The Feldenkrais Method®
What is The Feldenkrais Method?
Dr. Feldenkrais used to say: “Movement is life. Without movement, life is inconceivable”. Movement is the first skill our brain learns and the process starts in the beginning of life. As babies, we all went through this learning process which included negotiating gravity, developing the size of the brain, and achieving new levels of mastery over our environment. The success or failure of this process determined the quality of our life. We had no teacher and no verbal instruction. We sensed, we felt, we moved, all included in one action which had one biological purpose – becoming a functional, healthy and fulfilled human. When socialization begins, necessary and unnecessary rules and schedules interfere with the playful, experimental nature of organic learning. In an ideal environment, the adult is aware of the fine balance between the necessary rules and the necessary free play the child needs. When the environment is not ideal, we react by learning habits that help us at the moment, but are a hinderence later in life.
Dr. Feldenkrais, by creating hundreds of movement lessons he called Awareness Through Movement®, used the brain plasticity inherent in organic, non-verbal learning to create new connections and structures. These new connections replace those which prevent us from doing what we want or need. Because of brain plasticity, the results people experience after the lessons seem miraculous, but they are no more miraculous than seeing a baby develop, in one year, from not being able to roll, to walking! Improved self use in adults and better adaptation to the demands of a given task are natural outcomes of returning to a natural, organic learning.
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais
Moshe Feldenkrais, the originator of the Feldenkrais Method, sustained debilitating knee injuries which doctors predicted would leave him with limited mobility. Being an engineer, physicist, soccer player, and a martial artist, he refused to accept this outcome and used his scientific expertise to find a way to regain his mobility. He understood that in order to change the way a person moves, the brain needs to change the signals it sends to the muscles. He developed a method which uses the principles of anatomy, physics, and human development to teach people new ways to move which can alleviate and prevent pain. Movement is involved and associated with every intended action, and the failure to achieve the action effectively and without effort, affects other areas of the somatic life. Dr. Feldenkrais understood the physiological connections and the implication they have on a person’s intellectual and emotional life.
Feldenkrais Method Applications
The Feldenkrais Method is practiced in two applications.
Awareness Through Movement®
Awareness through Movement classes start with easy-to-do movement lessons and gradually progress to more demanding ones. These movements address all aspects of human functioning and are of benefit to everyone. The movement sequences address every area of the body and all movements we do in our everyday lives.
It is taught in a class setting or in individual setting, tailoring to meet the needs of each student in real time. It is of benefit to everyone who wants to improve, but especially to people with aches and pains and movement deficit who need to re-learn to move.
The results can be remarkable, sometimes even in the course of one hour!
One series of classes includes 10 weekly sessions. Please, visit the Classes page to find out the times and how to register.
Functional Integration is a gentle, effective, hands-on approach internationally recognized for its ability to address serious musculoskeletal and neurological problems, chronic tension and pain. It also addresses developmental delays and learning issues in children.
Aliza Stewart has worked with hundreds of people, over 34 years, and has experience with many of the different conditions that relate to movement. She also works with performers, especially musicians, who are interested in curing and preventing injuries, and achieving their artistic goals.
Functional Integration is personalized to each individual. To arrange a Functional Integration session, please visit the contact page and write to us for details.
Benefits of the Feldenkrais Method
The benefits are unique to each student and vary from student to student. Some common Feldenkrais benefits reported:
- Reduced physical pain
- Better ways of coping with stress
- Increased overall 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
Schedule a consultation with Aliza