Awareness Through Movement Lessons
April to July 1999 Perth Western Australia
with Richard Yin and Annie Cosgrove
This Balance Master series is inspired by a transcript from classes given by Feldenkrais® Practitioners Richard Yin and Annie Cosgrove for a group of twenty elder women, participating in an Aged Care Study on Falls Prevention in the Autumn of 1999.
Richard Yin and Annie Cosgrove write regarding the lessons:
They are for many reasons a unique collection, partly because of the study’s parameters and partly because of the characteristics of the women concerned.
Falls in the elderly are a major public health concern affecting many people. For this study alone 4-500 respondents phoned in as a result of a single brief media recruitment campaign. Studies suggest that one third to one half of people over the age of 65 will fall each year. Apart from sustaining physical injuries, falls often lead to decreased confidence, a worsening in quality of life and a loss of independence.
The participants in this study were all independent, community living individuals over the age of 65 (up to 85). Many had fallen previously, some sustaining fractures of the wrist or ribs. None however was using a walking aid. They were randomly assigned to “no treatment”, Tai Chi or Feldenkrais classes twice a week for 16 weeks. Prior to the commencement of classes, several participants expressed concern at getting to the floor.
Results of the clinical assessment showed that the Feldenkrais group had statistically significant improvements in functional activity indices and functional balance testing. For a subgroup of women most fearful of falling, there was a significant decline in their fears.
These transcripts are presented for those in the Feldenkrais community who are interested in or are already working with the elderly. Trying to teach these classes made us acutely aware of the lack of relevant or suitable material for this age group.
Annie Cosgrove came to Feldenkrais from a background in Physiotherapy. She has been a senior orthopaedic physiotherapist and senior neurosurgical physiotherapist up to her graduation as a Feldenkrais practitioner in 1993. Since then she has maintained a busy private practice, working with the West Australian symphony orchestra along with seniors and members of the general public.
Dr Richard Yin combines his training as a general medical practitioner, with postgraduate physiotherapy qualifications in manipulative therapy, and qualifications in acupuncture and physical medicine. He graduated as a Feldenkrais practitioner in 1993 and runs both general and physical medical practices.