BRATTLEBORO -- With a rough winter finally behind us, many in the community are looking forward to getting active again. For some, this means putting on that new pair of jogging shoes, hopping on the bicycle, or breaking out the baseball bat.
For Kimi Hasegawa, it’s all about how she can help people get moving, and stay in motion.
"The main idea is to use the whole body," said Hasegawa, a physical therapist who owns and operates a practice in town. "To stop moving is just about the worst thing we can do."
Hasegawa is offering free introductory classes to CMI, or Core Movement Integration, a mindful exercise and movement system that integrates the body for easier movement, improves posture and balance, and reduces pain and stiffness.
The classes are scheduled to take place at at Core Integration Vermont, North Village Green, Upper Level, 20 Technology Drive, Suite 8, in Brattleboro, and will be held Monday, from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, from 10 to 11 a.m., and Wednesday, from 5 to 6 p.m.
Core Movement Integration is an alternative therapy developed by Dr. Josef DellaGrotte, a Boston area neuromuscular therapist and Feldenkrais trainer / practitioner. According to the therapy, a person’s core, their physical and energy center, is located in their lower abdomen. With CMI, participants will learn how movement and energy flow through this point to balance the body, enabling it to remain upright with little effort.
"These intro classes will give people an idea of what CMI is all about," said Hasegawa, who is also a certified CMI practitioner. A history of the system will be explained at the beginning of the class, followed by activities involving low-impact CMI exercises.
As part of the class, individuals will learn "Six Pathways" of sequential movement, each spanning the body from feet to head. The Pathways map out routes of movement that allow a person’s joints and muscles to move easily and freely while encouraging the body to lengthen, and these Pathways can be used for all activities: daily tasks, sitting, walking, aerobic strengthening, and sports.
To be efficient, movement must flow from one part of the body to its neighboring part without encountering blocks along the way. When the brain and body can connect movement in this way, stress and effort are reduced, noted Hasegawa.
"A lot of CMI involves increasing your daily repertoire of movement," said Hasegawa. "We all get set in our patterns, and what this class offers is a way to learn new patterns."
As far as the exercises having any connection to the martial arts, Hasegawa said there is an indirect one. "CMI emphasizes grounding as do many martial arts. The closest connection is to Tai Chi," she said.
Hasegawa also holds some classes at River Valley Aikido, on Cottage Street in Brattleboro. She began giving instruction on CMI about eight years ago. Hasegawa left Brattleboro Memorial Hospital last year after 19 years of service. She said all those years as a physical therapist at BMH helped her to grasp the fundamentals of CMI.
"The idea is to increase awareness of how your body is moving," said Hasegawa. "It’s part of how you can get out of your habitual patterns."
Walk-ins are welcome. Participants will have the opportunity to sign up for spring classes. For more information, call Hasegawa at 802-246-1092.
David Aquino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.