The Feldenkrais Method

The Feldenkrais Method® is a form of education that uses movement and directed attention to improve functioning. The Method helps people develop ways to use themselves more efficiently, effectively, and enjoyably during all their many activities.

Each movement, each function, we perform results from the instructions our muscles receive from our nervous system (the brain). In order to perform tasks quickly, we must develop habits - for example we don't want to think about how to open a door each time we come to one. However, we often develop habits that prevent us from doing things in the easiest, most effective way. Such habits can stem from:

  • trauma and injuries
  • misuse or repetitive strain
  • compensation due to injury
  • a mistaken image of how we function
  • a mistaken image of ourselves
  • emotional patterns we adopt through our experiences

The Feldenkrais Method can help people learn to have more options in their movement, thoughts, and behaviors, and break out of unwanted patterns.
The Method helps people achieve personal breakthroughs!

Who Can Benefit From the Feldenkrais Method?
  • People with pain or movement limitations
  • Individuals recovering from trauma, injury, or disease
  • People wishing to regain or maintain their fitness
  • Athletes wishing to improve their performance
  • Performing artists wanting to improve performance and/or reduce injuries
  • Anyone wanting to better manage stress and/or tension
  • Seniors who wish to maintain an active life
  • Everyone who wants to explore their mind/body connection

How is the Feldenkrais Method taught?

The Method is taught in two ways:

  • Awareness through Movement®
    Verbally guided lessons often given in group setting or on audio tapes or CDs.
  • Functional Integration®
    Private hands-on sessions.

Awareness Through Movement (ATM)

Shannon will verbally guide you through a sequence of gentle movements that develop self-awareness, flexibility, coordination, balance, strength, focus, and stress relief. Lessons are often done lying down on mats (reducing the effects of gravity), or may be done sitting or standing. Offered in classes, workshops, CDs, and privately.

Functional Integration

These one-on-one sessions focus on your specific goals. Shannon uses gentle touch, movements, and words to guide you through a lesson designed to meet your personal needs. Lessons are taught on a low, firm table with the client fully clothed. Sessions normally last about one hour.

How was the Feldenkrais Method Developed?

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc. (1904-1984) an internationally renowned physicist, engineer, and martial arts expert began the development of this innovative approach when he was incapacitated by an injury. He avoided surgery and chronic pain by applying his extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, physics, biology, perinatal development, linguistics, and athletics to restore his own functioning. Dr. Feldenkrais' widely read books include The Elusive Obvious, Body and Mature Behavior, Awareness Through Movement, and The Potent Self.  

Click here to read a more extensive biography.

Research on the Feldenkrais Method

There is a growing body of research to support the efficacy of the Feldenkrais Method.

Following is sample listing of some of the studies that currently exist.

Bearman D, et al.
Feldenkrais Method in the Treatment of Chronic Pain: A Study of Efficacy and Cost Effectiveness.
American Journal of Pain Management, 9 (1):22-27, 1999. Peer Reviewed.
Seven chronic pain patients from the Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority completed a program of the Feldenkrais Method. Patient satisfaction, function, and perception of pain were evaluated by using the National Pain Data Batik protocol of the American Academy of Pain Management. Participants reported more mobility and decreased perception of pain immediately after the program and in a one-year follow-up questionnaire.  

Dunn, et at.  
Feldenkrais Sensory Imagery and Forward Reach.
Perceptual and Motor Skills. 91:755-57, 2000. Peer Reviewed.
A unilateral Feldenkrais lesson utilizing imagery was given to 12 students. Forward flexion for each side of the body was then measured. For 8 of 10 subjects who reported the perception of the side of the body being longer and lighter following the lesson, there was also a significant increase in the forward flexion range on that side.

Kerr, et al.  
Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement and State Anxiety.
 
Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 2002 Apr, 6(2):102-7. Peer Reviewed.
Findings indicated that state anxiety scores decreased significantly over a single lesson for both new (n-=13) and returning (n=42) students. In addition, state anxiety scores were significantly lower after a 10-week program when compared with baseline scores for new (n=3) and returning (n-42) students.

Stephens, et al.
Use of Awareness Through Movement Improves Balance and Balance Confidence in People with Multiple Sclerosis: A Randomized Controlled Study.
Neurology Report, 2001 Jun; 25(2): 39-49. Peer Reviewed.
This study examined the effectiveness of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) on balance, confidence, and self-efficacy. Twelve people with multiple sclerosis were randomly assigned to either ATM or control groups. The ATM Group exhibited significantly improved scores, had significantly fewer abnormal tests, and demonstrated improved balance confidence compared to controls.

Laumer, et al.  
Therapeutic Effects of the Feldenkrais Method (Awareness Through Movement) in Eating Disorders
, Psychotherapie Psychosomatik Medizinische Psychologie 47 (1997) 170-180. (Originally published in German.)
Fifteen eating disordered patients treated at the Roseneck hospital for behavioral medicine rated various aspects of their eating disorder before and after participating in a nine-hour course of the Feldenkrais Method. The participants of the Feldenkrais course showed increasing contentment with regard to problematic zones of their body and their own health as well as acceptance and familiarity with their own body. Other results were a more spontaneous, open and self-confident behavior, the decrease of feelings of helplessness and decrease of the wish to return to the security of childhood.

Click here to learn even more about the Feldenkrais Method.

Sessions in Denver are offered at:
A Living Arts Centre
http://www.alivingartscentre.com/
located at 2231 South Platte River Drive
(off of Evans and Sante Fe)
Denver, CO, 80223.
Phone: 720.220.2180  OR  303.274.7837