Feldenkrais Practitioners Present Wolf Lecture

February 26, 2014

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Samantha Basford Damoulakis and Russel Hall visited the University of Mount Union on Tuesday, February 25 to speak about the Feldenkrais Method of injury prevention.

The Feldenkrais Method was developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais to improve range of motion, flexibility and coordination. Because of their contrasting backgrounds, Damoulakis’ in ballet and Hall’s in physical therapy, they are able to connect with a large number of audience members in order to explain the many applications of Feldenkrais. Both completed the four year training program which consisted of 800 hours of study, and are Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners.

Unlike a massage or other forms of physical therapy and stretching, Feldenkrais involves active participation in exercises that use the current range of movement rather than the “goal movement.” It causes the individual to focus on the movement and make small changes that could improve it.

Damoulakis, a former professional ballerina, began practicing Feldenkrais at age 17. She used this method to recover from a serious back injury that could have potentially ended her dance career. After her injury, her friends recommended this method to her. Feldenkrais, she discovered, was a slow and attentive process that helped her recover, prevent future injury, and improve her technique, artistry and coordination.

"I didn’t know what it was, but I was willing to try anything,” Damoulakis said. “I just wanted to recover from my injury, but I ended up learning how to listen to myself and how to learn.”

Hall, a physical therapist from 1977 to 2012, completed the Feldenkrais training program in 2001 but was first introduced to it in 1982.Growing up, he always had an interest in “the things that make us all both different and the same.” He wanted to learn how to treat individuals in a more personalized manner. Hall doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to physical therapy. After hearing about Feldenkrais and attending a workshop, he realized that this method could help him create more individualized treatment programs for his patients. He works with people of all ages and needs, including equestrians, dancers, musicians and athletes.

The John and Eleanor Mincks Wolf Lecture in Music Education and English was established with gifts in 1999 and 2009 to honor the memory of John '47 and Eleanor (Mincks) Wolf. Mr. Wolf was a teacher of Music for 30 years in the Strongsville schools. Mrs. Wolf was a teacher of English and Latin and Richfield and Highland school districts. Distributions from the endowed fund are used to bring professionals in the disciplines of Music Education or English to campus.

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