What is Feldenkrais Method? 

We’ve all heard of certain herbs improving the quality of life, or tales of superfoods, premium water, vegan diets, and the likes. But what about movement? Exercises like yoga and other martial art forms have proven that certain movements and positions can influence and positively impact physical and mental prowess. 

It’s this same somatic theory that the Feldenkrais method employs; the use of holistic, body-focused methods to enable people to master and reconnect with their bodies for better performance. The Feldenkrais method can help improve mobility, increase vitality, gain better control and coordination over movements, and also offers all-around improved health and efficiency. 

This holistic approach doesn’t just focus on the mind alone, it helps re-engineer or teaches people how each part of the body works, so their mind and movements can actively cooperate with the functionality of their respective bodies. It helps to perfect each step, each movement, and re-learn postures to get the best out of everyday life without adding strain, pressure, or fatigue. 

Everyone has a different way of doing things which could be attributed to various upbringing, the environment, learned habits, health conditions, and other unfortunate incidents like accidents or injuries. However, with approaches like the Feldenkrais method, people have learned not to throw in the towel just yet, and try their hands at a therapeutic healing therapy that could change their lives, thinking and movements forever.

According to this method, for physical habits, postures, and movements to be altered, change must also occur in the mind. It’s a progressive treatment that’s more than just a bone being re-positioned, or a muscle being massaged, all ‘students’ learn to forsake limitations and look beyond the normal to achieve better results. It could be as simple as sitting, bending, and reaching with more poise and ease, or getting up without wincing. 

Research provides that the nervous system can actually re-train or re-organize itself, and that is why it is possible for many people to break physical limits and defy medical reports when the right approach is employed. This method works simply by triggering the nervous system’s ability to re-learn and improve, which can actively improve posture, mobility, coordination, and health in general. 

Another reason why the Feldenkrais method is termed as a holistic or somatic approach is that it does not just help out people who need improved postures, movements or health, but equally helps out individuals with mental health concerns. People suffering from anxiety and other related issues could find the Feldenkrais method very therapeutic, relaxing, and helpful.

The History of the Feldenkrais Method. 

The Feldenkrais method was developed in the 18th century by an Israeli scientist called Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. Feldenkrais was born in Ukraine, and he only moved to Israel when he was 14, however, in his adult life, he lived mostly in France. He worked in different capacities that ranged from being a laborer to an engineer. However, he later became a Judo and martial arts teacher and continued as a movement instructor for decades. The Feldenkrais method is obviously named after him and has been in practice since the mid-1900s. 

The approach incorporates theories of human development as well as the laws of physics and biomechanics. His experience as jiu-jitsu and judo instructor certainly helped him develop this approach. However, it came about when Moshe Feldenkrais had to employ his knowledge of the nervous system and the body personally. He had sustained numerous knee injuries and decided to use the knowledge of somatic and natural healing procedures to heal and improve himself. 

After his gradual recovery, his finding motivated him to develop the Feldenkrais somatic approach to improve both the physical and mental well-being of individuals. In 1949, his first book on the method was completed, and almost immediately, he started to teach others how to self-heal using the Feldenkrais Method. Many teachers were trained to teach Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration, so by the time Feldenkrais passed away in 1981, he had already left behind a growing legacy. 

Development of the Feldenkrais method. 

At this point, the method had incorporated the use of martial arts, psychology, biomechanics, and motor skills to improve mobility and coordination. Since these advanced movements had a vital part to play in Moshe Feldenkrais’s healing, it became the core practice in his method. These advanced movements are said to be vital when unraveling the connection between development and adaptation. 

Furthermore, it helps people become more conscious of their own mental capacities and contributions to movement patterns and habits. So, cognition, intention, and attention directly influence an individual’s physical activity. The Feldenkrais method became more popular because of its ability to make use of both emotional and physical functions to improve well-being. 

The approach also became popular for positively impacting and changing hard to break habits that influence the everyday living. To ensure a good number of people had access to the training, the Feldenkrais method was then classified into two major parts; the Awareness 

Through Movement and the Functional Integration approach. Both of them aim to stimulate the nervous system and capture its innate abilities to influence healing via intelligent and natural actions and movements. 

How Does This Method Work?

