PAIN FREE MOVEMENT IS MORE THAN FLEXIBILITY AND STRENGTH.
IT IS MOVEMENT FROM THE INSIDE OUT, NOT THE OUTSIDE IN.
The Feldenkrais Method is a form of healing through integrating, rather than isolating movement. It does this through neuromuscular re-education (The brain’s messages sent to move the body). This motor-sensory loop allows the person to learn via direct experience, whether through hands-on contact or through a series of specific, individually created exercises. It is the re-learning of normal movement patterns, which have become distorted because of trauma, habit, or compensations. Like our fingerprints or signatures, we each have individual movement patterns that become habitual. Sometimes, these patterns can also be developed as a protective response to injury and can remain long after the initial trauma has healed.
This learning helps to guide one to new movement patterns, or re-establish the former normal movement patterns. It examines how the body organizes movement in a kinematic chain (think the links on a moving chain). Feldenkrais Method looks at how the forces (gravity, ground reactive force, compression, distraction etc.) pass through this chain and where and how they are impeded. It works with the relationship of what is happening at a local area (a specific joint) and how that joint relates to a more global movement pattern.
In other words, it teaches the person how to distribute the movement along this chain. The distribution of effort allows for more options and more possibilities of movement. The result is an increased range of movement that is more efficient and without strain or pain. Our systems learn and adapt very quickly, when given better options. Perhaps a simpler way to explain this is that Feldenkrais teaches you the alphabet or the words, (components) and you create the sentence (the movement). Feldenkrais gives you the pallet of paints, and you create the picture.
Many other methodologies aim at correction to achieve an ideal alignment or posture, but that is not necessarily the best remedy for a person. People are unique with their limitations and strengths. In Feldenkrais, the aim is to create a dynamic alignment, or an organization of movement, that allows one to move more comfortably and efficiently. There is no correct or incorrect way, only consequences or outcomes.
There are two formats. The first is a hands on modality, with the client on the table. (This is referred to as Functional Integration) The second is an individual or group class, (called Awareness through Movement) where the practitioner verbally directs the movement sequences. The two can be combined.
This is a very brief overview, lots of theoretical language. However, the goal, to quote Moshe Feldenkrais, is “To make the abstract concrete”; if you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me with your specific inquiry.