Felden-WHAT?....where did the name come from?
The Feldenkrais Method® was developed from over 40 years of research by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. He was a scientist and an athlete, as well as one of the first Europeans to earn a black belt in Judo. He combined his rigorous scientific approach and the study of neuro-developmental movement in order to explore how we learn and how to improve our lives. For more information see About Moshe Feldenkrais.
Is it strenuous?
No. Both Awareness Through Movement® group classes, and Functional Integration® lessons, which are taught one-on-one, are slow, gentle, painfree explorations of movement that can be done by anyone, at any level.
How does it work?
Because the movements are not physically demanding, they are able to interfere with habits you may have developed, some since childhood, some due to injuries or trauma, that may be causing problems in your life. You begin to learn new possibilities of movement relating to function that your nervous system can incorporate. This can improve range of movement, reduce pain, improve breathing and enhance quality of life. Because everyone learns at their own pace, the changes are often gradual, but most people feel some improvement even after one lesson. For a more detailed description see The Feldenkrais Method®
What do we do during the sessions?
An Awareness Through Movement® class can take place lying, sitting or standing, although most often they are done lying down. You may be on your back, side, or stomach depending on the movement sequence being explored. The teacher gives clear, verbal directions. There is little to no demonstration. Your quality of movement is based entirely on your experience of yourself, not some outside model. You enhance your ability to sense yourself kinaesthetically. The teacher is there to guide you toward making distinctions and developing a greater awareness of HOW you do things. In a Functional Integration® lesson, the student may either sit or lie on a low table, fully clothed, while the teacher guides the student’s awareness of movement through touch. The lesson is often silent, although some verbal direction takes place. The touch is gentle and non-invasive. In both experiences, the teacher creates a safe and nurturing environment for maximum learning.
Who Benefits from the Feldenkrais Method®?
Everyone can benefit if they have an aspect of their life that they want to improve. The Feldenkrais Method® helps those experiencing chronic or acute pain, loss of range of movement from injury or strain, as well as healthy individuals who wish to enhance their movement abilities. The Method has been very helpful for children with learning and developmental issues. Also for people with neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, brain injury and stroke. Musicians, actors, and artists can extend their abilities and enhance their creativity. Seniors enjoy using it to retain or regain their ability to move without strain or discomfort. See Benefits of the Feldenkrais Method for more information.
I have a lot of pain, and severe movement limitations, can I still do Feldenkrais?
Absolutely. The wonderful thing about the Feldenkrais Method is that it is about exploring learning strategies. If you have difficulty with one side, you can work with the other side. If you can’t lie down, you can sit. And even if nothing moves, you can simply imagine movement and you will still find the benefits of the work.
I feel great and perform at my peak. What can the Feldenkrais Method offer me?
There is always room for improvement. You can learn to do what you already do well, more easily, with less effort, so there is energy left over to go even further. Many of Feldenkrais’ biggest adherents were professionals who strive to be their best – Yehudi Menuhin, Martina Navratilova and Julius Erving ("Dr J") are just a few. Weight lifters find the weights seem lighter, tennis players and golfers find their swing more effortless, runners go further and performing artists feel their ability to perform improves significantly.
What is the duration of the sessions?
Both Awareness Through Movement® classes and Functional Integration® sessions at Refine Movement go for between 50 minutes to one hour. Some workshops around specific themes will run for a morning or full day depending on the schedule and type of workshop. For further information see workshops and classes.
Can anyone teach The Feldenkrais Method?
No, The Feldenkrais Method can only be taught by Guild Certified Teachers. In order to become a certified teacher, you must graduate from a Guild accredited training program. The training takes 4 years. Therefore, it is a highly specialised program, which requires a significant amount of energy, commitment and ongoing learning. Teachers come from a variety of backgrounds from athletes to performing artists, physiotherapists and other health care practitioners and other people from a background of keen interest in human movement. Find out more about Refine Movement practitioner Lauren D'Arsie's journey with the work.
Will I get any money back from my Private Health Insurance for Feldenkrais?
This depends on your level of extras cover and it is best to contact your private health organisation directly. You may receive some money back specifically for feldenkrais. Also, if your Feldenkrais Practitioner is also a Physiotherapist and you have Extras cover, you would receive some money back for your sessions.