Feldenkrais Method® and Health Improvement and Injury Recovery

Disclaimer: please read. Feldenkrais Toronto West has provided resource information, through website links, on the Feldenkrais Method®. The information contained within this website, includes summaries and abstracts and is not to replace medical advice and medical treatment. The information is for educational purposes only. The resource links, summary/abstract descriptions and information listed on this website, uses wording obtained directly from the publication, and may not necessarily be comprehensive. As such, any information acquired from this website and resource links should be used in conjunction with other available resources and with the advice of healthcare professionals. This website and its content are provided on an “as is” basis. Feldenkrais Toronto West makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, up-to-date information, or timeliness of any of the resource links listed nor of their summary descriptions. These resource links to websites/articles/documents are provided as a resource for your own personal educational purposes only. These resource links do not necessarily represent the opinions of the owner of this website - Feldenkrais Toronto West. The names of research/document authors, and Feldenkrais® trainers and practitioners and their studios, are provided solely as a database of available resources.  Their inclusion on this website should not, in any way, be construed as a referral or confirmation of professional credentials.  For articles/documents in a different language Google Translate offers translation.  As with all internet connections, one should be protected by an effective antivirus program.  As websites are constantly undergoing revisions, this website and Feldenkrais Toronto West accepts no responsibility for these website links and cannot provide any assurance that future website changes may include some issues or problems. Please ensure that your computer is always protected with an effective antivirus program.

Health Improvement and Injury Recovery

Greenwich Get Active

https://www.greenwichgetactive.com/activities/v/5324/

The Feldenkrais Method is a great way to improve your overall mobility. It can counteract common problems like back, shoulder or neck pain, improve your overall comfort and enhance yoga, dance or sport practice. The method is deeply relaxing and invigorating.

Feldenkrais works on the nervous system and how we use our body. The class will take you through simple and gentle movement sequences either lying or sitting on the floor.

EFFICACY OF FELDENKRAIS METHOD VS. RESPIRATORY GYMNASTICS FOR PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE

International Journal of Current Advanced Research, August 2017

Monisha R and Yasmeen Imtiaz

SRM College of Physiotherapy, SRM University

http://www.journalijcar.org/sites/default/files/issue-files/4185-A-2017_0.pdf

The Feldenkrais Method (FM) is an alternative therapy used by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, evidence of the effectiveness of the FM and RMSG among persons with COPD is lacking. Objective: To investigate the impact of the FM in patients with COPD. And to investigate the Effects of Feldenkrais Method Vs. Respiratory Gymnastics for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Paired t-tests showed significant improvements in 6MWT from baseline to 8 weeks. Similarly, there was a significant improvement in the peak expiratory flow rate. Conclusion: The FM improve functional capacity and COPD.

Quantitative and Qualitative Effects of Feldenkrais, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, and Standard Medical Treatment in Patients After Acute Myocardial Infarction

Psychotherapy Research, April 2010

Bernd Löwe​, University Medical Center Hamburg - EppendorfK. Breining; Stefanie Wilke​, Universität Heidelberg; W. Eich

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261577941_Quantitative_and_Qualitative_Effects_of_Feldenkrais_Progressive_Muscle_Relaxation_and_Standard_Medical_Treatment_in_Patients_After_Acute_Myocardial_Infarction

This short-term study examined the effectiveness of the Feldenkrais method of functional integration and of progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) compared with the standard medical treatment during the acute phase after myocardial infarction.  ... subjective improvements of varying description were noted by 17 of 20 patients after the 1st Feldenkrais therapy and by 13 of 20 patients after the first PMR treatment. ... the qualitative patient statements support using the Feldenkrais method or PMR for particular cases in an acute medical setting and continuing treatment during rehabilitation or on an outpatient basis.

