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Feldenkrais Research

A goal of the Feldenkrais Foundation is to initiate, support and facilitate the publication of evidence-based, peer-reviewed research on the Feldenkrais Method. Because the Feldenkrais Method is a general approach to human learning and functioning, it can be applied to improve or alleviate many human difficulties.
We are seeking funding for projects to study the efficacy of The Feldenkrais Method with balance issues in the elderly, back pain, multiple sclerosis, scoliosis, and recovery of arm mobility after mastectomy.

Feldenkrais Method® and Aging Well and Improving Balance

Disclaimer: please read. Feldenkrais Toronto West has provided resource information, through website links, on the Feldenkrais Method®. The information contained within this website, includes summaries and abstracts and is not to replace medical advice and medical treatment. The information is for educational purposes only. The resource links, summary/abstract descriptions and information listed on this website, uses wording obtained directly from the publication, and may not necessarily be comprehensive. As such, any information acquired from this website and resource links should be used in conjunction with other available resources and with the advice of healthcare professionals. This website and its content are provided on an “as is” basis. Feldenkrais Toronto West makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, up-to-date information, or timeliness of any of the resource links listed nor of their summary descriptions. These resource links to websites/articles/documents are provided as a resource for your own personal educational purposes only. These resource links do not necessarily represent the opinions of the owner of this website – Feldenkrais Toronto West. The names of research/document authors, and Feldenkrais® trainers and practitioners and their studios, are provided solely as a database of available resources.  Their inclusion on this website should not, in any way, be construed as a referral or confirmation of professional credentials.  For articles/documents in a different language Google Translate offers translation.  As with all internet connections, one should be protected by an effective antivirus program.  As websites are constantly undergoing revisions, this website and Feldenkrais Toronto West accepts no responsibility for these website links and cannot provide any assurance that future website changes may include some issues or problems. Please ensure that your computer is always protected with an effective antivirus program.

Aging Well and Improving Balance

Effects of a Feldenkrais-Based Mobility Program on Function of a Healthy, Elderly Sample

Submitted to the Department of Physical Therapy at Grand Valley State University Allendale, Michigan in partial

fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE IN PHYSICAL THERAPY 1996

Barbara Brown, Grand Valley State University, Susan Finney, Grand Valley State University,

Carolyn Sarantakis, Grand Valley State University

The purpose of this study was to explore whether a program of mobility exercises, based on the Feldenkrais Method, would result in an increase in range of motion and function, as measured by the Functional Reach (FR), modified Functional Reach (modified FR), and Timed “Up and Go” tests. … it was discovered that participation in a six week program of spinal, pelvic, shoulder, hip, and ankle mobility exercises, based on the Feldenkrais Method, resulted in significant improvements in right ankle dorsiflexion and the Timed “Up and Go” test.

Effects of a 12-week series of Feldenkrais®Awareness Through Movement® classes on functional ability, quality of life, and kinesiophobia on retirement age adults

IFF Feldenkrais Research Journal, Volume 5

Madeleine Edgar, Dip. Phty., Feldenkrais Practitioner®, Private Practice, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia,    Greg Anderson, BE, Graduate Student, School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia,    Neil Tuttle, PhD, Senior Lecturer, School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University; Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Queensland, Australia

This investigation examined the impact of a 12-week series of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM®) classes on the functional ability, quality of life and kinesiophobia of a group of active retirees.

… There was a significant change in the PSFS [patient specific functional scale] after the twelve-week program  … Functional limitations were improved following a 12-week period of Feldenkrais ATM classes.


Feldenkrais Movement Lessons Improve Older Adults’ Awareness, Comfort, and Function.

Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine Volume 3: 1–9, August 2017

Carolyn F. Palmer, Vassar College

This prospective controlled intervention study assessed Feldenkrais … movement lessons for older adults. The movement groups took twelve 60-min lessons across either 6 or 12 weeks, to compare lesson density. Pretests and posttests included Base of Support, Timed Up and Go, Tandem Stance, Functional Reach, modified OPTIMAL, and questions about individual priorities and outcomes. Results included significant correlations between lessons attended and both improved Functional Reach and improved OPTIMAL score. A significantly higher proportion of the movement (vs. control) group reported positive changes at the posttest in both prioritized and newly identified activities. These results show that Feldenkrais lessons are helpful to older adults for promoting balance, mobility, and confidence.

Learning to Improve Mobility and Quality of Life in a Well Elderly Population: The Benefits of Awareness Through Movement

International Feldenkrais Federation (IFF), Research Journal Volume 2

James Stephens PT, PhD, Temple University; Christopher Pendergast BA, MPT, Widener University;

Robert Scott Weiskittel BS, MPT, Widener University; Beth Ann Roller BA, MPT, Widener University

As people age there is increased risk of a variety of problems such as falling, injury, loss of mobility, social isolation and depression. The Healthy People 2010 report has placed a new emphasis on quality of life and overall well being as opposed to longevity. …  In 1949, Moshe Feldenkrais suggested that some of these problems may be the result of learning less than optimal habits and postural responses and could be corrected by a process of exploratory relearning of basic movement skills. He developed a method of teaching called Awareness Through Movement for this purpose. This teaching process can be used with large groups of people and even made available thru broadcast media. Several studies in recent years have documented that use of Awareness Through Movement can produce improvements in mobility and balance in well elderly populations. The objective of this study was to assess the hypothesis that an Awareness Through Movement training program would produce improvements in coordination, mobility, economy of movement and quality of life.


