Immersion is the fastest, most effective way to achieve long-lasting improvement and sustainable change, allowing you to live your life more fully.
When things go wrong, patterns in your nervous system produce areas in the body that have rusted or frozen shut. But your nervous system is extremely intelligent and sensitive. Often, a consistent and gentle whispering nudge is all it takes to wake those areas.
Multiple sessions are clustered together over a 1-4 week period, creating a strong base and allowing your nervous system the necessary time to recognize and change outdated neuropathways that are interfering with fluid movement.
Immersion work is a partnership with Barbara. Through active collaboration, fear and desperation are replaced with resiliency and hope.
“There was my life before Seattle and my life after Seattle.”
Over coming chronic severe pain and neuropathy
Elizabeth was desperate. Three orthopedic and neuro surgeons recommended putting off surgery as long as she could because, “it wasn’t going to be pretty.” Pain had been plaguing her for years. Over the last 10 months her symptoms had gotten worse. With her diagnosis of spondylolisthesis (a crack in her vertebra) and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the central nerve canal) her symptoms were severe cramping and seizing numb legs that sometimes gave out. Her chest was so tight she felt she couldn’t breathe. Everything hurt and moving was difficult, making simple daily tasks impossible. She was sleep deprived as her legs would seize during the night causing tightness and pain. She was desperate and losing hope.
Her life at 56years was shrinking rapidly. She was only able to take short walks assisted with a walker. I suggested to her, since she wasn’t going to have surgery, why not come to Seattle to see what an Immersion of Feldenkrais lessons could do for her. She was ready to try anything to relieve her symptoms. She came for one month with approximately 8 sessions per week.
During her first visit, no position was comfortable, so it was a matter of trying to minimize discomfort in the only position she could tolerate—lying on her left side. She was extremely sensitive. We put a foam pad on the table to make it softer. We built up supports for her legs, arms, head, and neck so she could be completely supported on her side.
I used whisper soft—and I mean WHISPER SOFT—touch (more intention than any movement). Slowly, over time she was able to lie on her back and eventually on the other side and without supports, gradually taking in larger movements. Every day between her twice daily sessions, she set out on a walk, leaving her walker behind, increasing her time from 4 minutes to 8 to 12 and eventually an hour of non-stop walker-free walking.
For Elizabeth everything changed!! Her whole body softened, she could breathe again, sleep again without her legs seizing up. She felt more resilient in all aspects of her life, emotionally, mentally and physically. She was calmer, happier, and situations that used to cause intense stress no longer triggered her. She was able to have some emotional distance, gain perspective, and lend wisdom to the situation.
When she returned home, she walked down the street of her hometown and people stopped her and said, “Where have you been? You look great!!”
I met Elizabeth in New York City 4 months after our work together in Seattle. We walked all over the city together WITHOUT her walker!
HERE IS WHAT ELIZABETH HAD TO SAY
“I can’t say enough about Barbara’s work. She is very talented and intuitive. No judgments, just healing awareness. She teaches and invites discovery in such a way that allowed me to become reacquainted with how I move in the world as my body is designed to do vs my old patterns of holding my body in rigidly in anticipation of emotional and physical pain. I was so fortunate to have the incredible opportunity for Barbara to work with me twice a day for 4 weeks. As our work progressed and as I became more aware of my habits of self injury (like moving in the self limited ways repeatedly throughout the day caused severe pain in my back and legs) I became aware I had been fixated on my symptoms. Barbara gently encouraged me to redirect my focus from my symptoms to noticing what I could do. Small, slow, and steady steps. Now I do not view myself inside my body as living a limited life but a life where I get to figure out new ways of navigating successfully. Barbara imparted so much loving guidance that invited me to move at my own pace.”