Jane Brody Walks on Air

By Jae Gruenke | Feldenkrais for Runners

Nov 03

“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!”

So wrote Jane Brody, health and fitness writer for the New York Times, in the Well blog this past Tuesday. She went on to describe her experiences with a group Feldenkrais class and an individual lesson and explain a few basic things about how the method works.

I’ve been following Brody’s work since college (a looong time ago!) and it was quite a delight to see this piece in the Times, to say the least.

When I got married in NYC a decade ago the Times refused to print that I was a Feldenkrais practitioner in our wedding announcement because they didn’t consider it a legitimate profession.

So this is real progress, coming about not because anything about the method changed, but because bit by bit, serious people are finally looking into it.

As a reader of this blog, you know I use the Feldenkrais Method to help runners run better. That historically has created a range of difficulties for me.

Some people look at me askance when I say what I do and think it means I’m in some kind of cult or doing, as Brody said, “New Age gobbledygook.”

Others dismiss what I know about running technique and how it can be improved because they don’t perceive the difference between what I do and the cues a form-minded coach gives runners.

But in fact I’m practicing a neuroplastic method developed by a scientist who was ahead of his time, and it’s got great potential to help runners among many other people.

As a serious person yourself, you might also want to look more deeply into the Feldenkrais method. If so, here are a few of the pieces on the method published lately:

Trying the Feldenkrais Method for Chronic Pain  by Jane Brody, The New York Times

“She will dance at her wedding.” book excerpt by Norman Doidge, Salon.com

We Tried to Rewire Our Brains BuzzFeedBlue (yes, I know BuzzFeed isn’t the apogee of journalism, but the video is quite good.)

And in case you’re hankering for more scientific materials, here’s the database of research involving the Feldenkrais Method published to date.

And if you want to try a Feldenkrais class yourself and can’t find one locally, you might like my online class (not specifically for runners–anyone can take it). Here’s the info about that along with a free sample lesson.


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About the Author

Jae Gruenke, GCFP, is a running technique expert and Feldenkrais Practitioner. Known as a “running form guru,” she is the Founder and CEO of The Balanced Runner™ in New York City and The Balanced Runner UK. She has helped runners from beginner to Olympian improve their form to become pain-free, economical, and fast.

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