Two recognised Feldenkrais methods are used: one involves the patient developing body awareness. Alternatively, touch and manipulation are used in the 'functional integration' technique. Patients learn to be constantly aware of their bodies and to reorganise their movements to prevent unnecessary muscle strain. Feldenkrais himself was noted for his work with people suffering from neuromuscular disturbances, such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. It is also said to benefit those who have suffered strokes and paralysis, those with sports injuries and people with learning difficulties.
A Russian-born atomic physicist, Moshe Feldenkrais settled in Israel in the 1950's where he developed a method of physical re-education aimed at encouraging ease of movement with 'minimum effort and maximum efficiency'. Feldenkrais practitioners believe that a person's posture and movement are indicative of the state of the nervous system - for example, hunched shoulders classically demonstrate depression. It is believed that by 'reprogramming' movement patterns, physical and mental health can be improved.
'Awareness through movement' is usually conducted in a group, where people learn to improve posture and breathing through simple exercises. 'Functional Integration' is usually done on a one-to-one basis with patients lying on a treatment table.
All Feldenkrais practitioners will have undertaken four years' part-time training in accordance with an International Training Accreditation board.
The Feldenkrais Guild UK
PO Box 370
London N1O 3XA.