Research On The Feldenkrais Method
Evidence-Based Research on the Feldenkrais Method (FM) from Dr. Frank Wildman
The Feldenkrais Method is built upon the ability of our brain to make functional and structural changes well into adulthood. This ability, termed neuroplasticity, is well supported by basic scientific research. Changes in our interaction with the environment, as well as structural changes in the body are represented by measurable changes in the cortex. Neuroplasticity may be both the source of chronic functional problems and the means to recovery from them. The Feldenkrais Method takes advantage of neuroplasticity by altering sensory perceptual processes through movement. Through the Feldenkrais Method an image of the body is constructed that corresponds to movement. In movement, a person then interacts with the environment in a loop of perception and action that further refines movement and the sensory-perceptual processes.
The first research study involving Feldenkrais Method® (FM) was published in 1977 with a greatly increasing number of studies appearing in the decades that have followed. FM has a wide range of effects, and thus a wide range of outcomes has been looked at and reported upon. These areas break down into the following general themes:
1. Pain management
2. Functional performance & motor control
3. Quality of life
Risk and Safety - There is very little risk involved in the use of this method. It is both conservative and safe. People are instructed to stay generally within the bounds of pain-free ranges of motion and use as little effort as possible to perform a movement. As a result of this slow and comfortable approach, people learn that they can find more mobility, safety and comfort than they had imagined possible. Feldenkrais (Functional Integration) can also be done safely and effectively on animals.