Rudi learning the connection between
chest & back, arms, neck and head.
Tim addressing muscle & tissue between the bones.
(Photos of Tim and Rudi were scanned in from a newspaper article on Donna.
Photos by John Kendrick)
"It's not what I do, but how I do it that produces the results." – Moshe Feldenkrais
The Feldenkrais Method attracts those who wish to improve and expand their movement repertoire (such as dancers, musicians, artists, athletes, movement enthusiasts), as well as those wishing to reduce pain or limitations in movements done on a daily basis, and many who want to improve their general well-being and personal development. It is a self-discovery method in which we address why your body is not moving in a coordinated and efficient way, and offer options in which your body can learn better coordination so that it moves effortlessly without strain or pain – movement freedom. It builds and increases brain plasticity.
The Feldenkrais Method is conducted as an
instructional group lesson or as a private hands-on session.
This class consists of guided verbal instructions on moving as a way of improving coordination, balance, flexibility and core strength.
It is considered "organic movement".
Developed by Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc. (1904 - 1984), the Feldenkrais Method uses a series of gentle, organized movements that improve coordination and awareness in the way you move as a whole person. Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® lessons address conflicts, restrictions, and weaknesses between muscle groups at the neurological level, so changes are deeply sensed. As a result, skeletal alignment and muscular support are improved, allowing the body to move more efficiently and effectively. Restrictive or painful habituated patterns can be replaced with efficient, coordinated and effective ways of moving.
Learning to move with less strain, discomfort or effort makes daily life easier. Because the Feldenkrais Method focuses on the relationship between movement and thought, increased mental awareness and creativity accompany physical improvements. Everyone, from athletes and artists to administrators, accountants and attorneys; from computerites and teachers and students, to exercise enthusiasts and activists; from seniors to the younger generation – ALL can benefit from the Feldenkrais Method.
"Feldenkrais is not just pushing muscles around, but changing things in the brain itself. "
– Karl Pribram, M.D., Neuroscientist
With a hands-on session, your body’s personal needs and problems are addressed through gentle, nurturing, subtle, and non-intrusive movements/manipulations or suggestions for the body. This “safe” (safe to the body) way of “talking to the body” will allow it to release muscular holds and restrictions, and to help your muscles learn more efficient and cordinated ways of moving and supporting your posture. At the end of the private hands-on session, you will be given your own personal set of movements to practice in order to keep improving. Thus, you are furthering your own knowledge and empowerment by taking an active, integral role in your own improvement and growth.
The Feldenkrais Method of somatic education is named after the distinguished scientist and educator Moshe Feldenkrais, 1904-1984. In 1933 Feldenkrais graduated with specialties in mechanical and electrical engineering from the Ecole des Travaux Publics des Paris college in Paris. He also earned his doctorate in Physics at the Sorbonne and later was an associate to the Nobel Prize laureate Frederic Joliot-Curie in Paris. From 1939-1940 he worked under Paul Langevin doing research on magnetics and ultra-sound.
In 1929, Feldenkrais injured his left knee in a soccer match. While convalescing he wrote "Autosuggestion" (1930), a translation from English to Hebrew of Charles Brooks’ work on Coué‘s system of autosuggestion, together with two chapters that he wrote himself.
Beginning in the 1920's, Feldenkrais was involved in Jewish self-defense groups, and after learning Jujitsu Feldenkraisdevised his own self-defense techniques. He was also the first European to earn a black belt in Judo and is credited with introducing the sport to the West. He received his Judo black belt in 1936, and 2nd degree rank in 1938.
After a bus accident aggravated an old knee injury, Feldenkrais was faced with a 50 percent chance for recovery after surgery and the possibility of confinement to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Unsatisfied with the prognosis and conventional treatments available, he embarked on exploring new relationships between the mind and body to improve physical movement and function. In pursuit of a better answer, he continued his studies and expanded to what was then known about health and healing. His research included: anatomy, physiology, neuro-physiology, biomechanics, cybernetics, & movement therapies; as well as hypnosis, spiritual practices, tai chi, yoga, child development, psychology and acupuncture.
Feldenkrais succeeded in learning to walk again, never had the operation, and even resumed his judo. He took Judo classes at the London Budokwai, sat on the international Judo committee, and scientifically analyzed Judo principles. He published his last book on judo, "Higher Judo," in 1952. During this time he also started sharing his knowledge of how awareness of movement can change and even heal problems of the body. After he publicly presented his ideas, people sought his help with their problems. For several years he was an amateur somatic practitioner, first in England and later in Israel where he had returned to work as a scientist. In the mid-1950's Feldenkrais gave up his career in physics and devoted himself fully to his work with people. In 1949, he published his first book on his method, "Body and Mature Behavior". In the late 1960's, in Tel Aviv, he trained his first group to become practitioners of his method and subsequently completed one and one half trainings in the United States. He wrote four books on his method and much of his other teaching is preserved on thousands of hours of audio and video tapes.
"The Feldenkrais Method addresses the person as a whole including all your experiences going back to day one. It addresses
all of your bodies: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. " – Donna Gianell
“Feldenkrais was one of the first neuroplasticians.”
– Norman Doidge, MD; The Brain's Way of Healing
“…The exercises are ingenious and startling in their effectiveness. Feldenkrais has found a way to free people to be more creative intellectually, and more flexible and flowing physically.”
– William C. Shultz, Ph.D., Author of JOY
"The Feldenkrais Method is changing the image in the motor cortex;
and our brain, feeling the freedom of the new learning, rushes to
meet it." – Arno Gruen, M.D., Psychiatrist