Roll Your Eyes, Change Your Life

Feldenkrais eye lessons improved my vision and expanded my sense of self

Thrive Global, Community, September 14, 2017

Ilona Fried

https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/13032-roll-your-eyes-improve-your-life

Several years ago, on an annual visit to Montreal, I noticed I could no longer read the street index on my trusty map. An optometrist prescribed progressive lenses.  ... I’d enrolled in a training for the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education, developed by the Israeli engineer, judo black belt and visionary Moshe Feldenkrais, to heal a leg injury. We explored many verbally guided lessons, called Awareness Through Movement. Among these, we learned to work with our eyes in unfamiliar ways. Starting from different positions in lying and sitting, we gently and slowly rolled the eyes and sensed their weight in the sockets. In various experiments, we tried moving them independently of each other, or in a direction opposite to that of the head. By doing so carefully, and paying attention to when our eyes jumped rather than shifting smoothly, we began to create new neural pathways and possibilities.

The effectiveness of the Feldenkrais method in cancer patients

Karl F. Haug publishing house, in: MVS medicine publishing house Stuttgart GmbH & CO. Kg

Robert Grübel, Gabriele Erbacher, Astrid Larisch

Feldenkrais practice, BioMed Klinik Friedenweiler, Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapeutic Medicine, University Hospital Freiburg

https://www.thieme-connect.de/DOI/DOI?10.1055/s-2003-37391

(in German but Google can translate)  (ABSTRACT ONLY available)

This study aims to investigate the efficacy of the Feldenkrais Method in cancer patients. A total of 66 patients participated in a randomized controlled clinical trial in the BioMedclinic of Friedenweiler / Germany. The intervention group (n = 34) received treatment as usual. Measurements were the body image questionnaire (FKB), the Frankfurt body concept scales (FKKS) and the short form health survey (SF-36). A specific Feldenkrais-oriented questionnaire assessed the sense of movement and body awareness (FBK) including items of the body perception questionnaire (FKE). Both groups have improved, but not statistically significant, positive effects for the intervention group with respect to vital body dynamics, sense of movement, body awareness, respiration and bodily functioning. The intervention group improved significantly in body contact as compared to the control group (F = 4.824, df = 1, p = 0.032). Altogether, the study suggests the efficacy of "functional integration". The Feldenkrais Method supplements a multi-modal treatment program.

Effect of awareness through movement on the head posture of bruxist children 

Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 18–25, 2009

Y. Quintero, C. C. Restrepo, V. Tamayo et al.

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/22442611/effect-of-awareness-through-movement-on-the-head-posture-ibmc

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of physiotherapy to improve the head posture and reduce the signs of bruxism in a group of bruxist children. A single-blind randomized clinical trial was performed. All the subjects were 3- to 6-year old, had complete primary dentition, dental and skeletal class I occlusion and were classified as bruxist according to the minimal criteria of the ICSD for bruxism. ...   The physiotherapeutic intervention was based on the Awareness Through Movement. … Regarded as complimentary to physiotherapeutic intervention, it provides an educational approach to re-training abnormal movement patterns. … Ten physiotherapeutic sessions were planned during a 10 week program, all of them based in children’s games. Each session lasted 3 hours. ... The subjects of the experimental group showed statistically significant improvement in the natural head posture. The physiotherapeutic intervention showed to be efficient to improve the head posture at the moment of measurement in the studied children.

A Manual Therapist's Guide to Movement: Teaching Motor Skills to the Orthopaedic Patient

Gordon Browne, BS

This is a book and transcripts are not available on the internet

... examines the use of non-traditional movement systems, especially the Feldenkrais Method and Tai Chi, in the physical therapy setting to treat orthopaedic conditions/injuries. These systems represent a style of internal exercise designed to increase the patient's self awareness and attention to proprioceptive detail, emphasizing integrated or whole body patterns of movement and the use of movement constraints that encourage specific movements and/or muscle contractions. It describes the principles of ideal movement and posture, as well as common movement errors people make that lead to musculoskeletal dysfunction. ... Advocates the use of non-traditional movement systems, especially Feldenkrais principles, as well as Tai Chi, in a physical therapy setting.

