to maintain that…
I have osteoarthritis of everything. Gwen’s walking lessons took a long time to take hold but I feel I walk more easily and with better posture now than I ever have.
Even if you have never had an issue in your life, Gwen’s Feldenkrais body awareness program will help you. We are not always aware of our bad habits. They seem “normal” to us because we are accustomed to them. This therapy will make you aware of and reverse damage and prevent future problems.
After a decade of dealing with spine issues Gwen’s weekly drop in Feldenkrais sessions gave me information and experience that shifted and improved how my body aligns. It is the smallest of movements/adjustments that ease the discomfort and not the grand/large ones.
With this wisdom in hand I can now much more easily help my body move in ways that offer it comfort, release it from pain and perform the activities I want on a daily basis.
I Shantikat, Gabriola Island
Feldenkrais has allowed me to heal from a traumatic automobile accident. Had it not been for Feldenkrais I know my mobility issues would be allot more noticeable physically and my mindset would not be in the positive state that it is today. The awareness that Feldenkrais has given me of my body has enabled me to gain control of several functions that after my accident I had lost sensory awareness of. Gwen has helped me immensely with regaining control of many functions that I had lost awareness of. She helped me to ground myself using my feet and to look within for guidelines. Her individual sessions were transforming and after individual sessions with her the spring returned to my step. Her group classes reinforced the new feeling and attending them always makes me feel even better. I’m very grateful for finding Feldenkrais and for being able to have Gwen a couple of hours away to help me with this wonderful experience.
Sue Billington, Qualicum
Arlene MacLowick, Gabriola Island
” Gwen Spinks and Feldenkrais gave me the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle that allowed me to finish healing from knee replacement surgery. I attended a forty minute workshop given by Gwen where I learned how my nervous system was holding me back. Since then I have been able to stand and sit without pushing off with my hands or flopping into a chair, and this insight has also allowed me to regain balance and confidence while negotiating rocky beaches and rough trails, places I loved to frequent before my knee became a problem. “
Joood Heather, Gabriola Island
Your Feldenkrais sessions, helped me realise how much positive thought and action can mend the body. How gentle healing can be; that it isn’t necessary to push or struggle in order to tend sore muscles and nerves.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Gwen for many years now as my dance instructor and more recently as my Feldenkrais practitioner. Gwen has also been the Feldenkrais practitioner for my staff at work (Parksville Xray Clinic) for many group sessions now and I hope to continue this relationship for many years to come on both fronts. I also hope to have Gwen start individual sessions with my staff once the group lessons are done. She has also been the practitioner to my husband, William Allen.
I knew nothing of the Feldenkrais method before Gwen introduced us to this. She has always been a very body-aware dance instructor in that she knows how to move well, effectively and without incurring injury. I have had many dance instructors who give the body no respect in terms of how to rest it, how to use it, how to stretch it and how to recover from injury. The sort of dance they teach is more abuse than use of the body… It was natural for Gwen to seek out Feldenkrais and “Awareness through Movement”.
I have learned much through Gwen via Feldenkrais. It is not purely physical learning either. By learning to use the body effectively, many issues arise that point out the beliefs and attitudes that prevent a person from being “all that they can be”. I can be quite set in my ways and cling stubbornly to ideas about how “I can’t “ or “I am too old for this” or “my injury prevents me from…” Weeks will go by and many sessions of Feldenkrais where all I feel is that I am becoming more relaxed and then all of a sudden it strikes me that all that is holding me back is some cherished but mistaken belief not an actual physical problem. Through Feldenkrais, a lot of issues have melted away. This may not be the aim of Feldenkrais but it certainly works for me… The method as practised by Gwen has taught me a lot about posture, how to walk, how to sit, how to alleviate discomfort and most of all how to be aware of what the body saying to me. Every session, group or private has something more to offer me. I am looking forward to continued improvement in how I use my body.