Feldenkrais Method

So, you might be wondering what the heck the “Feldenkrais Method” is all about. Well, get ready to have your mind opened because this approach to movement and body awareness is truly unique. Developed by Israeli physicist Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, this method aims to help individuals improve their range of motion, posture, and overall well-being by focusing on gentle, mindful movements. Whether you’re seeking relief from chronic pain or simply looking to enhance your physical performance, the Feldenkrais Method offers a fascinating way to rediscover and improve the connection between your body and mind.

What is Feldenkrais Method?


The Feldenkrais Method is an educational approach to improving movement and function, promoting mental and physical well-being. It is a practice that focuses on increasing self-awareness and learning new patterns of movement in order to improve flexibility, coordination, and overall quality of life.


The Feldenkrais Method was developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984), an engineer and physicist who drew on his scientific background to explore the relationship between movement and improving human function. Feldenkrais was influenced by various disciplines, including martial arts, neurology, psychology, and body awareness techniques.


The main purpose of the Feldenkrais Method is to help individuals develop a more efficient and adaptable way of moving and functioning. It seeks to address habitual patterns and restrictions in movement, and to promote the exploration of new possibilities. By increasing body awareness and expanding movement options, the Feldenkrais Method aims to enhance physical and emotional well-being.

How does the Feldenkrais Method work?


The Feldenkrais Method is based on several key principles. One principle is the concept of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to reorganize and create new neural connections. The method recognizes that through conscious movement and focused attention, individuals can create new neural pathways and improve their movement patterns.

Another principle is the idea that all movements are connected. The Feldenkrais Method emphasizes that each movement we make is part of a larger system, and that improving one movement can have a positive impact on other areas of our body and life.


There are two main approaches within the Feldenkrais Method: Functional Integration (FI) and Awareness Through Movement (ATM).

Functional Integration involves one-on-one sessions with a Feldenkrais practitioner, who uses gentle, non-invasive touch and verbal guidance to help the individual explore new movement patterns and release tension. This personalized approach allows for customized attention and feedback.

Awareness Through Movement consists of group classes led by a qualified Feldenkrais teacher. Participants are guided through a series of verbal instructions and gentle movements, encouraging them to explore and refine their own movement patterns. This allows individuals to develop a greater sense of body awareness and learn at their own pace.


The Feldenkrais Method offers a range of benefits. It can help reduce pain and tension, improve flexibility and coordination, enhance performance in sports or other physical activities, and promote relaxation and overall well-being. The method is also known to improve posture and alignment, increase self-confidence, and enhance creativity and problem-solving skills.

Who can benefit from the Feldenkrais Method?

Age Groups

The Feldenkrais Method can benefit individuals of all ages. From infants and children to older adults, the method offers a gentle and adaptable approach to movement improvement. Infants and children can benefit from the Feldenkrais Method to enhance their natural learning abilities and support their development. Older adults, on the other hand, can find relief from pain, increased mobility, and improved balance through this method.

Physical Conditions

People with various physical conditions can benefit from the Feldenkrais Method. It can be helpful for individuals recovering from injuries, managing chronic pain conditions, or dealing with movement limitations. The gentle and individualized approach of the Feldenkrais Method makes it a suitable option for those with conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other neuromuscular disorders.


Individuals in various occupations can benefit from the Feldenkrais Method. It can be particularly beneficial for those whose work involves repetitive movements, prolonged hours of sitting or standing, or high levels of stress. Teachers, musicians, dancers, athletes, healthcare professionals, and office workers can all benefit from the improved body awareness, movement efficiency, and stress reduction provided by the Feldenkrais Method.

Feldenkrais Method vs Other Therapies

Comparison 1

Compared to traditional physical therapy, the Feldenkrais Method takes a more holistic and gentle approach to improving movement and function. While physical therapy often focuses on specific impairments or injuries, the Feldenkrais Method addresses the entire body and the interconnectedness of movement. It emphasizes the learning process and self-discovery, rather than relying on passive treatments.

Comparison 2

When compared to yoga or Pilates, the Feldenkrais Method offers a different approach to movement improvement. While yoga and Pilates typically involve following set sequences or poses, the Feldenkrais Method encourages individuals to explore and discover their own movement patterns. It places more emphasis on awareness and learning subtle variations, rather than striving for specific poses or postures.

Comparison 3

In contrast to massage therapy or chiropractic care, the Feldenkrais Method does not rely solely on manual manipulation or adjustment. Instead, it emphasizes the role of the individual in learning and exploring new movement possibilities. While manual therapies can provide temporary relief, the Feldenkrais Method seeks to empower individuals to make long-lasting changes by developing new movement strategies and increased body awareness.

Feldenkrais Method in Practice

Individual Sessions

Individual sessions in the Feldenkrais Method, also known as Functional Integration (FI), typically involve one-on-one interactions between a practitioner and a client. During these sessions, the practitioner uses gentle touch, non-invasive movement, and verbal guidance to help personalize the learning process for the client. The practitioner’s hands-on approach provides valuable feedback and allows for a deeper exploration of movement patterns and possibilities.

Group Classes

Awareness Through Movement (ATM) classes are group sessions offered by Feldenkrais teachers. In these classes, participants are guided through a series of verbal instructions and gentle movements. The focus is on individual exploration, with each participant encouraged to find their own path and pace. The group setting allows for shared learning experiences and the opportunity to observe and learn from others.

Online Resources

With the increasing popularity of online learning, there are now many resources available for individuals interested in exploring the Feldenkrais Method from the comfort of their own homes. Online courses, videos, and audio recordings provide a convenient way to access Feldenkrais teachings at any time. While these resources may lack the personalized attention of a practitioner, they can still offer valuable guidance and instruction for those unable to attend in-person sessions or classes.

