Feldenkrais Method


Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984) was born in Russia, later he emigrated to France where he worked as a nuclear physicist with Pierre Joliot-Curie. Feldenkrais devised his method after he suffered from a severe knee injury, which according to doctors could have left him wheelchair bound; he refused to accept this and started re-educating his knee by using different movement patterns. He developed a new technique by combining his knowledge in areas as varied as physics, engineering, martial arts, physiology, anatomy, neurology and psychology. He trained practitioners in several countries and opened the Tel Aviv Institute in Israel in 1962.


The aim is to enhance easy movement by creating minimum effort for maximum efficiency. The method is based on two principles: "awareness through movement" and "Functional Integration".
"Awareness through movement" is usually taught in a group, Feldenkrais practitioners see themselves as teachers, they make their students aware of how they carry out movements out of habit, and then they work on re-training them to use a proper sequence of movements by giving them verbal directions. During each session movements are organised around a theme.
In "Functional Integration" sessions take place on a one-on-one basis and are custom-tailored. The therapist uses slow and gentle touch on the client who lies on a padded table fully clothed. The therapist feeds back information to the client who in turn is asked to make the changes. According to Feldenkrais there is a strong connection between the body and the mind, for instance bad posture reflects the state of the nervous system, based on this idea individuals can subconsciously answer to movement and touch.
After a session a feeling of being taller and greater flexibility and co-ordination are usually reported. The Feldenkrais method is popular with actors, musicians and dancers.

Conditions that may respond to the Feldenkrais Method

Cerebral palsy
Learning difficulties
Multiple sclerosis
Muscle pain
Neuromuscular conditions
Nervous conditions
Sports injury

Feldenkrais worked extensively with cerebral palsy children, His method is said to improve breathing and circulation, however most claims by practitioners remain anecdotal as there is little scientific based evidence.

If undertaking any therapy always check its suitability for a specific condition.


For further information

The Feldenkrais Guild
PO Box 370
N10 3XA
Tel: 07000 785506

Feldenkrais Guild of North America
3611 SW Hood Ave
Suite 100
OR 97201
Tel: (001) 583 221 6612

The International Feldenkrais Federation

These are some of the references that have been passed to us; the list is not exhaustive. We have not necessarily read the books, and cannot say how easy it will be to get them.

- Feldenkrais M. Awareness Through Movement : Health Exercises for Personal Growth. ISBN: 0062503227
- Shafarman S. Awareness Heals : The Feldenkrais Method for Dynamic Health ISBN: 0201694697
- Alon R. Mindful Spontaneity : Lessons in the Feldenkrais Method ISBN: 1556431856

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