ALEA GROSHEK (long bio)
As a little girl trying to decide what she wanted to do, nothing captured my attention more than the well being of those around me. I thought that care for others would manifest itself in the field of physical therapy, however, a family friend told me to consider pursuing a different career. As a physical therapist herself, she said the work – with age – becomes very hard on you as a practitioner. After that I turned my attention toward the brain, absolutely captivated by its intricacies, its ability to adapt, and its organization – all of which helps define us as individuals. I followed this fascination upon entering the University of Michigan and very quickly realized that I was most interested in how the brain interacts with the body. In particular, I loved knowing which areas of the brain control which parts of our body, or are responsible for processing information from our senses. I wanted to know about Parkinson’s, stroke, and traumatic brain injury, anything that affected a person’s ability to move. It was these interests that lead me to graduate with a major in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience. Also very early on, I had decided that no matter which career I chose in the end, I wanted to offer my knowledge and assistance to as many people as possible. As such, I also obtained a major in Spanish.
As I studied the brain, another interest made itself known. This thing – “a thing” was all I could call it because I had absolutely no idea what “it” entailed –called Feldenkrais, had entered my reality in no small way. My mom had started the training just before I left for college and I was excited, stunned, shocked, and awed by the transformation I saw each time I came home. We talked about the method, about the principles that guide it, and about the extraordinary changes she witnessed in herself and those around her. I slowly began to realize that this was not just another wannabe holistic practice; Feldenkrais had something truly amazing to offer. After attending a Feldenkrais conference in 2012, which brought science and Feldenkrais together, I realized that Feldenkrais helped people in a way similar to Physical Therapy – the path that had captured my attention since I was a little girl – except I’d seen Feldenkrais help where PT couldn’t, and there was no stipulation about getting older and losing your ability to continue with the method. It felt as if, in that moment, I had found the “work” that would never be work, but rather an extension of who I am and what I’ve always wanted to do.