The Feldenkrais Method is a system of gentle, mindful movements designed to reduce chronic pain by teaching you how to move with a greater sense of ease and efficiency.
By learning to become aware of how you move, you can change unhealthy postural and movement habits that are causing you pain, stiffness, or inflammation.
Learning to move with a greater sense of ease and flow creates lasting changes in your nervous system. You’re able to access a deeper sense of healing that can go beyond the removal of physical pain. As your nervous system settles into a more relaxed state, you may experience emotional healing too.
This mind-body integration makes the Feldenkrais Method a truly holistic therapy.
Moshe Feldenkrais developed the Feldenkrais Method in the mid-1900’s after sustaining a chronic knee injury.
A martial arts teacher and highly educated engineer and physicist, Feldenkrais used his knowledge of human development, movement, and the nervous system to create a system of guided movements that promote both physical and emotional healing.
Our amazing neuroplastic brain is excellent at responding to stress and injury. When we experience an injury (physical or emotional), new neural pathways form that promote movements to avoid pain. We get other parts of our body involved to compensate for, and protect, the injured part.
Over time, these compensatory movements can become automatic. Even when the injury is resolved, we continue moving in this habitual, inefficient way.
We begin to experience chronic pain from using parts of our body in a way they were not designed to. This may manifest as stiffness from keeping a certain part still for too long, or as inflammation from overuse of a muscle or joint that’s not allowed to switch off and rest.
The Feldenkrais Method brings awareness to the way you’re moving so you can recognise these inefficient patterns and begin to change them. As you learn to move more efficiently, new neural pathways are created to replace the old ones.
You’ll find yourself bringing movement back to forgotten muscles and joints and taking the load off overused ones.
As your self-awareness grows, you may find clarity around how these movements developed in the first place. In this way, you can experience emotional healing as your body heals physically.
The Feldenkrais Method is considered an educational approach, because you’re involved in your own healing process.
This teaching is typically delivered in two ways – either in one-on-one Functional Integration sessions or with Awareness Through Movement group classes. Both types of sessions are gentle and relaxing and will encourage you to get curious about how your body is moving.
During these 1:1 sessions, your practitioner moves your body through a series of subtle movements, depending on your unique needs. You may be asked to use your breath or to bring your awareness to certain parts of your body.
The movements are restful, and you might even find yourself dozing off while your brain is busy developing new, healthier neural pathways.
During group sessions, your Feldenkrais practitioner will guide the class through a series of gentle, guided movements. Usually these will focus on a particular area of your body such as the hip, shoulder, or pelvic floor.
You may be asked to try a movement in more than one way, to bring awareness to whether you can feel any connections being made or not. This awareness is what allows your brain to access its innate power of neuroplasticity.
The Feldenkrais Method was designed to promote healing from chronic pain and injuries. Because you’re involved in your own healing process, the benefits are deep and long-lasting.
The benefits of the Feldenkrais Method include:
· Reduced pain, stiffness, and inflammation
· Improved mobility and range of motion
· Increased coordination and balance
· Improved posture
· Easier breathing
· Reduced stress and anxiety
· Improved relaxation and general well-being
· Greater sense of ease and flow
The Feldenkrais Method is safe, gentle, and appropriate for people of all ages and levels of fitness.
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