Feldenkrais for Vishal

Looking for a Feldenkrais practitioner for my brother, Vishal


Needed: Feldenkrais practitioner to do functional integration for TBI patient (male, 42 years)

Where: New Delhi, India

Duration: Minimum three months

Provided: Round-trip travel, accomodation (single room + private bathroom in a separate apartment of the same building), meals, stipend (to be mutually decided)

Expectations: To conduct functional integration sessions with the patient as primary client (two sessions per day – length can be variable depending on discretion of practitioner, six days a week)


Details of Vishal’s injury:

Vishal had a traumatic brain injury after a motorcycle accident in March 2015, and a repeat injury after a subsequent fall in August 2015.

Vishal was a cricketer and had a great interest in sports, exercise, and eating well. He was fit and healthy and only 40 years old. After the first injury, he was recovering quite fast. He was confused and disoriented, but had started to recognise people and places, to show emotions, and was physically almost normal.

The second injury has been a much more slow and painful process, although we think that his age, previous physical condition, and willpower is still helping him. It took Vishal many months to learn to walk again. His vision has been damaged and he has mostly lost his sight in his left eye. He has a tracheostomy because he finds it difficult to swallow water without coughing. He has a peg feeding tube but eats almost everything orally, and is learning to eat on his own. He does not follow instructions yet (although sometimes seems to partially understand and pay attention more).

My family and I have worked with him continuously on physical therapies of various kinds and on helping him re-learn self-care activities. His wife, Asha, is his primary care-giver, supported by Vishal’s sons, ages 13 and 17, our mother, and my wife and I during our visits to Delhi.


Current thoughts and requirements

My wife and I are theatre artists and trained in various kinds of body work. A couple of years ago, my wife and then I started to take Feldenkrais classes. Since then, we have read a lot about Feldenkrais work, especially as it relates to the healing process of the brain.

A good friend of ours – dancer and Feldenkrais teacher – worked with Vishal for two weeks twice a day. He is from France, and visits India occasionally, and is willing to work again with Vishal whenever he is free. His work with Vishal already led to many changes and improvements in Vishal. However, he won’t be able do it for longer than a couple of weeks at a time, once in a while.

He also worked with me, because I had a knee injury some years ago through my physical theatre work. I also continue Feldenkrais ATMs and work on my own. This has made a big difference to my knees.

Because of these things, and our own explorations with Feldenkrais, what we feel would benefit Vishal’s mind and body most at this stage is for someone to work with him dedicatedly through functional integration. We want to invite someone to do this for at least three months, and longer if they develop a good rapport with Vishal and want to stay longer.

We are looking for someone qualified and experienced and with a particular interest in working closely with someone like Vishal. We would expect them to be dedicated to working with Vishal as the main patient. However, there would be ample time in the day for them to relax, do their own things, including other professional work.

We would provide a round-trip ticket, accomodation, meals, and a reasonable stipend. We want the minimum duration to be three months, because it will be quite an expense for us, and we want the time-period to be long enough for real progress to take root.

For more information, please contact Gaurav Saini: gaurav@nirman.info. Thank you very much!


More about us and our family

Irfana and I are based in Banaras, where we have an organisation, NIRMAN, started 27 years ago by Irfana’s parents, which works for education and the arts. We do our own professional independent theatre work – directing, performance, and teaching – there and in various other places. We are currently developing a village riverside campus, where we can live, work, and also do more plantation, farming, and community work. We want to do bodywork and performance with local people. I teach Aikido to children and plan to start a class for youth and adults in the village.

My family lives in Delhi, where I was born and brought up. We own a house in east Delhi, with separate apartments on different floors for my parents, Vishal’s family, my sister, and myself. You would be staying in one room in my apartment, which is generally empty – we give it out on Airbnb (see the listing).

My family owns a business, which Vishal used to oversee. Since his accident, my father has taken it on again (he had retired from it for some years). Vishal’s medical expenses have been extraordinary, so we have had to go into debt to pay for the hospital expenses and ongoing monthly expenses (he didn’t have medical insurance, but that would in any case have only covered a fraction of the cost). However, because we have a steady business, we are gradually paying off our loans.

Vishal’s recovery is of course the first priority, so we want to do everything we can to facilitate it. Since my wife and I have some understanding of bodywork, along with Western medicine, we have been determined to use alternative methods with Vishal.

We would like this whole project to be at a personal level, rather than just a professional engagement. We are looking for someone who feels compelled by our/Vishal’s story. We also feel that this is important work which could lead to many discoveries in this area, and potentially help others in similar situations in the future.


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Theatre Director, Filmmaker, Martial Artist, Teacher