I started a series of Feldenkrais sessions with Emma during a very low and confused time of my life. All the things that I was involved in seemed to be ending or changing, and I felt myself adrift from the things that had anchored me before.
I had the sense that I didn’t have the tools to help myself and I felt a great sense of isolation. I wanted to find some different ways, as I was faced with a lifetime of systems that didn’t appear to have helped me to move forward in the directions in which I had hoped to go. I wanted to make changes, without feeling any sense of energy in this process at all.
Emma was recommended to me by a trusted colleague. From the very first session I felt that Emma was really listening to me with the greatest of attention – to what I said, to how I looked, how I moved and my attempts to verbalise the way I experienced my body and any changes I perceived. I felt seen in a way that has been the foundation of this journey for me.
Many of the sessions have the feeling of a physical meditation, with Emma guiding me through a deepening awareness of my body that has felt like a gradual softening, where there had been hard edges, tension and effortfulness before. Into these has come an unexpected sense of the possibility of change: a physical manifestation of trust and kindness to myself. By listening in a patient and gentle way to the signs that the body offers, Emma has guided me towards a new relationship with my body.
As a practitioner, Emma is superb and I have recommended her myself to a number of people. I consider myself very lucky to have found her. She listens and offers me many good ideas and suggestions, and also responds in a very instinctive way to what might be most helpful to me on each occasion I see her, sometimes working with me for a whole session with quiet warmth and almost no words. From these sessions I have come away with a sense of having been offered something like healing energy through my body.
Alongside this, I can already (after just a few months) sense the beginnings of new habits and lasting change that I can continue to sustain and explore by myself. The lessons I have learned here are feeding into my playing too, I’ve changed the way I work on my playing as a result of this journey, and I can feel the effects of everything I have done with Emma permeating with gentleness and loving care into every corner of my life.
And that’s all thanks to Emma.
I approached Emma for Feldenkrais lessons for my 8 year-old son in order to look at his walking, and bearing weight through his feet. He seemed to be particularly reliant on using the front of his feet and tiptoes, and complained of painful shins. I was concerned, given his keen interest in sports, especially cricket, which puts a lot of strain on the ankles.
My son found Emma approachable and easy to talk to. He enjoyed their sessions together, in which they explored the connections between the different parts of the feet, knees, hips and back in walking. Emma devised child-friendly games for homework and by the end of 8 sessions he was walking more with his heels and whole foot touching the ground, and was more aware of the turnout of his hips. He was much more aware of which part of his feet he was using, his spine, and how it connected all the way up to his head.
Emma had an easy rapport with both children, and I felt very much at ease with her working with him. It is clear she has been working with children for many years. Her clear analytical approach coupled with her ability to explain and communicate at his level made a difference to my son’s walking, which was a product of long-ingrained habits. I would very much recommend her.
Ed Bartram, Feldenkrais practitioner.
I had never tried Feldenkrais when I went to Emma. I felt very safe in the space that she held and was amazed at what emerged in my body from just tiny movements of my head and eyes.
From my own work I am very aware of how interconnected our whole physical, mental and emotional systems are, but the way my vision (and hence perception) and posture are so finely balanced was fascinating to experience.
I particularly recommend it to people with chronic pain because of repeatedly sitting, standing, working, playing an instrument etc. in a bad postural position and Emma was very empathic, helpful and clear in her explanations.
Evelyn Brodie, Reiki Master, Craniosacral practitioner and Shamanic practitioner.
I went to Emma because I realised that my body was standing between me and the music; playing was rapidly becoming an uncomfortable chore.
Her sessions have turned my playing around. I cannot recommend her highly enough. Emma is patient and thoughtful, and the results were immediate—always gratifying—and, more importantly, lasting.
As an unexpected bonus the lingering back pain I’ve suffered since breaking my collar bone several years ago has completely disappeared.
Belinda Paul, oboist.
