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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Feldenkrais Method® ?
The Feldenkrais Method uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve how you move and how you think. You can increase your flexibility, coordination, and mental clarity, move with more power, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. Students become aware of their habitual patterns of thought and movement, and then learn to move in new and often less painful ways. More information can be found at www.feldenkrais.com.
Who’s it Good For?
The Feldenkrais Method helps those experiencing pain, as well as healthy or athletic folks who wish to enhance their power, speed, coordination and flexibility. The Method has been very helpful in dealing with central nervous system conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and stroke. The lessons are designed to meet each student at their own level, so it’s particularly helpful for those who wish to regain their ability to move after an injury.
Many musicians, dancers, actors, artists and other performers use the Method to enhance their skills and access their creativity. So, anyone who has yet to reach their ultimate potential can benefit from the Method.
How Does Feldenkrais Differ from Yoga or Pilates?
Awareness Through Movement classes are similar to yoga or Pilates classes in that they are group classes lead verbally by an instructor. However, in Feldenkrais, the classes are lessons rather than exercises. When you exercise, you work to push your limits. In Feldenkrais, what you can do is much less important than discovering HOW you do it. This is accomplished by finding ways to make things as easy as possible.
Each lesson is designed for you to learn more about yourself and discover more effective ways of doing things. So, practicing the Feldenkrais Method can improve your yoga, Pilates, and improve anything else you do.
How Does Feldenkrais Differ from Massage or Chiropractic?
In massage, the practitioner is working directly with the client’s muscles; in chiropractic, with the client’s bones. These are structural approaches that affect change through changes in physical structure. The Feldenkrais Method works with the client’s nervous system and its ability to self-regulate, coordinate and organize efficient movement.
What Happens in a Feldenkrais Method Session?
In Awareness Through Movement® classes, the teacher verbally leads students through a sequence of movements either sitting or lying on the floor, standing, or sitting in a chair. By moving with increasing awareness, students discover their unique habits, and explore new alternatives. There are hundreds of lessons, varying in difficulty and complexity, for all levels of movement ability. A lesson generally lasts 45 to 60 minutes.
Private, one-on-one Feldenkrais lessons, called Functional Integration® lessons, are tailored to each student’s individual needs. The teacher guides the student’s movements using gentle touch. Students are fully clothed, lying on a table, or sitting, or standing. At times, various props (pillows, rollers, blankets) are used to support or facilitate movements. The learning process is carried out without the use of forceful procedures.
How are Feldenkrais Practitioners Trained?
All Feldenkrais practitioners must complete at least 800 hours of training over 4 years. Newtonian mechanics, kinesthesiology, physics, neurophysiology, movement development, biology, non-violent communication, voice regulation and learning theories are all presented within the training program.
Who was Moshe Feldenkrais?
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984) was an accomplished physicist and Judo expert who escaped the Nazi occupation of France and worked for the British military doing anti-submarine research during WWII. In addition to his scientific work, he taught Judo and self-defense classes. Injuries to both knees led him to develop what is now known as the Feldenkrais Method. Click here for a brief bio.
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