The Feldenkrais Method
of Somatic Education
What exactly is the Feldenkrais Method?
*The Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education uses gentle movement and directed attention to help people learn new and more effective ways of living the life they want. You can increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. Since how you move is how you move through life, these improvements will often enhance your thinking, emotional regulation, and problem-solving capabilities.
The Feldenkrais Method is based on principles of physics, biomechanics, and an empirical understanding of learning and human development. Moshe Feldenkrais said, “We move according to our perceived self-image.” By expanding your perception and increasing awareness, you will become more aware of your habits and tensions and develop new ways of moving. By increasing sensitivity, the Feldenkrais Method assists you to live your life more fully, efficiently, and comfortably.
You can experience the Feldenkrais Method in two ways. Awareness Through Movement® lessons are taught in a group setting, with students following the verbal instructions of the teacher. Functional Integration® sessions are one on one lessons where the fully clothed student is guided through touch, movement and verbal instruction.
*Description from Feldenkrais.com
The Feldenkrais Method:
Functional Integration® Lessons are one-on-one lessons tailored towards your specific needs.
Engaging the brain to improve the body’s comfort and function, each session is a unique, pleasurable experience that can help to reduce many types of back pain, knee or hip pain, shoulder or neck pain, jaw pain or headache, chronic tension, postural problems, neurological difficulties, and mobility issues.
People of all ages, conditions, and levels of fitness can benefit from Functional Integration sessions. If you are experiencing an acute difficulty or wish to address a physical issue in a direct and effective way, we recommend that you have a series of Functional Integration sessions.
During a Feldenkrais treatment, your practitioner will use gentle manual techniques to move parts of the student’s body in a way that feels easy and secure. These techniques are not intended to develop the student’s muscle-strength, or to stretch or adjust. The session usually takes place on a low, padded table. The student remains clothed. After having a session, people often report feeling relaxed and refreshed, more comfortable in their body, and “taller,” “younger,” and more physically able. Some improvements may be felt immediately, while others are felt later and in the following days.
Awareness through Movement® Lessons are classes that use movement sequences designed to give your brain an opportunity to improve your body, movement, and sense of wellbeing.
Similar to Tai Chi or gentle yoga, Awareness Through Movement classes use slow, mindful movements to achieve powerful effects in terms of strength, flexibility, and holistic integration of body and mind. Unique to the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education is that these lessons tie directly into functional movements of daily life, such as walking efficiently, safely lifting objects, and improving one’s posture in sitting or standing.
You can expect a class to last somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes. You might walk, stand, or sit in a chair, although usually, you will lie on the floor in a variety of comfortable positions: either on your back, front, or side. The teacher guides students through a sequence of movements, encouraging them to move with gentle attention within a comfortable range. You may become aware of unexpected and interesting connections within and between the movements. As you attend to the improving quality of movement, unnecessary muscular tensions throughout the body can reorganize and release. Students are often amazed at the quick and clear changes that occur through the neuromuscular repatterning that happens in an Awareness Through Movement lesson!