Frank Wildman, Ph.D.
James Stephens, Ph.D., P.T.
The Feldenkrais Method® is a learning experience, and people learn best when comfortable.
Awareness Through Movement® classes are taught on a floor with carpet or mats, on chairs, or in a standing position. Students pay attention to their own sensations and movements as the teacher guides them to explore a basic subject, such as how to improve turning so students can see farther around themselves with less effort and more integrated movement.
For Functional Integration®, the Feldenkrais hands-on work, the practitioner takes a functional movement history and inquires as to duration and possible causes of the complaint. The practitioner explains that Feldenkrais work is not a medical procedure or substitute for medical attention. During the initial interview the practitioner observes the postural habits of the student. Then the clothed student lies, sits, or stands in one of about 30 different positions. The practitioner supports the student’s postural habits with pillows so that the student is most comfortable and able to breathe. This means a person who is significantly bent forward in standing will require ample pillows behind the head when reclined, so the habitual curvature is supported. The student is asked to pay attention and neither help nor hinder. The practitioner works gently. Each hands-on lesson and class develops several basic functional subjects, such as balance, breathing, turning, or finding the relationship between the head and the pelvis.