Feldenkrais Method

The Feldenkrais Method Photo Credit: Jonathan Thrift

"Make the impossible possible, the possible easy, the easy elegant"
Dr Moshe Feldenkrais

Feldenkrais is...

A unique educational methodology, which raises the awareness of our potential through a guided, experiential, learning process. Through increased awareness we can become more conscious of habitual patterns and then increase our choices of movement possibilities. This in turn can lead to increases in efficiency in functioning and more ease and pleasure in whatever we do in life!

Feldenkrais concentrates on enabling the brain to improve the organisation of all the other systems (e.g. Neurological, Muscular-skeletal) in order for the whole to function more efficiently.

A software approach rather than the traditional body-work hardware approach!

Feldenkrais - where does the name come from?

The Method is named after its founder, Dr Moshe Feldenkrais, who was born in the Ukraine in 1904. He was an Engineer, Physicist, and Judo Master. He spent over 35 years developing his unique method for re-educating movement and realising human potential.

How is it that I have never heard of it?

Feldenkrais is a relatively new practice to the UK with the first UK trained practitioners having qualified in London in 1990. In the UK there are presently around 150 practitioners, with over 5,000 worldwide. There are currently 2 professional trainings underway in the UK with about 70 student practitioners in training.

How is it different from Physiotherapy?

Rather than fixing physical/structural problems through diagnosis and therapy, Feldenkrais is an educational method which aims to make the student aware of their habitual patterns of posture and movement and to create an environment where they can learn and integrate alternative patterns.

How is this done?

There are two sides to the Feldenkrais Method.

Firstly, one to one lessons (Functional Integration):

These normally last an hour and the student should wear comfortable / functional clothes and will remain clothed throughout the lesson. The lesson will be individually tailored around the needs of the student. The student is guided by the handling and touch of the practitioner to become aware of their habitual patterns of posture and movement. Through the lesson the student is gently guided through a series of alternative movement patterns and strategies and these are integrated into function.

Secondly, group classes (Awareness Through Movement):

These are verbally guided lessons where the students are led through structured movement sequences which are like movement puzzles! No visual demonstration, no competition and no achievement required - just the opportunity to pay attention, tune-in, sense and feel.

Each lesson normally lasts 45 minutes but often several lessons are linked into themed longer workshops and sometimes into courses lasting several days. Workshops can include skiing, golf, dance, walking, horse riding, balance, running, etc.

It is recommended that those new to the Method with specific issues to address should take several individual lessons with a practitioner prior to undertaking group lessons/workshops.

Who can Feldenkrais help?

Almost anyone!

From babies and children with learning difficulties, through to adults with neurological conditions and musculoskeletal issues, to athletes and performing artists, Feldenkrais can help increase awareness and improve efficiency and ease of movement and function.

What are the benefits?

  • Easier and fuller breathing
  • Greater relaxation and well-being
  • Improved performance in sport, dance, music and drama
  • Greater ease in everyday activities
  • Increased vitality
  • Relief from tension and muscular pain

The Feldenkrais Method ® is the registered trademark of The Feldenkrais Guild UK Ltd

 

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