Thursday, February 23, 2017

An Innovative Somatics Educator

Loss of a Colleague

I learned yesterday of the death of an old friend and colleague, Michael Krugman. Years ago Michael moved to Hawaii and we were lost touch with one another. But prior to that Michael was on of the people who helped me find my own way towards self care through somatics.

I first met Michael around 1989 when he taught Feldenkrais lessons at a dance studio near the East Village here in NYC. One day it snowed and I was the only student who showed up so I got a private class and Michael and I went out for coffee and were instant friends. How wonderful to meet someone to talk somatics with! How great that we both needed a friend at the same time for these types of conversations.

Michael was much more than a somatics teacher though - he was a true innovator of the Feldenkrais method, a recognized macrobiotic chef, a connoissieur of the arts (he had a Masters in Art from the University of Chicago), and he had a gentle humor that kept him from taking himself too seriously. He also became a very good tango dancer who did serious research on the history of the dance.

Soon after I met him Michael was at work designing a system to help people with carpal tunnel syndrome. He called this system Typelighter because he recognized that most people who suffer from this malady often struck the keys too hard. The software gave feedback as to how hard the person was typing and also could be set to give reminders about when to stop typing and stretch (he also gave simple exercises one could do in their chair to take a quick minute break).

Then Michael began working on his most innovative system - something he called the Sounder Sleep System. It was based on ways to calm neural pathways that get overstimulated in our stressful lives. At the time of his death Michael had over 60 people trained worldwide who were teaching this system and helping people to get a good night's sleep. He wrote a book about the work which is sold online.

Here is a "tip" from Michael's website:


If you are having trouble falling asleep, or you awaken during the night, try the following technique. Imagine that each breath you take is like a gentle ocean wave. In the Sounder Sleep System™ Breath Surfing is the “art of catching those waves and riding them to the shores of sleep.”
1) Rest the tips of your fingers of both hands on either side of your chest. Rest your thumbs wherever feels comfortable.
2) Slowly inhale and as your chest rises let your thumbs rise a tiny bit away from your chest. As you exhale, relax your thumbs. Repeat several times, then rest for several complete breath cycles.
  • If you are interested in Michael's work, see his website HERE
  • A video of him explaining his theories on sleep can be found HERE
  • A paperback version of his book on sleep, The Insomnia Solution: The Natural, Drug-Free Way to a Good Night's Sleep, is on sale (only $1.99!) HERE
With Michael gone the world has definitely lost a light. 
Yet his incredible work shines on.

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