The Feldenkrais Method®
The Feldenkrais Method® is a system of neuromuscular re-education. It uses gentle movements and skilled touch to facilitate changes in behaviour. It is about reconnecting people to their natural ability to move, think, and feel.
It consists of two basic techniques: verbally directed lessons called Awareness Through Movement®, and a hands-on approach called Functional Integration®.
Neuroscience and Movement
Neuroscience now tells us, that throughout our lifetime, the brain continues to create and adapt its structure through learning.
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, a mechanical engineer and physicist, postulated in a book published back in 1947, that since the brain organizes movement, exploring new movements must change the structure of the brain.
The incredible story of Dr. Feldenkrais’ ground breaking work has most recently been told in the 2015 book by best selling author Dr. Norman Doidge, MD., The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity.
Listen here to a brief audio excerpt from an interview in which Dr. Doidge describes how Dr. Feldenkrais identified movement as the vehicle by which we can facilitate changes in how we think, feel, and act.
Here is a video of the young woman referred to in the book and the above interview. She was apparently born with part of her cerebellum missing. Watch as she and her parents tell their remarkable story of how Dr. Feldenkrais helped her exceed the expectations of the medical experts of the time.
Dr. Feldenkrais eventually began training people in his methods. He developed a whole new language of movement called Awareness Through Movement® lessons. People from all over the world now teach and create lessons based on his methods.
Using skilled touch and gentle movements, Dr. Feldenkrais was able to help even young children experience new paths of action that stimulated the development of more mature functional behavioral patterns. He used movement to change the structures and organization of the brain.
Through the unique principles of the Feldenkrais Method™ you can discover that there are no limits to the improvements you can make, regardless of your age or ability. When you move better, you will feel better, and you find yourself capable to doing things and spontaneously living in ways you may never have dreamed of before.
People who participate in Feldenkrais sessions, talk about an increased awareness of and respect for their bodies. When they experience pain, they often feel empowered to help themselves so they can get on with doing the things they love. They often report feeling optimistic, increasingly autonomous, confident and curious about new physical activities.