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{{ClinPsy}}
 
{{ClinPsy}}
{{Mind-body interventions}}The '''Feldenkrais Method''' is an [[educational system]] intended to give a greater functional awareness of the [[self (philosophy)|self]]. The method uses movement and awareness as the primary vehicle for [[learning]]. It is perhaps due to this focus on physical movements that the Feldenkrais Method is often classified as a [[complementary and alternative medicine]]. The Feldenkrais Method attracts the attention of those who want to improve their movement repertoire (as dancers, musicians, artists), who want to reduce their pain or limitations in movement, or who want to use the method as a way to improve their well-being and [[personal development]]. Advocates claim the Feldenkrais Method often improves movement-related pain (e.g. pain in backs, knees, hips, shoulders), and leads to better functioning in cases of [[stroke]] or [[cerebral palsy]]. A central tenet of the Feldenkrais Method is that improving ability to move can improve one's overall well-being. Practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method generally refrain from diagnosis, or referring to the Feldenkrais Method as therapy.
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{{Mind-body interventions}}The '''Feldenkrais Method''' is an educational system centered on movement, aiming to expand and refine the use of the self through awareness.<ref name=strauch>R.Strauch [http://www.somatic.com/articles/feldenkrais_overview.pdf An overview of the Feldenkrais Method.]retrieved 14 May 2008</ref> It is intended for those who wish to improve their movement repertoire (dancers, musicians, artists), as well as those wishing to reduce pain or limitations in movement, and many who want to improve their general well-being and [[personal development]]. Because it uses movement as the primary vehicle for gaining awareness, it is directly applicable to disorders that arise from restricted or habitually poor movement. But as a process for gaining awareness, it can expand a person's choices and responses to many aspects of life: emotions, relationships, and intellectual tasks; and it applies at any level, from severe disorder to highly professional performance. The Feldenkrais Method holds that there is no separation between mind and body, and thus learning to move better can improve one's overall well-being on many levels.{{Fact|date=November 2007}}
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The Feldenkrais Method is often regarded as [[complementary medicine]].<ref>[http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1277952 Use of Complementary Therapies Among Primary Care Clinic Patients With Arthritis]</ref> However, Feldenkrais practitioners generally don't regard their work as "treatment" or "cure," because they are not working from the medical model. Instead of directly working a change to the physical body, they are working with the nervous system and enabling discovery of new choices.<ref name=strauch/>
   
 
==Overview==
 
==Overview==
   
The Feldenkrais Method was originated by Dr [[Moshé Feldenkrais]] ([[1904]]-[[1984]]), an Israeli physicist and [[judo]] practitioner of Eastern European descent. Among his many published books was ''Awareness Through Movement'' where he presented a view that [[Healthy|good health]] is a matter of positive functioning. Although many don't consider this a radical idea, it is in opposition to the standard medical definition of health that states ''good health'' is an ''absence of illness''. Feldenkrais asserted his method of body/mind exploration resulted in better functioning individuals and helped to develop ''healthier'' and more emotionally mature people. He was more interested in the goal of holistic functioning rather than merely physical treatment, typified by his statement "What I am after is more flexible minds, not just more flexible bodies".
+
The Feldenkrais Method was originated by Dr [[Moshé Feldenkrais]] (1904-1984), a Ukrainian-born Jewish physicist and [[judo]] practitioner who moved to [[Israel]] and eventually became an Israeli. He presented a view that [[Healthy|good health]] means ''functioning'' well---working well, having satisfying relationships with emotional maturity, able to access a full range of responses to any situation ("Awareness Through Movement") - this is opposed to the medical health as in not 'sick or disabled' or health in any abstract sense.
  +
He asserted that his method of body/mind exploration leads to improved functioning (health) through individuals becoming more aware and finding improved use; this focus on exploration and awareness is typified by his statement "What I am after is more flexible minds, not just more flexible bodies".
   
This goal is reflected in the code of ethics of the [http://www.feldenkrais.com/ Feldenkrais Guild of North America] which states that practitioners of the method do not undertake to diagnose or treat illness of any kind. Most proponents of the Method consider it to be a form of self-education and [[Terms and concepts in alternative medicine#Mind-body interventions|mind-body]] development, rather than a [[manipulative therapy]].
+
This goal is reflected in the code of the [http://www.feldenkrais.com/ Feldenkrais Guild of North America] which states that practitioners of the method do not undertake to diagnose or treat illness of any kind. Most proponents of the Feldenkrais Method consider it to be a form of self-education and [[Terms and concepts in alternative medicine#Mind-body interventions|mind-body]] development, rather than a [[manipulative therapy]].
   
