14 June 2021 - The Feldenkrais Method
Caroline Scott, Linzi Smith & Anne Robertson

Neurological issues, how Feldenkrais helps

Living with a neurological condition may impact every aspect of life from the most basic activities of self- care and everyday living to the highly developed skills that you may need to play a sport, a musical instrument, to drive or simply to live pain free in ease and comfort.

Feldenkrais works with you as a person

We recognise that the challenges and difficulties you face are individual to you irrespective of your diagnosis. The FM works with you not as a series of problems but as a whole person with capacity to change, learn and grow. We can do this because of the phenomenon known as neuroplasticity.

We know that learning through movement is possible even though you have a neurological diagnosis.

Feldenkrais as learning

FM is not a medical therapy it’s a process of education, firstly with the guidance of a practitioner but ultimately through your own investigation, curiosity and mastery of yourself.

Rather than focus on what you may have lost, correcting you, or telling you how you should be the work begins with where you are right now.

Through mapping out more and more of yourself, what we call the self-image, the FM will help you move beyond your restrictions, discover new ideas and employ new strategies.

How will it benefit me

FM practitioners work with those living with a wide range of neurological conditions including –

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinsons
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Stroke
  • Cerebral Palsy

You might benefit from hands on individual lessons 1:1 with a practitioner what we call Functional integration (FI) which offers a tailored approach specific to your unique needs. Or by coming to group Awareness through Movement classes (ATM) where you’ll be verbally guided through a sequence of movements designed to improve specific actions and functions.

Save your energy, move with ease

Feldenkrais lessons, whether ATM or Functional integration, are novel, interesting and gentle explorations. They don’t use up precious energy. Sometimes you might be encouraged not only to sense in more detail but to carry out the movement in your imagination. You will learn to move with more ease and to recognise when you need to rest. By sensing differences in the ways you do things you can find the most efficient one.

Feldenkrais lessons will help you to slow down, pay attention to the details of whatever movement is available to you and see whatever small changes are possible. These are the changes that you can build on for the future.

Tools for everyday

You will develop your curiosity and notice how small things fit into the big picture. For example, what happens when you go to turn a door handle there’s more to it than just your hand reaching, turning the handle and opening the door. What happens in your forearm, elbow, shoulder and shoulder blade, do you hold your breath, where is the weight on your feet?

This process of noticing will improve your day-to-day function whether that is balance, breathing, walking, getting up from a chair, turning over in bed, bathing, running, swimming – whatever is important to you.

Boost resilience, gain confidence

Regular sessions will make your CNS (Central Nervous System) more resilient giving you choices about the best way to do something. They won’t make your condition go away but you may recover faster, experience fewer troublesome symptoms such as pain, fatigue, spasticity, freezing or falling.

You’ll learn to recognise your habits and movement preferences and update these to make sure you don’t become stuck in inefficient patterns.

You will gain confidence and be empowered to manage your own progress