Extracted from The Back Pain Sourcebook by Stephanie Levin-Gervasi
Moshe Feldenkrais , a mind-body holistic health practioner, was
an engineer who worked on the French atomic-research program in
his prior life. A judo master and soccer player, an injury led him
to apply his engineering mind to the mechanics of the body and brain
that resulted in the Feldenkrais technique in the 1940's. There
are literally thousands of exercises in this technique, and the
mind and imagination play a key role.
Feldenkrais drew on the works of other pioneers. He recognized
that a great deal of pain results from patterns of movement that
involve unnecessary muscle tension. Insightfully, he felt people
could "learn to learn" to move in a free and graceful way. Feldenkrais
held that most people lose the grace, freedom and joy in movements
that they had as infants and small children. He understood that
the relationship of movement with thinking, feeling and sensing
to effect changes in behavior.
He coined this "functional integration". A Feldenkrais session
communicates to the brain precise movements that change habitual
patterns and provide new information to the neuro-muscular system
by gentle touch, movement variation and verbal guidance. A practitioner
gently lifts, halts and supports the head, arms, legs, back and
chest as they guide you through slow, easy movements. Touch is light,
Prior to his death, Feldenkrais worked with individuals affected
by mutlitple sclerosis and cerebral palsy, posturing that if an
individual had trouble with his movements, he could improve their
health and well-being.
In some circles he was considered a holistic guru. For Feldenkrais,
touch evoked cure. There is no risk involved with this method. Feldenkrais
can be taught in a group setting or individually. Group classes
range from $8.00 up, and individual classes may run from $35 upward.
Further information can be found at:
The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education