Tag Archives: surgery

What the Heck is Feldenkrais?

As many of you know, it can be hard to explain the Feldenkrais Method. It’s profoundly experiential, and, if you have just one lesson, it might not be the lesson which sparks your curiosity. Someone who recently took a workshop told me that he felt the movements weren’t well explained: he didn’t understand their purpose.

ATM class. Photo by Rosalie O'Connor. Copyright 2005.

ATM class. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor. Copyright 2005.

Awareness through Movement is a kind of self-exploration and learning new to many of us. Some are drawn to it immediately. Some respond over time. And some people find it annoying and slow.

Occasionally frustrating for people is the fact that I don’t generally demonstrate the movements. Because it’s not about how I do the movement, but about how you discover the movements for yourself.

I recently attended a health fair at Texas Women’s University where I had a chance to describe the method repeatedly. (Special thanks to Chré for inviting me—and what a gorgeous facility!) I said, with variations: “We all tend to move habitually. Feldenkrais helps us find movements options we forgot or perhaps never discovered. It expands our choices, and reduces wear and tear on our joints. It’s an excellent complement to physical therapy. Usually people in the USA discover the method after they’ve exhausted other possibilities, to alieve chronic pain, conditions like fibromyalgia, or recover from surgery.”

That explanation seemed to convey the purpose of the method; but I’d love info from those of you who swear by the method: does the explanation match your experience? How do you describe Feldenkrais when asked?

Thanks for any feedback you can give me.