What is Feldenkrais® Method?


Balance_Perception_nt_color copyThis method (pronounced 'feld-in-kra-ice') was named after its originator Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, a physicist, judo expert and mechanical engineer. The Feldenkrais Method® is a form of somatic education. Student's understanding in how to implement the method is essential for its success. This is about awareness, awareness that heals by turning attention inward to the physical sensation of embodiment and the responses it reveals.  


All of the learning is inseparable to physical sensations of structure and motion. Root word "soma" means to experience the body from inside. This type of training in sensory awareness enhances how the nervous system learns. The method understands the nature of learning from the body-to-the brain.  Aspects of the practice draw from the sciences of movement, development, psychology, neurology, and physiology. The mind and body naturally work together through the sensory-motor. Behavioral patterning of sensory-motor functions helps the mind find ways to learn.


The Feldenkrais® Method enhances what nature is doing in body, senses, and the mind in development.  The experience of all these variables form a complex matrix starts learning.  Through sensation gentle movements and tactile guidance the feeling of a session or a class takes us out of the body we are familiar with and yet also reveals the familiar structural  "character" of embodiment we identify as "self."  Experience of this modality helps the mind understand the integration of the senses (the common five plus the proprioceptive sense or embodiment) to its objects of impression.  How does the body influence identity and sense of self?  In our daily life patterns form habitual behavior and wires into the muscular skeletal movement. Sensory perception of embodiment sends cascading patterns of nerve impulses to form what we call thought, feeling or action.  When the mind experiences these interconnection systems improve.


Physical patterning of embodiment is a sensation foundational to perception. An emotional or physical feeling or thought does not exist without sensations (whether we are aware of it or not). The design of humanness gives opportunities to wake to that which we are doing we don't know we are doing. Overtime learned responses or patterns of behavior become enhanced skills. However without awareness patterns can also become so automatic they control us with us knowing  (for example in disease or chronic illness).   Learning awareness of these patterns to sensations reeducates the patterns and expands potentials for the systems to come into balance or what scientist say "return baseline" (resonance).  This process helps us to become what we call "fully human."


What is "fully human?"  Fully human is when the mind has developed the experience of dual awareness within and around the body. This dual awareness expands perception, health and vitality.  Experience the inseparable integration between mind, body, and spirit to the environment and all three dynamics change in the oneness.     With little awareness the opportunity to know what we are doing is blinded.


Ingeniously Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais figured out a method to enhance the nature of this process.  The basic quality of the supralimbic part of the brain, which is able to sense and abstract what is happening in our bodies is expanded based on bodily-awareness (or what I have termed "sensory self-awareness").


By reducing attention to external stimuli, slowing down movement, and watching the breath we reduce to the lowest value of any change in the muscular system and sensory, and sensory self-awareness expands.  The way movement based on nature's design of physics is to enhance awareness of our 3-D structural functioning.  This sensitivity of embodiment increases and therefore distinguishes details of that which may have escaped our notice.


SENSORY Self-Awareness broadens the ability to become aware of that which is blinded. This type of proprioceptive perception to self is life changing. The improvement of flexibility, freedom of pain, and increase in balance and character are not the only benefits.  After working with over 10,000 people we have seen immune systems boost and emotional swings stabilize, self-image and quality of life improve.


Moshe Feldenkrais says, "Mind and body are an inseparable whole.  A brain without a body could not think; at least, the continuing of mental functions are assured by corresponding motor functions."  When learning sensory self-awareness patterns give the mind a more concrete understanding of oneself. Just as anatomy reveals intimate knowledge in the workings of the body, somatic sensations reveal the workings of perception and the health and vitality of human function possible.


No matter what age or condition sensory self-awareness enhances how the mind, body and senses work together.