What is Feldenkrais?
The Feldenkrais Method® is a unique learning strategy that uses movement to organise the nervous system for improvement to the way you look, act and feel.
Developed in the 1940s by renowned physicist Dr Moshe Feldenkrais, who was amongst the first to recognise the brain’s plasticity, the method changes the way the brain is coded for movement and function.
The treatments, known as lessons, typically address pain, stiffness and other physical challenges, that can usually be traced back to poor habits of movement.
By introducing a broader vocabulary of choice of movement options to the nervous system, the lessons reveal your most limiting or even harmful movement habits, and teach healthier patterns of movement and thought.
Stress, stiffness and pain are replaced with ease of movement and comfort. Mental anxiety gives way to calm and clarity of thought.
Improved efficiency in movement offers greater economy of effort and a significant uplift in vitality and well-being.
Frequently pain is immediately alleviated and flexibility is enhanced. The overall improvement in posture is often striking.
Whether your limitation is acquired or congenital, muscular or neurological, The Feldenkrais Method® will teach you to move with more grace and intelligence, for an easier life.”
“Feldenkrais has found a way to free people to be more flexible and flowing physically. The exercises are ingenious and startling in their effectiveness. It is certainly one of the most exciting and penetrating of the body-mind methods.”
There are two modes of Feldenkrais lessons. The first is Functional Integration which is taught one on one. The second mode is what we call Awareness through Movement® (or ATM), which is most often taught in group classes.
Private Lessons in Functional Integration are pleasant and effortless. You are fully clothed, lying on a low comfortable table. Guided by gentle, non-invasive touch, you will learn how to move with a more efficient pattern of action that relates to the function you wish to improve. Many different movement variations are explored in a slow, gentle manner that directly educates your nervous system how to co-ordinate intention and action more harmoniously. Developing a broader range of response choices also alters compulsive habits of thoughts and feelings. Student experiences are often pleasurable, deeply relaxing, and always fascinating. Most experience immediate reduction in pain, or stiffness, and over time they discover lasting, specific improvements in the movements and quality of their daily lives.
Awareness through Movement ® (or ATM) lessons are usually taught to a group of people. Participants are either sitting or lying on a comfortable floor mat. A typical class involves following simple movement instructions performed slowly and gently. Movements are performed within each person’s range of comfort. The movement sequences are structured in a way that creates a neuro-muscular re-education using awareness and sensory feedback to reorganise the nervous system to improved function. The lessons support rehabilitation from injury, relief from chronic pain, restoration of lost movement, and increased creativity through learning to perceive, sense, and think outside your normal habits.
Who is it for?
Everyone! The Feldenkrais Method® is appropriate for anyone of any skill level or physical ability: artists; athletes; yogis; senior citizens; parents; children; musicians; those recovering from injury or stroke; dancers; students; poets; meditators; runners; and anyone who feels stress, aches and pains (including headaches), difficulty sleeping, or a lack of vitality. Specifically, Feldenkrais® is helpful for: reducing pain; coping with stress; learning and/or improving various skills; improving mental clarity; reducing the effects of neuromuscular disease; recovering from trauma; improving coordination, movement efficiency, and range of movement, and flexibility of the brain and body. Broadly speaking, the Feldenkrais Method® can provide benefits to anyone, and the benefits experienced are unique to each person. Feldenkrais® lessons, whether group or private, provide the conditions for learning about our habits. Through this learning, new possibilities for moving and being become available. Whoever you are, whatever your difficulty, no matter your goal, the Feldenkrais Method® allows you to embody more of your full potential.
“Feldenkrais work is the most sophisticated and effective method I have ever seen for the prevention and reversal of deterioration of function.”
Dr Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-84) was an Israeli physicist and the founder of The Feldenkrais Method®, a somatic education system that improves the way the brain controls human movement, and all human functioning by increasing self -awareness through movement.