Moshe Feldenkrais, creator of the Feldenkrais Method, developed this method as a means to improve the use of his legs following sports-related knee injuries rather than having knee surgery. Utilizing the principals of physics, martial arts and human development, he taught himself how to re-use his legs with ease and without pain. He began to work with others and as they improved, he continued to develop his method as he wrote and taught. In so doing, others became interested in his work. He held his first teacher training in Israel in 1969 and once creating a following in the US, held his second teacher training in San Francisco in 1977 and lastly Amherst, MA in 1980-81. Graduates of those trainings now provide training to new practitioners worldwide who teach in varying venues for improving health, fitness, performance, education and rehabilitation. Moshe eventually coined the terms Functional Integration® and Awareness Through Movement® to describe the two aspects of his method.
Functional Integration® describes lessons that improve movement through gentle touching. In using non-verbal, directed, sensory information, new perceptual and motor patterns emerge. With new motor patterns, effort is diminished, expanding sensation and awareness of self use. This allows people to feel lighter, more grounded, and with a greater sense of ease, support, flexibility and strength.
Awareness Through Movement®
Awareness Through Movement® lessons are taught by practitioners who instruct students primarily in groups (can also be taught individually), in a series of positions and movements. In so doing students notice particular aspects of the components that are involved in the positions and movements. By noticing aspects of sensation and movement that they have not noticed before, new learning occurs. The lessons are progressive from simple to more complex. In moving easily and lightly, complex actions become possible with new connections emerging giving a greater sense of wholeness and expanding one’s sense of self.
- Decrease pain
- Decrease limping
- Increase ability to move easily
- Increase strength
- Increase flexibility
- Greater self awareness
- Fuller potential
- Greater potency
Photo Credit: International Feldenkrais® Federation Archive