The Feldenkrais work has had an enormous effect on the way I run and on the way I live my life. My knee problem vanished. I've increased my mileage considerably without a trace of difficulty. And I'm running faster.
— Bruce Holmes, Runner’s World
Research is showing how your brain changes as it learns. Scientists call it “neuroplasticity” — the brain’s extraordinary ability to acquire more efficient patterns of movement and function if given the right environment. Nothing creates that environment like The Feldenkrais Method. Feldenkrais generates the precise conditions that access the intelligence of your nervous system, so you can learn and function at your best.
The Feldenkrais Institute helps people from all over the world with a range of health conditions, fitness plans, and professional and personal goals. These include people with both short term needs for pain relief, rehabilitation and recovery, and long term goals of health, vitality and flexibility. Our clients come with specific needs that fall into three broad categories: health, performance and growth. Whether you are a professional violinist with neck pain, a weekend runner who wants to understand the connection between the ankle and hip, or an elder citizen seeking better balance, the Feldenkrais Institute provides you the understanding, tools and strategies that enhance both your body and your brain for better results.
Movement, coordination and vitality are the foundations of a pleasurable, productive life. But when pain or difficulty enter the picture they can complicate both your health and self image. Pain can trigger a number of complex reactions and responses: muscle tightness, joint damage, loss of mobility and balance, even anxiety and depression. Most people understand that pain changes the way they move. But the reverse is also true: your habits of movement and sensation can create pain where it didn’t exist before. The Feldenkrais Method is a simple, powerful practice that teaches you how to investigate, improve and take responsibility for the skill in your movement and action. You’ll learn to restore harmony and cooperation to your muscles and joints not by stretching and straining, but by improving the essential patterns of movement that sustain all healthy action.
One of the ways Feldenkrais works is by helping you reduce unnecessary muscular effort. Often in movements and positions that are difficult, you are using far more muscular effort than necessary to organize your body: you tighten the neck as you lift your arm, you hold the breath while getting out of bed or clench your stomach muscles as you walk. Over time this tightening and restriction can often become habitual and embedded in your every move. Not only is this effort unnecessary, it exhausts muscles and frustrates your ability to accomplish everyday activities, making them more difficult to do and more likely to cause injury.
With Feldenkrais in your routine, you’ll not only learn the cause of such difficulties, you’ll have effective solutions for eliminating pain and stiffness, and improving your flexibility, strength, balance and vitality. You’ll learn how to take care of yourself in the present moment and how to continually improve and refine your movement and action for a long healthy life.
Performers are used to working hard, to pushing the body to serve art or sport. But too often, in their drive to achieve,they use willpower to replace actual skill. The result can be persistent injury or pain, frustration and even a career cut short. By helping you distinguish the act of learning from performing, Feldenkrais gives you an intelligent and safe way to heal and prevent injuries and improve performance all at the same time. When we are learning, not only are our bodily movements different, the way we attend to ourself changes:
In “learning mode” our brain is far better at sensing and choosing the more effective and efficient ways of moving. In every discipline — from the performing arts to athletics and fitness — this ability to exploit the brain’s “learning mode” is a master skill that makes an enormous difference. It can heal injury and help you move smarter, increase flow and creativity in your practice, and extend the length and depth of your career.
Out of convenience, we often speak of emotions and feelings as separate from the body. In fact our social and intellectual abilities grew intertwined with our physical skills: our body awareness, balance, the feelings of safety, curiosity, frustration, anxiety, and our patterns of movement and action. As a practice, Feldenkrais offers you a reliable and pleasant way to relax and restore ease and vitality to your physical and emotional life. By engaging you in a pleasant investigation of your habits of movement, Feldenkrais can bring profound and lasting results with even the smallest effort. As you learn to uncover the habits of attention and self use that supported your old patterns, newer and better options for thinking and feeling can emerge. There is nothing you need to believe in — no philosophy required — to benefit from Feldenkrais. All you need is a willingness to learn and an interest in your own health and development.