The Benefits of the Feldenkrais Method
Apr 04, 2014 03:47PM
By Beatrice Basso
A form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning, the Feldenkrais Method works to increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. These improvements will often generalize to enhance functioning in other aspects of your life.
Named after its originator, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc. (1904–1984), a Russian-born physicist, judo expert, mechanical engineer and educator, it’s based on principles of physics, biomechanics and an empirical understanding of learning and human development. By expanding the self-image through movement sequences that bring attention to the parts of the self that are out of awareness, the Method enables students to include more of themselves in their functioning movements. Students become more aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities and expand options for new ways of moving. By increasing sensitivity, the Feldenkrais Method helps people live life more fully, efficiently and comfortably.
Who Benefits from the Feldenkrais Method?
Anyone—young or old, physically challenged or physically fit—can benefit from the Method. Peoplewith chronic or acute pain of the back, neck, shoulder, hip, legs or knee, as well as those dealing with central nervous system conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and stroke, find relief through the Feldenkrais Method.Seniors enjoy using it to retain or regain their ability to move without strain or discomfort.Musicians, actors and artists can extend their abilities and enhance creativity, and many people have found it improves their self-image.
Overall, those who practice the Feldenkrais Method report greater ease of movement, an increased sense of vitality, and feelings of peaceful relaxation, centering and balance. Many say they feel taller and lighter, breathe more freely and find that discomforts have eased.
What Happens in a Feldenkrais Method Session?
Feldenkrais work is done in two formats: group classes and private lessons.
In group classes, called Awareness Through Movement, the Feldenkrais teacher verbally leads you through a sequence of movements in basic positions: sitting or lying on the floor, standing or sitting in a chair. Private Feldenkrais lessons, called Functional Integration, are tailored to each student’s individual learning needs. The teacher guides your movements through touch. But in both kinds of sessions, those learning the Feldenkrais Method are referred to as students rather than clients or patients. That name reinforces our view of the Method as an educational process—one in which all are invited to learn and benefit.
For more information, contact Beatrice Basso at [email protected]