The Feldenkrais® Method
The Feldenkrais and Anat Baniel  Methods are an approach to movement, learning, and development based on principles of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to literally rewire and change itself. Moshe Feldenkrais was an Israeli physicist and judo expert who developed a world-renowned  educational approach which uses movement to help improve almost any aspect of human functioning. Anat Baniel is a protege of Feldenkrais who has further developed the approach especially in working with children with special needs such as cerebral palsy, autism, developmental delays, or other neurological conditions. As a result of stress, injury, or trauma, we frequently get in the habit of unconsciously holding our body and limiting movement. This is a natural protective mechanism, but oftentimes we keep the limiting habit for years after the original injury. Dr. Feldenkrais taught that most of us have habitual patterns of movement and that few of us pay attention to how we move until we

“The system developed by Moshe Feldenkrais...has as much potential for understanding the mind/body relationship as Einstein’s general theory of relativity had for physics.”

                           - Bernard Lake, M.D.

feel pain or come up against some other kind of limitation in our ability to do what we want. Becoming aware of our unconscious patterns of movement and exploring new ways to move that cause less effort or strain encourages healing and can prevent excess wear and tear on muscles and joints that lead to pain and dysfunction in the first place. In addition to applications for chronic tension and pain, the method has been effectively used by professional athletes, dancers, and anyone else looking to improve movement and coordination. Musicians, artists, actors, and others involved in creative fields frequently find the exploratory approach of Feldenkrais leads to enhanced creativity and problem solving. People with some types of neurological injuries and conditions respond well Feldenkrais also.

There are two types of Feldenkrais lessons. Awareness Through Movement is the verbally directed form of lesson, usually taught in a group setting similar to a yoga
or exercise class. These lessons consist of a series of slow, gentle movements along with instruction in directed attention that aim to explore that particular action. There are thousands of Awareness Through Movement lessons, each focuses on a particular theme ranging from movements involved with improving sitting, to increasing the flexibility of the spine and ribs in breathing, to how improving the use of the eyes can help chronic neck tension and headaches.

Functional Integration is the one-on-one type of lesson, and can be very useful for those who want or need more focused or individualized learning.
With this

approach the practitioner uses touch and literally moves the student’s body in such a way as to suggest new movement options. Although at times it may look like some forms of physical therapy or other bodywork, with Functional Integration the intent is  always on how touch can communicate and teach easier movement, rather than to correct or manipulate.

Functional Integration in Action with Anat Baniel
Introduction to the Feldenkrais Method