What is the Feldenkrais Method®?
The Feldenkrais Method® is a somatic learning system. It is different from Yoga, Pilates, massage, or physical therapy in that it is not interested in improving flexibility, strength, or loosing tight muscles, or fixing people's problems. In the Feldenkrais Method® we (Feldenkrais practitioners) accept people's conditions at their current state. In other words, they are just fine the way they are. However, most people do not reach their full potential. We focus on each individual's learning so they can improve from where they are and move closer to their full potential. From our perspective, there is no limit to improvement regardless of age and conditions.
How does the Feldenkrais Method® work?
At the age of 12-13, we (people in general) stop developing new movement patterns, and we carry those habitual patterns with us for the rest of our life. We run into difficulties when those old habitual patterns don't serve us well as we have no other options. Physical difficulties we experience are actually also intellectual as well as emotional as all emotions and thoughts are embodied. We choose movement as a vehicle for learning and improving people's life as movement provides the most direct and concrete experience. We create direct sensory experiences from developmental movements and create new movement patterns and sensation of movement that they can take to their life to feel more comfortable, pleasurable, curious, and lively.
For example, let's say you are suffering from low back pain/injury and maybe you are modifying some activities or even avoid those activities because of back pain. You carry out activities using the movement patterns you developed early in your life, which did not work well and you continue to experience pain during activities. Every time you bring in the same patterns of movement with the same action, you also bring in painful experience, reinforcing this pattern to the nervous system. Your condition may improve for a short period of time, but pain may still return unless you create new patterns of movements which give you more pleasant and comfortable experience. Then, you will have new way of sensing yourself and your movements, and you are no longer stuck in a vicious painful/suffering (physical, emotional, or both) cycle.
How can I learn more about the Feldenkrais Method®?
This is sensory experience and learning. The best way to learn this method is to sync yourself in sensory experience of sensing new way to move. I suggest you search Feldenkrais practitioners in your area and find out if they offer Awareness Through Movement class and/or Functional Integration.