About the Method
The Feldenkrais Method is based on principles of physics, martial arts, biomechanics, and an understanding of learning and human development. Its effectiveness lies in its ability to access the nervous system's innate ability to learn.
Learning is the most powerful aspect of being human.
The Feldenkrais Method enables us to rediscover movements that have been lost or for some reason excluded in our usual way of doing things. By allowing us to learn how our whole self cooperates in any movement, the method assists us in living our lives more fully, efficiently, and comfortably.
The method is useful for people who want to learn to overcome limitation brought on by stress, misuse, accident, or illness. It is equally beneficial for people who want to perform and feel better physically and mentally.
Improved flexibility and ease of movement does not require months of stretching, but an awareness of how to distribute movement throughout the body. Because the Feldenkrais Method focuses on the relationship between movement and thought, increased mental awareness and creativity accompany physical improvements.
How does Feldenkrais differ from massage and chiropractic?
The similarity is that both practices touch people, but beyond that, this method is very different. In massage, the therapist is working with the muscles, and in chiropractic, with the bones. These are structural approaches that seek to affect improvement through changes in structure (muscles and bones).
The Feldenkrais Method, on the other hand, engages your own ability to regulate and coordinate your movement, which means it works with the movement patterns that originate in the motor cortex and how your nervous system manifests those patterns. This necessarily affects muscle tone and bone alignment, but from the inside out.
Feldenkrais is remembering how we learn.
Creative artists, dancers and athletes
Feldenkrais classes are a powerful tool to help you expand and refine your skills. By improving your sensory awareness, you develop greater dexterity
As you enhance your ability to perceive subtle differences, you are able to make finer and finer motor distinctions and refine your technique. Plus, discovering unlimited movement possibilities feeds creativity.
Through Feldenkrais, athletes and dancers find that learning to move with less effort and more efficiency increases stamina and creativity, and minimizes stress on muscles and joints.
How is it taught?
1. Group classes in Awareness Through Movement® (ATM)
In group Awareness Through Movement lessons, you learn not through muscular strength, but through increased awareness of how the body works. Lying on the floor, you are directed through a series of gentle, non-invasive movements that grow increasingly complex. Through these lessons, you can dramatically improve your quality of movement and acquire new coordination and skill.
The more Feldenkrais lessons you do, the more you will notice a profound change throughout your life. Increasing your learning is a serious training: you've been training your whole life to become the person you are now. Who do you want to become next? When you train in sensing yourself differently, you also sense completely new choices. Use these classes to imagine possibilities.
2. Private lessons in Functional Integration® (FI)
In a private Functional Integration lesson, the teacher's precise touch guides the student through gentle, safe movements. These movements provide new information directly to the neuro-muscular system, enabling it to change one's organization in gravity and enhance efficiency, coordination, and ease of movement.
Feldenkrais practitioners are trained to create learning scenarios instead of using a fixed, repetitive technique. Feldenkrais will never be a series of pre-set movements, but rather a response to your needs, depending on your experience at the time.
Regardless of whether you do group classes or hands-on lessons, Feldenkrais can help you overcome limitations brought on by stress, misuse, accident, or illness.
How long will it take?
It can take time to unwind years-old patterns and adopt new ones. The time frame is different for each person, just as each person's nervous system, personal history, and learning style is different.
Like many things in life, such as getting into physical shape, undergoing psychotherapy, or mastering a martial art, the time and attention you bring to it is linked to your results.
As your brain figures out that there are easier, more efficient ways to move, you start to feel your self in ways you never knew existed. Rather than telling you how to perform, Feldenkrais returns you to a deep internal knowing.
If you decide to work with Feldenkrais whether in a class, at home, or with a practitioner, you will start to see many changes in your life.