The Feldenkrais Method®

by Pat Barragan..

The Feldenkrais Method® is a form of movement re-education that reawakens the body’s awareness of what is healthy. Feldenkrais is designed to improve movement and expand self-awareness in order to reduce pain and promote general well-being. The subtle movements of Feldenkrais retrain the brain to reestablish a healthy way of using your body. The results can be dramatic: regained mobility, pain relief and ease of movement.

Feldenkrais Encompasses Two Approaches:

1) Functional Integration sessions – In one-on-one treatment, the patient lies comfortably while the practitioner uses touch and tissue manipulation to gently guide the body through subtle yet precise movements that help muscles experience better ways to work.

2) Awareness Through Movement (ATM) – an experienced teacher assists to increase mobility and help replace old patterns of movement, while improving mobility, motor functioning, breathing, and blood circulation as well as increase self-awareness and ease and efficiency of movement. The ATM teacher verbally leads you through a sequence of gentle exercises that gradually evolve into greater range and complexity. These precisely structured movement explorations involve thinking, sensing, moving and imagining. Many lessons are based on developmental movements and ordinary functional activities (reaching, standing, lying down, sitting, looking behind, etc.); some are based on more abstract explorations of joint, muscle and postural relationships.

Who Can Benefit

Feldenkrais helps people whose ability to move has been restricted by aging, injury or illness. Patients with injuries such as whiplash, fractures, sprains and ligament tears, as well as those suffering with chronic or acute pain of the back, neck, shoulder, hip, legs or knee can benefit.

Feldenkrais can bring immediate relief and help avoid re-injury by teaching patients how to move in a better way to prevent problems in the future.

Those with illnesses and conditions that limit movement such as stroke, brain injury and post-polio syndrome often experience dramatic recovery. People with fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy find relief from pain, regain lost function and improve balance, flexibility and coordination.

While Feldenkrais is not a cure for disease, it is highly effective at combating symptoms. People with arthritis learn how to move so they can avoid stressing affected joints and find more comfortable, safer ways to do what they want to do. With multiple sclerosis, the slow, gentle and repetitive movements of Feldenkrais can forge new neural pathways to maintain movement.

After a Feldenkrais session, patients often feel taller and lighter, more centered and balanced. You’ll be relaxed, might breathe more freely and find that your discomfort has diminished or disappeared.

Please visit Pat Barragan and the rest of the staff at Center for Physical Health by clicking on their link at ParkinsonsResource.org/feldenkrais/.

Go to the PRO Wellness Village often as we continue growing your one-click virtual resource directory.

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