Awareness Through Movement® (Fridays)

Self Image ~ Body Image ~ Body Schema

September 24, 2021 5:00 pm


  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Language: English
  • Geographical target: Global
  • Host/Presenter:  Katarina Halm
STUDY PAGE where we add notes as we go along https://thinkinginmovement.ca/self-image/
Friday Awareness Through Movement® Self Image, Body Image, Body Schema º 10:00 am Pacific * 45-60 min
We will explore a movement lesson from Moshé Feldenkrais ‘The body image, a lecture’. Feldenkrais develops his concept of self image relating to the work of Paul Schilder on perception and thought.
QUOTING MOSHE FELDENKRAIS FROM AY 24 ‘The body image, a lecture’
“If you want to read a scientific work that is accurate and interesting I refer you to Paul Schilder, a Viennese physiologist. In the beginning he was a psychoanalyst, but he wrote primarily about the physiology of the body image. He is the-man who introduced this concept. He showed that mentally ill people don’t have a body image that is reasonably normal. Their body image is distorted and not similar to a healthy person, for example some feel their arms much longer than they really are.
Schilder worked with the EMOTIONAL, PSYCHIC, and SPIRITUAL body images. There is the body. image from PHYSIOLOGY and the image THAT YOU SEE. All these images form through the personal experience of the person. They grow with the person. For-example, a child, whose hand was amputated at birth, has a brain with very few cells connected to the amputated hand. There won’t be any connections to feelings of heat, pain, pressure, or touch. Everything that person does uses only one hand so his physiological body image will be different from someone with two hands. When he learns to speak one language, American English, he will organize his tongue to say an “R” or a “W” like an American. His body image is different from someone who speak Arabic or Japanese. The differences between each occur according to personal experiences.
In a complete system that is balanced and developed, there is a realistic relationship among those THREE images – the image THAT YOU SEE, the EMOTIONAL image, and the image EXTERNALLY DEVELOPED from the FEELINGS IN the BODY. All three have a relationship. If someone walks without knowing the length of his arms or the distance from the arm to an object, he would get hit each time he walked through a door. He may burn his hand on a stove because he doesn’t know the distance between his hand and the hot stove. When I pass a door or a stove, I have a feeling for the distance. When I want to move from here to another point I have a feeling of the length of my arm. I feel where it is and what it is. I have a kinaesthetic feeling.” (emphasis added)
AY 24 The body image, a lecture. Awareness Through Movement® Lesson from Alexander Yanai ©Copyright May 1994. All rights reserved by and to the International Feldenkrais Federation, Paris France in cooperation with The Feldenkrais Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel
Mind: perception and thought in their constructive aspects. P Schilder Columbia University Press, 1942
“In his earlier book on The image and appearance of the human body (see 9: 5693) the author clarified his general attitudes and principles concerning psychological problems. In this book the principles and results obtained in his investigation of the BODY IMAGE image are applied to the investigation of the principles of PERCEPTION and THOUGHT, and he extends the results and methods of modern psychology into a field not yet studied from this point of view.
(emphasis added)  from https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1943-00015-000  Mind: perception and thought in their constructive aspects. P Schilder Columbia University Press, 1942
QUOTING MOSHE FELDENKRAIS AT THE END OF AY 24 ‘The body image, a lecture’
“If you take a person who does not know his image in the water – if you put someone who cannot swim and put them in water not deep enough to elicit a fear of drowning – you can see through his movements what parts of his body he doesn’t use or know. Most of his movement it will seem as he wanted to catch or hold something in his hands. His legs will move as if he wanted to push to be sure he is standing. He TRIES to do IN THE WATER what he PREVIOUSLY learned to do on LAND. These are the movements that DISRUPT swimming. When he is in the water, he can only use familiar images of himself.
If he wants TO IMPROVE that, if he wants to learn how to swim, he must know what arms and legs really do in water rather than what he thinks he does. That is the whole secret of swimming.
(End of lecture)”  (emphasis added)
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