Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc., (1904-1984) was a distinguished scientist, physicist and engineer. He earned his D.Sc. in Physics from the Sorbonne and was a close associate of Nobel Prize Laureate Frederic Joliot-Curie at the Curie Institute in Paris, where they conducted research together.
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais was also a respected judo instructor and author of many books on the subject. Living in England in the 1940s, Feldenkrais found himself unable to walk after suffering a serious injury. He began an intense exploration into the relationship between bodily movement and healing, feeling, thinking, and learning. As a result, he restored his ability to walk and made revolutionary discoveries, culminating in the development of the method that now bears his name.
Before he passed away in 1984, in Tel-Aviv, Israel, Feldenkrais personally trained a small group of practitioners to continue his work. Today there are thousands of Feldenkrais practitioners around the globe. His insights contributed to the development of the new field of somatic education and continue to influence disciplines such as the arts, education, psychology, child development, physical and occupational therapy, sports enhancement, and gerontology.
The Feldenkrais Method is an innovative system that approaches human development and the improvement of functioning through the medium of physical movement. It offers a unique and effective approach to human learning by accessing the nervous system's own innate processes for the enhancement and refinement of functioning. Based on our personal history, each individual adopts patterns of physical and psychological behavior adapted to their own particular environment. These patterns are deeply embedded in our nervous system and often become outmoded or dysfunctional creating unnecessary limitations and sometimes pain. Our posture and the ways that we move are learned, even if that learning was not conscious. Thus, physical difficulties or limitations are seen, from the Feldenkrais perspective, as the result of either incomplete learning or trauma that can lead to dysfunctional habit patterns. When it is necessary to change or create a new pattern, the Feldenkrais Method provides the means to know what to change and how to change it.
The founder, Moshe Feldenkrais D.Sc., utilized his background in physics, mechanical engineering and judo to develop a system with an unusual melding of biomechanics, motor development, psychology and martial arts. It has achieved international recognition for its demonstrated ability to improve posture, flexibility, coordination, self-image and to alleviate muscular tension and pain. It consists of two compelling and versatile applications: Awareness Through Movement®, done in groups and Functional Integration®, an individualized hands-on practice. Based on the same theoretical ground, both modalities harness the nervous system's ability to self-organize towards more effective and intelligent action.