Years ahead of its time

The Feldenkrais Method

The Feldenkrais MethodⓇ, developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1900-1984), does this by using movement to send new information to the brain and create new neural connections.

Dr Feldenkrais’s understanding of the brain and learning was far ahead of his time. The key to the effectiveness his work was his ability to recognise and take advantage of what is only now becoming widely known as neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity

For a great introduction to neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to reorganise itself – and its implications for health, we recommend reading Norman Doidge‘s The Brain That Changes Itself (2007) and The Brain’s Way Of Healing (2015).

Anat Baniel has created a wonderful detailed web site about Dr Feldenkrais, his life  and his work, which you can access by clicking the links on this page of her web site.

Life long learning

Learning how to learn

The Feldenkrais Method is first and foremost a method of self-inquiry into how we can grow our own capacity to move, sense, think and feel. “If you know what are doing you can do what you like,” he would repeat often in his classes. Or, “if you don’t know what you are doing, how can you do what you like?”

Dr Feldenkrais called this the maturation process and regarded this as ongoing until we die. He viewed learning as available to everyone no matter what their age or abilities. For him it was not a specific ability that he was interested to teach, but by immersing ourselves in his method we are learning how to learn and continually refining this ability.

Limitless learning

His aim was to make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy elegant. No matter what the abilities of your child, if we make learning the goal rather than any specific action then we find joy in every little improvement.

For parents looking for an introduction to the application of the Feldenkrais Method to supporting children with special needs we particularly recommend Anat Baniel’s book Kids Beyond Limits (2012).

In our own handwriting

Understanding our lineage

Everyone is different. We have different life stories, live in different cultures and societies, are born into different families, live in different environments. As Dr Feldenkrais pointed out what makes human unique among animals is our variability.

It makes sense then that we as Feldenkrais practitioners are all different. Dr Feldenkrais encouraged his students to develop their own handwriting in their practice of the method. What unites us as practitioners is a way of thinking about learning rooted in an awareness of what we now call neuroplasticity.

Specialising in working with children

Many of Dr Feldenkrais’ students have gone on to specialise in working with children. What is clear is that we all share the same lineage.

Some of them renamed their work such as the Anat Baniel Method (ABM), the Jeremy Krauss Approach (JKA), and Chava Chelav’s Child’Space Method.

Others like us, Nancy Aberle and Cheryl Field at the Field Centre of Children’s Integrated Development, choose simply to call our work with children the Feldenkrais Method. There are also groups such as Feldenkrais without Borders where Feldenkrais and Anat Baniel Method (ABM) practitioners work together.