Further information on the Feldenkrais Method

The following resources and articles by Frank Wildman, PhD  are provided to help identify key relationships among the mind and body. Whether you are a health professional or a lay person, an athlete or a couch potato, these are offered to aquaint you with the potential for a healthier and more intelligent body using the Feldenkrais Method.

Feldenkrais has far-ranging applications in biomechanics and neuromuscular function. It addresses the goal to achieve more efficient movement as well as the desire to alleviate pain. Therapeutic uses include many common disorders, recovery from injury and problems associated with aging. In this regard, it is as much about improving the condition of one’s life as it is the body. Changing the way we think about these subjects is the first step toward unlocking the benefits of healthier movement.twist

In our society, we do, by the promise of great reward or intense punishment, so distort the even development of the system, that many acts become excluded or restricted. The result is that we have to provide special conditions for furthering adult maturation of many arrested functions. The majority of people need to re-form patterns of motions and attitudes that should never have been excluded or neglected. Read more..
Unlike other animals, which are preprogrammed to survive, human children must learn to move. Although a cat is born with the knowledge of how to move gracefully, it takes years for humans to learn movement well enough to function independently in the world. The necessity and ability to learn individual patterns of movement leads to a variety in human movement and posture unknown in other species and can be considered the most distinguishing feature of mankind. Read more..
Personal experience reduces the initially unlimited number of possible combinations of nervous interconnections to a few preferred and active patterns of moving and acting. Once an adequate and socially acceptable level of motor functioning is achieved, the process of exploratory learning and development patterns grow so familiar through repeated use that they create a seemingly unalterable body image (for example, a person’s walk or manner of speaking is as fixed as a signature). The body image, bound by motor habits and perceptions, becomes the basis for an individual’s sense of self. Infants have a theoretically unlimited ability to change and reorganize the way they perform familiar activities. Growing into adults, they progressively restrict their repertoire of movements, using an ever-smaller part of potential human functioning. Read more..
The Feldenkrais Method® uses two approaches in working with patients: Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons and Functional Integration (FI). Read more..
Feldenkrais practitioners can be found worldwide. In the United States they are concentrated along the east and west Coasts and the greater Chicago area. Countries that use the method most heavily are Australia, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and France. The work is used with infant, adolescent, adult, and geriatric patients. Read more..
The Feldenkrais Method is indicated to restore functions lost through accident or degenerative diseases, as well as to improve function in people who want to enhance high-level skills. Read more..
A simple ranking of conditions responsive to this form of therapy is as follows. As with all alternative therapies, use of the Feldenkrais Method does not preclude the use of mainstream medical therapies in addition. Read more..
The first research study involving Feldenkrais Method® (FM) was published in 1977 with several more appearing in the next decade. Since 1988 there has been an increasing amount of research done and recently this has been increasing each year. Because FM has such a wide range of effects, a wide range of outcomes has been looked at and reported. Most of the clinical studies to date have involved a very small number of subjects (6 or fewer). Some are larger, using control group designs. Read more..
The Feldenkrais Method® is a learning experience, and people learn best when comfortable. Read more..
The Guild of Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners sets standards for training programs and certification. Read more..
The Feldenkrais® Guild Directory of Practitioners indicates the year in which a certified practitioner completes professional training. As with any art or craft, the longer practitioners work, the more mastery their hands develop and the greater their level of expertise grows. The patient should have trust and feel rapport with the practitioner, particularly for Functional Integration® in which the patient will be physically touched. Read more..
As physicians increasingly recognize the brain-body relationship, the importance of learning how to move is becoming more essential. Therefore, interest in Feldenkrais as a scientifically based system of neuromuscular control and biomechanics will continue to grow. Read more..

Frank Wildman, Ph.D.
James Stephens, Ph.D., P.T.

THE FELDENKRAIS GUILD OF NORTH AMERICA
524 Ellsworth Street SW
PO Box 489
Albany, Oregon 97321
Tel (541) 926-0981
Fax (541) 926-0572

Email: membership@feldenkraisguild.com
Website: www.feldenkrais.com

FELDENKRAIS MOVEMENT INSTITUTE
721 The Alameda
Berkeley, California 94707
Tel (800) 342-3424 or (510) 527-2634
Fax (510) 528-1332

Email: info@feldenkraisinstitute.org
Website: www.feldenkraisinstitute.org

The older we get, the more clever we must become. As we age, it is more important to use our bodies more efficiently. We must improve our quality and ease of motion, our coordination, our sense of balance, control and comfort. After a certain age, our bodily wisdom tells us it’s too difficult to slam our bones, strain our muscles, and do the things we used to do with will power and brute strength. However, there is little available in our culture to help us learn to reduce stress while increasing muscular efficiency in a pleasurable and comfortable manner. Because of this, it is not natural for people in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and older to explore new ways of moving. Read more..
Scores of us undergo unecessary surgeries to restore function to our backs, shoulders, knees, feet, and ankles. We suffer needlessly from pains in the neck and back, irritated joints, sore muscles, and tight jaws. We spend thousands of dollars on pain medication, tranquilizers, or muscle relaxants, and countless hours on boring and ultimately ineffective exercise routines that may leave us feeling as if we were robots or machines. Even worse, millions of us live a shadowy existence in which we suffer quietly and assume that there is nothing we can do about it… Read more..
Many people have overly rigid ideas about how they should sit in a chair. Remember how a child relates to a chair and all the different ways children move their bodies in relationship to a chair. In this lesson, you will learn to develop more flexible ideas about how to relate to a chair, which will create a much more flexible body. Read more..
Sitting in a chair is harder on the spine than standing or walking because there is more pressure on the disks of the spine. Many people have to frequently stand because of pressure that accumulates while sitting. Standing relieves muscular contractions that we are unaware of in a static position like sitting. Read more..
If your work is a pain in the back (not uncommon for sitting jobs), you can relieve the problem with this simple Feldenkrais® exercise. Read more..
The purpose of this lesson is to help you discover how to sit more lightly, move your pelvis more easily while sitting, and turn in your chair while performing activities in the workplace or home. Read more..
While medical technology excels in treating acute trauma, it does not train physicians well to treat our most common chronic illnesses. The treatment of many pain and stress problems therefore lacks focus. Read more..
In examining the field of physical therapy today, I am reminded of the situation of the pre-evolutionists who began investigating biology, geology, paleontology, and other natural sciences in the 19th century. Their situation was remarkably similar. There was a wealth of newly observed phenomena, and a profusion of methods to observe more. But there was a conceptual void that made it impossible to account for the many contradictions and inconsistencies in the observed data. Read more..
Whenever we contact another person we are in contact with their emotional self. It is unavoidable. When we touch someone’s flesh, we enter their mind, and we are in contact with the wellsprings of their personality. Read more..