The Feldenkrais Method
The Feldenkrais Method® is a somatic educational system which offers to improve the range, quality and comfort with which we move. Since we are moving every moment of our lives, improving how we move can improve all that we do. It is fundamentally about our ability to learn and offers a unique and comprehensive way to examine and change habitual patterns.
The ways in which we usually move, sense, think, and feel are often self-limiting or damaging. They may not fit our current needs. This may become apparent if you …
- injure yourself in the same areas over and over
- always get a stiff neck/shoulder on the same side
- have difficulty getting onto/off of the floor
- have your golf or racket ball go awry in the same direction every time
Based on the work of Israeli physicist, engineer and martial arts master Moshe Feldenkrais (1904/1984), the Feldenkrais Method® is grounded in anatomy, physiology and physics. It is also informed by the latest research into movement and human development. Bringing all these disciplines together provides us with a model for learning new movements and can be applied to learning any new skill. We learn how to learn. Ordinarily we learn just enough to get by. In the Feldenkrais Method® we learn from our own unique ways of moving. As we become aware of how we actually do all that we do–act, sense, think and feel–we gain a greater range of ease and skill. We empower ourselves by asking and answering a simple question: Is there a better way to do this?
The Feldenkrais Method® is taught in 2 formats:
Awareness Through Movement (ATM) classes are offered to groups of students. The Feldenkrais teacher verbally guides the class through a sequence of movements in basic positions: sitting, lying on floor or standing. These precisely structured movement explorations involve thinking, sensing, moving, feeling and imagining. Through this process one may abandon habitual patterns of movement and develop new alternatives, resulting in improved flexibility and coordination. Many lessons are based on developmental movements and ordinary functional activities such as reaching, standing, lying to sitting, looking behind yourself, etc. Some are based on more abstract explorations of joint, muscle and Postural relationships. There are hundreds of ATM lessons, varying in difficulty and Complexity, for all levels of movement ability. The classes generally last from 30 to 60 minutes.
Private Feldenkrais lessons, called Functional Integration® (FI) lessons tailored to each student’s individual learning needs. The teacher guides the individual’s movements through gentle non-invasive touching and words. The student is fully clothed, lying on a table or in a standing position. FI lessons are for those with special learning needs, who desire accelerated learning or who simply prefer private study.
OTM offers the Feldenkrais Method® with Guild Certified teachers who are Physical Therapists. Since PT and FM are “second cousins”, clients are able to get a broader approach to their difficulties which will expand past the initial healing and provide folks with ways to continue to move in ways which may prevent further injury and promote more ease and comfort.