The Feldenkrais method may sound similar to yoga practices, but it has its own methods. The method is grounded on the foundation of enhancing an individual’s awareness and using that enhanced consciousness to address the areas of self that have been left dormant. In utilizing the nervous system rightly, the body is encouraged to perform larger and more graceful movements. The approach is meant to ensure all individuals that take on this method become more aware of those restricting habits that limit movements and re-learn new ways to move parts of the body. 

When individuals are more self-conscious, they develop the capacity to involve more parts of the body in general movements, which puts less pressure on the skeletal and muscular system. In addition, the Feldenkrais method could also help enhance emotional functions. Furthermore, this approach uses subtle, gentle, gradual movements and focused attention to enhancing overall health and human functioning. 

It achieves this by making use of the brain’s neuroplasticity, which is the ability to re-learn, change and adapt to new functions through sensory input. The method itself counts on the brain’s abilities to respond to change, as this is the only way old habits can be eliminated, and the new ones imbibed. 

The Feldenkrais method is taught in two major approaches; one-on-one lessons and group classes termed Functional Integration and Awareness Through respectively. Each approach takes about half an hour to 60 minutes to teach, and the participants are referred to as students simply to emphasize the educational nature of the Feldenkrais method. 

In the one-on-one classes which are generally called Functional Integration classes, each student has a personal learning plan programmed according to their individual needs. The teacher, who is the instructor of the class guides each student through specific movements following the respective personalized learning programs. These private sessions allow the practitioner to use a more hands-on approach, regardless of how subtle and gentle it is. Here, the teacher guides the student more physically to make certain movements. This approach helps each student come to terms with the connections between different body parts, and how one move can influence another. 

Each class aims to teach the student how to avoid movements that put too much pressure on the skeletal system and the muscles. The Feldenkrais method may not necessarily heal ailments, but it does alleviate pain, change bad mobility and postural habits, and could provide the necessary relief students need to live better lives. 

For group classes, which are termed as ‘Awareness Through Movement’, the instructor generally guides the group through repeated movements that are slow, gentle, and diverse while they lie on the floor, sit on chairs, stretch or stand. These classes encompass various exercises that range from simple to complex movements with the instructor guiding the students through the mental and physical part of the therapy. 

In this way, the students learn more about the mechanical details of each movement, as well as the sensations accompanied by each move. With increased awareness, individuals can then make better choices regarding the kind of movements they make. The concept of ‘self’ is emphasized in this method and rides on the in-depth realization of how to make better movements by connecting them to the experiences each move is associated with. 

As observed, the Feldenkrais method is quite different from chiropractic or remedial methods, which are more hands-on and invasive. Such approaches have to directly manipulate bones and muscles in order to alleviate pain or deliver helpful treatments. However, the Feldenkrais method is more interactive and less one-sided, the practitioners work together with the students to make progress. That means the students are guided towards strengthening and coordinating movements themselves. 

Major Facts About The Feldenkrais Method. 

