Improvements experienced within a month
Four out of five people experience significant improvements within a month of starting Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons, a FGUK survey has shown. Around 40 per cent report improvements after the first lesson and a further 20 per cent recognise beneficial changes within a week.
Research carried out with Feldenkrais clients
The research, carried out in August/September 2021, involving a total of 261 Feldenkrais clients, showed most new recruits to Feldenkrais are seeking help for common health problems, notably chronic pain and stress.
‘We wanted to find out what new clients expect from Feldenkrais compared to what they actually get from regular practice,‘ explained Julie Wrigley, Secretary of the Feldenkrais Guild on the idea for the survey. To carry out the research she teamed up with Anne Taylor, Feldenkrais practitioner from Cornwall and London and Jane Feinmann, a Feldenkrais student based in London.
The survey asked respondents to choose from a list of 10 possible reasons for starting Feldenkrais – and also to identify the benefits that they went on to experience.
Embodiment was the most important benefit
Only one in five of respondents said they hoped for better mindfulness before starting Feldenkrais. However, over twice that number, three in five respondents, cited mindfulness, embodiment or a better mind-body connection as the most important benefit from attending ATMs. Almost all respondents cited this aspect when asked what they ‘love most’ about Feldenkrais.
Respondents experienced: ‘a sense of being connected to myself completely’ – using ‘the mechanics of your mind and body to make everything work more efficiently.’
One in three clients cited ‘ease of movement’ as the reason for starting Feldenkrais whether in everyday activities or in professional activities as musicians or dancers. A greater number, almost one in two, said Feldenkrais lessons had helped them find ‘new ways to increase mobility’.
Help for anxiety and pain
One in four (26.2%) sought help for stress or anxiety –with a slightly higher proportion, 32.7%, reporting this as an important benefit. One in five would-be clients started Feldenkrais to help with chronic pain – a benefit reported by 28.2% of respondents.
Balance, posture, well-being and fun
Other aspirations and benefits included:
- better pacing
- and general well-being.
Some respondents expressed frustration at the limited choices presented in the survey. A significant number said they started Feldenkrais for quite random reasons:
- a personal recommendation from a friend
- or because the method was being offered by a favourite yoga or Pilates teacher
And alongside all the reasons for continuing, a common thread was the simplest: