2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Knowledge Base

Welcome to our extensive library of articles on health concerns and conditions, alternative therapies, nutrition, nutritional supplements, and much more. Acupuncture / Traditional Chinese Medicine Aging Allergies & Food Sensitivities Alternative Therapies Big Pharma Evils Bone Health Candida (Yeast) and Parasites Cardiovascular Health Case Studies Chiropractic & Physical Medicine Dermatology Digestion Diseases Ear, Nose & Throat Environmental Sensitivities Eye Care Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Fitness & Exercise Health Insurance Issues Healthy Lifestyle Immune System Inflammation Integrative Medicine Lyme Disease & Morgellons Men's Health Mental Health Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Vitamins, & Herbal Remedies Pain Management Sexual Health Thyroid, Adrenal, & Sex Hormone Issues Weight Issues Women's Health

Feldenkrais Method

What Is It?
The Feldenkrais method is a form of “body education” that teaches students how to move their bodies more efficiently, improve coordination, expand range of motion, reduce stress on joints, and increase flexibility. (It is often referred to as “bodywork,” but this is a misnomer because the intention of the Feldenkrais instructor is to teach rather than perform direct structural manipulation.)

The Feldenkrais method is often sought out by those who have movement dysfunction and pain, and is also popular with dancers, actors, and musicians who regularly challenge their bodies with repetitive actions.

Russian-born physicist Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984) developed the method after he suffered a knee injury that was expected to prevent him from walking. A student of physics, psychology, and biology, and having achieved a black belt in judo, Feldenkrais blended his diverse interests and knowledge to create his method, which he conceived as he taught himself to walk again without pain.

How Does It Work?
The Feldenkrais method utilizes many strategies to teach students to listen to what their bodies’ are telling them. Predicated on the idea that the central nervous system plays an enormous role in a person’s comfort, the method encourages awareness of one’s skeleton, muscles, and joints, and also draws attention to negative patterns of posture and movement.

The intent of the practitioner is to enable a student to refine his body awareness, so that each body part participates more fully in every action. No one body part should be stressed more than any other. When a student unconsciously allows his skeleton to offer the support for which it was intended, the muscles begin to feel more relaxed and the consequent decrease in tension allows for expanded range of motion and flexibility (without the trauma or stretching exercises).

In teaching the method, the instructor may ask the student to repeat simple movements many times with slight variations. Doing so offers fine sensory cues to the central nervous system, and aids in shifting the patterns of automatic movement and posture so they’re more efficient and comfortable.

What You Can Expect
The Feldenkrais method has two components. Students may use one or both.

In Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) classes, which are taught to groups in a classroom, students explore basic movement themes to improve movement quality, awareness, and function. The themes utilize ordinary body positions, such as lying on the back, stomach, or side; standing; or sitting in a chair. In a typical hour-long ATM lesson, the class will focus on one movement theme, guided verbally by the instructor. Often the instruction will focus on the potential mobility in forgotten parts of the body, such as the thoracic spine or ribs of the chest area.

Functional Integration® (FI) individualizes the Feldenkrais method. It is a one-on-one learning process that usually takes place in a Feldenkrais instructor’s office. Sessions, which are tailored to meet a student’s individual needs, generally last 45 minutes to an hour. The student remains comfortably clothed, and frequently lies on a padded table. Positions such as sitting, kneeling, or standing may also be used.

The instructor uses slow, gentle touch and sometimes verbal suggestions to introduce movement relationships among the various body parts. Touch is used to communicate, not to correct, and there is no therapeutic pressing or stroking. The instructor’s goal is to bring sensory attention to habitual patterns, while also suggesting new options. Through exploration and experimentation, the student seeks an optimal, individualized style of movement. Changes occur spontaneously rather than through willful determination.

ATM classes are typically offered in a series of four to six sessions, meeting once a week. The schedule and frequency of the individual FI sessions is determined by a student’s goals and the recommendations of the practitioner.

Health Benefits
Better body awareness, easier movement, and a sense of relaxation and well-being have all been credited to the Feldenkrais method. For those who come to classes experiencing pain, the sessions often reduce it; those experiencing movement dysfunction can improve strength and coordination.

While those who practice Feldenkrais always emphasize that the focus is on individual learning rather than on the treatment of a particular condition, students often report success with specific ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches. Some Feldenkrais instructors specialize in working with people with orthopedic and neurologic conditions that cause pain or limit movement, such as arthritis, stroke, whiplash, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy. Others work specifically with performers or athletes in order to recover lost functions, relieve pain, or refine specific functions. Because most medical research measures isolated parameters rather than overall function, designing research specific to the Feldenkrais method continues to be challenging. While there have been a few studies evaluating Feldenkrais for those with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and neck pain, most health claims for the method are based on anecdotal evidence.