  • The Feldenkrais Method is a somatic educational system that focuses on developing awareness in individuals to improve their everyday life. It sees the body as the most vital vessel for learning. 
  • It is a tailored approach for people who desire to expand their range of movements, improve awareness and sensitivity, enhance bodily functions and express themselves better. 
  • The Feldenkrais method delivers a learning method that addresses the ‘how’ when it comes to re-organizing self and re-engineering diverse movements and patterns. 
  • The Feldenkrais method helps to improve personal self-esteem and self-image by exploring the parts of self that have been hidden and ignored, and revealing their importance and functionality in the body. 
  • Improved functionality is equally achieved by establishing a reformed relationship or connection between the individual, the forces of gravity, and the environment at large. As Feldenkrais described functionality as the relationship between an individual and the environment, establishing this connection is an essential part of the method. 
  • In the Feldenkrais method, improved physical functionality is not the major goal. An individual could be termed as successful when he/she is able to develop a deeper sense of functional awareness, and one of the benefits of this improvement is the general enhancement of physical functions. 
  • The Feldenkrais method employs the principles of self-regulation and self-organization in its learning approach. 
  • The Feldenkrais method is majorly expressed and taught in two major forms; Awareness Through Thought and Functional Integration. 
  • Awareness Through Movements involves verbally administered instructions that guide movement patterns and sequences and is usually made up of more than one person. Each lesson lasts for thirty to sixty minutes and is taught according to pre-planned programs. 
  • In Awareness Through Movement Classes, individuals explore precise and repeated movements that range from moving, imagining, thinking, and sensing. Other functions explored in ATM classes are more centered on developmental movements, flexibility, balance, and other functional activities. Other practitioners may include more unconventional movements of the joints and muscles while observing postural habits. 
  • All ATM lessons involve gentle, soft, and comfortable movements that gradually build up to more complex movements.
  • Awareness Through Movement Classes also tries to inculcate awareness of habitual patterns and neuromuscular habits that may be causing tension and rigidity in movements. The classes replace such knowledge with new possibilities by enhancing sensitivity and improving efficiency in functionality. 
  • One of the most essential goals of any Awareness Through Movement class is to learn how individual functions are different and how they are organized. Each action results in a different experience, but only when the mind is awakened to those individual movements. 
  • Students can learn how to master their actions by having the right intentions, reduce unnecessary strain or energy and use the whole body rather than just one part when making essential movements. 
  • Functional Integration guides individuals through different movements using verbal instructions and non-invasive physical touch. It is a hands-on approach, unlike the Awareness Through Movement approach. 
  • Functional Integration classes are more tailored to the desires, intentions, and personal goals of the individual. 
  • The classes are carried out with the use of touch, but none of it is invasive, hurtful, or forceful. 
  • This hands-on approach is very tactical and employs the use of kinesthetic communication to guide the student through movements. 

What The Feldenkrais Method Is Not. 

  • The Feldenkrais method is identified by practitioners as an educative method, an approach, and a method. It is not a medical treatment, massage, or therapeutic technique, even though it can act as an alternative for all those things. 
  • The Feldenkrais approach is more of a learning process, not a healing process. 
  • A Feldenkrais Practitioner does not use any sexual forms of touch, and will not try to access sexual parts of the student’s body. 
  • No chemical, mechanical or electrical aids, devices, or equipment required in a Feldenkrais lesson. 

When Is Somatic Therapy Required?

Somatic therapy is centered on the belief that mind-body treatments can speed up healing, alleviate ailments and improve the general quality of life. Its approaches focus on the interaction between the physical and the mental during treatments or therapy. Somatic therapy can be carried out on a one-on-one basis or for a group. These therapy sessions could help address physical and psychological symptoms in individuals. 

Some of the mental symptoms somatic therapy can help alleviate include; addiction, grief, anxiety, trauma, abuse, relationship problems, stress, depression, and even sexual functions. Furthermore, somatic therapy can equally help alleviate sleep problems, eating disorders, digestive problems, and other related conditions. 

Somatic therapy would be a great treatment alternative for people who have tried other medical and natural treatments without success. Somatic therapy is built on the notion that once these physical symptoms are dealt with, it’s a lot easier to resolve mental and psychological problems. 

Somatic education is an innovative approach to healing, fitness, and wellness that reaches out to the mind and body in order to improve one’s quality of life. Many people have found somatic exercises and therapies very beneficial when it comes to stress reduction and pain alleviation. Most of the people who learn somatic practices benefit from advantages like enhanced breathing, better coordination of movements, improved postures, and better mental and physical prowess. 

After the recommended classes are completed, students usually report enhanced creativity, better flexibility, improved performance, and all-around pleasure. Somatic approaches are not magic, they will not make all your problems go away. However, they can help improve the quality of life when the lessons are followed accordingly. 

Many have testified to changes in performance when it comes to engaging in activities such as walking, diving, dancing, running, golfing, painting, hiking, driving, or even housekeeping. According to somatic therapists, improving the connections between the body and mind won’t just help mental functions and alienate the other, but they deliver holistic results. That explains why an individual could derive more pleasure from cycling, after completing somatic therapy classes, than before. 

The Feldenkrais employs methods of somatic therapy, and it does pique the curiosity of many, especially when they read about the benefits of this method. Many questions come to mind; is it the same as yoga? Is it really effective? What kind of classes should you have; Awareness Through Movement or Functional Integration? And many more similar questions. Some of those concerns will be explored below.

