Mary Debono and the Feldenkrais Method®

On July 1, 2018

“To me, the word ‘healer’ implies that someone outside of ourselves has the power to heal us. I don’t feel that way. I feel that I have some knowledge to impart and certain ways of using my hands that with small, gentle movements encourage the muscles to move in new ways. I provide the environment for the change, but it’s the nervous system itself that makes the changes” – Mary Debono, Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner

Mary Debono, Certified Feldenkrais PractitionerSuch a powerful statement. When I first heard Mary’s story about how the Feldenkrais Method – a method of healing that worked to take away 20-year old pain from her body – I was fascinated and eager to understand more about how this method could work on animals.

Designed to be almost as relaxing as a massage, the Feldenkrais Method involves using the heart and hands for healing. According to an article in The New York Times by Jane E. Brody, this method is on the rise in popularity for healing both people and animals.

“After two hour-long sessions focused first on body awareness and then on movement retraining at the Feldenkrais Institute of New York, I understood what it meant to experience an incredible lightness of being,” Brody wrote. “Having, temporarily at least, released the muscle tension that aggravates my back and hip pain, I felt like I was walking on air.”

She continued, “I had long refrained from writing about this method of countering pain because I thought it was some sort of New Age gobbledygook with no scientific basis. Boy, was I wrong!”

A common misconception of how this massage-like method can improve a person or animal’s overall health, Mary Debono, a healer in my book who shares her personal story of how the Feldenkrais Method worked for her, clarifies in one of her blog posts:

“Many people who see me work with horses assume I’m doing a gentle form of equine massage. And I can’t blame them. They see me touching a horse, who is usually quite relaxed and happy. When I explain to the onlookers that I’m not an equine massage therapist, but a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method, I am often met with a blank stare.  Then they ask,  ‘What’s the difference between massage and the Feldenkrais Method?’”

Though visually similar, the Feldenkrais Method reaches much deeper than the release and relaxation of a massage – it engages the nervous system; and that’s where the healing takes place. Clients sit or lay down on a low, padded table and Mary uses pleasurable movement and gentle touch to improve their flexibility, coordination, posture, and to eliminate back, knee, and neck pain.

She works with people, cats, dogs, and horses – and has been practicing the Feldenkrais Method for more than 20 years.

The premise of my book The Pet Healer Project is the miraculous work that healers do with animals and with people. The seeming simplicity of a touch is so much more than that. It is about moving energy; connecting heart to heart; facilitating deep, healing connections; and promoting life-long health and vitality.

The Feldenkrais Method is a prime example. Created by Israeli physicist and mechanical engineer Moshe Feldenkrais, the method is meant to connect mind and body. It relinquishes habitual movement patterns that cause or contribute to continuous pain. It is intended to teach the body easier, more efficient ways to move.

I hope you’ll read the remarkable stories Mary Debono shares with me in my book. She uses the Feldenkrais Method do some pretty extraordinary work.

Purchase my book on Amazon

Learn more about Mary at her website: Debono Moves

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