What makes the Feldenkrais Method so unique is that it is a process of learning, rather than a treatment or therapy. Dr. Feldenkrais discovered that when his students attended carefully to new ways of moving, they made rapid and lasting improvements. He learned that automatic habitual movements do not allow for change and over time can lead to stiffness and discomfort, and limitation in performance. This realization has been corroborated in neuroscientific research during the past several decades.
In group classes, (Awareness Through Movement® , or ATM) participants are verbally guided through carefully constructed movement sequences and most importantly, in detecting the effects of these movements throughout the body. The novelty of the increasingly complex movements combined with this fine level of attention bring about increased coordination, ease and comfort.
In her professional training programs, Carolyn has learned to detect movement patterns which contribute to a client's pain or limitation. In individual sessions, (Functional Integration ® or FI) she physically or verbally guides the individual through a series of movements which enhance their awareness of themselves in movement, and introduces new and healthier options. As the student is guided to attend to new connections, new learning is engaged. Working together, Carolyn and her client sense the most effective new possibilities, and integrate these new ways of moving into their everyday actions.
Because the changes occur at the level of the sensory motor function of the brain, at first it can feel that little is happening. Many people are astonished at the profound changes they experience after such quiet and subtle work.
As our attention is brought to movement, sensory-motor connections between different parts of ourselves are awakened in the brain, setting up a learning process.
Our increased awareness of movement patterns and new possibilities breaks up old less efficient habits, and allows new more organized movement to become integrated.
In time we learn to sense efficient and healthy movement, and this becomes incorporated into our natural action.
In Feldenkrais® group classes, (Awareness Through Movement™ ) Carolyn verbally guides her students through movement sequences. Not exercises as we know them, but carefully constructed explorations, the movements start small and gradually expand into the more complex actions which occur in our daily lives, such as walking, reaching, turning, breathing, sitting and the like. After experiencing ATM lessons, people often express feelings of deep relaxation and ease, feeling taller, more grounded, lighter, and in touch with parts of themselves which had become ‘forgotten’.
Private lessons, (Functional Integration™ ) are another means of accessing the Feldenkrais work. For persons who might benefit from more individualized attention, Carolyn uses non-invasive and precise touch, and verbal instruction, to clarify a client’s current movement patterns, and introduce new possibilities, which soothe muscle tension, and reduce or eliminate pain. These Functional Integration lessons occur with the student (fully clothed) lying on a special table, in sitting or in standing, as appropriate to each situation.
“That’s the sign of an organized cortex: that never do you move one movement without the rest of the body…doing something to help perform the movement, that’s the object of being an organism. It’s an organic movement and not a coercive, self-destructive movement.”
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