Who Is The Feldenkrais Method For? 

It’s easy for people to say, “yoga isn’t for me,” or, “I am not just the type of person that can practice prolonged meditation.” Well, the truth is, there are always basic steps that anyone who is capable can do. The same is true for the Feldenkrais method, it consists of thousands of lessons that range from easy, medium to hard. That means this method is suitable for everyone. 

People who love exploring their bodies and finding out the new things they can do would certainly benefit from this method. On the flip side, individuals who are skeptical about pushing the boundaries should not stop reading just yet. The Feldenkrais method could be what you need to ease into practices and approaches that could improve life as you know it. 

That is because the method itself promises to re-engineer movements and help people re-learn how to move their bodies. However, it doesn’t just focus on the physical aspect, it helps individuals become more aware of the connection between their minds and bodies via advanced and innovative movements. 

It’s not just about getting fit, people who are interested in learning something new and beneficial should certainly sign up for a class. However, it’s important not to simply see this approach as the next best adventure, the Feldenkrais method certainly comes with its benefits. Continued practice and participation in Feldenkrais classes could help alleviate back and joint pains, relieve muscle tightness and even help with posture. At the end of the day, students who have actively participated admit that they certainly enjoy more easy and pleasurable movements. 

As mentioned above, people from all walks of life can take part in Feldenkrais lessons, whether it’s dancers who want to channel their inner self, or athletes looking to get ahead. The stay-at-home mom, the engineer, waitress, lawyer, businessman, or musician who wants to benefit from preventive and healthy somatic practices should certainly consider Feldenkrais classes. According to some of the student’s claims, it helped them recover from the aftermath of strokes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and similar neurological conditions. If it can help treat these neurological ailments, it can certainly help anyone who wants to lead a better life. 

How To Find A Suitable Feldenkrais Practitioner.

There are over 1200 Feldenkrais teachers across America, however, it’s easier to find a suitable class in bigger cities than in small communities. It is very important to check that the institution or class you are signing up for is certified and acknowledged by The Feldenkrais Guild of North America. 

They have a directory that lists all the certified practitioners on their website. After you have confirmed that the teacher is certified, you can call up the centers closest to you, get the necessary information and then make a decision based on the costs, proximity, or programs offered. It is also important to figure out what kind of class to join; an Awareness Through Movement Class or a Functional Integration Class. 

When choosing a teacher, pay attention to how knowledgeable they sound, and how comfortable they make you feel. Feldenkrais classes could take a while, so it is important to choose a teacher that best suits your preferences. It is possible to book an appointment with each of them to talk over the phone or meet in person if that’s convenient, just to ensure you are really comfortable with the teacher. 

How Do You Prepare For A Feldenkrais Class?

“Do I need to buy any mats, skipping ropes, or other handy materials?” That’s a very valid question, and the answer is a simple no. One of the good things about Feldenkrais classes is that they are very simple and less complex when it comes to apparel or equipment. Once you have registered in a class, just wear comfortable and non-restrictive clothe and show up on time. 

If you are trying to figure out if you should eat or not, it may be better to have a light snack about an hour before the class. It is not a good idea to show up stuffed or full in any motion/movement or a dance class. In addition, remember to keep an open mind, some of the positions may seem unconventional and unusual, but that’s the point. Feldenkrais techniques are supposed to change those every-day habits you have learned over the years and replace them with better, easier motions that make movement more pleasurable. 

How To Choose Between Private Functional Integration Lessons And Awareness Through Movement Group Classes. 

There are some things to consider when choosing between an Awareness Through Movement class and a Functional Integration lesson. First off, both methods are very beneficial, however, Awareness Through Movement lessons may be more cost-effective than Functional Integration lessons. Plus, people who love to learn in groups may benefit from a more informal, group exercise, the more the merrier, right? 

Group classes may also be more fun and interactive than private lessons, so there is that to consider as well. You may get to meet different people who have various reasons for joining the class, and there’s always more learning to do when people have experiences to share and stories to tell. 

For those considering Functional Integration classes, these lessons are obviously more on the high side. However, these private lessons tend to be for people who have more special concerns or needs. Nevertheless, it could simply be for individuals who prefer one-on-one lessons and personalized programs. 

