Ralph's private practice
My goal is put my clients in greater touch with themselves, and help them eliminate their self-imposed limits. One of the major tools I use is a somatic education process called Functional Integration®, developed by an Israeli physicist named Moshe Feldenkrais. Through gentle touch and guided movement, I bring those I work with into contact with the subconscious patterns of habitual behavior which maintain the problems they come to me to solve. I help them explore alternatives to those patterns, and find alternatives which better serve their needs.
I work with people with a wide range of presenting problems -- including muscular/skeletal problems such as back pain and RSI; more severe neuromuscular conditions such as stroke, head injury, and cerebral palsy; and chronic pain. I don't "treat" these problems in any medical sense; indeed, I don't see them as medical problems. I work with the way my client has learned to respond to the problem, rather than with the problem itself.
When you experience pain, for example, whatever the initial cause, you withdraw awareness to avoid the pain, and stiffen the area to protect it. This increases the stress imposed by normal activity, making it more painful and creating a vicious self-amplifying cycle. If you can learn to reduce the stiffening and be aware of movement, that cycle can be reversed. Movement will become easier and the pain will decrease.
I also work with survivors of physical and emotional trauma, including childhood physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; war related trauma (in both civilians and combatants); and rape and other forms of assault. These traumas leave strong somatic residues, which must be reduced before healing can truly take place
Some of the people I see have no specific problems; they simply want to understand themselves better and perform at a higher level. These have included athletes, performers, and those seeking personal and spiritual growth.
I also offer email and phone consultation on these and other problems related to self-awareness, movement, and body use.
If you would like more information about what I might offer you, please email me at or call 310/454-8322.