I went to Emma’s From the Feet Up workshop and it was superb. Emma walked the small group through exercises aimed at increasing awareness of our feet, focusing on the way we stand on them and on the current and potential flexibility and range of movement in each part of our feet.
The size of the group allowed for personalised feedback and Emma also recorded the session so that we could listen again and follow the exercises at home. It was amazing to see what is possible to do with just your toes! For days later I was walking around as if on a cloud. I can definitely say it made me more conscious of how I walk and of moving in a safer way.
Thank you Emma! – Helena Suarez, Pilates Teacher
I had very little idea of what to expect from the workshop Emma was running but I knew I needed to pay more attention to my joints and to my feet.
The day was beautifully paced and it was fascinating to focus on my feet in such detail and to really notice how I was using them, where I placed my weight, just noticing brought to my awareness that I could change this in small increments.
The best and most unexpected gift was the work on my hip. It aches from time to time and after the workshop ached a lot. This ache gradually went leaving it feeling better and more supple than it has for a long time.
I will definitely be looking to do more so I can look after my body and joints in such a gentle and effective way.
Emma was extremely kind and patient throughout. Also very knowledgeable and generous. It was a really excellent day.
“I came to see Emma after many years of troubles with my shoulders (mainly supraspinatus tendonitis), related to playing and posture in general
The way I dealt with it until I met Emma, was going to different therapeutic massages, but I reached a point where I knew I needed to change my approach and tackle the problem from the root, not the symptoms.
Going to one-to-one sessions with Emma was the right thing for me, and I was amazed by how just after the first session my arms and back felt so different. It was like all the joints (specially shoulder/neck) were in the right place, arms nicely hanging on the sides of my body (instead of forward) and I felt refreshed and extremely present. I don’t know yet how and why it works, but I have never been so aware of my body (and being a musician myself, I thought I had a good sense of it).
I want my body to work at its best and I look forward to continue working with her!” – Patricia Reinoso, violist.
“I have had the pleasure of having a number of Feldenkrais lessons with Emma.
When I started the lessons with Emma I had recently recovered from a frozen shoulder. I was still feeling pains in my neck after using the computer. so I asked Emma to observe how I was sitting at my desk and using the computer, to see what I could do to improve:
Emma suggested that I sit on a higher stool so that I don’t have to lift my shoulders when typing; and that I put my computer on a stand so I don’t have to bend my neck to look at the screen.
She also suggested that I get a pair of spectacles tailor made for the distance between my eyes and the computer rather than using my usual varifocal glasses which forced me to immobilise my head in order to focus on the screen. All of these were contributing to my neck and shoulder problems.
We then had a series of Feldenkrais lessons, including working on the flexibility of the spine and hips whilst sitting. I have been comfortable ever since!” – Nicolette Moonen, Violinist, teacher at RAM
‘I had Alexander Technique lessons while I was a student and these would leave me feeling “magically transformed” whereas my Feldenkrais sessions with Emma gave me things to think about and to experiment with—a more interactive and conscious experience. Emma said she could feel the sound of the cello through my body when I played, like a tuning fork, and when she made some subtle movements to my spine to release areas of tightness, the sound of my cello increased as my body vibrated even more freely.’ I still connect with the feeling of fluidity I gained in those few lessons with Emma.
Sarah McMahon, Cellist.
I’m a professional jazz and gospel singer. I approached Emma for help because I was struggling with bad posture, life-long bad habits and physical tension when singing; my vocal technique was suffering and I couldn’t hit the high notes with confidence. The one-to-one lessons were brilliant and I quickly became aware of what Emma called the “obscure obvious” – things I do with my body that I had never noticed before. For example, we noticed that I was not releasing enough tummy muscles when inhaling. Even this single observation has made a massive difference to my technique and my ability to sing the way I want to sing. I’d also recommend the group classes as a really useful way of regularly keeping up your personal Feldenkrais practice. Emma is an excellent communicator – down-to-earth and understanding – and I feel in very safe hands with her, not least because I know that she is a performing musician herself, so she is “one of us”.