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FELDENKRAIS METHOD

"What do you do for a living?"

Carol Sabo-Horton, CMT, Authorized Awareness through Movementâ„¢ Teacher replies: "I'm an advanced Feldenkrais student and Authorized Awareness Through Movement Teacher."

"FeldenWHAT?"

"Feldenkrais. It is a method of movement re-education, named after the man who developed it, Moshe Feldenkrais. He was a highly educated physicist who became very interested in helping people change the way they move their bodies to improve their health and well-being. He believed that we all have this ability. He was a close associate of famous clinical hypnotherapist Dr. Milton Erickson, and it's said that he was able to develop this approach of working with inner physical resources as Dr. Erickson developed approaches for working with inner psychological resources."

"Felden-Christ?"

"Close. F-E-L-D-E-N-K-R-A-I-S. It rhymes with 'rice'. It all has to do with the way a person moves overall. It is a specific approach to bodily movement which, in a way, is about teaching people to move smarter, not stronger."

"You mean movement can cause problems?"

"Yes, or more exactly, the way someone moves can cause problems, and a person can be quite unaware that the movement itself is at the root of the difficulty."

"But wouldn't we notice how we are moving?"

"The movements we make regularly become habitual, just part of how we do things. We repeat the same movements over and over, without thinking about it or noticing it. When something happens repeatedly, it drops from our consciousness and becomes basically unconscious, automatic movements. Automatic movement isn't necessarily bad, but sometimes these patterns are counterproductive to our well-being."

"Does the Feldenkrais method hurt?"

"Not at all. Feldenkrais is gentle. It assumes that a person will change movement most easily if the new movements are more comfortable than the old ones." 

"How is this different from massage or chiropractic?"

"The similarity is that a Feldenkrais practitioner does touch people, but beyond that it is very different. In massage, the practitioner is working directly with the muscles; in chiropractic, with the bones. Feldenkrais works with your ability to regulate and coordinate your movement: that means that Feldenkrais is about working with the nervous system."

"Is touch a requirement?"

"No. It is also effective to use imagery or modeling of movement to utilize the Feldenkrais method, therefore it is possible to teach it in a class structure or group setting."

"What if someone can't move some parts of their body due to injury, chronic pain, or paralysis?"

"The good news is that because Feldenkrais can be done with imagery rather than actual movement, even people whose movement is limited due to physical damage are able to benefit, sometimes in dramatic ways.

*the Feldenkrais Guild


(Based in part on excerpts c/o William Goldfarb, 1993, and the Feldenkrais Experience, February 1998)


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