I am deeply impressed with the insights behind FlexAware®:
www.FlexAware.com. Steven Shafarman is
the founder of this powerful educational and coaching program. FlexAware® is a technique
that can be practiced during other activities, as well as being a major
rehabilitation-support activity on its own.
FlexAware builds fine coordination and confidence, and helps remold nerve
pathways and structural health due to altered muscle use patterns. Please visit the
FlexAware website for
more in-depth information and to watch descriptive videos:
FlexAware. I am recommending it for general fitness, but it also can
be very beneficial as a supplement to treatment for
TBI trauma cases and
neurological reintegration and skeletal rehabilitation programs.
Consistent with New Brain Science.
words about your comfort level "...People of any
religious or spiritual tradition can enjoy FlexAware with no
distractions and no worries. There’s nothing in it that presumes,
suggests, requires, or relies on faith.
If you have some faith tradition or practice, you may find special
value in FlexAware. Many traditions and practices use breathing as
a theme or focus. A synonym for “inhaling” is “inspiring.” The
root of “inspiring” is “spirit,” which is Latin for “breath” or
“to breathe.” All of the FlexAware movements start with breathing
and awareness of how we breathe.
You might even do
small subtle FlexAware movements as you pray or meditate or
worship. The movements can be nearly indistinguishable from
stillness. Even such small subtle movements facilitate blood flow
and nerve activity, thereby preventing or relieving stiffness and
pain — and perhaps adding power to your prayers and practices."
-- Steven Shafarman [www.FlexAware.com]
Note -- May 8, 2011: I attended the FlexAware® teacher
certification training Part I and experienced a powerful presentation by
orthopedic surgeon Stephen M. Levin, M.D. Further below you will find an
introduction to his information and other important research and clinical
insights. I have also placed this on a page on my other site that
describes the interplay between the physical and the energy aspects of
Human Energy Anatomy.
Note -- May 10, 2011: I experienced the presentation of
FlexAware® by Steven Shafarman to members of the group known as the
This is an organization dedicated to applying the new science of
Complexity Theory to the task of improving human life. There are public
meetings under the creative name, "Plexus DC Fractal" --
more about fractals. The announcement for the
FlexAware® presentation is below:
Complexity in Motion: Exploring
Complexity by Considering the Way Very Young Children Learn to
Walk, Talk, and Make Sense of the World
Very young children learn through an
innate self-directed spontaneous playful whole-person process,
"Organic Learning." How can we understand this process? What can
we discover from it about adults? About personal healing? About
organizations? About social transformation? How can we apply it
intentionally, in our personal lives and in our work?
This month we will explore Organic
Learning through dialogue and experientially, through movement.
Steven Shafarman has been developing the idea of Organic Learning
for several decades, building on the work of his mentor, the
Israeli neuroscientist, engineer, and judo master, Dr. Moshe
Feldenkrais. In science and society, the current dominant paradigm
is reductionist, mechanistic, dualistic, and deterministic. A new
paradigm is emerging with complexity science, and we will use
Organic Learning to formulate its conceptual foundations.
Join our guest, Steven Shafarman, who is
the creator of the FlexAware® approach to fitness,
exercise, and healing,
www.FlexAware.com. He is the author of five books and recently
completed the first FlexAware Fitness DVD. He lives in Washington
DC, teaches individuals and groups, and educates new FlexAware
Note -- June 19, 2011:
Learning to do FlexAware® is fun and gives you more energy.
Exercises can be vigorous, or slow. They can also be done while in
a wheelchair or in bed. FlexAware®
can even be done using the imagination if motion is limited. I am
now a Certified FlexAware Teacher.
A powerful neurological reintegration approach,
and fitness enhancement
Science: A TED talk
by a neuroscientist that is relevant to FlexAware. [A sense of humor helps.] Steven Shafarman notes
that the Weber-Fechner Law indirectly supports the FlexAware principles --
Approximating, distinguishing, and refining; images
of ideal functioning, and the Weber-Fechner Law. This law shows why it is
important for athletes and performers (including
singers, debate team, orators, etc.) need to
include Low-Force Movement Training so
that their nervous systems can gain depth in the
control of small movements -- this contributes to
balance and confidence.
He is careful to point out that his research is not in
clinical applications. He specifically avoids endorsing
However, for FlexAware teachers, Dr. Levin's work
gives scientific underpinning to the exercises and instructions
of the new FlexAware® Fitness
approach to health enhancement.
If you watch the video to
the right of this text, you will then be able to view associated
interviews with Dr. Levin, and other presentations about the
Biotensegrity model for healthy function of the body.
From Dr. Levin's Links page
Intension Designs has created tensegrity models and
sculptures for 25 years.
is the continuum of Buckminster Fuller's book Synergetics
and has many good links that are kept up-to-date.
Don Ingber is, by far,
the leading researcher in the field of tensegrity
[He writes:] "...There are many health care professionals
who have integrated biotensegrity in their thinking and
clinical practice. Here is a of list a few with
whom I have had direct contact, but there are many more.
They cover a variety of professions and use
biotensegrity in different ways. Biotensegrity is to be
considered a basic science that can be adapted to
various uses in various ways. You might want to
get in touch with any of those whose interest might
coincide with yours."