The Feldenkrais Method® in rehabilitation: A review

WORK - A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, January 1998

Ives, Jeffrey & A Shelley, Greg. (1998)

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jeffrey_Ives/publication/259807845_The_Feldenkrais_MethodR_in_rehabilitation_A_review/links/5627776008ae2ebf922755a9/The-Feldenkrais-MethodR-in-rehabilitation-A-review.pdf

Musculoskeletal disorders are often suggested to be caused, in part, by poor postural behaviors that are associated with occupational demands. The inefficacy of conventional strategies to elicit postural correction has prompted many to seek alternative techniques such as the Feldenkrais Method®. The rapidly growing use of the Feldenkrais Method® by laypersons and professionals has been fueled by extravagant claims and data published in non-peer-reviewed sources, for the effectiveness of this technique has been poorly documented in peer-reviewed publications. Therefore the purpose of this review was to critically assess the literature on the Feldenkrais Method® in both juried and non-juried sources. The results have generally indicated some improvement with Feldenkrais® interventions, however, these improvements are not nearly as large as suggested by the anecdotal claims. 

A comparative outcome study of body awareness therapy, Feldenkrais, and conventional physiotherapy for patients with nonspecific musculoskeletal disorders: changes in psychological symptoms, pain, and self-image

Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, An International Journal of Physical Therapy, Volume 17, 2001 - Issue 2

Eva-Britt Malmgren-Olsson,Bengt-Ake Armelius &Kerstin Armelius

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232056640_A_comparative_outcome_study_of_body_awareness_therapy_feldenkrais_and_conventional_physiotherapy_for_patients_with_nonspecific_musculoskeletal_disorders_Changes_in_psychological_symptoms_pain_and_self

Patients with nonspecific musculoskeletal disorders are often remitted for physiotherapy treatment in primary care. The rehabilitation effects for this patient group are generally poor and many of the treatment methods used have not been scientifically evaluated. The purpose of this study is to compare treatment effects of Body Awareness Therapy, Feldenkrais, and conventional individual treatment with respect to changes in psychological distress, pain, and self-image in patients with nonspecific musculoskeletal disorders. A total of 78 patients, 64 females and 14 males, with nonspecific musculoskeletal disorders were recruited consecutively to the different treatment groups in a quasiexperimental design. The patients were measured three times during the study period: before the interventions, after six months, and after one year. The results showed significant positive changes over time in all three treatment groups with regard to reduced psychological distress, pain, and improved negative self-image. There were few significant differences among the groups but effect-size analysis indicated that the group treatments using Body Awareness Therapy and Feldenkrais might be more effective than conventional treatment.

Movement Therapies - Strengthen Your Body and Accentuate Your Healing

Body Sense magazine, Spring 2016

Cindy Williams, LMT

http://www.bodysensemagazinedigital.com/i/655972-spring-2016/5?

Feldenkrais Method. This method establishes new connections between the brain and body through movement re-education.

The Body in Motion - Movement Education Provides New Models for Wellness

Massage Therapy online website

Originally published in Body Sense magazine, Spring 2003

Lara Evans Bracciante

http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/48/The-Body-in-Motion

Someone may tell you it's all in your head. Yet you know it's not, because you're feeling it, in excruciating detail, in your body. Movement education pioneers F. Matthias Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais and Milton Trager agree that it may have started in your mind -- way back when your body and your brain were learning together how to crawl, stand and walk -- but it didn't end there. Movement education theorizes that when the body establishes responses to its emotional or physical environment, those responses are carried forward long after the original stimulus is gone. In other words, that pain in the neck, back or head may just be the latest chapter in a story that began long ago.

The Effectiveness of the Feldenkrais Method: A Systematic Review of the Evidence

School of Health Science, University of South Australia

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2015

Susan Hillier and Anthea Worley

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/752160

The Feldenkrais Method (FM) has broad application in populations interested in improving awareness, health, and ease of function. This review aimed to update the evidence for the benefits of FM, and for which populations. ...  meta-analyses were able to be performed with 7 studies, finding in favour of the FM for improving balance in ageing populations ... Single studies reported significant positive effects for reduced perceived effort and increased comfort, body image perception, and dexterity.

