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The Feldenkrais Method! Awareness Heals

The Feldenkrais Method! Awareness Heals

It was in Israel in the 1940's that Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, a physicist, developed The Feldenkrais Method. In his younger years he had suffered a series of sports related knee injuries, which later in life left him painfully crippled. Feldenkrais chose not to undergo surgery but instead began to study neurology, anatomy, biomechanics and human movement development. He knew that in order to walk again, he would have to find a way to create new neurological connections between his nervous system and his muscles. Feldenkrais explored the link between the brain and body, and developed hundreds of unique exercises designed to access the movement learning centers of the brain.

In order for you to take advantage of your body's ability to improve itself through sensory motor learning (the way our bodies learn naturally, through trial and error,) you must give your brain an opportunity to detect and reduce the unnecessary, counterproductive muscular effort in your body.
Feldenkrais believed that most of us go through life using habitual patterns of movement that may be limiting or inefficient. We may have developed these patterns to compensate for past injuries or learned them on the job. Yet, few of us really pay attention to how our bodies move until something hurts.
Moshe developed two modes of the method -
Awareness Through Movement- verbally directed movement sequences usually taught in a group setting. Many lessons are done on the floor, but also, sitting and standing. Students are verbally guided using common movements like bending, turning, reaching, and breathing to help each person discover ways he or she moves most easily. Lessons range from 45 minutes to an hour.
For positive results it's important to follow the guidelines - go slowly, reduce effort, move within limits to avoid pain and rest whenever necessary.
Functional Integration - Involves a trained practitioner who works on you privately, gently guiding your body into improved ways of moving as you sit or lie down, fully clothed. The lesson is tailored to the individual's particular condition.
Individuals with chronic pain, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and other serious disabilities can benefit from the method.

The Feldenkrais Method has been effective in these areas:

• Relief from chronic pain and discomfort
• Less muscle tension
• Improved flexibility and balance
• Injury prevention
• Reduced stress
• More refined athletic and artistic performance
• Restful sleep

Joan M. Collin, GCFP (Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner)