As presented on the PBS program “Brain and Neuroplasticity,” scientists now know that we continue to create new pathways in the brain as we age. These ideas were not new to Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, creator of the Feldenkrais Method®. The classes are unique and challenging, combining movements that seem unrelated at first but later connect to an entire action, making the lessons varied and interesting. Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) group classes primarily take place on the floor, yet there are many lessons that are experienced sitting, standing, or walking. The practitioner verbally directs the ATM lessons by guiding participants to use their attention and imagination. The suggested movements are subtle, which helps students develop awareness, learn to relax, and abandon habitual patterns that no longer enhance ease of movement.
The other technique used in the Feldenkrais Method® is Functional Integration® (FI). These are private lessons with a Feldenkrais practitioner that usually take place on a low table or chair, where the practitioner suggests new movement possibilities by gently moving the student, thus re-educating the nervous system. The FI session is so gentle and non-intrusive that participants will be surprised how effective it can be! This is because this method is based on viewing the body's potential and not its limitations. It does not focus on tight muscles, weak muscles, misalignment, or structural deficiencies. Instead, both FI and AMT focus on the re-education of habitual movement patterns, shifting away from those that can create pain.
The Feldenkrais Method ® offers several benefits to our well-being:
How does it work? It combines the understanding of physics, judo, yoga, anatomy, neurophysiology, learning theory, developmental movement patterns, and biochemistry. In offering new ways of thinking about movement, it is a continual learning experience for anyone, at any age.
Classes and private sessions in the Feldenkrais Method can help to enhance movement abilities, to make the impossible possible and the easy elegant. Madeleine Perrone offers private sessions, ongoing classes and workshops year-round. Many of her classes are designed around everyday movements to enhance our abilities as we age.