What is the Feldenkrais Method

The Feldenkrais Method is an educational system that stimulates your brain into creating more efficient relationships between your muscles, bones and the environment.  The method is named after its originator, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc. (1904-1984), a Russian born physicist, judo expert, mechanical engineer, and educator. It is based on principles of physics, biomechanics and an empirical understanding of learning and human development.  What is the Feldenkrais Method? video

Who benefits from the Feldenkrais Method

Everyone! The Feldenkrais Method® is a foundational neuro muscular training that can help you improve any aspect of your life. It is for anyone who wants to reconnect with their natural ability to move, think, feel and learn. Listed below are some common reasons people find the Feldenkrais Method helpful:

  • Alleviating chronic pain (neck, back, shoulders, joints, etc.)
  • Improve athletic endeavors (i.e. improve your golf swing, swim stroke, mile time, through more efficient and effective function)
  • Improve artistic endeavors (i.e. singing, dancing, playing an instrument, etc.)
  • Address chronic issues such as TMJ, RSI, fibromyalgia, etc.
  • Improve function that was damaged as a result of a neurological trauma (stroke, MS, cerebral palsy, head injury, Parkinson’s, etc.)
  • Eliminate everyday aches and pains
  • Reduce stress and tension
  • Improve the ease of doing everyday actions, (i.e. sitting at a computer, driving a car, etc)
  • Improve cognition
  • Enhance flexibility, balance and coordination
Can children with neurological difficulties benefit from Feldenkrais Lesson?

Yes. Watch this short video to understand more: Feldenkrais Method for Children video

How are Feldenkrais Teachers trained?

The Feldenkrais Guild of North America is the certifying body for all Feldenkrais teachers and practitioners. The training is 800 hours over a 4 year period with continuing education requirements to stay certified.

How is Feldenkrais different than other modalities?

Feldenkrais is about learning. Using the part of your brain that so successfully built the neuro-muscular pathways to roll, crawl and walk, you re-engage with yourself in a way that sparks new learning; through your sensation rather than your logic.

Feldenkrais teachers spend hundreds of hours on the floor doing Awareness Through Movement® lessons throughout their 4 year training. Exploring movement in ourselves we are better able to understand movement patterns in others.
Our focus is on movement patterns and addressing the synergistic relationships between bones, muscles, the nervous system and your environment. In effect we work with the whole human being not just the part or parts that seem to be the problem. In fact, we often work well away from the so called problem and effect change in the whole system thereby changing the problem.
What is a class like?

ATM lessons are verbally guided movement puzzles. Prioritizing the quality of the movement rather than the achievement of it, students engage their curiosity, let go of will and solve each puzzle in their own timing.  The learning is fun, challenging and often times surprising. Slowing down and reducing your efforts, you will investigate and discover unconscious preferences and habits of action.  Whether you are interested in getting rid of everyday aches and pains, improving your  athletic or artistic performance or coping with a chronic health issue, FELDENKRAIS WILL EMPOWER YOU to become your own teacher. Students of the Feldenkrais Method are endlessly astounded that doing less can lead to so much more flexibility, power, spontaneity, ease, freedom, ability, joy…..

What is an individual lesson like?

Individual Functional Integration® is a partnership between two experts: you and I.  To each lesson you bring your years of experience with your body, your ability to pay attention to your sensation, and the intelligence that once discovered how to roll, crawl and walk when you were an infant. I invite you to also bring your curiosity and the conviction that you are your own best advocate for your healing and wellbeing.

Working on a low, padded table or with mats on the floor, I use gentle, supportive touch and verbally guided instruction to help you explore movements and sensations. Through the lens of human functioning, I invite you to feel where you are unconsciously imposing limits on your movements, in your thinking, in what you believe about your self to be true. In other words, I bring a new perspective, different options and a mirror to reflect you back to you.

Feldenkrais is a system of questions. Following the lead of pleasurable sensation rather than forcing your body to move in ways that someone deems correct, we clarify where movement is safe and easy, helping your nervous system trust the process of change. We will explore your pain or limitation from the model of assets rather than deficits. In other words we follow the trail of “what’s right” rather than “what’s wrong”; “what’s possible?” rather than “what’s not working.”

What is the touch like?

The Feldenkrais touch is unique. Rather than trying to DO something, I am listening to your whole self with my hands. What am I listening for? Where is movement safe for you in this moment. What is possible? What is easy? How does movement travel through you? I will not impose movement on you. In other words I will respect where you are, how you are, who you are and simply reflect that back to you, so you have an opportunity to make change as you sense it and in your own timing. In other words I trust the intelligence of your nervous system. I trust you to be a partner and an expert in this learning process.

In this way, you can find your way out of pain, recognize and interrupt habits of muscular tension and learn new ways of moving and thinking to create the conditions for healing in yourself.

Who Was Moshe Feldenkrais?
Moshe Feldenkrais, DSc, was a distinguished scientist and engineer whose career included work at the Curie Institute in Paris in the 1930’s. He was also a respected Judo instructor, and was a founder of the Ju Jitsu Club in Paris.
It was, however, in the relationship between bodily movement and our ways of thinking, feeling and learning that Feldenkrais achieved his greatest success. An injury to his knee in his youth threatened him with severe disability in middle age. Despite being given little hope of ever walking normally, Feldenkrais refused surgery and instead applied his extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, psychology, and engineering, as well as his mastery of martial arts, to walk and function fully without pain.
During the process, he realized the vital importance of working with the whole body and indeed the whole self in order to achieve lasting, radical change. His 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.
What do people say about their experience with Feldenkrais?

“As a busy professional, I find these lessons invaluable for relieving my day to day work stress. My thinking is clearer and I feel more confident. It’s even improved the quality of my singing. I am so glad I found Feldenkrais!                     – Bob H. age 35

“ Weekly Feldenkrais lessons, with Kelly, have given me more mobility and less pain in my 60 year old back. Something I never thought I’d have again after back surgery and months of physical therapy.                     – Jim P. age 60 

“ Feldenkrais has helped my concentration and I feel better! I like Kelly’s scientific explanations and the slow, gentle movements have made me realize the origin of my pain is different than I thought. Thanks.                            – Shondene age 21, pre-med student

“ These lessons are like waking up parts of myself that have not moved in a very long time. What is most gratifying, though, is that it is mine. I created this feeling within myself.                          – Eileen O., age 90

” After every session with Joanie, there’s a clear sense of getting better.”
– Johannes W. professor at Maryville age 46 has cerebral palsy