Who is it for? People in pain, wanting to grow their pleasure. People who face moment to moment the territories of anxiety, grief, PTSD. Sitting-at-a-desk-and-computer-all-day-folks, artists, performers and musicians wanting more options and courage in their movement and creativity, non-binary folx, folks who are in wheelchairs, who are facing the loss of a limb or a function or who have been born with alternative functionality. Someone who has lost movement and wants to explore getting some back, professional movers/dancers/athletes wanting to hone their chops, basically anyone with a body!
Join me as we practice experiencing our bodies as the good home that they are using gentle movement techniques rooted in the Feldenkrais Method® and experience soft power.
What is it? Practicing how to feel ourselves through a series of gentle movement sequences, we inadvertently unlock new gestural potential, soothing our nervous system and cultivating a deeper sense of ease. When we tonify our skill of being witness to our personal sensation, we feel what our body believes and what it needs. Gifting ourselves this fundamental but often forgotten form of inner-attunement fortifies how our nervous system communicates and influences our greater whole.
In the Feldenkrais Method® we can do one of two things (or both):
In Awareness Through Movement®, or what I like to call Creature Practice, we apprentice riddle-like gestural sequences alongside a very important constraint:
We move to our pleasure. We move with as little assumption as we can, fostering a quality of locomotion that is reminiscent of learning to move as if for the first time.
It is very important to note that this practice is accessible for all bodies. Engaging with sensation requires witness, not the perfection of form. Instead we practice perception, we lean on our imagination. This is the access point and it’s inclusive of all body-experiences.
Functional Integration® is the other half of the method.
This wing of the work involves hands on individual support while exploring (un)familiar movements and patterns.
Whether we will it or want it or consciously conjure it, this work creates spontaneous change and fortifies our inner resources. Through it we learn to genuinely welcome whatever feels problematic in our experience to enter into the foreground as a meaningful and radically honest teacher, worthy of our care and listening.
How you physically move affects how you move through life.
For example, stretching, dancing, and running, are intrinsically tied to your emotional wellbeing.
In the same way, physical immobility can lead to psychological stagnation, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns.
This concept—now a full-fledged school of therapeutic movement—is known as the Feldenkrais Method.
Although it may seem far-reaching to some, there are countless studies that show convincing evidence that this method improves self-confidence, productivity, anxiety and overall happiness.
The benefits of Feldenkrais Method and Therapeutic Movement include:
- Improved overall physical & mental health
- Improved attention skills
- Decreased pain
- Increased efficiency when completing tasks
- Better balance, posture and coordination
- Improved quality of breathing
- Improved muscle tension
Founded by Russia-born Moshe Feldenkrais, engineer, physicist and Martial Arts master, this innovative method was the result of a debilitating knee injury that he sustained while playing a game of soccer.
With invasive surgery as his last recourse, Moshe combined his vast knowledge of physics, biomechanics, and Martial Arts to try and heal himself.
He created a unique type of physical therapy that involved slow, short & repetitive movements, which ultimately helped him achieve a full recovery.
A feat that left doctors in disbelief!
His successful journey led him to discover that this technique not only had a profound effect on the physical body, but on the mind as well.
This approach draws from an already accepted concept—the mind-body connection—which explains that the state of the mind impacts the state of the body and vice versa.
For example, negative thoughts can physically trigger a rise in stress hormones, called cortisol, which can take a negative toll on your physical and immune health, and cause chronic stress.
Consequently, when you are physically ill, your emotional wellbeing suffers as well.
It’s a never-ending feedback loop.
Just remember the last time you were sick with the common cold or flu—how did you feel mentally?
This is an example of how the mind and body are one and the same.
The Feldenkrais method is rooted in this theory—that physical movement can directly improve your emotional health.
That’s why this method is defined as a somatic education that harnesses gentle movements and directed focus to help people start living the lives they want to live.
It embraces the idea that our range of motion represents our perception of ourselves.
Therefore, by expanding our range of motion, we can expand our minds—increasing our awareness of our surroundings, habits, and abilities.
In fact, evidence shows that these small shifts in movement work on a biological level, penetrating our nervous system and rewiring our neural pathways to incite lasting change and create a baseline of calm in our bodies and nervous systems.
These significant changes are a gateway into living a more vital, joyful, and peaceful life.
How can you start incorporating this form of movement into your own life?
At My LA Therapy, we have trained therapists that are well-versed in the Feldenkrais Method.
In order to receive certification in this modality, our therapists have to undergo 740 hours of dedicated training laid out by the Feldenkrais Method, which also includes studying key principles of physics, biology, and neurophysics.
Your therapist will work with you one on one—known as “Functional Integration” in the world of Feldenkrais—gently correcting any movements that appear to be limiting or restricting.
They will physically move your body or you will be instructed to make corrections yourself.
In order to break old habits and introduce new movements into your life, you will start with slow, gentle, repetitive movements.
The keyword being: slow. Slowing your movements slows and calms your mind and your nervous system, allowing you to heal and expand.
Gradually adopting new movements will allow you to ease into the unfamiliar, helping you to form a new habit in the most comfortable, natural way.
Who can benefit from the Feldenkrais Method?
Anyone with a body—literally.
Studies have even shown that this technique is especially helpful for children with autism and other developmental disorders, like Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD & ADHD) and Cerebral Palsy, just to name a few.
Feldenkrais can successfully improve your life by helping you minimize your anxiety, identifying and changing underlying thoughts and behavioral patterns that contribute to your struggles, and providing you with strategies to decrease discomfort while restoring an overall sense of peace.
See the About Therapy page for a deeper look into this process.
Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated by research to be effective in addressing a wide range of mental health issues that can affect creativity.
Learn more about our empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page.
WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH A FELDENKRAIS METHOD EXPERT NOW
If you have any questions, contact one of our specialists for a free consultation any time.