A Tool Kit for Liberation

  Felicia graduated from Santa Fe High and in 1966 and was drawn to Northern California where Michael Murphy invited her to live at what was to become the Esalen Institute. In that small, emerging community she met Alan Watts, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia.

In the early 1970s, Felicia pioneered the translation of patient information for multicultural immigrants in the Bay Area and provided health education and medical illustration for the San Francisco clinic system. As part of a team to improve health care, and drawing on her background as a naturopath, she worked to introduce innovative prenatal health education materials, breastfeeding, and assisted mid-wives in creating the first Alternative Birthing Center in this country. She also trained as a Patient Advocate in the UC Medical system.

One of Felicia's proudest achievements during this time came after being scrubbed and gowned to enter the nursery to do illustrations of the babies. She noticed one baby who was crying miserably and asked about his condition. The nurse replied that he was a heroin baby going through withdrawal and that nothing could be done about it. Felicia asked if she could pick the baby up and when she did the crying stopped almost immediately. "This time" she said, "I was a grownup — and working with some of the best medical professionals in the country. They listened when I suggested we borrow a few grandmothers and granddads to come in and hold these babies.
  This became a national program for infants going through drug withdrawal."

During these years of so much giving to others who were in pain Felicia developed severe TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction). In 1975, friends referred her to Moshe Feldenkrais, D. Sc. His work was hands on — derived from his ability to translate evolution, neuroscience, physics and infant development into a revolutionary approach that is said to pleasurably evoke our innate freedom of movement and true potentials on emotional, intellectual and physical levels. It relieved the TMJ as well as

In a babymovesTM session your body is gently guided to re-find movements you made as an infant. Long forgotten neural pathways are reactivated, often resulting in loss of pain, greater freedom and ease of movement.

Photo by Jennifer Lovejoy

  he need for surgery. And, an amazing side effect of Feldenkrais's work was that she could walk effortlessly for the first time in her life, she said.

Exuberant, she began to train as a dancer. Three years later a car accident left her with a severe whiplash and one surgeon's dire prognosis that even after surgery she would be in a wheelchair for life.

Once again it was the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, rather than surgery, that enabled the healing and the return of some mobility to Felicia's body. After a few sessions she was able to walk with a cane. She received a scholarship to train with Feldenkrais in Amherst, Mass., and in his native Israel for four years; graduating in 1983. Having integrated and benefited from his work, she began to synthesize her own approach to movement which she calls by the trademarked name babymovesTM. Two years later her practice of working with clients ranged from athletes and dancers to those struggling with a variety of crippling conditions.

Eliminating pain is an enormous accomplishment; few methods are effective. Restoring or increasing the body's ability to move freely is even more astounding. Yet, this work, synthesized and created via Felicia's own life experiences, appears to do both.

(Continued on page 3)

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