Can the Feldenkrais Method help with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

I believe the Feldenkrais Method (either in group class or one-on one hands on session) can help people with MS in many ways.

One of the benefits of the Feldenkrais Method is that we help people learn more efficient movement patterns that will work the best for their own body because every person has a unique body and there is no one “correct” movement pattern than works for everyone. Improving movement efficiency and economy is very important for anyone, but particularly for people with MS as energy conservation is a key.

Improving movement efficiency and movement patterns is also important to improve functional mobility such as getting in and out of bed, toilet, walking, etc. As their energy level goes down, their movement patterns are likely to change. For example, they may show decreased leg and trunk coordination, affecting their gait pattern, and increasing risks of falling. Thus, through this work, we can help them become more independent and reduce their fall risks.

We also help people improve their kinesthetic/proprioceptive awareness. While changes in gait pattern as a result of fatigue may look apparent to observers, there is a very good chance that they are not aware of such changes. Thus, improving kinesthetic/proprioceptive awareness can help them notice when they start altering their movement patterns so they can pay closer attention to how they are walking and minimize fall risks.

It is not uncommon for people with MS to experience muscle pain and joint pain. The Feldenkrais Method uses very gentle movements and can lessen unnecessary muscular tension, which can give them a pain relief.

This work is also helpful in calming the nervous system by balancing out autonomic nervous system and reducing anxiety ans stress. Anxiety and stress can interfere with their sleep pattern, and can also increase pain.

These are some of the benefits of the Feldenkrais Method for people with MS that I can think of. Please leave me your comments, questions, and/or feedback.

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My name is Taro Iwamoto. I am a Feldenkrais practitioner and movement expert. I help people develop new and more efficient movement patterns and expand movement options in order to overcome injuries/pain and move beyond limits. Feel free to post in the comments section below and feel free to share this with your friends!