Certification and Training in Feldenkrais

Becoming a Practitioner

Becoming a certified Feldenkrais practitioner involves completing a comprehensive training program. These training programs are offered by accredited institutions and consist of a series of modules or segments spread over several years. The coursework includes in-depth studies of anatomy, neurology, movement principles, and hands-on practice. Graduates of these programs can then become certified practitioners and start offering individual or group sessions in the Feldenkrais Method.

Continuing Education

After completing the initial training program, Feldenkrais practitioners are encouraged to continue their education and professional development. They can attend advanced training programs, workshops, and conferences to deepen their understanding and refine their skills. This commitment to ongoing learning ensures that Feldenkrais practitioners stay up to date with the latest research and maintain a high standard of practice.

International Associations

The Feldenkrais Method is supported by various international associations that help maintain professional standards and promote the method’s development. These associations provide resources for both practitioners and the general public, including directories of certified practitioners, research publications, and information about upcoming events. They also coordinate international conferences and promote collaboration among Feldenkrais practitioners worldwide.

Research and Evidence for Feldenkrais

Scientific Studies

Scientific studies have explored the effectiveness of the Feldenkrais Method in various contexts. These studies have shown positive outcomes in areas such as pain reduction, improved balance, increased range of motion, and enhanced physical performance. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects, the growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the Feldenkrais Method can be a valuable tool for improving movement and function.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials have also been conducted to investigate the benefits of the Feldenkrais Method in specific populations. These trials have explored the effects of the method on conditions such as chronic low back pain, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke rehabilitation. The results have shown promising outcomes in terms of pain reduction, improved motor function, and enhanced quality of life for individuals with these conditions.

Patient Testimonials

In addition to scientific studies and clinical trials, numerous individuals have reported positive experiences with the Feldenkrais Method. Patient testimonials often highlight improvements in physical abilities, pain reduction, increased body awareness, and overall well-being. These testimonials provide anecdotal evidence of the method’s effectiveness and can be encouraging for those considering trying the Feldenkrais Method.

Criticism and Controversies


Like any approach in the field of health and well-being, the Feldenkrais Method has faced skepticism and criticism. Some skeptics argue that the method lacks scientific evidence to support its claims and that the reported improvements may be attributed to placebo effects or general self-improvement practices. However, it is important to note that while more research is needed, existing studies and patient testimonials provide some evidence of the method’s effectiveness.

Lack of Scientific Support

One common criticism of the Feldenkrais Method is the limited number of high-quality scientific studies. It is true that compared to more established therapies, such as physical therapy or yoga, the Feldenkrais Method has a smaller body of scientific research. However, the field is growing, and current studies provide promising evidence of the method’s potential benefits. Continued research and collaboration among scientists and practitioners will further contribute to the scientific understanding of the Feldenkrais Method.

Claims of Pseudoscience

Another controversy surrounding the Feldenkrais Method is the accusation of pseudoscience. Critics argue that some of the claims made by practitioners are not supported by scientific evidence and that the method relies too heavily on anecdotal experiences and subjective observations. While it is essential to maintain a critical mindset and ensure evidence-based practices, it is important to recognize that subjective experiences and patient testimonials can contribute to the overall understanding of a therapeutic approach.

Feldenkrais in Everyday Life

Applications in Sports

The Feldenkrais Method has been widely used by athletes and performers to enhance their physical performance. By improving body awareness, refining movement patterns, and reducing tension, athletes and performers can optimize their technique and prevent injuries. The method’s focus on efficiency and adaptability can help athletes reach their full potential and achieve optimal results in their respective sports or activities.

Enhancing Creativity

The Feldenkrais Method has been recognized for its potential to enhance creativity. By encouraging exploration and new possibilities in movement, the method can stimulate creative thinking and problem-solving abilities. Many artists, musicians, dancers, and actors have reported that their creative process has been enriched through their practice of the Feldenkrais Method. The method’s emphasis on self-discovery and expanded awareness can unlock new avenues of expression and innovation.

Improving Movement and Posture

One of the primary benefits of the Feldenkrais Method is its ability to improve movement and posture in everyday life. By developing a greater sense of body awareness, individuals can become more mindful of their movement habits and make conscious adjustments to improve their posture and movement efficiency. This can lead to reduced strain and tension, increased comfort, and improved overall movement quality in daily activities.

Frequently Asked Questions about Feldenkrais

Is it Safe?

Yes, the Feldenkrais Method is generally considered safe when practiced under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. The method focuses on gentle movements and encourages individuals to work within their own comfort zone. However, it is important to communicate any specific health concerns or injuries with the practitioner before starting a session or class, as they can provide appropriate modifications or guidance.

How Long Does it Take to See Results?

The time it takes to see results from the Feldenkrais Method can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience improvements in their movement and function after just a few sessions, while others may require more time to observe significant changes. Consistency and regular practice are often key factors in achieving lasting results. It is important to approach the Feldenkrais Method with patience and an open mind, allowing the learning process to unfold at its own pace.

Can I Practice Feldenkrais at Home?

Yes, you can practice the Feldenkrais Method at home as a complement to individual sessions or group classes. Online resources, such as videos and audio recordings, can provide guidance for at-home practice. However, it is important to note that while home practice can be beneficial, it does not replace the personalized attention and feedback provided by a qualified practitioner. Regular communication and occasional check-ins with a practitioner can help ensure that you are progressing safely and effectively in your at-home practice.

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