What is Feldenkrais?
By paying to attention to the way we move we can increase ease and range of motion, improve flexibility and coordination and rediscover our innate abilities to move gracefully and efficiently. The teaching of the Feldenkrais Method focuses on improving our abilities to conduct everyday activities and explore our potential for learning undiscovered and rediscovered actions.
In Awareness through Movement® (ATM) lessons the Feldenkrais practitioner verbally directs people through movement sequences, with an emphasis on learning which movements work better and sensing the quality of changes within our bodies. Through increased awareness we can recognise habitual patterns of movement and develop new alternatives.
ATMs are generally taught in groups and last from thirty to sixty minutes. They provide tools for us to develop the ability to care for oneself.
In this one to one learning process, movement is communicated through slow, gentle touch. The practitioner guides us through a series of precise non invasive movements, tailored to the individual, that alter habitual patterns and provide new learning directly to our neuro muscular systems.
Young or old, physically challenged or psychically fit, anyone can benefit from the Feldenkrais Method. It has proved to be beneficial for those experiencing chronic pain of the back, neck, shoulder, legs or knees, as well as for people who work in an area demanding peak physical performance, such as dancers, sportspeople, musicians and actors. It is extremely suited to older people who can regain their ability to move without strain or discomfort. And it has been very helpful for conditions of the central nervous system such as stroke, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. In other words any kind of movement can be enhanced.
Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1989), was a distinguished scientist and engineer, whose career included work at the Curie Institute in Paris in the 1930's. He was also a respected Judo instructor, and was a founder of the Ju Jitsu Club in Paris. He was the originator of the Feldenkrais Method®.
He suffered crippling knee injuries. Despite being given little hope of ever walking normally, Feldenkrais refused surgery and instead applied his extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, psychology and engineering, as well as his mastery of martial arts, to healing his own knee. Moshe used his own body as a way to explore how he could combine his acquired knowledge with a deep curiosity about how humans work.
He taught himself to walk again and in the process developed an extraordinary system for accessing the power of the central nervous system. He recognised the vital importance of working with the whole body and indeed the whole self to improve human functioning and achieve lasting, radical change.
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