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My Journey with Awareness Through Movement: From Pain to Empowerment

Updated: May 23


Hi there, I’m Will Cullen, and I want to share some stories from my personal adventure with the Awareness Through Movement method, a key part of the Feldenkrais Method.


(Check out the podcast version of this article here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/7z5OMfnne9g0vc1oErZcOV?si=d080da1a03514052)


A Wiggly Path to Discovery



Born Kevin Daniel Leask in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, my introduction to the Feldenkrais Method came early. My grandmother, passionate about this approach, had worked with Alice on Salt Spring Island in the 90s when Feldenkrais was gaining popularity in North America. After experiencing its benefits, she recommended it for my pigeon-toed right foot, but I didn’t pay much attention then.


The Performer's Struggle



As a young performer, I trained in dance and pursued an acting degree from the Randolph Academy for Performing Arts in Toronto. Despite intercostal pain from my intense training, I still ignored my grandmother’s advice to try Awareness Through Movement. Even though it was part of our curriculum, it didn’t resonate with me, as we weren’t encouraged to engage deeply with the practice.


A Catalyst for Change



Years of performing arts and customer service took a toll on my body, culminating in severe health issues. After a portal vein thrombosis and subsequent surgery, I experienced debilitating fascial pain in my feet. It was then that I turned to Feldenkrais Functional Integration sessions with Brent Kisilevich. Remarkably, he alleviated my pain by working on areas far from my feet, highlighting the interconnectedness of our bodies.


Embracing Awareness Through Movement



Encouraged by Brent, I began attending Awareness Through Movement classes. It wasn’t until a workshop with Gisele St. Hilaire, who linked the method to anatomy, neuroplasticity, and neuroscience, that the technique truly clicked for me. This deeper understanding motivated me to become a trainee in the method.


Empowerment Through Movement



As I progressed, I realized that many of my pains stemmed from immobile areas in my body. By increasing mobility in these areas, I alleviated stress on more mobile parts like my knees and feet. This profound transformation inspired me to help others find similar relief and empowerment.


Join the Adventure



Now, I’m dedicated to guiding others on their journey to better movement and pain management. At Kinetic Quest Wellness, we offer Functional Integration and Awareness Through Movement classes, both online and in-person. Every learner is an adventurer on a quest for improved wellness.


Visit kineticquest.ca to claim your free quest and join our community. We have virtual movement quests daily and offer a complimentary quest to all new members. I look forward to embarking on an adventure with you soon!

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