Practical Science on Movement and Pain

Category Archives: emotion

Meditation and Pain

One of the goals of the Feldenkrais Method is to develop greater awareness of your movement patterns. Why? According to Moshe Feldenkrais “if you know what you are doing you can do what you want.” Sounds reasonable enough. I was reminded of this quote after reading about a line of research which attempts to showRead More

The Paradox of Placebo and the Health Governor

How do we make sense of the placebo effect from an evolutionary perspective? In a recent paper in Current Biology, Nicholas Humphrey and John Skoyles noted an apparent paradox: When people recover from illness under the influence of fake treatments, they must of course in reality be healing themselves. But if and when people haveRead More

Parasitic Emotions – Can Movement Training Improve Impulse Control?

In part one of this series I introduced the idea of a “parasitic” movement, a term coined by Moshe Feldenkrais. It means an undesirable movement which follows uncontrollably after an intended movement. For example, imagine trying to hit a certain key on the piano with your middle finger, but you end up activating your ringRead More

Posture and Pain Tolerance

I have written previously about interesting links between posture and mood. Several studies show that altering your posture in one way or another can have measurable effects on your hormone levels and behavior. For example, sitting in a relaxed expansive posture can make you more likely to make a risky bet, and sitting in aRead More

Ideomotion Part Three: How to Elicit Corrective Movement

In parts one and two of this series I discussed Barrett Dorko’s interesting theory that ideomotion can prevent and reduce many sources of chronic pain. To briefly summarize, ideomotion is a non voluntary movement prompted by mental activity. All mental and emotional activity is coupled . . .Read More

Muscle Power Equals Willpower

I have written previously about how posture and mood are a two way street. For example, feeling bold can cause you to adopt an expansive posture, and adopting an expansive posture can make you feel bold. This an example of embodied cognition – the brain’s use of physical movements as part of its process of forming mental representations. There are numerous . . .Read More

Ideomotion Part 2: Corrective Movements

In a previous post I introduced the concept of ideomotion, which is a non voluntary movement prompted by mental activity. In this post I’ll discuss Barrett Dorko’s interesting theory that ideomotion may play a role in reducing and preventing some common sources of chronic pain. Here is my (hopefully accurate) interpretation of Dorko’s theory in a nutshell….Read More

Posture and Mood: A Two Way Street

You may have noticed that your mood can affect your posture. For example, if you are feeling depressed, defeated, or submissive, you may slump. If you are feeling proud, confident or dominant, your chest may rise and you may get taller. So it should be obvious that your emotional state will reflect itself in yourRead More