The following email correspondence took place between an current Foundation student and MBS Master Trainer, Leora Gaster. This student’s close family member has experienced a trauma to his body and his system triggering pain and challenging adjustments apart from his normal functions. After a complex, and physically enduring surgery, he is now experiencing difficulty with his recovery. Looking for help in this stressful situation, Claudia (name changed for privacy) turned to her instructor for guidance and wisdom.

Hi Leora,

Hope you are keeping well since we last met at snowy Bad Tolz, where I had a great time learning and enjoyed reconnecting.

I am going to be in Australia for about 1 1/2 months and hope that Mind Body Studies can help my brother who is still in hospital recovering from post-heart by-pass surgery problems.

After the surgery, he developed an infection and to aid him to “eat” and “drink” safely, tubes were inserted via his throat. As a consequence, he now can’t swallow food or liquids and has also lost his voice.

My query to you is: could you please refer to me MBS material that could give me a head start? My thought is that I could specifically use what I learnt in Bad Tolz in February.

Appreciate your thoughts,


Dear Claudia,

I am sorry to hear about your brother’s illness.  It is very difficult for all of you.

First,  do not dwell on the places of difficulty. Look at the whole person!  Look for patterns and connections. Remember what we worked on during all of the seminars in Singapore and also thereafter:  PDQ!  Look at the whole, the Pattern, within it, look for Differences: between sides, between easy and difficult places, between clear and not so clear, and then ask the simplest Questions(this time, with your hands):  feel for soft vs. tight (in the feet, legs, arms, ribs, arms, hands, neck – neck last – as it is so close to the trauma).  If you get the whole system to be more at ease, more in balance, you give it the best chance to find its own best way, its resources.  The system knows how to be well – he was well for a long time and all these cellular, neurological and muscular programmes are still there.  Your job is to remind them.  Remember, you can’t ‘fix’ things, what you can do is to create a framework which will enable him to recover in his best way.  This is what a great teacher is about – not imposing our ideas of how it should be, but getting his own system in its best balance, guiding us together for what to explore and suggest next.

At this time, it is very difficult for him to feel this:  so many interventions, traumas to the body, medication.  Of course it is not easy.  You can bring more ease by focusing, first of all, on the places that are still less hurt.  And remember again:  don’t dwell on the places of pain.  There is so much attention on them already, so much anxiety, too much discomfort.

Look for the easy places; compare side to side and just look for these differences with your hands.  Ask yourself, in your head, as you touch: ‘what is the difference between this side and the other?’ ‘how far does this difference spread?’  ‘how come here it is easy to move a little and there less easy here?’  Really get curious and investigative, especially in the areas that are not traumatized.  I think you will find that these areas begin to expand until you can create ease in larger and larger parts of his body.

This not only help get the system to focus on the healing process, but also the easy places remind the others how it was to be well.

You don’t need to ‘know’ anything. Just keep asking simple questions.

Please let me know how you get on with this!

I send you blessings and wishes for calmness.  I am sure it will be great for you to know you can do something – anything – to ease this situation.

Best regards,


Dear Leora,

Thank you for your quick response and I am very touched by the content and care in your email. Your advice in principle is much more useful to me then any specific “movements” to do and less intimidating.

I will keep you in touch with developments.

Thank you warmly,


You are most welcome.  I wish you strength and courage as you face this time with your brother and I know your love, resourcefulness and sound judgement will prevail and make the best of a most difficult situation.  You are not alone – we, all your friends, are all with you, and waiting to see you again.

Take care of yourself too, it will make you more able to help him, right?



As Leora recommended that Claudia focus on one of the important principles of Mind Body Studies, she reminded her to think back to what she learned during training, about asking simple questions, and finding patterns within the body. This open-mindedness would lead her to let the traumatized system figure out, on its own, how to be recover and adjust to the changes. In situations where we feel helpless and unsure, Leora wanted to remind Claudia that this work does not enable us to ‘fix’ people, but assists them in finding their own way. 

Published by MBS Academy

MBS Academy is the premier training center for Dr. Feldenkrais' Mind Body Studies.

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