Feldenkrais Fixed My Knee Where Everyone Else Failed

The Magic Of The Feldenkrais Method

It Opened My Mind To Body-Awareness Training

Moshe Feldenkrais developed the Feldenkrais method, which FitOldDog really admires because it is so effective. From: http://goo.gl/XIT8f

Moshe Feldenkrais developed the Feldenkrais method, which FitOldDog really admires because it is so effective.

To fix a body problem, you need a correct diagnosis.

[ASIDE: Feldenkrais training allowed me to solve the plantar fasciitis puzzle.]

I started training for triathlons about 20 years ago. I was in my early 50s. So I had to learn how to run. But I was a swimmer, not a runner.

boston marathon, coaching, thunder road marathon, run, motivation, heart rate

Feldenkrais played a big role in my final ability to qualify for the Boston Marathon, at age 67. I don’t run like a loaf of bread anymore. Would love to do it again!

I went out there and ran. Not well! My youngest son, who enticed me into triathlons, said I ran like a loaf of bread. Not anymore! Of course, not knowing what I was doing, I injured myself repeatedly. This eventually led to two (2) knee surgeries, for split meniscus, plica inflammation, and a Baker Cyst. That’s another story, though every injury affects all of the others, often due to guarding (psychosomatic tension).

I managed to run short races, without serous issues. But my goal was a full Ironman (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, 26.2-mile run). After about 10 years of shorter races, I started to up my game. Going longer and longer. Completing my first half-Ironman. Still no serious problems.

Trouble with my right knee I started as I undertook training for full marathons. Just one piece of an Ironman.

As I increased pace and distance, I had increasing pain in my right knee.

I tried:

  • Stretching
  • Ice
  • Chiropractors
  • Massage therapy
  • Yoga
  • Kinesiology
  • Acupuncture
  • Several podiatrists (one somewhat inebriated one)
  • Two physical therapists
  • Two chiropractors
  • Several doctors
  • A sports medicine physician, who injected cortisone into my patellar bursa

All to no avail!

BSA 650 Gold Flash, motor cycle, FitOldDog's advice,

This is where my knee pain started, 40 years previously, when I crashed on that lovely bike, my BSA 650 Gold Flash motorcycle.

I tried to find the source of the problem elsewhere, in my IT bands, quads and hamstrings.

Nothing seemed to make sense. This went on for over one year!

If I increased my running intensity or volume, my right knee would play up.

Then, by chance, I met my Feldenkrais teacher. A Science colleague, Karen Dold. I had never heard of Feldenkrais. I thought she said Frankenstein, when I asked what she was doing since leaving science.

I booked a session. I’d try anything!

Within a few minutes of my first session Karen located the source of my problem.

The pain was in my knee, while the source lay elsewhere.

What Karen did is shown in the old video clip, below. Filmed by Karen on my Blackberry (no iPhones back then), at a subsequent Feldenkrais session.

Once I knew the cause, I was on the road to recovery.

I had to work on flexibility for my right ankle.

“This was possible because Feldenkrais realized that the nervous system was far more flexible than most people thought.”The Elusive Obvious by Moshe Feldenkrais

Interestingly, I had noticed it was hard to balance on my right leg! Ankles play a big role, when you balance on one leg! Balance is also critical for safe running, especially on trails.

Karen got it right!

So much appreciated, Karen and Moshe!

My subsequent five years of Feldenkrais training, with Karen, came to the rescue many times over the years. As I competed in one Ironman race after another.

Still doing it at age 80, as you can see, below.


Wishing you happy trails,

-kev aka FitOldDog

MRI scans through the thighs of three guys. Grey is muscle, white is fat, clear ring around the central white spot (bone marrow) is the femoral bone. Note the loss of both muscle and bone mass in the sedentary guy.


  1. Rebecca Lawson said we should connect in our similar interests! Warmly, Brian

  2. Hi Brian,

    I finally thought to follow the link embedded in your name, and there was your blog. I remember now, Rebecca was telling me about you with respect to nutrition, not Rolfing! I’ll look through your blog, and get back with questions or comments. I wonder what you think about that new book by Gary Taubes – I wrote a review of it recently, finding his arguments to be robust on the biochemical, evolutionary, and social levels. Here is the link http://goo.gl/yROme if you want to take a look. Interesting ideas guy, Gary Taubes. I would be very interested in talking with you about nutrition, over coffee if you like. My last (really) scientific publication is coming out soon (heard about the acceptance the same day that my last paycheck arrived – I liked that), and it is on some work I have been doing for about 7 years in collaboration with a group at UNC, including a graduate student and then a post-doc (Ke, excellent thinker, and first author thank goodness), which addresses glycogen regulation using a ‘test bed’ approach to explore selected substrate dynamics. That is all behind me now in my new life, which includes learning to dance, which I would still be unable to enjoy if it wasn’t for the ministrations of Rebecca.
    OK! Off to look at your blog.
    -k @FitOldDog

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.