If you are still unsure, maybe try out one of the classes first, some people even participate in both private and group lessons, just to get the best of both worlds. If you have been advised by a doctor or any medical personnel to take these classes, then it may be vital to go with their advice. 

If they instructed that you sign up for Functional Integration classes, maybe you need more special attention and a hands-on approach to guide you on that healing journey. You can still talk to a doctor even though the class was not suggested by an expert. Your doctor may still be able to recommend a class that would be more beneficial to your specific needs. 

What Happens During Feldenkrais Lessons.

In an Awareness Through Movement class, the teacher guides the group through step-by-step movements using a verbal guide. These sequenced movements are slow-paved, subtle and well-paced out to ensure adequate rest times. Some classes require the students to lie down on a soft surface on the floor, even though there are other positions to explore like sitting, standing, or alternating between them. 

Functional Integration classes are quite similar to Awareness Through Movement classes, the major difference is that these classes are private and personalized. Each lesson is tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual, unlike in ATM classes where a general program is followed. In addition, the individual learns through both physical touch and verbal instructions. 

Individuals who opt for Functional Integration lessons also have the benefit of working together with the instructor to reach defined goals. These goals are often discussed before a program is planned out, which is great since the student has the chance to voice out their interests, priorities, and concerns before the lessons start. 

The teacher then uses gentle and motivating touches to guide the student through a sequence of movements and positions. This way, the individual becomes more aware of their innate abilities and is able to improve their range of movements, thoughts, and actions. 

In a typical Functional Integration lesson, the student lies down on a low yet comfortable table with suitable padding, while the teacher uses subtle touches and verbal instructions throughout. The student may also be asked to assume a sitting, standing, or kneeling position. A private teacher may even choose to take the lessons out of the ‘classroom’ and into your personal reality. 

They may choose to guide you through everyday functions like golfing, swimming, yoga, or gardening, just to ensure you are employing the right movements when doing the things you love. Each private lesson lasts from 45 minutes to one hour, depending on how demanding the plan is, and how thorough the teacher decides to be. Some classes may exceed an hour, while some may be over in 30 minutes.

What Apparel Is Suitable For Feldenkrais Lessons?

There is no official wear for Feldenkrais lessons, unlike what is expected in martial arts or other exercises. Simply put on something lose yet fitting, and clothes that allow free movement. You could choose to wear joggers, leggings, a tracksuit, or any other apparel that is comfortable enough to move around in. 

However, if you are taking on an Awareness Through Movement class, it is better to avoid wearing too much cologne, essential oils, or strong fragrances, and this may be off-putting to the other students. Some people are either allergic or extra-sensitive to fragrances, so wearing something mild, or maybe nothing at all would be considerate. However, using an antiperspirant is certainly a no-brainer.

Are There Any Results After The First Lesson?

No lesson is wasted in the Feldenkrais approach, whether it’s the first one or the last. Each lesson teaches something beneficial to the mind and body, that is why you may find some subtle changes to the way you stand, reach, bend or walk. The regular activities you carry out may feel easier and less stressful, and hopefully, more pleasurable. In addition, the way you breathe may slightly change as well, thanks to the various positions and movements. Plus, after going for a Feldenkrais class, it’s normal to feel more fulfilled, happy, productive, or creative. 

What’s The Difference Between Feldenkrais And Chiropractics?

Feldenkrais incorporates a lot of natural healing methods into its theory and approach, however, that does not make it identical to Chiropractics. The major similarities it has to chiropractics is that in a Functional Integration class, where a touch is necessary, exercises offer similar relief after completion. 

The exercises are equally able to reach deep tissue areas and provide relief while easing tensions in muscles and joints. Also, it may be similar to regular massages that aim to relax the muscles and induce enhanced comfort thanks to the subtle and gentle movements employed in the Feldenkrais technique. The touch administered to the client’s body is non-invasive and it’s not painful, so it’s more likely to give pleasure than to cause discomfort or pain. 

Now, the major differences between the Feldenkrais method and Chiropractics or regular massages are outlined below. 