The Feldenkrais Method improves functioning and body balance in people with intellectual disability in supported employment: A randomized clinical trial 

Research in Developmental Disabilities, Aug 2017

Jon Torres-Unda⁎, Vanesa Polo, Iratxe Dunabeitia, Iraia Bidaurrazaga-Letona,

María García-Gil, Ana Rodriguez-Larrad, Jon Irazusta

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03203226

Also available here

Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country have confirmed the effectiveness of the Feldenkrais method to improve people's balance and mobility. ... The research group ... studied the evolution experienced over a six-month period by 32 people ... The research has been published in the internationally prestigious scientific journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities.  ... The study, conducted between September 2015 and May 2016, used the Feldenkrais model, a system based on the conscious attention to movement and developed by the engineer and doctor in physics of Ukrainian origin Moshé Feldenkrais. ... When the study was over, the members of the intervention group completed the functional assessment tasks in less time and improved in the tests to assess mobility and balance in comparison with the control group. ...  They were all carried out immediately before the start of the 30 sessions and as soon as the last session had been completed.   This study demonstrates, for the first time, the effectiveness of the Feldenkrais method to enhance the physical state and functional capacity of middle-aged people with intellectual disability.

Improving Sensory Motor Function after a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) - The Feldenkrais approach to sensory motor education

New Zealand Spinal Trust,   October, 2008

Cindy Allison, MA (Psychology), FELDENKRAIS® practitioner, MNZFG

https://nzspinaltrust.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/sci_feldenkrais.pdf

https://docuri.com/download/spinal-cord-injuries-and-feldenkrais_59c1d8c0f581710b286789b8_pdf

This booklet is intended as a brief introduction to the Feldenkrais Method and it’s relevance to recovering sensory motor function in SCI. Other benefits, such as reduction in pain and spasm, are mentioned and a brief introduction to the sensory motor system is included. It is not intended to cover all the benefits people have experienced through the Method. For many with pain and disability, the Feldenkrais Method has been life changing.

Neuroplasticity and The Feldenkrais Method

© 2017 Nederlandse Feldenkrais Vereniging - Dutch Feldenkrais Association (NFV)

Eileen Bach-y-Rita, GCFP, 2014

https://feldenkrais.nl/neuroplasticity-and-feldenkrais-method

Your brain loves to learn. In fact it thrives on acquiring new skills such as playing a musical instrument, learning a new dance or a new language. Your brain also thrives when engaged in an inner awareness activity, like meditation or a Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® lesson.

In order to learn anything, you need to focus and pay attention to the task at hand. You need to move slowly and deliberately and think about what you are doing when learning a new motor skill. Without this focus and attention, you wouldn’t acquire the new skill, or deepen knowledge in the field of your choice.

Feldenkrais could mean years of pain gone in an hour

Frederick News-Post, May 26, 2015

Laura Dukes

https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/health/feldenkrais-could-mean-years-of-pain-gone-in-an-hour/article_457174de-4fe1-589c-af80-5f7fb77b0126.html

There are about 1,000 different Feldenkrais lessons and movements, including methods like reaching, coordinating the pelvis with other parts of the body,

rolling, lifting and pulling. Re-learning techniques like these are often meant to get people out of habits that might be causing them constant body aches and pains. “In the course of an hour you may be releasing tension you’ve been carrying around for decades. It’s that dramatic”

Though Feldenkrais is used for both athletic and artistic performance ... it’s different than the standard fitness activity in that it’s more about changing a mindset rather than controlling a person’s body.  ... it could help anyone from a person recovering from a stroke, to a tennis player who needs to swing without putting tension in their shoulder, or even a teenager who spends too much time in front of a computer.

An alternative treatment that could actually be integrated into clinical routine !

