It’s an unfortunate reality that more and more of us are having to live with chronic pain, experiencing difficulties with moving and worries about our health on an everyday basis. That’s why processes like the Feldenkrais Method, are becoming more and more popular, offering to reduce the strain of chronic pain and help improve our mind body connection.
The Feldenkrais Method was invented in the 1900s by Moshe Feldenkrais. An active martial artist, who deeply understood physics and the mechanics of the human body, Feldenkrais developed this system of mind body connection and purposeful movement to help people overcome injuries, chronic pain and difficulties in staying active.
In fact, Feldenkrais sustained a knee injury that inspired the creation of the Feldenkrais Method. This understanding of chronic pain and ways to move past it are rooted in how the Feldenkrais Method can enhance and educate you to move more smoothly and effortlessly.
Understanding how the Feldenkrais Method works
The Feldenkrais Method is a process of nurturing your mind body connection, but it isn’t some mystical art or esoteric practice. Instead, the Feldenkrais Method works by encouraging you to grow your awareness of how and why your body moves.
More than this, it encourages you to bring into the conscious mind a more deliberate, yet graceful, way of moving that uses the mechanics of your body to sidestep chronic pain and inhibited locomotion.
A big ingredient in the success rate of the Feldenkrais Method is its emphasis on mind body connection. Practice teaches you not only new ways of moving, but invites your mind to relearn and re-evaluate ways of movement that are more efficient and less constrictive.
More than simple psychology, this mind body connection of the Feldenkrais Method uses the neuroplasticity of the human brain to establish, repeat and make intuitive new ways of moving that can help to minimise the way chronic pain inhibits daily life.
Many people who use the Feldenkrais Method also appreciate how it gives them a grounded, “in-touch” feeling with the way they move. It can lead to greater clarity of mind, a reduction in stress, and a sense of well-being. It can also make getting things done even more efficient – something we all can appreciate!
What the Feldenkrais Method involves
Specialist practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method help students to develop either one-on-one, or in group settings. In both cases, the goal is to enhance your mind body connection, inviting you to more consciously examine how you move – and ways to do so more effectively.
In a world of distractions, this method of bringing your attention back to yourself and slow, graceful movements is wonderful. The Feldenkrais Method isn’t just a way to potentially help chronic pain and difficult moving, but also a way to lock yourself in the here and now, letting worries and concerns go in the moment.
Through practice, many students of the Feldenkrais Method often find that what they learn about moving gracefully and deliberately – moving with obstacles, rather than fighting against them – improves their outlook on life in general.
The Feldenkrais Method is often taught in a serene setting, with an instructor who need only give students occasional soft and nonintrusive touches to help guide limbs and posture as required.
The goal of the Feldenkrais Method is to give you more confidence, a sense of independence, and the freedom to stay flexible and coordinated despite chronic pain, anxiety or other conditions.
The Feldenkrais Method is about creating new habits to replace harmful ones
Through no fault of our own, throughout life we often develop habits that go against our best natures.
These can be things like slouched posture, or ways of moving that aren’t as intuitive to the human body as our own mechanics could make them. Likewise, the amount of time many of us spend at desk jobs and the like can also contribute to chronic pain or a general feeling of tiredness, day in, day out.
By the introspection and practical lessons the Feldenkrais Method gives you, through greater mind body connection, you can discover ways of moving and thinking that enhance daily life.
It’s not just about greater freedom of movement, although that’s definitely a wonderful advantage. The Feldenkrais Method can also help you train to keep anxiety at bay more, remain level-headed when you’re stressed, and become self-aware enough to begin overcoming any self-sabotaging behaviour.
The goal is that any bad habits we have in the way we move and think can be overcome through a gentle and compassionate mind body connection, which the Feldenkrais Method can help you to cultivate.
From chronic pain and anxiety to staying in shape and remaining calm in a crisis, the Feldenkrais Method is a great way of exploring how your brain and body can better interact.