  • The touch is quite unique and different, it’s not firm or invasive, but very gentle and subtle, sometimes, patients hardly feel a thing.
  • Usually, the client doesn’t feel immediate relief until they stand or sit up after a session or a lesson, as opposed to chiropractics which may deliver immediate relief. 
  • Chiropractics and relaxation massages focus majorly on the muscles and joint areas, however, Feldenkrais techniques focus more on how the individual’s muscles and joints work in harmony with the nervous system. 
  • In chiropractic sessions or general relaxation massages, the client lays down while the masseuse or chiropractor administers the massage. However, in Feldenkrais classes, the students are very much involved in the entire process, both mentally and physically. The practitioner could tell the student to pay attention to a certain part of their body or be sensitive to the relationship of one part to another when moving. They may also be asked to express how they feel about the somatic approach; whether it is helpful, understandable, or confusing.
  • As the classes evolve, the student or students may be asked to perform certain movements on their own, as they learn to trust the connection between their nervous system and musculoskeletal system. This way, they will learn to perform movements kinesthetically.
  • While other massages are solely administered on the body with no aim to teach or impart knowledge, The Feldenkrais method is more of an educative modality, that has therapeutic benefits and not the other way around. 
  • Once students gain in-depth knowledge of how to make better movements, that knowledge can help them improve other areas of their lives.

How does the Feldenkrais Method work? 

The Feldenkrais method was developed by an Israeli physicist named Moshe Feldenkrais as an enhanced way of retraining and ‘remodeling the way the body works. It requires enhanced awareness of the human body and mind to trigger inactive parts of the human consciousness and body to improve more flexible, balanced, and graceful motions. Additionally, it needs the nervous system to be awakened at an increased capacity in order to enhance movements and mobility. The idea behind the Feldenkrais method was to help people who have not taken advantage of certain bodily functions because of physical limitations or negative habits by re-engineering the way they think and move. By teaching or showing people self-awareness, it is easier to let go of mental and physical constrictions and improve functionality in the respective ways.  

Improving physical movements may be the major reason for the Feldenkrais Method, but its success requires the brains’ ability to adapt to change. The method incorporates certain movements and strict concentration to enhance the way the human mind and bodywork as a whole. It’s essential that both the mind and the body adapt to change, as Feldenkrais takes on a somatic approach, which treats both mind and body as a whole rather than separately.  

The Feldenkrais is administered either in a group class or by a private instructor, and the classes last from half an hour to 60 minutes. The Feldenkrais is treated as an advanced method and a treatment therapy that educates its ‘students’ on functional integration, or Awareness Through Movement also known as ATM. In Functional Integration, a one-on-one approach is employed, and via an individualized learning plan, the instructor guides the student’s motion using gentle and non-invasive contact. 

On the other hand, ATM classes usually include more students, and the teacher guides each one using slow and easy movements while they lay on the floor, on a chair, or in a standing position. These movements are soft, and any of the afore-mentioned positions could be used, however, the mode of instruction is usually verbal.  

While other approaches like chiropractic practices work on more invasive and hands-on methods to improve movements and flexibility, Feldenkrais works to improve and strengthen such movements by helping the people involved control the movements on their own.  

What is the difference between Feldenkrais and Alexander technique? 

It is easy to confuse the Feldenkrais and Alexander Technique, and while they may have very similar approaches, there are certainly some distinguishing features. It is important to note that the Feldenkrais method was originated by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais in the 18th century, while the Alexander technique is named after F.M Alexander in an early period. 

The Feldenkrais method certainly borrows its approach from the Alexander method and was an approach Moshe used to heal himself after an injury. Alexander also used his discovery to heal himself of some vocal issues he had at the time. His holistic approach quickly became popular as it also helped remedy other peoples’ posture, and body pain problems. 

Alexander found the connection between vocal enhancement and a good head, neck, and back coordination. When the connection between these three parts is enhanced, it reduces tension, and in turn, improved coordination lessons postural habits that cause hunch backs, scoliosis, and other painful or negative habits. 

Traditionally, the Feldenkrais method is administered on a one-on-one basis, as it involves close monitoring of the student’s motions, and common patterns while they walk, bend, stretch, sit or stand. The lessons include massages that help to reduce tension in over-stressed areas, but the student must learn to improve coordination in order to positively influence better living. 

