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Frequently Asked Questions about the Feldenkrais Method and Reno Feldenkrais

Reno Feldenkrais
Move Better, Feel Better, Live Better
THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD® - Everything you need to know.

1. Where did the name 'Feldenkrais' come from?
The Feldenkrais Method® was developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984), a Russian born nuclear physicist, a civil engineer, a martial arts specialist and a brilliant thinker.  He developed this method to recover from his own inoperable injuries and restore the use of his body. He then applied his rigorous scientific approach to the study of movement, exploring how our brains and bodies learn and how this knowledge could improve our lives. He spent the end of his life training others to teach his method. Dr. Feldenkrais brought his method to the US in the late 60's.
Dr. Feldenkrais was considered by many to be the grandfather of neuroplasticity long before technology existed to verify the changes in the brains he witnessed in his students. We now know that working mindfully with focused attention for periods of 30 minutes or more is a powerful restorative tool - physically, cognitively and spiritually.

2. Is Feldenkrais difficult or demanding?
No. Both Awareness Through Movement® lessons, which are taught in a group setting, and Functional Integration® lessons, which are taught one on one, are slow, gentle explorations of movement that can be done by anyone, at any level, because everyone works at their own level.
How we actually do the Feldenkrais movement sequences is dictated by us-by our bodies-not by an external posture or precise form, as in yoga or Pilates. Thus in classes, everyone will do the movements differently, according to their own bodily requirements and history, and what they feel.
Improving our function, balance and flexibility results in a greater sense of vitality and wellbeing, at any age and in any physical condition-benefits you can apply to all your other activities.

3. How is Feldenkrais different from Yoga or Pilates? 
Generally, unless we experience discomfort or pain, we do not feel or sense our bodies very deeply.  We try to improve performance in sports and other activities with little or no understanding that to do so, we need to improve our sensory skills and self-awareness.
The Feldenkrais Method focuses on increasing self-awareness and function to improve our movement and internal self-image. This occurs by obtaining direct feedback from our bodies as we explore slow, non-habitual movement that deepens our connections with our nervous systems.  In this way we connect to our innate, kinesthetic sense of self and our movement becomes safer, more efficient, reliable and more intelligent, as well as more graceful.

4. How does it work?
The Feldenkrais teacher guides your attention, either verbally, or through gentle touch. You listen, feel, and then begin to explore your understanding of the movement being asked of you. In this way, you gently begin to find movements that work for YOU; you learn more functional habits that are incorporated by your nervous system; your range of movement, balance, breathing and quality of life improve. Almost everyone feels better after even one lesson.

5. What happens in a class?
An Awareness Through Movement class can take place lying down, sitting or standing. You may be on your back, on your side, or stomach, or in a chair, depending on the movement sequence being explored. The teacher gives clear, verbal directions, with minimal demonstration. How you move is based on your experience of yourself, how you feel -- not an outside model or ideal form. The teacher is there to guide you toward a greater awareness of HOW you do things, how you move, and then to help you find new options.
In a Functional Integration lesson, the student may either sit or lie on a low table, fully clothed, while the teacher guides the student's awareness of movement primarily through touch. The lesson is often quiet, with minimal verbal direction. The touch is gentle and non-invasive.  
In both experiences, the teacher creates a safe and nurturing environment for maximum learning and improvement.

6. I have pain and movement limitations; can I still do Feldenkrais?
Absolutely. The wonderful thing about the Feldenkrais Method is that it is about exploring learning strategies. If you have difficulty with one side, you can work with the other side. If you can't lie down, you can sit. And even if nothing wants to move, you can work with your imagination, creating new neural links that will improve your quality of life. Becoming aware of patterns, holding and tension will reduce pain almost immediately. Feldenkrais empowers you, teaches you how to be your best.
7. I feel great. What can the Feldenkrais Method offer me?
Improvement is limitless. You can learn to do what you already do well, more easily, with less effort, and have energy left over to go even further. Many of Feldenkrais' biggest adherents are athletes, performers, musicians and other professionals who want to be at their peak - Yehudi Menuhin, Martina Navratilova, Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Young are just a few. There is a long list of well-known people who do Feldenkrais and you can find them on Google. Tennis players, golfers find their swing more effortlessly effective, runners go further and performing artists feel they can dance or play the night away.

8. Can anyone teach The Feldenkrais Method?
No. In order to become a certified teacher, you must graduate from a Guild-accredited Feldenkrais training. The trainings take 3-4 years. Two certifications must be completed and passed for Awareness Through Movement and for Functional Integration. Only Guild Certified Teachers can teach the Feldenkrais Method. There are fewer than 8,000 Feldenkrais teachers in the world.

9. Information about Carole Bucher…
In 2006 I moved to Reno from San Francisco where I had lived for nearly 30 years. Before coming to Feldenkrais I worked as a medical writer and editor for many years, and have been deeply involved in nutrition and the natural health movement. I began my Feldenkrais training in Berkeley in 2007 and have been teaching ongoing Awareness Through Movement classes since 2009.  I've been teaching Functional Integration lessons since early 2011.  I am the only active Guild Certified Feldenkrais teacher actively teaching in the state of Nevada.  