Blog, Published Saturday 13 June 2015

Edzard Ernst, MD

https://edzardernst.com/2015/06/an-alternative-treatment-that-could-actually-be-integrated-into-clinical-routine/

On this blog, we have discussed many different alternative treatments. As it turns out, hardly any of them fulfil the criteria for being used routinely in clinical practice. But here I present one that might be the exception. The Feldenkrais Method (FM) aims to reduce pain or limitations in movement, to improve physical function, and to promote general wellbeing by increasing the patient’s awareness of herself and by expanding her movement repertoire. The FM is an educational method similar to the Alexander Technique. The practitioner directs his attention to the patient’s habitual movement patterns which are inefficient or strained, and teaches new patterns using gentle, slow, repeated movements. Slow repetition is believed to be necessary to impart a new habit and allow it to begin to feel normal. These movements may be passive (performed by practitioner on recipient’s body) or active (performed by patient).

Yoga and movement re-education for the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis

7th International Conference on Conservative Management of Spinal Deformities Montreal, Canada. May 2010

Marcia Monroe

https://scoliosisjournal.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1748-7161-5-S1-O24

Movement reeducation based on the integration of concepts of bio-mechanics and motor development has improved the subject’s proprioception, sensibility, and awareness of functional movement. ... A regimen of Iyengar Yoga combined with movement reeducation based on perceptual and motor development from Body-Mind Centering and The Feldenkrais Method may be very useful in reducing pain and improving the well-being and functional abilities in idiopathic scoliosis regardless of age.

Scoliosis Project 2008

Personal Report, September 2009

Kathrin Hug • Christian Renfer • Dr. Matthias Rießland

http://www.feldenkrais-praxis.info/FP/A_-_Sp_-_Skoliose_files/Scoliose%20Project%202008%20-%20Basil%20-%20engl.%20Version.pdf

The Scoliosis Project 2008 was created and executed by Dr. Eilat Almagor, Anat Krivine, Nancy Aberle and Dr. med. Wolfgang Steinmüller. The teaching and learning of both certified Feldenkrais Trainers, Dr. Eilat Almagor and Anat Krivine, is unequalled - based on many years of experience in their practice in Israel, many international Advanced Trainings and Seminars. Their form of expression of the Feldenkrais Method reveals the effectiveness of the Method, especially for Scoliosis afflicted, as a ripe and scientifically founded course of procedure. ... Awareness Through Movements (ATMs), lectures, Functional Integration (FIs) and demonstrations inspired constant interchange. In addition, feedback discussions were held among clients, trainers and organizers. All participants received CDs after each segment, containing the taught and simultaneously translated ATMs.

Feldenkrais method and movement education – An alternate therapy in musculoskeletal rehabilitation

Science Direct, July 2015

Leonard Joseph Henry;  Aatit Paungmali;  Vikram Mohan;  Ayiesah Ramli

Chiang Mai University, Thailand;  University Kebangsaan, Malaysia;  University Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

http://paom.pl/images/jurnal/2016/no1/Feldenkrais-method-and-movement-education---An-alternate_2016_Polish-Annals-.pdf

Feldenkrais method (FM) is a movement education technique that emphasizes movement teaching based on sensory motor awareness and cognitive perception of the movement. ... This current review paper made an effort to provide conventional scientific explanation about this method that suits the medical paradigm. In this paper, a brief introduction followed by description of the technique is given with a clinical example toward its application.  ...  Indications, contra indications and clinical implications were also discussed to accommodate the clinical practice in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Conclusions: Feldenkrais exercises can be used as an alternative therapy in musculoskeletal rehabilitation for movement education. 

