The Feldenkrais Method for Expanded Flexibility and Coordination that may Help Decrease Neck Pain

The Feldenkrais Method is gaining in popularity as more individuals are becoming aware of this movement focused therapeutic program that is formulated on the principles of both physics and biomechanics as well as a greater understanding of human physiology and the wonderful connection that is forged between the body and mind. The method originated with Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, D. Sc and came into being after he suffered from a knee injury in which he was faced with possible long-term confinement in a wheelchair (Weil M.D.). He was motivated to come up with a solution that was better than what conventional treatments offered him and the he used a combination of the principals of biomechanics and physics along with an understanding of human physiology to develop the method that increases awareness of movement through the body and mind connection . The goal of the method is to use both directed attention and gentle movement to increase the person’s awareness of the body while increasing both ease of movement and range of motion as well as flexibility and greater coordination, improved posture and balance. Individuals that attend Feldenkrais classes soon learn that intention given to movement has a positive effect on the body. Tensions in the body are released as the individual becomes more aware of the body, which can reduce neck pain.

The Feldenkrais Method has gained acceptance in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, neurological injuries such as head traumas and those with brain tumors and those recovering from strokes. It has also been used successfully with those suffering from psychiatric conditions like depression, anxiety and those diagnosed with eating disorders. The exercises that are a part of the method help to re-educate the brain and the rest of the nervous system regarding how the body perceives movement with amazing results such as improved range of motion, better flexibility, improved function and many have experienced relief from painful conditions including neck pain and combined with other medical approaches individuals with conditions such as degenerative arthritis and fibromyalgia can also find relief (Weil M.D.).

Practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method communicate with those participating in the class by gentle touch of movement and by words. This combination helps the process of re-teaching the brain regarding how the body moves so that the movements are more efficient and the individuals in the class become more aware of movement habits and learn more efficient ways to move. Classes are generally one hour once a week. Those taking classes have experienced better coordination, improved balance and flexibility as well as a decreased level of pain or discomfort including neck pain or pain from degenerative issues, or in those who suffer from neuromuscular problems.

Because muscle tightness or neck strain is often at the root of neck pain as well as long hours of sitting the ability to heal is often what happens when a person learns how to move in a improved manner that brings about muscle relaxation such as what occurs when using the Feldenkrais Method according to Lori L. Malkoff, MD in her article “Quick Neck Pain Relief Using the Feldenkrais Method (Malkoff).

Reference:

Weil M.D., A. (n.d.). The feldenkrais method. Retrieved from
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00467/Feldenkrais-Method.html

Malkoff, L. (n.d.). Quick neck pain relief using the feldenkrais method. Retrieved from
http://ezinearticles.com/?Quick-Neck-Pain-Relief-Using-the-Feldenkrais-Method&id=4851573

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