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Clarifying the Components of Human Action

Feldenkrais Practitioners train for a minimum of four years to understand how human actions are made up of many interrelated components of sensation, movement and orientation. A Feldenkrais lesson consists largely of an exploration of these smaller components of larger actions. For example, a lesson might focus for several minutes on simply feeling and clarifying a movement centered on the hip joint, lower back, shoulder girdle or eyes. The process of gentle exploration has powerful effects in itself, but what makes Feldenkrais lessons powerful is that the individual components of exploration in a lesson are carefully arranged in an integrated pattern.

Integrating all the Parts

The real power of the method lies in its application of a functional understanding of how these components interrelate to form useful human action. A full lesson integrates and coordinates the elements of an action into a holistic, functional movement like reaching, turning, or bending. These movements are in turn related to all the larger things we do, like walking, running, jumping, or even just comfortable and efficient sitting or standing posture.

Why it Helps

Gentle movement and touch by themselves can be soothing and improve well-being in countless ways even when performed by someone with no training, but the Feldenkrais Method® works by stimulating more sophisticated, holistic and efficient patterns of action in the student. Stiff places become more limber as our movements start to integrate parts that had previously been absent from our self image, and aches and pains begin to fade away. We generally feel more whole, more capable, and more fully alive. Students often report changes in posture that come about without trying, or improvements in physical (and even mental!) activities that they’ve done for years. People recovering from injury or disease often find their lost abilities returning, and pains disappearing. People report a very wide array of physical and mental improvements that cover the whole range of activities and endeavors.