What is Feldenkrais?

The aim is a person who is organized to move with minimum effort and maximum efficiency, not through muscular effort, but through increased consciousness of how movement works.

– Moshe Feldenkrais, D. Sci., 1904-1984

The Feldenkrais (rhymes with “rice”) Method is a 60-year-old form of neuromuscular reeducation with applications similar to physical therapy, but it’s a more holistic approach.

It’s for anyone seeking more comfortable, efficient, sustainable movement and greater self-awareness for purposes of pain reduction, performance enhancement (day-to-day/athletic/artistic), self-discovery, and quality of life improvement.

It’s taught in two forms:

  • Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons are verbally led and can be taught to groups or studied alone from recordings, text, or memory.
  • Functional Integration (FI) lessons are one-to-one lessons taught hands-on, with the practitioner using a gentle, non-invasive touch, and the student fully-clothed, usually lying on a low, comfortable table.

Students describe lessons as pleasurable and relaxing, and normally find reductions in pain, specific improvements to function in day-to-day life, and tools for continuing to improve themselves.

When someone wants to reduce pain, recover from an injury, or improve aspects of themselves (usually movement, balance, posture, flexibility, or performance related), a Feldenkrais lesson addresses the whole person – not just the symptom – by eliciting changes in the nervous system. Scientists call this process “neuroplasticity,” which is the brain’s extraordinary ability to acquire more efficient patterns of movement and action if given the right environment. Nothing creates that environment like the Feldenkrais Method.

With this method, you can increase your range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. By expanding the self-image through movement sequences and directed attention, the method enables you to include more of yourself in your movements. Students become aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities, and learn to move in new ways.

You can learn more about the Feldenkrais Method and Nick’s practice at Twin Cities Feldenkrais by exploring the menu above, or clicking below:

  • Group Awareness Through Movement (ATM) classes. You can even dive right in and try ATM at home with Nick’s donor-supported online audio lesson collection, The Feldenkrais Project. There’s no paywall or password!
  • Functional Integration (FI) one-to-one lessons
  • What is the Feldenkrais Method, in more detail?: In response to student questions, I wrote this more scientifically-detailed bullet point description of the method, its background, and the principles of biomechanics, neurology, learning, and human improvement that make it work.
  • Testimonials from Nick’s group classes ATM students and one-to-one FI students.
  • Here’s a link to the Feldenkrais Guild of North America’s website for a research bibliography about the efficacy of the method.
  • Visit the Video page for a look at the Feldenkrais learning process.

Finally, Dr. Norman Doidge’s The Brain’s Way of Healing, published in early 2015, provides an in-depth introduction to The Feldenkrais Method. It’s written by an MD neuroscientist who is not a Feldenkrais practitioner. The scientific view of the method from the outside looking in is a fantastic resource to all students and would-be students. Here’s Nick’s blog post with an excerpt and introduction to the book.

Feel free to contact Nick with questions.