Reaching Is Easy Until It’s Not!

November 5, 2014

We take our ability to reach for granted until something happens and we can’t do it anymore. Whatever the cause, be it arthritis, frozen shoulder, surgery or injury, when reaching is no longer an option it’s limiting and frustrating. If this is a concern for you, read on. 

Range of motion is a technical term for the full movement potential of a joint or in layman’s terms, it’s how far you can reach. So let’s begin by checking two aspects of the range of motion in your arms and shoulders. 
  • Reach forward and up as if you want to get something off the top shelf in the cupboard. How does that feel? 
  • Using the same arm, try lifting it out to the side and all the way up towards the ceiling until your arm is near your ear. Remember to keep the arm out to the side as you move it upward, don’t let it drift forward.
  • What’s the quality and range of this movement? 
  • Now do the same two movements with the other arm. 
If you’ve discovered that reaching is not as easy as you’d like, watch the following short video and follow along as I work with my friend Peggy to help her extend her reach. 

Note: At the time of the taping Peggy had reinjured her arm a few days before. She was concerned that if she tried to use it the pain and discomfort she felt would increase. I did a 20 minute hands-on session with her before we shot the video that settled her system and allowed her to move more easily. When we join Peggy she’s noticing how the work we’d just done had already made a difference to her range.
Thousands of people have benefited from Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® lessons; however, we cannot anticipate the needs and/or limitations of individuals. The material contained in this lesson is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist if you have any concerns. Responsibility for the lessons is strictly that of the user.


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Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, and Functional Integration® are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner ™ and Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher ™ are certification marks of the Feldenkrais Guild®.