Slow Movement with Awareness: Better than Exercise?  How you move is as important as how much you move

Psychology Today, July 2010

Alan Fogel

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/body-sense/201007/slow-movement-awareness-better-exercise

There is mounting evidence that slow movement, with body sense awareness, has astounding health benefits by itself and in combination with regular exercise routines.  ... there are a growing number of pain clinics and integrative medicine centers that offer slow movement, awareness-based therapies ... for pain in a wide variety of conditions including "pain caused by cancer and cancer treatments, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases and conditions."  ...  Moshe Feldenkrais invented a system of body movement education-the Feldenkrais method-that reawakens, develops, and organizes capacities for kinesthetic (sensorimotor) learning. Whereas children before the age of three learn movements by relying on their sensorimotor experience, older children and adults in technological cultures often behave according to social expectations, distancing themselves from their bodily feelings. Feldenkrais "Awareness through Movement" classes teach moving with awareness and ease.

Case study Feldenkrais pain control, posture and gait training after birth with grade 4 tear in perineum

Physiotherapy, Volume 101, May 2015

O. Jackson Schulte, Henry Ford Health System, Home Health Care, Detroit

https://www.physiotherapyjournal.com/article/S0031-9406(15)03538-5/fulltext

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® starting each PT visit with body self scan of weight distribution in least painful position. ... 

 Psycho-neuro-orthopedic Feldenkrais approach including home exercise program and home adaptations allowed functional pain control and increased confidence. Feldenkrais approach is cost effective in allowing pain control/enhanced functional movement patterns to be developed. Patient self exploration/self awareness tools allow for carryover into daily living/ability to problem solve how to adapt to new situations.

Learning The Feldenkrais Method and what it brings to your practice

Chiropractic Economics : Your Online Chiropractic Community, February 22, 2019

Lavinia Plonka, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and Nancy Haller, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner

https://www.chiroeco.com/feldenkrais-method/

The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education works in collaboration with health, wellness, and medical modalities and professionals to enhance client care and self-responsibility. One of the beneficial ways Feldenkrais intersects with chiropractic is kinesthetic learning, resulting in patients with improved posture, balance, and ability to move with more ease. Feldenkrais lessons before an adjustment also can assist by helping a patient relax and let go of holdings that make adjustments difficult. After a chiropractic adjustment, Feldenkrais lessons provide support and education that can help patients’ adjustments stick. It can become a symbiotic process that blends neurological, spinal, and kinesthetic experience to everyone’s advantage. 

Mindful Movement: Self-Determination for the “Running Ape”: A Practice Brief

International Positive Psychology Association, Spring 2018

Josef Mattes, Ph.D., University of Vienna and Bucks New University

http://www.ippanetwork.org/2018/07/27/mindful-movement-self-determination-for-the-running-ape-a-practice-brief/

https://www.mat.univie.ac.at/~mattes/PDF/mattes-FK_SDT-revised_180326.pdf

Human bodies are made for movement. ...  Yet, despite much lipservice being paid to the importance of movement for well-being and health, in practice it is grossly neglected in positive psychology. ...  certain forms of movement not only contribute to health, but can also be used to further another important goal: That of an integrated self acting from intrinsic motivation. . . .  The Feldenkrais method thus seems ideally suited to provide tools for people to increase their own sense of autonomy and competence. Simultaneously, this contributes to improved physical health (Worley & Hillier, 2015) along with increased mindfulness with all its positive consequences.

A New Educational Program to Improve Posture and Quality of Life Among Students by Means of the Feldenkrais Method and a New Program: MAP-Motion and Posture

Journal of Education and Training Studies, Vol. 6, No. 11; November 2018

Iris Gil, Shaanan Academic Religious Teachers College; Kaye Academic College of Education, Misgav, Israel.

http://www.redfame.com/journal/index.php/jets/article/viewFile/3582/3725

Formulation of health promotion theories began in recent years. This includes reaching out to the general public and offering instructions on how to increase participation in activities such as physical exercise that promote good health and quality of life in order to prevent diseases and improve both physical and mental health (Murray, Rodgers & Fraser, 2012). Another relevant perception of quality of life lies with Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984). According to Feldenkrais, an individual can have a high quality of life when he has physical and mental unity, though chances are that this unity will break due to various life situations. To preserve this balance and improve the individual’s wellbeing, Feldenkrais treated movement as a means for improving other components of wellbeing, such as insight, sensitivity, and emotions.

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