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The Feldenkrais Method™:

About Moshe Feldenkrais

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The Feldenkrais Method... About Moshe Feldenkrais

Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984) was an intensely curious man of prodigious mental and physical capacities. He was as notable a martial artist as he was a scientist. He received his Doctor of Science in engineering at the Sorbonne in Paris, and worked in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Frederic Joliot-Curie. Feldenkrais also spent hours observing the children who were his pediatrician-wife's patients, following with fascination the natural progression of movement-patterns that seems to be inborn in every healthy human child.

In the mid-1940's, an accident re-aggravated an old and severe soccer knee injury. Unhappy with the help traditional doctors could offer him, and refusing surgery, he focused his formidable abilities for detailed investigation and creative application on his own physical and mental functioning. His injury healed. And what he had discovered for himself so intrigued him that he devoted the rest of his life to continuing his body/mind explorations and sharing their benefits with others.

Since sensation and movement are not only ever-present for us, but are uniquely capable of getting our attention quickly (a stitch in your side, a badly-stubbed toe, an unexpected chest pain), Feldenkrais chose to make those the focus of his work. Through years of exploration, he worked with hundreds of people in very different physical situations, and developed movement classes of a unique kind. Ultimately, he left us books, articles, taped lectures, and a demonstrated way of working that we now call the Feldenkrais Method.

At the root of his work is this paradigm-shifting insight: in a human being, the four elements (so to speak) of thought, feeling, sensation, and movement are never separated. In fact, they cannot be kept from actively communicating with each other. As one of my teachers put it, "Every movement you make is richly marbled with sensation, thought, and feeling." And vice versa: a change in your thinking will be accompanied by changes in the other three. Just as emotion can commandeer your thinking and acting, so making changes in the way you move—even very small changes—can influence your mental and emotional climate.

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