My Feldenkrais work is with people of all ages and conditions. I have taken post-graduate advanced trainings scoliosis and other back/spinal issues, pelvic floor system and pelvic organ concerns; I do a lot of work with shoulder, back, hip and leg and related issues. I work with people who want to feel their best and believe they can relieve pain, improve and recover mobility and joy in life again, or who want to retain their capacities and activities for as long as possible.  It is gratifying to help people learn how to do this for themselves. I also work with children with autism spectrum disorder.
I do work with equestrians to improve the fine points of riding, balance and communication with their horses. Feldenkrais is well known in the riding world as a high-level dressage and equestrian resource, much as it is known among musicians, dancers, and elite athletes.  
I also do Feldenkrais work with at-risk teen groups, often in equestrian therapy settings. I served on the board and executive committee of the Reno's Crisis Call Center for 8 years.

10. What is your class schedule and what do I need to know and bring?
TUESDAY - 10-11:30 am, Midtown Fitness, 600 Center St., Reno, NV 89501
THURSDAY - 5:30-6:45 pm, Reno Buddhist Center, 820 Taylor St., Reno, NV 89509
SATURDAY - 3-4:30 pm, Midtown Fitness
You can join ongoing classes at any time. Classes are for all levels of fitness, no experience necessary. They are enjoyable and interesting, no matter what your goal. Classes are gentle, safe, pleasurable movement explorations that help you move more gracefully and effortlessly, without strain.
My current class fee is a need-based sliding scale, from $6 (unemployed), 8 (student), 10 (monthly) or $12 (drop-in) per class. Bring a blanket or large towel to class; wear comfortable, loose clothes, layers, socks and water. Please email me to let me know you are coming and arrive 15 minutes early to your first class so we can meet and talk about your needs. I prefer that people come to at least two ATM classes before considering Functional Integration lessons.

11.  Do you offer workshops?
Yes, I love giving workshops and offer them on a wide variety of subjects.  For some examples, workshops can be on specific topics, e.g., scoliosis, pelvic floor; TMJ; or specific function, e.g., relieving back pain, improving balance, improving breathing and movement in the chest; or on specific activities, e.g., for gardeners, golfers, equestrians, dancers, skiers, and so on.  I also enjoy doing workshops on general themes like feeling great, getting de-stressed, preparing to travel, etc. 
The possibilities for workshops are almost limitless and workshops are always fun -- no matter what the topic.  I offer a need-based sliding scale for workshops fees too.

12. Where can I learn more about Feldenkrais?
The Feldenkrais Guild of North America has a great website:  
You can also visit to my blog at  I am also on Feldenkrais Integrative Movement and Health, and on  

13.  Book recommendations:  
I recommend 2 books as well:  (1) Awareness Heals: The Feldenkrais Method For Dynamic Health Paperback - 1997, by Stephen Shafarman.
And (2) The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplastic [Hardcover]Hardcover - January 12, 2015, by Norman Doidge, M.D. This exciting new neuroscience book has 2 chapters dedicated to the Feldenkrais Method.

14.  Contacting Carole:  
You can contact via email at or text; my phone is 775-240-7882; I am not easy to reach by phone because of my teaching schedule, but I'll always try to get back to you in 24 hours.

Thank you for your interest in the Feldenkrais Method, and please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions about the method, your own condition, or want more specific information.  You really can learn to feel, be and move better, with more vitality, self-confidence, comfort and grace.  And best of all, you already have everything you need to do it!

Best wishes, 

Carole Bucher, BA, GCFP/T

"Health is measured, not by the capacity to stay standing, but by the ability to be knocked down and then return to standing."  Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais

Description of Awareness Through Movement® Classes and Individual Lessons:

A summary: 
The Feldenkrais Method is “the art of understanding the relationship between how we move and how we think and feel...” optimizing our minds and bodies at any age and in nearly every condition.

The method is “a unique and systematic approach to human understanding, learning, performance and change, through focused movement,” reducing pain, increasing flexibility and improving range of movement, balance, posture and coordination.  For over 60 years Feldenkrais has also been used by artists, athletes and musicians to improve performance.

Applying principles of neuroscience, physiology, physics and martial arts, we will teach you to explore new ways of moving and sensing, using your attention and non-habitual movement to go beyond your limitations.  You will feel and move better as you break away from inefficient old movement patterns. 

Awareness Through Movement (ATM) - Classes in which students are guided through essential dynamic relationships of specific movement patterns, functions and action, in structured sequences usually done lying on comfortable mats, sitting in chairs or sometimes standing. Unlike traditional exercise, Awareness Through Movement teaches us to reduce unnecessary muscular effort while improving awareness of the whole self. Such sensory learning results in movement that is lighter, more pleasurable and efficient, with fewer aches and pains. Most people notice a difference after only one class.

Awareness Through Movement brings the benefits of Functional Integration (below) to many people at a time. ATM engages the nervous system in the same kind of learning we do as infants; the lesson structure is a blend of sensing, feeling, moving and thinking that integrates the whole system in the process of organic learning. In this way, even long-time habits can be brought to a new level of efficiency and comfort through the development of inner awareness and skill.

Functional Integration (FI) Lessons - The individualized approach to learning, change and improvement in the brain and body, using direct manipulation and movement to address the student’s specific needs. Functional Integration is gentle, effective and widely recognized for its ability to alleviate serious musculo-skeletal, neurological and developmental problems in adults and children, as well as chronic and acute aches, pain and tension.