Feldenkrais himself was a friend of [[Ida Rolf]], who established the [[Rolfing]] method of bodywork. Feldenkrais' approach was more experiential, using self-discovery rather than manipulation. Some of the influences on Feldenkrais' work include [[Gustav Fechner]], [[F. Matthias Alexander]], [[Gerda Alexander]], Elsa Gindler, [[G. I. Gurdjieff]], [[Emile Coué]], [[Milton Erickson]], [[William Bates]], [[Heinrich Jacoby]] and [[Jigoro Kano]], all of whom were more concerned with awareness than with simple physical exercises.
+
Feldenkrais' approach was more experiential, using self-discovery rather than manipulation. Some of the influences on Feldenkrais' work include [[Gustav Fechner]], [[Gerda Alexander]], Elsa Gindler, [[Jigoro Kano]], [[G. I. Gurdjieff]], [[Emile Coué]], [[William Bates]], [[Heinrich Jacoby]] and [[Mabel Todd]], all of whom were more concerned with awareness than with simple physical exercises.
   
 
==Techniques==
 
==Techniques==
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The Feldenkrais Method is applied in two forms by practitioners, who generally receive more than 800 hours of formal training over the course of four years:
 
The Feldenkrais Method is applied in two forms by practitioners, who generally receive more than 800 hours of formal training over the course of four years:
   
===Awareness Through Movement===
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===Awareness through movement===
In an Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lesson, the teacher verbally directs students through movement sequences. Usually this occurs in a group setting, although ATM lessons can also be given to individuals. There are more than a thousand ATM lessons in existence. Most of them are organized around a specific movement function, and teachers lend their particular style to each lesson.
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{{Advert|section|date=May 2008}}
  +
In an Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lesson, the teacher verbally directs students through movement sequences and various foci of attention. Usually this occurs in a group setting, although ATM lessons can also be given to individuals, or recorded. There are more than a thousand ATM lessons available, mst of them are organized around a specific movement function.
   
Moshé Feldenkrais gave the name to a series of demonstrations he devised when some of his scientific colleagues wanted to know how he was learning to [[walk]] normally with a seriously damaged [[knee]]. Being an experimental scientist himself, he gave them concrete directions on how to move to discover for themselves what he was learning.
+
Moshé Feldenkrais gave the name "Awareness Through Movement" to a series of demonstrations he devised as he was learning to [[walk]] normally with a seriously damaged [[knee]]. His lessons were intended to provide concrete directions, both for learning new movements and for attending in a new way to the physical experience associated with the movements. The goal was to increase the students' awareness of the mechanical details and the physical experience of movement.
   
Here is a small example: Cup your hands so you could drink from them and bring them to your mouth. Observe how you place your fingers. Which set of fingers lies inside the other? Perhaps the edge of this palm is also a bit inside the other. Now cup your hands again but reverse the way you place your fingers. Put the fingers that were inside to the outside now. Bring your hands to your mouth with the fingers reversed and observe how different it feels to do it this way.
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Feldenkrais taught that changes in the physical experience could be described as changes in the [[self image]], which can be conceived as the mapping of the motor cortex to the body. (Such a body image was depicted by Dr. [[Wilder Penfield]] in the form of a [[Homunculus#The sensory and motor homunculi|homunculus]]). Activity in the [[motor cortex]] plays a key role in [[proprioception]] (the sense of body position). Feldenkrais taught that changes in our ability to move are inseparable from changes in our [[conscious]] [[perception]] of ourselves as embodied. Feldenkrais aimed to clarify and work therapeutically with this relationship, with instructions that involved both specific movement instructions and invitations to introspection.
   
This simple observation could become the first step in a lesson that would lead to a marked difference in your overall ability to move.
+
An example of an invitation to introspection is given below:
  +
:Make a quick list of body parts you know you have but which you cannot feel consciously and compare it with a list of those you can feel. Which list contains the members you can move?
   
In ATM lessons, students temporarily set aside habitual patterns, thereby enjoying freer, easier movement, and gaining more accurate and complete perception of the body and movement in general.
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===Functional integration===
   
Feldenkrais understood these changes to be improvements of the [[self image]], which can be conceived in one sense as an arrangement of areas of the motor cortex relative to the body. The body image was depicted by Dr. [[Wilder Penfield]] in the form of a [[Homunculus#The sensory and motor homunculi|homunculus]]. Since activity in the [[motor cortex]] plays a key role in [[proprioception]] Feldenkrais realized that changes in our ability to move are inseparable from changes in our [[conscious]] [[perception]] of ourselves as embodied. This relationship is clear and open to introspection. Make a quick list of body parts you know you have but which you cannot feel consciously and compare it with a list of those you can feel. Which list contains the members you can move?
+
In a Functional Integration lesson, the practitioner uses his or her hands to guide the movement of the student, who may be sitting, lying or standing. The practitioner also uses the "hands-on" technique to help the student experience the connections among various parts of the body (with or without movement). Movements are developed from the habitual patterns of the student, thereby tailoring the lesson to the individual. This approach allows the student to feel comfortable, and to experience the movement in detail. Through precision of touch and movement, the student learns how to eliminate excess effort and thus move more freely and easily.
   
