About the Method
Awareness Through Movement® lessons consist of a series of gentle, ingenious movements which are verbally directed and exploratory in nature. The lessons help clarify the full range of possibility for human movement and action. Students learn at their own pace, in a non-competitive environment. By utilizing the inherent intelligence of the nervous system, each person discovers new ways of using him or herself with more ease, grace and power. Dr. Feldenkrais created hundreds of lessons which focus on different themes or interconnections between the nervous system, the muscles, the skeletal system and our responses to the world around us.
In Functional Integration® the practitioner communicates through gentle touch and movement. Through this non-invasive contact, the lesson facilitates improvement in the organization and coordination of the nervous, skeletal and muscular systems. Students regain capabilities previously relinquished due to pain or “aging”. As work progresses, people report profound and lasting shifts in inner well-being, connection to self, creativity, mood and outlook.
Current studies in the field of neuroscience have discovered a wealth of evidence that the Feldenkrais Method® uses many of the strategies found to be useful in developing more brain power as well as recovering from difficulties which are mediated through the nervous system.
Here are some of the principles woven into the lessons:
- Variety: Stereotypy is the enemy of the brain
- Learning to solve problems through many different angles of approach
- Learning to attend to thought and sensation simultaneously
- Novelty helps engage interest and attention which aids in the learning process
Dr. Feldenkrais was interested in helping people use more of their full potential and often talked about learning to use more of the brain’s capacity. In his lessons, all the “higher parts”of the brain (attention, visual, auditory, memory, awareness of the spatial configuration of the skeletal parts) are harnessed and integrated into coordinated action. A better integration between the higher and lower structures also helps improve breathing, coordination and vitality.
ABOUT DR. FELDENKRAIS
Moshe Feldenkrais, Phd(1906-1984)is considered one of the great pioneers in somatic education. Dr. Feldenkrais was a brilliant synthesizer of insights gleaned from the fields of physics, engineering, martial arts, eastern contemplative traditions, and he had extensive training in all of these domains. He took his Phd at the Sorbonne and worked at the Curie Institute in Paris as a colleague of Nobel Prize Laureate Frederic Joliot-Curie.
He also studied anatomy, neurology and systems theory. He anticipated nearly all the current research on neuroplasticity by believing that we can change, learn and develop across our entire life span. He also understood that we can re-train ourselves to recover lost function and that we can create new neural pathways through linking our sensory experience to our motor co-ordination.
In creating his Method he made use of such principles as novelty, variability, trial and error experimentation and the inclusion of body based attention. All of these principles are now known to aid in the formation of new patterns of action. Movement is used as a key to improve the functioning of the mind as well as many other aspects of well-being.