- Awareness Through MovementÂ®, bodywork, Feldenkrais bodywork, Functional IntegrationÂ®, gestalt synergy.
- The Feldenkrais MethodÂ® was developed by Moshe Feldenkrais (190-1984), a Russian-born Israeli physicist who was disabled from a knee injury. Dr. Feldenkrais called on his formal training in science and the martial arts to develop an approach that aimed to help the body move in more natural and comfortable ways.
- The Feldenkrais MethodÂ® involves stretching, reaching, and changing posture in specific patterns. In some cases, it includes a form of massage. In general, the emphasis of the Feldenkrais MethodÂ® is to provide supportive therapy or physical rehabilitation. It has not historically been viewed as a cure for most diseases. Recently, the Feldenkrais MethodÂ® has been studied as a means to improve muscle and joint pain, to improve quality of life in chronic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, and to reduce anxiety levels. Research is still early in these areas, without definitive answers.
- The Feldenkrais MethodÂ® can only be offered by practitioners who have trained in accredited programs. Practitioners are registered with Feldenkrais guilds worldwide. In the United States and Canada, practice of the Feldenkrais method is not governmentally regulated.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
It has been suggested that the Feldenkrais MethodÂ® may help improve unstable balance or function, but there is little available research.
There is not enough clinical evidence on the use of Feldenkrais for cerebral palsy.
Patients who practice complementary alternative medicine methods have reported that the Feldenkrais MethodÂ®, as well as breathing therapy, massage, and relaxation techniques helped improve symptoms of dystonia. Further data are needed to form therapeutic recommendations.
Early research suggests that Awareness Through MovementÂ® sessions may improve self-confidence in patients with eating disorders, although it is not clear if eating habits are affected. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be drawn.
The Feldenkrais MethodÂ® is popularly considered a useful treatment for chronic pain. However, clinical evidence of the efficacy of Feldenkrais in fibromyalgia is limited.
Limited research suggests that Feldenkrais sessions may be helpful when added to other therapies for back pain and may have mild benefits when used alone.
Early research suggests that participation in a single Awareness Through MovementÂ® session may reduce anxiety levels. Other research revealed improved mood among participants who enrolled in a one-year program that included the Feldenkrais MethodÂ®.
Early evidence suggests that steadiness and comfort with daily movements, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and overall quality of life may improve in patients with multiple sclerosis who use Feldenkrais bodywork or participate in Awareness Through MovementÂ® sessions. More research is necessary.
In early studies of patients with nonspecific musculoskeletal disorders, Body Awareness TherapyÂ® and Feldenkrais seemed to improve health-related quality of life. It is not clear if Feldenkrais is superior or equal to other forms of body movement therapy for musculoskeletal disorders in general, and little research is available.
Limited evidence suggests that Feldenkrais may reduce neck and shoulder pain, although additional research is necessary before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
There is not enough scientific evidence to assess the effects of Feldenkrais on physical functioning and well-being in the elderly.
The Feldenkrais MethodÂ® has been suggested as a potentially useful adjunct to rehabilitation or recovery after injury or surgery (in particular in patients with orthopedic injuries). Further research is necessary before a firm conclusion can be made.
There is not enough scientific evidence to assess the effects of Feldenkrais on voice disturbances.
*Key to grades:
The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
- This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().
- Buchanan PA, Ulrich BD. The Feldenkrais Method: a dynamic approach to changing motor behavior. Res Q Exerc.Sport 2001;72(4):315-323.
- Dunn PA, Rogers DK. Feldenkrais sensory imagery and forward reach. Percept Mot Skills 2000;91(3 Pt 1):755-757.
- Emerich KA. Nontraditional tools helpful in the treatment of certain types of voice disturbances. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2003;11(3):149-153.
- Gard G. Body awareness therapy for patients with fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Disabil.Rehabil 6-17-2005;27(12):725-728.
- Jain S, Janssen K, DeCelle S. Alexander technique and Feldenkrais method: a critical overview. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 2004;15(4):811-25, vi.
- Johnson SK, Frederick J, Kaufman M, et al. A controlled investigation of bodywork in multiple sclerosis. J Altern Complement Med 1999;5(3):237-243.
- Junker J, Oberwittler C, Jackson D, et al. Utilization and perceived effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine in patients with dystonia. Mov Disord 2004;19(2):158-161.
- Lake B. Acute back pain. Treatment by the application of Feldenkrais principles. Aust Fam Physician 1985;14(11):1175-1178.
- Liptak GS. Complementary and alternative therapies for cerebral palsy. Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev 2005;11(2):156-163.
- Malmgren-Olsson EB, Branholm IB. A comparison between three physiotherapy approaches with regard to health-related factors in patients with non-specific musculoskeletal disorders. Disabil Rehabil 4-15-2002;24(6):308-317.
- Mehling WE, DiBlasi Z, Hecht F. Bias control in trials of bodywork: a review of methodological issues. J Altern Complement Med 2005;11(2):333-342.
- Netz Y, Lidor R. Mood alterations in mindful versus aerobic exercise modes. J Psychol. 2003;137(5):405-419.
- Ohry A, Tsafrir J. David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Feldenkrais and Raymond Arthur Dart. Isr.Med Assoc J 2000;2(1):66-67.
- Schlinger M. Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique, and yoga–body awareness therapy in the performing arts. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 2006;17(4):865-875.
- Wanning T. Healing and the mind/body arts: massage, acupuncture, yoga, t’ai chi, and Feldenkrais. AAOHN J 1993;41(7):349-351.
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.