As part of the 6th International Feldenkrais Week (06-13 May) we have been exploring what is behind the Feldenkrais method, who is it for and what are the benefits.
What is the Feldenkrais Method?
The Feldenkrais Method is an approach that helps you live in your body with greater ease and skill. It was developed by Dr Moshe Feldenkrais (1904–1984), an eminent physicist and martial arts master and uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. Through Feldenkrais you become more flexible, strong, coordinated and comfortable. The Feldenkrais Method is highly respected worldwide and rapidly growing in the UK. It is based on sound biomechanical and neurological principles yet easily accessible through simple, practical lessons. There is now a huge amount of scientific research in the field of neuro-plasticity – the human brain’s remarkable capacity to rewire itself, adapt and repair damaged areas. We can learn and re-learn movement throughout our lives and even after injury, stroke, etc. This has revolutionized our understanding of how we can recover and rehabilitate. Moshe Feldenkrais was far ahead of his time in the development of this method which applies these principles of the brains ability to rewire itself, grow and improve. Feldenkrais is well-known for the strategies it employs to improve athletic and artistic ability. It helps people who deal with restricted movement, chronic pain and tension (including back pain and other common conditions), as well as neurological and developmental problems. Feldenkrais promotes wellbeing by helping you increase awareness of yourself and expanding your movement repertoire.
Who is it for?
The Feldenkrais Method is for anyone who wants to reconnect with their natural abilities to move, think and feel, whether you want to be more comfortable sitting at your computer, playing with your grandchildren, or performing a specialised activity. The Feldenkrais method can improve your overall wellbeing.
What are the benefits?
- Improved posture, balance and coordination
- Relief from tension and muscular pain
- Greater vitality
- Improved artistic and athletic performance
How is a class structured?
Feldenkrais is taught through both individual lessons and group classes. The two teaching formats are called: Functional Integration (one to one approach) and Awareness Through Movement (structured group lessons).
- Functional Integration (FI) is gentle, effective, and widely recognized for its ability to address both minor aches and pains, and serious muscular-skeletal and neurological problems and chronic tension. Learning, change and improvement are achieved through the use of specific skilled movements, individualized for the client’s particular needs.
- Awareness Through Movement (ATM) was developed by Dr. Feldenkrais as a means to re-engage the nervous system in the kind of learning we all do as infants, but later usually abandon. The compositional structure of the lessons creates a conversation of sensing, feeling, resting and moving that engages your whole system in a process of organic learning where old habits can be replaced by new awareness and skill. Lessons are taught using a variety of positions, including sitting in chairs or standing: ATM teaches how to reduce unnecessary muscular effort and improve the awareness of the whole self in action.
Feldenkrais at Trinity Laban Health; Meet the Practitioner
Functional Integration sessions are available at Trinity Laban Health with Hannah Wheeler.
Hannah trained as a contemporary dancer at Trinity Laban, obtaining a BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre in 2005. Hannah went on to study the Feldenkrais Method on the Amsterdam International Feldenkrais Teacher Training, a comprehensive 800 hour training over 3.5 years. She is a fully accredited member of the UK Feldenkrais Guild and has worked with a range of people applying the method to working with dancers, musicians, retired people and children. Hannah currently practises Feldenkrais at Trinity Laban and the Lee Complementary Health Centre in addition to guest teaching in several UK universities, schools and specialist centres. Hannah is currently studying the Jeremy Krauss approach to working with children with special needs, in Germany. For more information contact Trinity Laban Health.
Happy International Feldenkrais week!
Giovanna Piccolo, Administrative Intern for Health
Hannah Wheeler, Feldenkrais Practitioner at Trinity Laban Health