Thus Awareness Through Movement lessons are intended to do just what their name says. They improve awareness by using and improving the student's ability to move, and they do this by way of demonstration. Beyond the specifics of a lesson, students learn to simply explore, as children do in play.
+
Lessons may be very specific in addressing particular issues brought by the student, or can be more global in scope. Although the technique does not specifically aim to eliminate pain or "cure" physical complaints, such issues are treated as valuable information that may inform the lesson. Issues such as chronic muscle pain may naturally resolve themselves as the student learns a more relaxed approach to his or her physical experience, and a more integrated, freer, easier way to move.
   
===Functional Integration===
+
==Influence on somatics==
+
In a Functional Integration lesson, the practitioner uses his or her hands to guide the movement of the student, while the student lies on a padded table or floor. All of the movements are done in a range and at a speed that is comfortable for the student. This allows the student to feel safe, and gives the student the opportunity to observe the movement in detail. Through precise touch and movement, the student learns how to eliminate excess effort and strain and thus move more freely and easily. [[Lesson]]s may be very specific in addressing particular issues brought by the student, or can be more global in scope.
+
Somatic disciplines influenced by Feldenkrais include:
+
Hanna Somatics, Rubenfeld Synergy, Tellington Touch (for animals), Anat Baniel Method, Sounder Sleep System, Bones for Life, Liberation Through the Body, and others.
==History==
 
 
Feldenkrais first taught the method in Tel Aviv to 13 students. He later came to the United States in the early 1970s, where he taught at [[Esalen]]. He subsequently gave two professional trainings in the US, in [[San Francisco]] (1975-77) and [[Amherst, Massachusetts]] (1980-83).
 
 
 
==Relationship of Client to Practitioner==
 
 
{{OR}} One vital element of the Feldenkrais Method that is not often described is the relationship of the practitioner to the client. Simply asking a client to move, or physically manipulating a client, will not generally bring about the kind of change Feldenkrais envisioned. In his book, ''The Elusive Obvious'', Feldenkrais likened his work more to "dancing with someone" than to "healing him". By this he meant that in the interaction between practitioner and client, the two are interrelated in a fundamental way.
 
 
A practitioner must be prepared to undergo the same level of change as that which will occur in the client. When the practitioner makes verbal or physical contact with the client, the two become a single system, in the same way that two dancers are moving as one. With a genuine connection between practitioner and client, the client notices more. For example, if a practitioner moves a client's shoulder in a circle and begins to notice what quality circle the client can comfortably make, then the client may also notice; in fact, if a practitioner notices how her ''own'' body moves in relation to the client as she moves his shoulder, the client is likely to notice even more. The two experience a quality of movement which is fundamentally satisfying to the nervous system, a nonjudgmental, purely curious type of attending, where the system receives neutral information and can use it to improve upon itself. This kind of neutral information gathering most approximates the quiet exploration of a baby lying on its back learning how it will roll to its side for the first time.
 
 
The kind of connection necessary for true change is usually more difficult in a verbal ''Awareness Through Movement''(R) lesson because of the nature of human language, which is far less exact and more prone to misinterpretation than pure movement. Nevertheless, it is possible to speak to a client in a way which creates a more profound connection; generally, the best practitioners give less in the way of direction, preferring instead to suggest questions that the client may ask themselves as they move. "When you lie upon your back, do the two sides feel the same, or is one side different? How is it different?"
 
 
The fundamental necessity of a genuine interaction between client and practitioner is an elusive aspect of the work and makes the training of the practitioners difficult. Because one is essentially learning how to open a client to self-understanding, practitioners spend a great deal of time pursuing this process in themselves. To someone who prefers a diagnostic approach to self-improvement, or a rigid set of tried-and-true techniques, training in the Method, and even the experience of it, can be frustrating.
 
