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ABadCombination:TheNewAgeandFlexAware
SBrinkmannPostedonFebruary20,2013by
IwasspeakingataconferenceinMarylandafewweeksagoandsomeoneasked
metolookintoaprogramknownasFlexAwaretodetermineifitisNewAge.

StevenShafarman

Itdidnottakemelongtofindananswertothisquestion.WhileFlexAwareisnotNew
Ageinitself,itisverymuchconnectedtotheNewAgethroughitspractitioners.

Letmeexplain.

TheinventorofFlexAwareisStevenShafarman,aformeryogainstructorwho
studiedphilosophyandpsychologyincollege.Shafarman,servedasanassistantto
Dr.MosheFeldenrais,anIsraeliengineerandneuroscientist,whocreatedthe
FeldenkraisMethod.

TheFeldenkraisMethodisasomaticexercisesystemthatisbasedonthepremise
thatbodypainandrestrictedmovementarentcausedbyagingbutbylearnedhabits
andpooruseofthebody.Itemploysgentlemovementanddirectedattentionto
improvemovementandenhancehumanfunctioningasapopularwebsiteexplains.

ShafarmanbecameaFeldenkraispractitionerandeventuallydesignedanintensive
FeldenkraisMethodprogramforagroupoflongtermchronicpainpatients
associatedwiththeSantaBarbaraCountyRegionalHealthAuthority.
TheprogramwasevaluatedbytheAmericanAcademyofPainManagement,using
preandpostprogramparticipantquestionnaires,plusphoneinterviewsoneyear
later,hiswebsitestates.TheAcademysNationalPainDataBankcompareditwith
chronicpaintreatmentprogramsthatutilizedphysicaltherapy,yoga,acupuncture,
biofeedback,andpsychologicalcounseling.Stevensprogramhadsignificantlybetter
results,ataboutonetenththecost.Intheyearfollowingtheprogram,participant
medicalexpensesfellby40percent.

TogetherwithDavidBearman,M.D.,themedicaldirectoroftheHealthAuthority,
ShafarmanpublishedtheseresultsintheAmericanJournalofPainManagement
sohisworkdefinitelyhasbeenpeerreviewedandfoundtobeeffective.

Ataboutthesametime,ShafarmanwaswritingAwarenessHeals,whichwas
publishedin1997,andheenrolledinadoctoralprograminhumandevelopment.
Thisledhimtolookmorecloselyatthewayyoungchildrenlearnhowtocrawland
walk.Henoticedhowveryflexibleandstrongtheywereandbegantolookintohow
adultsmayhaveforgottentheseabilities.

Hisaimbecamethecreationofafitnesspracticethathelpsadultsreawakenor
rediscoverthesechildhoodabilitiesandFlexAwarewastheresult.

WhileFlexAwareandtheFeldenkraisMethodarenotNewAge,theproblemisthat
itspractitionershaveapropensitytobeinvolvedinotherNewAgehealing
modalities.

Forinstance,inthisarticleYogaandtheFeldenkraisMethodbyDianeValentine
GCFP,sheclaimsthatWhileinformedbyscience,MosheFeldenkraiswork
parallelstheEasternpathofacknowledgingtheonenessofmindandbody,intention
andaction.

Practitionersthathavethesebeliefsarenaturallygoingtoincludethemintheir
practice.ThiscouldbeaproblemforaChristianifheorsheisencouragedto
embraceotherhealingmodalitiesthatarebasedinphilosophiesthatarenot
compatiblewithChristianity.

ItsalsoimportanttonotethatthePontificaldocument,JesusChrist,Bearerofthe
WaterofLife,alsoassociatesFeldenkraiswiththeNewAge.InSection2.2.3,we
read:AdvertisingconnectedwithNewAgecoversawiderangeofpracticesas
acupuncture,biofeedback,chiropractics,kinesiology,homeopathy,iridology,
massageandvariouskindsofbodywork(suchasorgonomy,Feldenkrais,
reflexology,Rolfing,polaritymassage,therapeutictouch,etc.),meditationand
visualization,nutritionaltherapies,psychichealing,variouskindsofherbalmedicine,
healingbycrystals,metals,musicorcolors,reincarnationtherapiesand,finally,
twelvestepprogramsandselfhelpgroups.Thesourceofhealingissaidtobewithin
ourselves,somethingwereachwhenweareintouchwithourinnerenergyor
cosmicenergy.

FlexAwareisnotNewAge,butbeverycarefulaboutchoosingtherightteacher.

PostedinFitnessNewAgeSelfHelp,, | TaggedFlexawareStevenShafarman,
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