Category: Uncategorized

Gluten Sensitivity and the Artist: Avoiding Wheat Flour in Art Supplies

You may have observed the growing presence of gluten-free products at your local market. While this is a marketing and dietary trend, it is a serious issue for people who are gluten intolerant. It’s not just in things you eat! Gluten is used as filler in a wide range of non-edible products. I thank Katherine McDaniel for increasing my awareness and educating me about gluten sensitivity. Read and learn!


flour-49689_640We use products every day with no thought for how they are made or their ingredients. This ignorance is dangerous. Gluten sensitivity can be a serious problem for those who build objects or create works in the physical realm, from painters to construction workers. For background on this condition, a growing problem for people all over the globe, please read our introduction to the subject here. Wheat flour is often used to thicken art supplies and construction materials, just like you might use it to thicken a sauce for your evening meal. Now, some people will tell you that gluten can’t be absorbed through the skin, but the truth is we don’t know that for sure. It’s possible that some people are so allergic that they do react to touching gluten, or they may just not remove it completely from their skin and under their fingernails before eating, putting in…

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Gluten Sensitivity: An Introduction

My friend and colleague, Katherine McDaniel, has opened my eyes to the seriousness of gluten sensitivity, especially in non-edible products. I’m privileged to re-blog her series here. “Gluten free” may be a trendy marketing label, but the dangers are real for those who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten.


How does gluten sensitivity impact creative people? This week we discuss artists working with wheat products and propose safe alternatives.

The number of people with gluten sensitivity, including wheat allergy and Celiac Disease, is growing worldwide. I am not referring to the fad of cutting out wheat products in order to get fit, but to debilitating reactions that can become life threatening, ranging from digestive upset, heartburn, nausea and diarrhea to headaches, brain fog, depression, neurological and motion difficulties and joint pain. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

wheat-8244_640The nature of wheat, along with its close relatives barley and rye, has changed over the last century, especially with new cultivars that allow these grains to grow closer together and increase production. Doctors and scientists have not gotten to the bottom of things yet, but we are beginning to see a great deal of illness. Will these products…

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#Feldenkrais – What’s in it for you?

Image by Sharon Pruitt via Flickr

Image by Sharon Pruitt via Flickr

Everyone loves an inspiring story.

A really good story is gripping, with many twists and turns where fate hangs in the balance. The satisfying conclusion is unexpected, against-all-odds, and gives the listener hope that a similar miraculous outcome is possible for them.

Hang around in the Feldenkrais world for awhile, and you’ll likely hear some inspiring stories. Virtually every Feldenkrais teacher I know has one. One person goes through a medical ordeal, then uses the Method to recover beyond all expectations. (That’s my story.) A person with a steadily-worsening symptom rejects the prognosis of her neurologist or orthopedist, begins to study the Method, and is able to avoid a costly and risky surgery. Another person is able to take far less medication to manage a painful disease process, through regular lessons and attendance at group classes. The stories are legion.  In the aftermath of accident, stroke, or diagnosis of a chronic condition, after exhausting traditional medical approaches, the Feldenkrais Method frequently provides the missing piece to help the person to resume the activities and lifestyle they enjoy.

So, when people ask me, “Why should I come to your class?” or, “What will Feldenkrais lessons do for me?” I hesitate. I have so many inspiring stories, they all crowd to the front of my brain and mouth so that none can get out in the moment.

But let’s be clear: medical problems require medical solutions. And, sometimes we assume something is a medical problem when it is actually a LEARNING problem. Even medical issues have non-medical elements that are equally important to the overall solution. I continue to be inspired by the Feldenkrais Method because of its elegant ability to address the whole person, to weave multiple strands of experiences, to create new possibilities for a rewarding life, well-lived.

What’s in it for you? Quite simply, the possibility for continuous improvement. The potential to achieve your “vowed and unavowed dreams.” A difference in you that will help you make a difference. It’s all in a day’s work around here. Join me and find out what’s possible for you!


POSTSCRIPT: This piece appeared as the introduction to this week’s newsletter. Imagine my horror to log on to my computer this morning to a private message from an acquaintance: ” Did you realize you misspelled FELDENKRAIS in the subject line of your email?”

Obviously not. OUCH!

There is was, on Facebook, on Twitter, FELDENKRAS. FELDENKRAS. For Pete’s sake!  There’s a digital misfire if there ever was one.

I wisecracked:  FELDENKRAS – What’s in it for you? Well, the missing “I” would be nice.

And then I thought — that’s the essence of what I wrote about. The missing “I.”  You are the subject of your own life — might as well show up for it.

I know I am making lemonade out of lemons here. Perhaps that skill is something else I have learned from the Method. As for you — bring the “I” and the magic happens. See you on the floor. . .