   
Yet, this does not mean that the Feldenkrais Method lacks hard-and-fast principles. The Feldenkrais Method, especially as exemplified by the thousands of Feldenkrais’ lessons available in published form, takes advantage of the body’s mechanical aspect to create the greatest possible sense of change and improvement. Clients are led over time to be able to sense how best to align themselves so that they can take maximum advantage of the structural power of their bones to stand or to lift things; they are taught how to move from a lying position to a sitting position using the minimum of strain and effort, generally by relying on the use of spiral movements that take advantage of the body’s design. The important thing is that clients learn these things through a process of internal discovery, rather than by emulation. The relationship of client to practitioner is what makes the internal discovery possible for a person who has little experience thinking in this way.
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Along with the [[Alexander Technique]] and [[yoga]], the Feldenkrais Method is one of the three healing arts that help form the foundation of the [[Nia (fitness)|Nia Technique]].
   
 
==Sources==
 
==Sources==
*{{cite book|last=Feldenkrais|first=Moshé|authorlink=Moshé Feldenkrais|title=The Elusive Obvious|year=1981|publisher=Meta Publications|location=Cupertino, Calif.|id=ISBN 0-916990-09-5|pages=pp. 7-9}}
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*{{cite book|last=Feldenkrais|first=Moshé|authorlink=Moshé Feldenkrais|title=The Elusive Obvious|year=1981|publisher=Meta Publications|location=Cupertino, Calif.|isbn=0-916990-09-5|pages=7–9}}
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*{{cite book|last=Feldenkrais|first=Moshé|authorlink=Moshé Feldenkrais|title=The Potent Self: A Study of Spontaneity and Compulsion|year=2002|publisher= Frog Publications|isbn=1583940685}}
   
==Influence on Somatics==
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==References==
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{{reflist}}
[[Somatic disciplines]] influenced by Feldenkrais include:
 
Hanna Somatics, Rubenfeld Synergy, [[Tellington Touch]] (for animals), Anat Baniel Method, Sounder Sleep System, Bones for Life, Liberation Through Movement, and others.
 
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
* [[Moshé Feldenkrais]]
 
* [[Somatic|Somatic education]]
 
* [[Judo]]
 
 
* [[Aikido]]
 
* [[Aikido]]
  +
* [[Alexander Technique]]
  +
* [[Judo]]
  +
* [[Somatic|Somatic education]]
   
==Resources and External links==
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==Resources and external links==
* [http://www.feldenkrais-method.org/ International Feldenkrais Federation] (official organisation for coordinating the Method internationally)
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* [http://www.feldenkrais-method.org/ International Feldenkrais Federation] (official organisation for coordinating the Feldenkrais Method internationally)
* [http://www.feldenkrais.com/ Feldenkrais Guild of North America] (online lessons, background of the Method, and practitioner listings.)
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* [http://www.feldenkrais.com/ Feldenkrais Guild of North America] (online lessons, background of the Feldenkrais Method, and practitioner listings)
* [http://www.feldenkrais.org.au Australian Feldenkrais Guild] (practitioner listing, professional training, and general information on the Method in Australia)
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* [http://www.feldenkrais.org.au Australian Feldenkrais Guild] (practitioner listing, professional training, and general information on the Feldenkrais Method in Australia)
* [http://www.feldenkrais.co.uk The Feldenkrais Guild UK] (practitioner list, classes and workshops in The UK)
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* [http://www.feldenkrais.co.uk The Feldenkrais Guild UK] (practitioner list, classes and workshops in the UK)
* [http://www.feldenkrais-resources.com/ Feldenkrais Resources] (clearing house for books, audio-programs, and other Feldenkrais related materials)
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* [http://www.achievingexcellence.com AchievingExcellence.com] (source for Feldenkrais Method articles, books and cds.)
* [http://www.feldenkraisinstitute.org/about.html Feldenkrais Movement Institute] (article introducing the Feldenkrais method)
 
   
[[Category:Alternative medicine]]
 
 
[[Category:Exercise]]
 
[[Category:Exercise]]
 
[[Category:Mind-body interventions]]
 
[[Category:Mind-body interventions]]
[[Bodywork]]
 
   
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The Feldenkrais Method is an educational system centered on movement, aiming to expand and refine the use of the self through awareness.[1] It is intended for those who wish to improve their movement repertoire (dancers, musicians, artists), as well as those wishing to reduce pain or limitations in movement, and many who want to improve their general well-being and personal development. Because it uses movement as the primary vehicle for gaining awareness, it is directly applicable to disorders that arise from restricted or habitually poor movement. But as a process for gaining awareness, it can expand a person's choices and responses to many aspects of life: emotions, relationships, and intellectual tasks; and it applies at any level, from severe disorder to highly professional performance. The Feldenkrais Method holds that there is no separation between mind and body, and thus learning to move better can improve one's overall well-being on many levels.[How to reference and link to summary or text]

