The Feldenkrais Method guides us through our process of maturing as human beings. This can lead us towards a freedom that we did not even know existed. It helps us become aware of our patterns and makes it easier to select more functional, intelligent and healthier alternatives so that we can reach our potential.
Health professionals, therapists, psychologists, doctors, artists, athletes, physical therapists and other professionals involved with movement and learning, among others, have been inspired and found well-being through this process. People with limited mobility or recurring pain have also found relief through the method.
The Feldenkrais Method has two approaches:
Self-awareness through movement
In this modality, the teacher guides the students verbally through sequences of movements that follow an internal and functional logic. Students learn to feel what is possible and appropriate in their case. Many times this takes them much further than they thought possible. This form of learning often becomes a moving experience: recognizing a limit and finding a way to cross it by using intelligence and wisdom rather than force or will. This kind of learning does not happen by imitation, by following a model or by competing with others. It is mainly a matter of discovering the most efficient response to one’s limitations in daily life.
This modality is what we could call the most artisanal part of the method. Instead of words, the teacher uses his or her hands to guide the student. It is a highly specific technique that responds directly to the student’s needs and is extremely versatile in its applicability. It is a non-invasive technique of gentle and respectful touch that aims to help the student feel and learn new ways of movement, which will later allow them to improve the coordination and organization of their actions. It is a direct way to experience and integrate functional relationships in the body. It also gives the possibility to go deeper into questions or topics that are relevant to the student.
Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais
Moshé Feldenkrais (1904 Baranovitz-1984 Tel Aviv) received his PhD in Physical Sciences from the University of the Sorbonne and worked alongside Nobel Prize-winning Frederic Juliot-Curie in early atomic physics research.
While still in Paris, he became a disciple of the founder of judo, Japanese Master Jigoro Kano. He was the first Westerner to learn judo and later spread its teaching yet further, as the founder of the French judo club. He was the first Black Belt holder in the West, and wrote several books on judo.
A severe knee injury led him to experiment with his own body and develop his revolutionary way of using movement to improve comprehensive human functioning through his idea of organic learning. Beginning in the 1950s, he devoted himself exclusively to developing and refining his method.
At the end of the 1950s, he held his first professional training programme, with some students in Israel. In 1972, he began receiving invitations to give lectures and teach seminars on his method in universities and other institutions in the United States. He founded his own institute in Israel. After his first training programme in Israel, he conducted two professional training sessions in the U.S., one in San Francisco, CA (1975-1977), the other in Amherst, Massachusetts (1980-1983).