Feldenkrais Method Balance Classes Improve Balance in Older Adults: A Controlled Trial

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2011

Karol A. ConnorsMary P. Galea and Catherine M. Said, School of Physiotherapy, University of Melbourne

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of Feldenkrais Method balance classes on balance and mobility in older adults. … sample of 26 community-dwelling older adults (median age 75 years) attending Feldenkrais Method balance classes  … two classes per week for 10 weeks, were conducted. … the Intervention group showed significant improvement on all of the measures … These findings suggest that Feldenkrais Method balance classes may improve mobility and balance in older adults.

Effects of Feldenkrais Exercises on Balance, Mobility, Balance Confidence, and Gait Performance in Community-Dwelling Adults Age 65 and Older

Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol 16, 2010

Gerhild Ullmann The University of Memphis,  Harriet G Williams University of South Carolina, Bruce A Mcclenaghan University of South Carolina, John L Durstine University of South Carolina

Falls and fall-related injuries are a major public health concern, a financial challenge for health care providers, and critical issues for older adults. Poor balance and limited mobility are major risk factors for falls. The purpose of this study was to examine effects of Feldenkrais exercises in improving balance, mobility, and balance confidence in older adults.  … The FG group attended a 5-week Feldenkrais program, 60 minutes three times per week,  …  participants of the FG group showed improvements in balance confidence (p = 0.054) and mobility while performing concurrently a cognitive task (p = 0.067). These results indicate that Feldenkrais exercises are an effective way to improve balance and mobility, and thus offer an alternative method to help offset age-related declines in mobility and reduce the risk of falling among community-dwelling older adults.

Feldenkrais Method balance classes are based on principles of motor learning and postural control retraining: a qualitative research study

Physiotherapy Journal

Karol A. Connors, Mary P. Galea, Cathy M. Said, Louisa J. Remedios

Feldenkrais Method balance classes have been found to be effective in improving balance in recent studies, but there has been little research into possible mechanisms behind the effectiveness of these classes. Indeed, there has been little research into the content of any balance training classes.   Objectives  To analyse the content of a series of Feldenkrais Method balance classes to gain an understanding of how the results in these studies may have been achieved and the principles through which the method may be effective.

Getting Grounded Gracefully©: Effectiveness and Acceptability of Feldenkrais in Improving Balance.

Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 2009    Freda Vrantsidis, Keith D. Hill, Kirsten Moore, Robert Webb, Susan Hunt, and Leslie Dowson

Same article with trial data found in a different location:

Effectiveness and acceptability of Feldenkrais in improving balance related outcomes for older people: a randomised trial.

Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 2009    Freda Vrantsidis, Keith D. Hill, Kirsten Moore, Robert Webb, Susan Hunt, and Leslie Dowson

Robert Webb contact web site with list of 16 lessons:

The Getting Grounded Gracefully© program, based on the Awareness Through Movement lessons of the Feldenkrais method, was designed to improve balance and function in older people. Fifty-five participants (mean age 75, 85% women) were randomized to an intervention (twice-weekly group classes over 8 wk) or a control group (continued with their usual activity) after being assessed at baseline and then reassessed 8 wk later. Significant improvement was identified for the intervention group relative to the control group … High class attendance (88%) and survey feedback indicate that the program was viewed positively by participants and might therefore be acceptable to other older people.

The Effects of Feldenkrais Classes on the Health and Function of an Ageing Australian Sample: A Pilot Study

The Open Rehabilitation Journal, 2010, 3, 62-66

Susan Hillier, Louise Porter , Kate Jackson and John Petkov (University of South Australia)

Participation in regular physical activity has a variety of health benefits including increased levels of function and independence for people who are ageing. The inclusion of motor learning principles into exercise programs is proposed to increase functional benefits. The presence of these principles in the Feldenkrais Method (FM) suggests this may be a beneficial program for the ageing population. Objective: A proof of concept study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of an eight week movement class based on the FM when compared to a generic balance class.  … Objective functional assessment, by a blinded assessor, included the Timed Up and Go Test (TUGT), Functional Reach Test (FRT), Single Leg Stance time (SLS) and Walk on Floor Eyes Closed (WOFEC) measures. Results: There was a significant time effect for all measures except the WOFEC. Post hoc analysis demonstrated significant improvements for both the FM and generic groups in the SF-36, PSFS and FRT and for the FM group only in the SLS test. Conclusions: Classes based on the FM are effective in improving health and functional measures in a healthy ageing population, equally so with the generic class.

The Feldenkrais Method® as an Essential Adjunct to Physical Therapy

A White Paper by Paul McAndrew, Physical Therapist, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner

Patients are often unaware that the Feldenkrais Method (FM) offers a nonaddictive, noninvasive, and often relatively low-cost therapeutic approach for balance disorders, persistent pain, and mobility and coordination challenges. Where traditional physical therapy (PT) emphasizes standardized treatment for particular diagnoses, FM draws on the neurological bases of the developmental process and creates customized “learning how to learn” lessons that improve and expand one’s movement repertoire. This paper explores the method through research literature, practitioner theory, and my observations as a long-time provider and teacher of both FM and PT.

Awareness Through Movement

by Georgios Fthenos and Danielle Hryniewicz

in   Best Practices in the Prevention of Mid-life Falls in Everyday Activities

Final Report to the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation  (Pages 178 – 196 discuss Feldenkrais)

Richard Volpe, PhD University of Toronto 2014

Falls are a significant public health problem that is increasingly being addressed by community-based interventions. Until recently, research in the field of fall prevention has focused on our aging population, and little attention has been given to mid-life adults.

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