The Feldenkrais Method
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The Feldenkrais Method is a little hard to define, because it really isn't quite like anything else. Most simply, Feldenkrais is a sophisticated method of communicating with the unconscious through movement. And because movement inhibitions and restrictions are inextricably intertwined with personality, self-image, beliefs, and attititudes, the freedom to act effectively and the ability to choose rationally are directly related to the ability to move one's body without the intrusion of habitual, "parasitic" tensions.

Feldenkrais lessons provide a safe, meditative space where you can relax, relieve stress, and improve unconscious movement patterns beyond familiar limitations. Through these gentle movements you can learn to think, move, and act more creatively and comfortably. And, because the muscular patterns which govern posture are deeply interwoven with the emotional and psychological patterns which govern personality and behavior, changes in movement patterns also free defensive personality strategies to be more open and spontaneous, and more able to handle stress with relaxed balance and poise. By lengthening and relaxing the back, Feldenkrais lessons often provide lasting relief from the discomfort of stress-related backaches and headaches, usually caused by the chronic contraction of the posterior musculature.

Functional Integration (FI) is "hands-on" Feldenkrais. The practitioner uses skillful, supportive, gentle hands to create a sense of safety, maintain supportive contact, and gain the cooperation of the unconscious, while introducing new movement possibilities in small, easily available increments. Practitioners are trained to detect minute resistances in your movement patterns which can often represent emotional or psychological limitations as well as physical ones.Using highly sensitive touch and and gentle, exploratory movements, the practitioner helps you find freedom from restrictive movement patterns. Some forms of bodywork relieve tensions by tiring the muscles; FI works by telling the nervous system it can just let go. It's a delicious and rare kind of relaxation that is deeply satisfying!

"Feldenkrais is not just pushing muscles around; it's changing things in the brain itself."     --Karl Pribram, MD, PhD, neuroscientist

Awareness Through Movement (ATM) is "group-style" Feldenkrais. You are verbally guided through a carefully designed sequence of movements, which you explore on your own. The practitioner enlists the cooperation of the unconscious by using a soft, soothing voice which helps you maintain a mindful, inward awareness, and by sequencing movements in small, easily available increments which help you integrate entire movement patterns of increasing refinement and complexity. Each lesson creates a relaxing, exploratory environment in which you learn to melt away habitual tensions, relieve stress, and refine a specific movement function, such as walking, reaching, bending, or twisting. ATM lessons can be given "live" in a class setting, or recorded for convenient use at home.

"When you know what you're doing, then you can do what you want."     --Moshe Feldenkrais

I have developed a special set of Awareness Through Movement lessons on audio tape. The ten fifty-minute lessons in my comprehensive Flowing Body, Flexible Mind set have been designed and improved over ten years for the specific purpose of improving awareness and control of the whole self in movement. Designing the lessons to work through the entire body in the same sequence as the ten well-known "Rolfing" sessions, and bringing awareness to many of the familiar psychological themes that limit movement, I have worked hard to make these the best, most comprehensive Feldenkrais tapes available anywhere. Read more

Every month (or so) I post on my website a new free "Lesson of the Month" which you can print out and practice at home. Check out the current Lesson of the Month or review the more than fifty lessons in the Lesson of the Month Archive.

Questions about Feldenkrais, about my tapes, or about your own situation are invited and welcome. ---Rich Frye

Rich Frye
2072 Granger Way
Lummi Island, WA 98262