Feldenkrais method

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Overview

Feldenkrais method is named after the initiator, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, a Russian physicist, judo expert, mechanical engineer and educator. After suffering a serious knee injury, Feldenkrais found that the chances for recovery are of 50% and that over some time he may need wheelchair.

Dissatisfied with prognosis and conventional treatment available, he developed a therapy program for the movement that began to teach it to others. Feldenkrais method is based on the principles of physics and biomechanics, empirical understanding of human physiology and the link between mind and body.

Practitioners use gentle movements and focus their attention in order to amplify and wide range of motion, increase flexibility, coordination and to rediscover effective movement grace.


Contents

1. Overview
2. When Feldenkrais method can be used
3. What to expect when visiting a specialist in the Feldenkrais method
4. Are there any side effects or why the Feldenkrais method should be avoided?
5. Are there other alternative therapies that might work well in combination with the Feldenkrais method?
6. Dr. Weil Feldenkrais opinion


When Feldenkrais method can be used

Feldenkrais method is considered to be successful in training the nervous system to find new ways around the affected area.

Although it has been used frequently to help relieve stress and tension, Feldenkrais method has shown success in rehabilitating stroke victims and those who have suffered neurological damage (brain tumors, head injury, multiple sclerosis, ataxia) that cause erratic movements or lack of coordination.

Patients who had orthopedic, bone and joints problems can use the Feldenkrais method in order to correct improper posture or movements that cause pain. In addition to that, of this method can benefit people who have a distorted image of their body, suffering from eating disorders and other psychiatric problems but such as depression and anxiety.

Exercise can re-educate the brain and nervous system to develop new types of movement and perceptions of their body, can enhance mood and gives a feeling of well-being.


What to expect when visiting a specialist in the Feldenkrais method

Feldenkrais method is practiced both individually and in groups. Group sessions called “consciousness through movement”, involve verbal instructions given by a teacher who will guide and coordinate a series of movements of patients, both in the lying position, sitting on the floor or standing.

A lesson usually lasts between 30-60 minutes and consists of comfortable and simple movement exercise, which gradually becomes more difficult and complex movements involving various body positions.

The emphasis is on learning which movements work best, depending on condition and analysis but also positive changes in the body. Many of these movements are based on the conduct of normal activities, which are involved during natural human development (to stand, to stay lying down, sitting, looking back, etc.), while some are based on more abstract explorations of joint, muscle and postural dynamics.

There are hundreds of lessons that can be applied in the group, available for all levels of ability. Individual sessions called “functional integration” are made with the student fully clothed, usually lying on a table, sit or stand.

Can be used various elements of props (pillows, blankets, rollers) to support positions or to facilitate movement of patients whose movements are limited. Through gentle touch and guided movement, the specialist will teach the lesson to be adapted to the unique structural needs patient in order to improve its flexibility and coordination.


Are there any side effects or why the Feldenkrais method should be avoided?

This method is non-invasive and does not require patients to make moves that can’t do. Therefore, there are very few cases in which method should be avoided. Intense pain, recent burns, acute infections, skin or any movement that involved difficulty will determine the specialist to postpone the meeting until the condition will be removed.

The method addresses both small children and older people, because lessons offer a naturally comfortable somatic ascension that may have an immediately beneficial effect upon anyone’s movements, in everyday life.

It is indicated for both sick people and personal development of individual potential of every individual, being used to improve musicians, dancers and athletes breathing, circulation and body movements.


Are there other alternative therapies that might work well in combination with the Feldenkrais method?

There are several therapies that work well in combination with the Feldenkrais method focusing on the musculoskeletal system, including massage, acupressure and acupuncture to improve flexibility in movement, especially when chronic pain is present.

Therapeutic methods that improve balance and help prevent falls or fractures, such as yoga, tai chi or qigong can be used with the Feldenkrais technique to adjust and coordinate movements with nervous system.

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy can strengthen muscles and increasing endurance. Cycling and swimming are better choices than walking or jogging that can stress already fragile muscles and joints.

Ankle splints and other orthopedic devices may provide support and stability during meetings, and when the situation will improve can get rid of them.


Dr. Weil Feldenkrais opinion

Dr. Weil Feldenkrais recommend that method to be repeated several times to treat any type of neurological disorder, since the method is successful in training the nervous system to develop and use new ways around the injured area.

The specialist especially demonstrated that excellent results can be obtained for recovering stroke victims, but also for head injuries or other neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.

The method can be an effective part of a complex medical approach to treat any painful condition of degenerative arthritis to fibromyalgia. Since this can help a person feel more comfortable in his body, the specialist believes that the method can be effective in psychotherapy and adjunctive treatment of mood disorders.

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