A Feldenkrais Individual Appointment
What do you want to be able to do effortlessly and painlessly? This is what your Feldenkrais practitioner will ask at your first session. Your movement lesson will then focus on improving this ‘function’ and integrating it into your everyday life. This is why an individual Feldenkrais appointment is known as Functional Integration
What happens during Feldenkrais individual appointment?
During the appointment, you lie or sit, comfortably clothed on a low padded table. Your practitioner guides you through a series of gentle but precise movements, which free restrictions and patterns of tension through influencing both the both the musculo-skeletal and nervous systems.
In the process you may realise that you are holding your breath or stiffening your lower ribs in a way that is restricting you. It’s not until you can feel this tension that you can learn to let it go. Persistent pain is almost always accompanied by a level of tension that never leaves you. When you feel yourself let go it is often a tremendous relief.
However Feldenkrais is far more than a way to relax. It also teaches you to find the most bio-mechanically efficient pathways of movement so you can produce more force through your skeleton with less effort and tension in your muscles.
What is best way to begin Feldenkrais?
At Free2Move we believe that the best way to begin the learning process is to come for an individual Feldenkrais assessment. At this session we will not only ask about your medical history, but also your goals and aspirations, your exercise patterns, your work, interests and hobbies. We take the time to listen to what’s really important to you. Together we work out a plan that will help you achieve your goals in the shortest time possible.
Usually we will have time at the first session to begin some movement explorations. However if you have a long medical history this may need to wait until the second session. It helps to come along well prepared with a print out of your medical history, interests and goals and the results of any relevant scans or tests.
Following your initial assessment, it may be possible to commence classes with us straight away without further one-to-one appointments. However if you have a very long-standing difficulty or are in a lot of pain, we may suggest a series of individual lessons. At the end of these we will discuss your progress and decide together the best way forward for you.
How Does Feldenkrais Work?
The Feldenkrais Method is supported by the latest cutting-edge neuro-science. We now know that the brain is ‘plastic’ and can change. This is known as neuroplasticity.
Movement and posture are habitual. This means that much of the time we move automatically, without consciously thinking about it. Most methods of trying to change these habits don’t work. The reason is that we can’t consciously think about our posture for very long. As soon as we focus your attention on something else we slip back into old habits.
To change habits we have to actually change the brain and nervous system. To do this we need to create the optimal circumstances for learning. We learn best when we focus our attention on what we are doing, while remaining as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
In Feldenkrais classes and individual sessions, we engage in a series of movement explorations. We improve our ability to sense new and more efficient movement options. We compare different ways of moving to find what is most comfortable. The process of learning expands the network of connections in the brain and nervous system.
Gradually we become more aware of more subtle sensations. This allows us to more quickly notice if we are in an uncomfortable position. We can then change what we are doing before pain or discomfort develop.
Our style of movement changes too. Movements which may have been stiff, awkward or painful, become smoother, comfortable and often completely pain-free. This process is often gradual, and yet at times people experience dramatic improvements very quickly.
With chronic or persistent pain, pain itself becomes a habitual pattern in the nervous system. In order to change the pain, you actually have to change the brain. This is what Moshe Feldenkrais understood so well. Changing our habitual automatic patterns as well as consciously improving our movements is the basis of everything we do in Feldenkrais.