Feldenkrais incorporates part of Alexander’s approach, as well as other techniques like psychology, martial arts, and biomechanics. It can either be taught in groups or with a personal instructor, using different sequences to test movements. This method uses more psychology to help students become more aware of their muscular effort and how it is being used per time. 

Each session focuses on re-engineering the nervous system and muscles to makes more sensible movements. Both the Feldenkrais and Alexander methods focus on using tried and tested holistic approaches that employ both the mind and body and treat them as one.

What is Feldenkrais good for? 

The Feldenkrais method is a holistic and therapeutic approach to healing the body and improving an individuals’ general well-being. The popular Israeli scientist, Moshe Feldenkrais developed this method to self-heal from a bone injury himself. This method has become quite popular over the years and has helped to treat people who suffer from joint or muscular pains, restrictions, and mobility challenges caused by accidents, injuries, bad posture, and other physical and mental challenges. 

Patients that take the time out to learn the Feldenkrais method usually experience enhanced flexibility, better coordination, improved mobility, less muscle tension, and restrictions, and decreased pains. In addition, the Feldenkrais method does not just help to improve flexibility and motion, it could also positively influence other areas of the individual’s life. 

People who have boasted of alleviated pain reduced muscle tension and fatigue, or better skeletal or muscle movements also notice enhanced energy levels, improved sleep quality, eased stress, and the likes. 

In addition, people who suffer from anxiety have attributed better mental and physical conditions to the Feldenkrais method. Such individuals benefit highly from both the mental stimulations and the physical exercises provided. 

Another advantage to the Feldenkrais method is the versatility of the treatment; individuals of any age, size, or gender can benefit from this somatic approach. Other benefits of the Feldenkrais method include; 

  • Reduced joint and muscle pains
  • Better concentration and focus.
  • Improved coordination, posture, and balance.
  • Improved breathing.
  • Noticeable improvement in mobility and conscious control over muscular tensions. 

Is Feldenkrais covered by insurance? 

It all depends on the insurance plan, some private insurance companies could cover the costs of your classes when it is included in a broader physical therapy plan. However, not all insurance companies include Feldenkrais classes or therapy in their programs. 

What is Feldenkrais exercise? 

The Feldenkrais exercise is a more natural and holistic exercise therapy that focuses on repairing the connections between the cerebral cortex and the rest of the body. Such exercises are known to benefit an individual’s mobility and body movements, as well as general well-being. According to the Feldenkrais Guild of North America, Feldenkrais could help people ‘rediscover their natural or in-built capacity for more graceful, improved, and efficient movements and postures.’ they continued by adding that such improved movements could have a ripple effect, by also positively impacting the rest of the body, and enhancing other essential functions. 

Feldenkrais exercises can help people with diverse health conditions, and claims have mentioned autism and multiple sclerosis as some of the conditions the Feldenkrais exercise can alleviate. Feldenkrais exercises are quite different from the regular hands-on approaches, the practitioner is more vocal and descriptive with the movements that student(s) should take, and any physical touch is more subtle as well. 

In addition, more focus is placed on the existing movement patterns of the individual, for example; movements could be strained, painful or restrictive because of wrong or inefficient movements. After such inadequate movements are identified, the practitioner then goes on to teach new patterns using slow, unconventional movements and teaching them repeatedly. The use of repetition helps the students master these new patterns, as habits are generated from continuous action before they are normalized. 

These exercises could be carried out by the practitioner with hands-on contact with the student’s body, or vocally instructed. It’s important to note that people who take part in Feldenkrais exercises are usually fully clothed. 

Can Feldenkrais help scoliosis? 

Scoliosis is the sideways curvature of the spine and is sometimes accompanied by pain and a lot of discomforts. Some people who have scoliosis have to undergo surgery and other invasive treatments. It is important to note that scoliosis is a medical condition that scientists term incurable. However, with the Feldenkrais method, many have testified about improved conditions, alleviated pain, and better movements. 

The practitioner encourages the student to move certain parts of their body, and when any restrictive movement is observed, that area is adequately worked on, until the person learns to do that move independently and with ease. While Feldenkrais cannot claim to heal scoliosis, improved movements, less pain, better functionality, and movements are certainly one of many successes this method can boast of.