The Feldenkrais Method® uses movement as a resource for learning how to achieve a pain free existence, improving artistic and athletic performance as well as recovery from trauma and neurological impairments. Through carefully developed movement lessons based on developmental stages it accesses the brain’s innate capacity for plasticity, learning and adaptation and solving problems of “self use”. It uses the language the brain understands best – the language of movement.
The Method was developed by physicist, judo master, and World War Two refugee, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. Through research and the process of recovering from his own debilitating injuries as well as his understanding of several languages and cultures , he found a way to utilize principles of human movement, development, and learning to create new, more efficient patterns of self-use. Dr. Feldenkrais’ Awareness Through Movement® lessons are unique in providing the opportunity to actually feel the process of thinking and develop new ways for self imaging. Most people that engage in Feldenkrias lessons report a dramatic increase in the clarity of their thinking, especially if thinking is central to what they do.
With each new movement we learn as infants, the connections in our brain multiply to create a map of ourselves, literally a self-image, which in turn is used by our brain to send signals to our muscles when we want to do something. Our nervous system constantly solves new problems and evolves to meet the world we live in. Muscles don’t think, bones don’t think, human brains do. If we have pain – back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, etc. – we need to learn to move differently so as not to put the same pressure on the same joints all the time. If we want to hone a performance skill – playing an instrument, acting, dancing, swimming, playing baseball – we need to learn how to better use ourselves- to change the map in our brain so that the orders given to our muscles are more efficient. Solutions that do not engage our basic self-image will not bring lasting improvement.”
The Feldenkrais Method® Is Practiced In Two Ways
- Awareness Through Movement®are group classes consisting of easy-to-do movement lessons addressing aspects of human functioning. Movements build new skills with ease, using as a foundation, what the students do well, without the exhausting struggle that comes from imposing on ourselves someone else’s idea of perfection.
- Functional Integration®is a gentle, effective, one on one hands-on approach that addresses serious muscular-skeletal and neurological problems, chronic tension and pain, developmental delays and learning issues in children. It is personalized and improvised for each individual and their needs.
What Benefits Can You Expect?
Because Feldenkrais sessions are individually formatted for each student, the benefits are as varied as the students themselves. Some of the benefits commonly experienced are:
- Reduced pain
- New ways of coping with stress
- Increased range of movement
- Enhanced athletic and artistic performance
- Prevention of performance related injuries
- Greater ease and joy in physical activities
- Quicker recovery of abilities following trauma
Increased mental clarity
Improved self-use and better adaptation to the demands of a given task are natural outcomes of returning to an organic way of learning.
“Dr. Feldenkrais defined Health as the ability to realize our avowed and unavowed dreams. Those dreams are unique to each individual, the same way that our personal history is unique. To realize them, we need to think independently, to find the solutions that are unique to us instead of trying to apply ourselves to existing templates for behavior and self-improvement. It is my vision and my experience, that when people engage with the Feldenkrais Method®, they arrive at this place of independence. In the process they gain a healthy life, a life that is permeated with awareness and the freedom to realize their intentions”
– Aliza Stewart, Master Teacher.