|What is the Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Education?
The Feldenkrais Method is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and
enhance human functioning. With this Method, you can increase your range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and
rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement.
By expanding the self-image through movement sequences, the Method enables you to include more of yourself in your movements.
Students become aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities, and learn to move in new ways.
What does the Feldenkrais Method® do?
The Feldenkrais Method uses movement as a resource for learning how to achieve a pain free existence, better musical, artistic and
athletic performance and recovery from trauma and neurological impairments.
It was developed by physicist and judo master Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. Through research and through the process of recovering from his
own debilitating injuries, he found a way to utilize principles of human movement, development and learning to create new, more efficient
patterns of self-use.
Who Benefits from the Feldenkrais Method®?
Everyone can benefit from the Method. The Feldenkrais Method helps those experiencing chronic or acute pain of the back, neck,
shoulders, hips, legs, or knees, as well as healthy individuals who wish to enhance their movement abilities. The Method has been very
helpful in dealing with central nervous system conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and stroke. Musicians, actors, and
artists can extend their abilities and enhance their creativity. Seniors enjoy using it to retain or regain their ability to move without strain or
After experiencing Feldenkrais® lessons, people often express feelings of relaxation and ease. They may breathe more freely and find
their thoughts have more clarity. The learning process is full of pleasant surprises and personal breakthroughs.
Here is a list of benefits students of the Feldenkrais Method® have experienced.
• Reduced pain
• New ways of coping with stress
• Increased range of movement
• Enhanced athletic and artistic performance
• Prevention of performance related injuries
• Greater ease and pleasure in physical activities
• Quicker recovery of abilities following trauma
• Increased mental clarity
A lesson for the spine:
What Happens in a Feldenkrais Method Session?
In group Awareness Through Movement® lessons, the Feldenkrais® teacher verbally leads you through a sequence of movements in
basic positions: sitting or lying on the floor, standing or sitting in a chair. These precisely structured movement explorations involve
thinking, sensing, moving, feeling, and imagining. By increasing awareness, you will learn to abandon habitual patterns of movement and
develop new alternatives, resulting in improved flexibility and coordination. Many lessons are based on developmental movements and
ordinary functional activities (reaching, standing, lying to sitting, looking behind yourself, etc.). Some are based on more abstract
explorations of joint, muscle, and postural relationships. There are hundreds of ATM lessons, varying in difficulty and complexity, for all
levels of movement ability. A lesson generally lasts from 30 to 60 minutes.
Private Feldenkrais lessons, called Functional Integration® lessons, are tailored to each student's individual learning needs. The teacher
guides your movements through gentle non-invasive touching and words. The student is fully clothed, lying on a table, or in a sitting or
standing position. At times, various props (pillows, rollers, blankets) are used in an effort to support the student, or to facilitate certain
movements. The learning process is carried out without the use of any invasive or forceful procedure.
How Does the Feldenkrais Method Differ from Massage and Chiropractic?
While all of these practices touch people, the Feldenkrais Method is very different. In massage, the practitioner is working directly with the
muscles, in chiropractic, with the bones. These are structural approaches that seek to affect change through changes in structure
(muscles and spine). The Feldenkrais Method works with your ability to regulate and coordinate your movement, which means working
with the nervous system and the whole person.
Why is movement important?
Dr. Feldenkrais used to say: “movement is life. Without it, life is inconceivable.” Even sucking, the first action a baby takes to ensure its
survival, is a movement pattern involving the muscles of the face. Like all human activity, it has to be learned. Movement is the first object of
our brain’s remarkable capacity for learning.
As babies, we all went through this learning process – moving and learning, developing our brain through the process, and achieving
constantly new levels of mastery over our environment – and the success or failure of the process determined the quality of our life. We had
no teachers and no verbal instruction. Sensing, feeling and moving were but one action that had one biological purpose – becoming a
functional, healthy and fulfilled human.
This magnificent kind of learning - involving feeling, thinking and moving - is available to us throughout our life. But the introduction of
language and schooling into a child’s life creates, along with the benefits it brings, an interference in this organic process. If teachers and
parents are not careful, it can sometimes stop it altogether. By using movement instead of words, the Feldenkrais Method makes the
model of learning we developed in the beginning of our life available to us again.
How does movement lead to improvement?
With each new movement we learn as infants, the connections in our brain multiply to create a map of ourselves, literally a self-image,
which in turn is used by our brain to send signals to our muscles when we want to do something. Our nervous system constantly solves
new problems and evolves to meet the world we live in. Muscles don’t think, bones don’t think, human brains do. If we have pain – back
pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, etc. – we need to learn to move differently so as not to put the same pressure on the same joints all the
time. If we want to hone a performance skill – playing an instrument, acting, dancing, swimming, playing baseball – we need to learn how
to better use ourselves. If we don’t find a way to change the map in our brain so that the orders given to our muscles are more efficient,
every other solution will be temporary and will not enhance our life. Solutions that do not engage our basic self-image will not bring lasting
The Feldenkrais Method is unique in its approach to solving these problems of self-use. Through carefully developed movement lessons
based on developmental stages it accesses the brain’s innate capacity for learning and adaptation. It uses the language the brain
understands best – the language of movement. While the results may seem miraculous to us, they are no more miraculous than the
learning a baby does in its first years of life. Improved self-use and better adaptation to the demands of a given task are natural outcomes
of returning to an organic way of learning.
How are Feldenkrais Practitioners Trained?
All Feldenkrais practitioners must complete 740-800 hours of training over a 3 to 4 year period. Trainees participate in Awareness Through
Movement and Functional Integration lessons, lectures, discussions, group process, and watch videos of Dr. Feldenkrais teaching.
Newtonian mechanics, physics, neurophysiology, movement development, biology, and learning theories are presented in the training
|Offering Feldenkrais Method® lessons in
Awareness Through Movement® and
In Norcross GA
Photography on this site was created by Rosalie O’Connor (www.rosalieoconnor.com).
Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement® and Functional Integration® are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild®
of North America.
|Awareness Through Movement®
Introduction to the Feldenkrais Method®
Improve Movement for Athletic Performance
Individual Functional Integration® Sessions
|If you know
are doing ....
|.... you can
|”My contention is that the unity of mind and body is an objective reality, that they are not entities related to
each other in one fashion or another, but an inseparable whole while functioning”
"In those moments when awareness succeeds in being at one with feeling, senses, movement, and thought, the
carriage will speed along on the right road. Then man can make discoveries, invent, create, innovate, and
"know." He grasps that his small world and the great world around are but one and that in this unity he is no