What is the Feldenkrais method of therapy and who and how can it help?

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The Feldenkrais Method is a somatic or body-oriented intervention designed to help people reconnect with their bodies and learn ways to move with greater efficiency. It can help increase vitality, coordination and achieve a generally improved state of health and vitality.

Although this approach is primarily physical in nature, bodily changes such as improved functionality are likely to have a positive impact on all areas of life. People seeking treatment for a range of mental health problems may find the Feldenkrais method a useful complementary approach.

How did the Feldenkrais method of therapy come about?
The method was developed in the middle of the 20th century by Moshe Feldenkrais, after whom it got its name, and the therapy is based on the basic principles of human development, integrated with physics and biomechanics. Feldenkrais taught judo and other martial arts classes for decades, incorporating his knowledge of the nervous system and the body into his healing process after severe knee injuries. His recovery led to the development of this mind-body approach that uses guided movement to improve physical and emotional vitality.
The integration of motor skills, martial arts, biomechanics and psychology according to the Feldenkrais method has been shown to increase flexibility, coordination and contribute to self-awareness. Movement is believed to be an essential element in the process of discovering the relationship between development and adaptation, as it can help people identify and examine their cognitions, intentions and abilities, and patterns of attention.

This innovative method aims to penetrate deep into the nervous system to promote change and release existing habits that are difficult to break and may affect well-being or daily functionality. The two most recognizable applications of the Feldenkrais Method are Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration, both of which engage and expand the power of the nervous system to create intelligent action and movement toward healing.

How does the Feldenkrais method of therapy work?
The Feldenkrais method uses an increase in the user's awareness to address “dormant” areas of their own organism and promote movement, using the nervous system's own ability to create change and improve movement.

The goal of the approach is that those using it can understand potentially limiting habits and movements and learn ways to increase range of motion. By becoming more self-aware, people often become better able to include more of their body in their movements and can experience a heightened sense of physical and emotional functioning.

By incorporating subtle movements and focused attention, this method seeks to improve overall human functioning through the brain's neuroplasticity, or sleep-adaptive ability to touch. The brain's response to change is considered an essential aspect of the effectiveness of the approach.

The Feldenkrais method of therapy is carried out in two forms of work: in group work and in individual lessons that last equally, 30-60 minutes. Unlike classical massage or chiropractic where the focus is on muscles or joints, in the Feldenkrais method the therapist works with people to help them become stronger and able to manage their movements independently.

How does the Feldenkrais method of therapy help?
The Feldenkrais method of therapy is designed to help people who have restricted, painful, or otherwise limited movement due to injury, chronic pain, or other physical or neurological reasons. People undergoing this type of therapy report an increase in flexibility and coordination, as well as a reduction in pain and muscle tension. These changes can positively affect a number of aspects of life.
Even just one therapy can help reduce pain, muscle tension, stiffness or fatigue, but easier movement and higher energy levels can have a positive effect on easier relaxation and reduced stress levels. Therefore, people suffering from anxiety, stress or pre-existing conditions may also benefit from this type of treatment and therapy.
The Feldenkrais method of therapy is considered applicable to all people, regardless of age or health condition, and the following benefits are recorded:
Improved health and vitality
Improved attention and concentration
Pain reduction
Accomplishing tasks with less effort
Improved posture, movement, coordination and balance
Breathing easier
Better control of muscle tension
Criticisms and limitations of the Feldenkrais method of therapy
The Feldenkrais method neither attempts to treat the underlying problems that cause limited movement and pain, nor to create permanent changes in body structure. Instead, the primary goal of the approach is to provide relief to those experiencing limited movement and/or physical discomfort and to teach the person strategies to adapt and live more easily with conditions that cause persistent pain. This may be beneficial to some, but may be seen as a limitation by others.
According to one study, Feldenkrais therapists in Australia submitted pre-/post-test results to a total of 48 students. Students reported a significant reduction in pain after an average of six and a half Feldenkrais treatments. Other evidence for the effectiveness of the Feldenkrais method is limited, and more studies may provide more evidence to support the benefits of this approach.terapija

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