In recognition of April as National Youth Sports Safety Month, MomsTeam has asked 30 experts to write a blog answering two questions: first, how or why did they get into their field, and second, how have they made a difference in the life of a youth athlete in the past year.
Today, we hear from Edward Feldman, a chiropractor and certified CranioSacral therapist and Feldenkrais teacher from Kingston, New Jersey.
By Edward H. Feldman, DC, RCST
How did I get into my field?
I originally became a chiropractor because I was seriously hurt in a car accident and found substantial help through alternative therapies, including chiropractic, Craniosacral Therapy (CST), and the Feldenkrais Method. I had always been an athlete and loved the fact that these modalities use the body's self-healing, self-organizing mechanisms, which have evolved over millions of years, to work to organize the cells and tissues in the healing process.
How have I made a difference in an athlete's life?
Recently a young man in his 20's was recommended to me by his mother who was a patient of mine. He had been rock climbing and fell 20 feet, fracturing his right tibia and fibula, requiring 18 screws and two plates on the lower leg to secure the tibia and ankle joint. His main trauma was to the top of the ankle joint, which was very painful.
His initial goal was to be able to get through the day without needing a cane. Walking beyond 30 feet was dififcult and increased the soreness in his ankle. He told me he was discouraged because he couldn't even make it to the pool to exercise, because it was so arduous. He said that physical therapy had only made things worse.
We began with gentle, safe, non-force chiropractic adjustments to mobilize fixations in his hip, the bones of his lower leg-fibula and tibia as well as the talus and calcaneus of his right foot. Using the Feldenkrais Method, he learned to sense his body by making small, slow non-habitual movements. By reducing his effort while paying attention to how he moved, he learned to sense where he was using unnecessary effort and thereby interfering with his movement and broader recovery.
Using novel patterns of movement, he was able to increase his range of movement and with greater ease, experiencing how his body could move more synergistically. He was able to restore and sense the connection between the movement of his pelvis and lower leg, as well as his lower leg and trunk, and experienced rapid improvement. After six weeks, he was able to get around without using his cane so much and actually forgot to use it for days at a time. While he still couldn't run and play soccer, he was soon able to spend entire days in Manhattan walking and hanging out with his friends.
Edward H. Feldman, DC, RCS has been in practice for over 30 years. In addition to Chiropractic, Dr. Feldman studied personally with Dr. Feldenkrais in the 2nd North American Feldenkrais® training program from 1980-1983. He has also updated his learning by auditing the 2nd NYC Feldenkrais® Professional Training Program, completing the 4 year program in April, 2009. In addition he has studied with renowned Osteopathic teachers, John Upledger, Steven Sanet and Franklin Sills. Most recently he has finished biodynamic CranioSacral Therapy training and is now certified as an RCST (Registered CranioSacral Therapist). This was a 2 1/4 year certification program with one of the pioneers in the field, Franklin Sills, D.O.
A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, Dr. Feldman earned his Doctor of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College. Dr. Feldman is a Diplomate of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, was a table trainer for the Upledger Institute for Workshops in CrainioSacral Therapy, and is an assistant trainer in the Feldenkrais Method®. For more about his practice, click here.