How To Choose a Practitioner
The certified training programs for Feldenkrais practitioners are 800 to 1,000 hours long and accomplished over a four-year period. Graduates are qualified to give group ATM lessons after the first two years of training and individual FI lessons after the full four years. In the United States, look for a practitioner who is certified by the Feldenkrais Guild of North America (the professional association for the discipline), in Albany, Oregon.

It is not necessary to have other medical training to be a Feldenkrais instructor. However, many physical therapists, massage therapists, and other health practitioners have become Guild-certified Feldenkrais practitioners. Insurance rarely covers Feldenkrais sessions unless they are performed by a professional licensed in another health profession such as physiotherapy.

Cautions
The Feldenkrais method is considered to be safe for everyone, not as a medical treatment, but as movement education.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Upcoming Workshops

*Self Care for Chronic Pain with Yoga Therapy and Healing Touch
Monday May 15th and Monday May 22nd
6pm – 7:30pm
Workshop Fee $75

Are you looking for ways to manage chronic pain that doesn’t involve medication? Consider a gentle exploration in Healing Touch and Yoga Therapy that connects mind, body and spirit for overall health and wellbeing with WholeHealth Chicago’s Healing Touch practitioner Katie Oberlin and Yoga Therapist Renee Zambo.

Enrollment is limited. Register online here or by calling (773) 296-6700 to secure your spot.
Read More>>

 

*May Lyme Academy
Lyme & Lymph; A Source of Pain and Swelling
Tuesday May 16, 5:30-7:00pm

People with Lyme disease may experience pain, swelling and have decreased ability to move toxins out of their body. Karen Meier, Doctor of Physical Therapy, will be presenting information about the lymphatic system, how Lyme affects it, self care and manual techniques for treatment.

Registration:
Registration is open to patients of Dr. Kelley, and pre-registration is required. Please call WholeHealth Chicago at 773-296-6700 or see a Patient Services team member to sign up!

 

*Awakened Body, Quiet Mind
An innovative workshop series for relieving mind/body stress and tapping into your true power and natural health.

Four Group Sessions with Meghan Roekle, PsyD.

Four meetings using a unique combination of embodiment meditation and mental inquiry for deep healing.

Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00pm beginning May 23rd.  Register online or call 773-296-6700
More>>

 

*Facial Guasha Class
The Ultimate DIY Anti-Aging Facial!
With Mari Stecker, LAc
Thursday June 8, 2017, 6:30-8PM, $65 course fee

Join us and learn a traditional Chinese facial rejuvenation technique that you can do yourself! Guasha treatment is a 2,000 year old Chinese massage technique that uses a flat tool to apply pressure to the skin to increase circulation as it moves along acupuncture channels.

Facial guasha is an easy to learn technique that:
* encourages blood flow and promotes radiance
* prevents wrinkles
* activates cells to regain facial elasticity
* drains fluids to detoxify skin and reduce puffiness
* sloughs off dead skin cells
* uplifts and tones skin
* firms up facial muscles
* minimizes dark circles
* promotes a healthy, younger and more radiant look

Space is limited, pre-registration required by calling 773-296-6700 or online.
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Subtly Underactive Thyroid

    Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Subtly Underactive Thyroid

    I went to medical school in London for awhile and quite honestly didn’t learn much. But it was the 1960s and if you were going to be anywhere on the planet, central London was the place to be. The fact that the hospital to which …Read More »
  • Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Vitamin D Deficiency

    Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Vitamin D Deficiency

    Much of medical care is hampered by the black-and-white thinking of doctors. You either have a condition (symptoms confirmed by positive tests) or you don’t (symptoms, but no useful test results, and therefore “nothing’s wrong with you”). Doctors are uncomfortable with grey zones, like when …Read More »

May Sale: 20% Off Juniper Ridge Products

Do most fragrances make you feel kind of sick? Juniper Ridge to the rescue! This unique company creates products with fragrance from actual plants, trees, moss, and wild herbs.

Support a small, honest business by choosing soaps, incense, and smudge sticks wildcrafted in the hills of California. During May, take 20% off.
Products on sale>>


HAPPY WOMEN’S HEALTH MONTH!
Take 20% off ALL products with “Women” in the product name
On Sale For The Entire Month Of May