About The Feldenkrais Method®
The Feldenkrais Method takes full advantage of the learning potential of the brain – we were working with human neuroplasticity long before it reached its current level of scientific recognition and public awareness, as Dr Moshe Feldenkrais was an acknowledged pioneer in the field. Throughout his lifetime he not only help hundreds increase their mobility and decrease their pain, but with his hands-on work he enabled many children and adults suffering from various forms of brain injury to improve their ability to function in most areas of life.
Feldenkrais teaches play, exploration and discovery – the most effective learning tools for life. Your sensory-motor nervous system is already set up to learn this way; you were an expert when you were a baby, discovering your abilities for the first time. As adults we become more locked into movement habits of which we are only dimly aware. As we get better at recognising the way these chronic holding patterns prevent us from moving with freedom and spontaneity, we can re-awaken our innate ability to learn continuously, lessening pain and muscular tension and moving in a new effortless way as we do so.
Re-organising body and mind…
We don’t tend to pay a lot of attention to how we organise ourselves to move; you have probably been instructed to lift heavy things with a straight back and bent knees, and most of us have discovered how ineffective it is to be told to “sit up straight!” but that is probably the extent of the functional advice the majority of us have been given in our lives. There are hundreds of ways to improve how we go about our everyday actions – sitting, standing, reaching, leaning, bending, rolling over in bed, the list is endless – by increasing our awareness of our muscles and our skeletal structure, and how they can be organised to work more efficiently together.
Gentle and effective learning-by-doing
This learning process helps us to release ourselves from long-term, chronic muscle tensions that distort our posture and make it difficult to do the things we used to do with ease as children, and it also shows us how to maintain those improvements by incorporating what has been learnt into our daily lives. The most wonderful thing about the Feldenkrais Method® is that although the potential for change is great, the movements employed for the purpose are slow and subtle, avoiding extremes, and are therefore suitable for people who are unable to handle more strenuous bodywork methods. Awareness Through Movement group classes are so gentle that they are popular with those experiencing Chronic Fatigue.
How Can Feldenkrais Help Me?
As the functioning of our nervous system improves so does our posture, our way of moving and our internal self-awareness, and this is so fundamental to our health that the benefits are widespread, including:
Relief from chronic muscle tension and spasms
Increased flexibility, agility and grace
Improved sexual functioning
Access to innate creativity
The Method is for you:
* If you suffer from restricted movement or pain
* If you suffer from respiratory problems, fatigue or anxiety
* If you want to increase your vitality and well-being
* If you want to become more graceful and agile
* If you are a performer wishing to refine your art and improve your skills
* If an injury has disturbed the way your body functions
* If you are involved in sports or movement teaching
* If you wish to enhance your personal process of self-discovery and self-awareness
* If you have suffered brain injury, or a disturbance of the nervous system
About Dr Moshe Feldenkrais
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc., (1904-1984), a Russian-born Israeli, was a distinguished scientist and engineer. He was a close associate of Nobel Prize Laureate Frederic Joliet-Curie, and he worked at the Curie Institute in Paris in the 1930s. He was also a respected Judo instructor, was a founder of the Ju Jitsu Club in Paris, and was the author of two books on the subject. However, it was in the relationship between bodily movement and the ways we think, feel and learn that Dr. Feldenkrais achieved his greatest successes, and today there are nearly 3000 certified Feldenkrais Teachers around the globe, with new training programmes springing up every year as awareness of the work grows. Feldenkrais’ insights contributed to the development of the new field of somatic education and continue to influence disciplines such as physical medicine, gerontology, the arts, education and psychology
It was an old soccer injury in his youth that damaged his knee and led to the threat of severe disability in middle age. Given little hope of ever walking normally, Moshe refused surgery because he found the 50/50 chance of improvement an unacceptable gamble. Instead, he applied his extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, psychology and engineering, as well as his mastery of martial arts, to healing his own knee. It was during this healing process that he realised the vital importance of working with the whole body in order to achieve persistent change. Realising how significant his discoveries were, he began to teach this work to his colleagues at the British Admiralty during the war, and then went on to fully develop his method on his return to Israel.
“The human posture is not simple nor is it easy to achieve. It necessitates a long and demanding apprenticeship. The learning that each human being has to go through to achieve the best quality of functioning his structure permits is as remarkable as anything in nature.”
The Elusive Obvious, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1981)
Quotes about Feldenkrais and his method from some of the people he worked with in his life:
“Feldenkrais has studied the body in movement with a precision that I have found nowhere else. He perfected hundreds of exercises of exceptional value.”
Peter Brooks, Film and Stage Director, Author
“the exercises are so ingenious and so simple.”
“Feldenkrais is the most sophisticated and effective method I have seen for the prevention and reversal of deterioration of function. We’re condemning millions of people to a deteriorated old age that’s not necessary”.
Margaret Mead, Ph.D. in Human Health, Anthropologist
“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.”
William Schutz. Ph.D in Psychology, Author, Encounter Group Pioneer
Feldenkrais FAQ – on its way!