“My purpose is to allow people to move closer to actually being creatures of free choice, to genuinely reflect individual creativity and emotion, freeing the body of habitual tensions and wired-patterns of behavior so that it may respond without inhibition to do what the person wants.” ~ Moshe Feldenkrais
The Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education is an integrative approach to learning and improving function among people of varying abilities across the lifespan. With an emphasis on increasing self-awareness through lessons that stimulate sensing, moving, feeling, and thinking, certified practitioners or teachers of the method propose to take advantage of the human capacity to self-organize behavior.
People have used the Feldenkrais Method to enhance their function in many aspects of life, including performance at work, in sports, or in the performing arts. However, estimates are that many more have used it to recover from injury, manage pain, reduce stress, or improve other health-related conditions, either as complementary or alternative approaches to traditional Western medicine. Because of this usage, some groups, such as the United States National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, view the Feldenkrais Method as a form of complementary and alternative medicine, despite the broader self-identification as a learning method.
The Feldenkrais Method utilizes functionally based variation, innovation, and differentiation in sensory-motor activity to break down habitual patterns and allow new ways of thinking, feeling and action to emerge.
Feldenkrais is not intended to “cure” disease or disabilities. Instead, it is an effective way to learn about and improve physical and mental limitations through freedom and awareness of movement. Because the Feldenkrais Method provides relief from many ailments caused by various neurological or physical disorders, it can greatly enhance quality of living. As with all alternative therapies, the use of the Feldenkrais Method does not preclude the use of many mainstream medical as well as other complementary alternative therapies.