What is the Feldenkrais Method?
Full, dynamic living is linked to our ability to experience and learn on our own. Ordinarily, we learn just enough to function. For example, we learn to use our hands well enough to eat, our legs well enough to walk. Functioning with a greater range of ease and skill, however, remains to be developed.
The Feldenkrais Method teaches—through movement—how we can improve our capabilities to function in our daily lives, whether it’s lifting up a child, working at a computer, or training for the marathon. It enables us to rediscover movements that have been forgotten or excluded in our usual way of doing things. By allowing us to learn how our whole body cooperates in any movement, the method assists us in living our lives more fully, efficiently, and comfortably.
The method is especially useful for people who want to learn to overcome limitations brought on by stress, misuse, accident, or illness. It is equally beneficial for people who want to perform and feel better physically and mentally.
Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc., an internationally-known engineer and physicist, developed this innovative approach to movement re-education when he was incapacitated by a sports-related injury and given little chance of ever walking without pain. Dr. Feldenkrais applied his knowledge of anatomy, physiology, physics, and engineering, as well as his mastery of martial arts, to restore his own functioning and, later, the functioning of many others.
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The Feldenkrais Method is taught in two modalities: Group classes in Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) and private lessons in Functional Integration® (FI).
In Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons, the practitioner verbally guides you through a sequence of movements: sitting or lying on the floor, standing or sitting in a chair. Through directing your awareness to different sensory perceptions, you learn to relax and abandon painful habitual patterns. Through the subtle ATM movements, you develop awareness, flexibility, and coordination, as well as a sense of release.
In private Functional Integration lessons, movements are communicated through precise, gentle touch custom-tailored to your unique configuration at that particular moment. Comfortably clothed, you lie or sit on a low padded table, or you may be standing, walking, sitting in a chair, or in other various positions that promote comfort, release, and ease of movement. You will be guided through slow, safe movements that provide new learning directly to the neuromuscular system.