Like other members of this family, The Feldenkrais Method recognizes the centrality of movement to human health—not only individual physical health, but emotional and social health as well. As Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, the originator of the Method put it, “Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.” Cognitive science and neurobiology are only now beginning to catch up with the insights embodied in Dr. Feldenkrais’ writings and teachings from the 1940’s-1980’s.
Feldenkrais recognized that the human organism possesses a basic intelligence that constantly seeks simplicity, ease and pleasure in movement. A physicist, engineer, soccer player and judo master, Dr. Feldenkrais drew upon his experience of injury and his diverse background to create a uniquely elegant and enjoyable process that helps people of all ages and abilities reconnect with and cultivate their innate intelligence.
The Feldenkrais Method helps us perceive our limiting habits of moving, thinking and feeling and creates an environment in which we can safely experience alternatives.
The Feldenkrais Method facilitates learning through two versatile modalities: Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration. These modalities complement each other, but each can stand alone.
Awareness Through Movement (ATM) are group classes in which a teacher verbally leads students through movement sequences organized around biologically meaningful themes (rolling over, sitting, standing, walking, etc.) The lessons encourage students to sense where movement is easy and pleasurable and to stay within that range. ATMs teach us that we can meet even difficult situations from that ground. Because participants are urged to modify movements to ensure their comfort and to perform movements in imagination when this proves impossible, the lessons are accessible to people with a wide range of physical capabilities and challenges.
Functional Integration (FI) is a one-on-one, hands-on approach to working with people. Like Awareness Through Movement, Functional Integration reintroduces people to biologically meaningful movement patterns. These patterns may be related to development, functional tasks (i.e., sitting at a computer), or postural relationships. In Functional Integration, client and practitioner explore these patterns through a combination of gentle passive and active movements. FI is widely recognized for its ability to address minor movement difficulties, chronic tension, and serious musculoskeletal, neurological and developmental problems.