The Feldenkrais Method is often regarded as complementary medicine.[2] However, Feldenkrais practitioners generally don't regard their work as "treatment" or "cure," because they are not working from the medical model. Instead of directly working a change to the physical body, they are working with the nervous system and enabling discovery of new choices.[1]

Overview

The Feldenkrais Method was originated by Dr Moshé Feldenkrais (1904-1984), a Ukrainian-born Jewish physicist and judo practitioner who moved to Israel and eventually became an Israeli. He presented a view that good health means functioning well---working well, having satisfying relationships with emotional maturity, able to access a full range of responses to any situation ("Awareness Through Movement") - this is opposed to the medical health as in not 'sick or disabled' or health in any abstract sense. He asserted that his method of body/mind exploration leads to improved functioning (health) through individuals becoming more aware and finding improved use; this focus on exploration and awareness is typified by his statement "What I am after is more flexible minds, not just more flexible bodies".

This goal is reflected in the code of the Feldenkrais Guild of North America which states that practitioners of the method do not undertake to diagnose or treat illness of any kind. Most proponents of the Feldenkrais Method consider it to be a form of self-education and mind-body development, rather than a manipulative therapy.

Feldenkrais' approach was more experiential, using self-discovery rather than manipulation. Some of the influences on Feldenkrais' work include Gustav Fechner, Gerda Alexander, Elsa Gindler, Jigoro Kano, G. I. Gurdjieff, Emile Coué, William Bates, Heinrich Jacoby and Mabel Todd, all of whom were more concerned with awareness than with simple physical exercises.

Techniques

The Feldenkrais Method is applied in two forms by practitioners, who generally receive more than 800 hours of formal training over the course of four years:

Awareness through movement

Template:Advert In an Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lesson, the teacher verbally directs students through movement sequences and various foci of attention. Usually this occurs in a group setting, although ATM lessons can also be given to individuals, or recorded. There are more than a thousand ATM lessons available, mst of them are organized around a specific movement function.

Moshé Feldenkrais gave the name "Awareness Through Movement" to a series of demonstrations he devised as he was learning to walk normally with a seriously damaged knee. His lessons were intended to provide concrete directions, both for learning new movements and for attending in a new way to the physical experience associated with the movements. The goal was to increase the students' awareness of the mechanical details and the physical experience of movement.

Feldenkrais taught that changes in the physical experience could be described as changes in the self image, which can be conceived as the mapping of the motor cortex to the body. (Such a body image was depicted by Dr. Wilder Penfield in the form of a homunculus). Activity in the motor cortex plays a key role in proprioception (the sense of body position). Feldenkrais taught that changes in our ability to move are inseparable from changes in our conscious perception of ourselves as embodied. Feldenkrais aimed to clarify and work therapeutically with this relationship, with instructions that involved both specific movement instructions and invitations to introspection.

An example of an invitation to introspection is given below:

Make a quick list of body parts you know you have but which you cannot feel consciously and compare it with a list of those you can feel. Which list contains the members you can move?

Functional integration

In a Functional Integration lesson, the practitioner uses his or her hands to guide the movement of the student, who may be sitting, lying or standing. The practitioner also uses the "hands-on" technique to help the student experience the connections among various parts of the body (with or without movement). Movements are developed from the habitual patterns of the student, thereby tailoring the lesson to the individual. This approach allows the student to feel comfortable, and to experience the movement in detail. Through precision of touch and movement, the student learns how to eliminate excess effort and thus move more freely and easily.

Lessons may be very specific in addressing particular issues brought by the student, or can be more global in scope. Although the technique does not specifically aim to eliminate pain or "cure" physical complaints, such issues are treated as valuable information that may inform the lesson. Issues such as chronic muscle pain may naturally resolve themselves as the student learns a more relaxed approach to his or her physical experience, and a more integrated, freer, easier way to move.

Influence on somatics

Somatic disciplines influenced by Feldenkrais include: Hanna Somatics, Rubenfeld Synergy, Tellington Touch (for animals), Anat Baniel Method, Sounder Sleep System, Bones for Life, Liberation Through the Body, and others.

Along with the Alexander Technique and yoga, the Feldenkrais Method is one of the three healing arts that help form the foundation of the Nia Technique.

Sources

  • Feldenkrais, Moshé (1981). The Elusive Obvious, 7–9, Cupertino, Calif.: Meta Publications.
  • Feldenkrais, Moshé (2002). The Potent Self: A Study of Spontaneity and Compulsion, Frog Publications.

References

See also

Resources and external links

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