Dr. Levin's internet site includes links to the work of
several important researchers whose work is crucial to
the growing field of tensegrity modeling of human
In his presentation, Dr. Levin
mentioned the science of chaos theory and Fractal
my page on Fractals
The Fractal Nature of tissues and movement
"Strolling Under the Skin" -- A DVD with a deep view of how Life
energies flow within the human body. This is the work of French
hand surgeon Jean-Claude Guimberteau, M.D., who discovered that a
new way is needed to describe what happens as the body converts
energy to movement. The music (e.g., Blue Danube) and words are
inspiring. It shows functional relationships of important
aspects of the body: the clear light-carrying fascia and the
mineral-rich/mobile blood system.
The take-away message that I give to invited viewers is that
"the structure of the body at the level of connective tissue
changes itself so that the larger body parts can move in accord
with the directions that the brain gives to the muscles. It
is "harnessed chaos", the fibrils do not have fixed attachment
points. Look and see.
[Viewing this, as a former Licensed Massage Practitioner, was a deeply
moving experience. I wish that all health care practitioners
could view it. I also think that any human being would
understand and appreciate their own body a lot better if they
The video to the left is one of several clips from this
The body is far more dynamic than most people have
Take care of your body and it will serve you well.
Craniosacral Therapy are two of the most empowering
additions that you could make to your Health Menu.
information: Audio and Video on AnatomyTrains site:
Video discussed by the FlexAware teachers. This is
useful when seen in context: The video is a
simplification. Some assumptions are in correct.* People are not built out of hinges, and
muscles are not ropes. Think of the body as an "elastic
suit" -- the Biotensegrity paradigm, with the bones and
joints floating within the tension matrix.
what Steve Shafarman is helping us to understand more
The Integral Anatomy series -- a beautiful
study of the human body from the perspective of the holiness of
life. Gil Hedley (author of "Reconceiving My Body") teaches the appreciation of the gift of life by
anatomy dissection classes and DVDs. This is for practitioners,
students, and the dedicated layperson who wants to learn more about
their own body.
Dr. Stephen Porges and 3-Level Autonomic Nervous System The role of intention and mental
function in the function of the body is receiving
increasing attention. Dr.
Porges' important research points out that the "Social Engagement
System" is crucial in advancing beyond the outdated
model of the ANS being only a battleground between the
Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic branches of the
Autonomic Nervous System.
The Autonomic Nervous System and the treatment of Trauma: Video is an introduction to
interview with Dr. Porges by Dr. Ruth Buczynski of
National Institute for the Clinical Application of
"Most of what you do, think and believe is
generated by parts of your brain to which you
have no access. Here's the expose about
the non-conscious brain and all the machinery
under the hood that keeps the show going." [From
the dust jacket:] "If the conscious
mind—the part you consider you—is just the tip
of the iceberg in the brain, what is all the
rest doing? Neuroscientist David Eagleman
plumbs the depths of the subconscious brain to
illuminate surprising questions: Why can your
foot jump halfway to the brake pedal before you
become consciously aware of danger ahead?
Why do strippers make more money at certain
times of month, even while no one is consciously
aware of their fertility level? Is there a
true Mel Gibson? What do Odysseus and the
subprime mortgage meltdown have in common? How
is your brain like a conflicted democracy
engaged in civil war?... The subsurface
exploration includes waystops in brain damage,
drugs, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law,
the future of artificial intelligence, and
visual illusions—all highlighting how our
perception of the world is a hidden and
awe-inspiring construction of the brain."
Dr. Eagleman is in the Dept. of Neurobiology
and Anatomy, U. of Texas Houston Medical School.
He directs the Laboratory of Perception and
Action, Baylor College of Medicine. 1.
Interview by psychologist, David Van Nuys, of
2. NPR Interview [link]
Spark: The Revolutionary Science of Exercise and the Brain
John Ratey, M.D. presents science that documents improvement in brain function that is
driven by exercise.
Keynote: BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor).
This is proof of why exercise helps develop the
Fields and healthy cell cytostructural
activity: Ning Wang, Ph.D.
Wang I have communicated with
this researcher whose work seemed to be hidden
by engineering terminology. Dr. Ning Wang works
with micro-anatomy. I think that his discovery
adds to evidence for the value of fields in
health as well as the need for body movement to
generate fields in order to activate
physiological processes. [See Dr. Ratey, above
for BDNF and brain health and learning and
memory enhancement. Also see
Medicine.] Original article I found
Blogger picks up his work |
Fascia cytostructural work of Jean-Claude Giumberteau
Research description: Professor
Wang uses advanced research techniques to gain a
fundamental understanding of cell mechanics,
including cytoskeletal biomechanics and control
of cell form and function; bio-imaging of
cytoskeletal structures and stress distribution
in living cells; mechanotransduction, nuclear
deformation and gene expression; and mechanical
biotechnologies and their applications to cells,
tissues, and organisms.
He has developed
a technology called intracellular stress
tomography, which he uses to address fundamental
questions about stress propogation and
distribution in living cells. He has also
developed three-dimensional magnetic twisting
cytometry technology and used it to quantify
mechanical anisotropy in living cells. [more]
Introducing Arthur's inspiring story. A
veteran of military service; crippled by events
after he joined. He
was helped by Diamond Dallas Page.
My hope is that the two of them could begin
to help others learn how FlexAware can make it
much smoother to increase "range of motion,"
coordination and balance.
because FlexAware lets the Body and the
unconscious nervous system take over
and let you know what they can do.
They'll lead you to
performance you never imagined was possible.
I know, I've experienced it myself.
Play: It's good medicine!!
Play among animals: Cat and Owl
Youthful behavior preparing for adult