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Mindfulness and Movement: A Feldenkrais Method® Model for Cultivating Well-being and Connection


  • Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center 366 Main St Sturbridge, MA, 01566 United States (map)

A CEC Presentation for the Annual Fall Conference for the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging (MCOA)

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Workshop Session IV: 4:00pm – 5:15pm
CEC:  1 SW
 

Description of the Feldenkrais Method® of Movement, and its value to Social Work Professionals

In order for an individual to function well in a social context, they must first function well internally. Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc. (1904-84), for whom the Feldenkrais Method of Movement is named, developed a process whereby an individual can make deep contact with themselves through a heightened state of neuromuscular awareness.

The Feldenkrais process does not require great physical strength, nor does it require intellectual prowess. It simply invites the individual to turn their attention inward, and activates the innate human capacities of sensing, feeling, thinking, and moving, which we all share. As the learning process unfolds, the individual begins to recognize habits and patterns of movement and thought. Over time the process invites exploration, creativity, and the potential for change.

Moshe Feldenkrais was also interested in the relationship of the individual to society. Throughout his writings one can find references to the ways that societal pressures force the individual to sublimate their own learning and growth in order to fit in and to please. Feldenkrais believed that this sublimation leads to limitation and a sense of disconnection from one's ongoing development and growth--which should be a life-long internally-led process.

It need not be an isolated process, however. In fact, the Feldenkrais profession exists today because of the group programs that Moshe Feldenkrais taught in Israel, the United States, and around the world. Study of the Feldenkrais Method in group settings facilitates a sense of community and shared humanity due to its gentle, yet powerful personal transformative potential. Professionals in the Social Work field may find Feldenkrais programming to be a powerful change agent that can work at the individual and community level. It offers a number of creative programming approaches, and a growing world-wide network of professional practitioners who can help to facilitate programming.

Learning Objectives

  1. Introduce participants to the experiential nature of Feldenkrais learning, so that they may experience how this somatic-based Method can bring about positive physical, emotional, and intellectual change.
  2. Educate participants about some of the ways that Feldenkrais learning programs can aid individuals of any age and level of physical and cognitive ability. (Touch on various applications of the work and research.)
  3. Address program design, and how to introduce Feldenkrais to senior populations at the community level.

Recommended Reading

Doidge, Norman. The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity. New York: Penguin Group, 2015. Print.

Feldenkrais, Moshé. Body Awareness as Healing Therapy: The Case of Nora. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic /Frog, 1993. Print.

Feldenkrais, Moshé. The Elusive Obvious; Or, Basic Feldenkrais. Cupertino, CA: Meta
Publications, 1981. Print.

Higgins, Andrea. "Meditation: State of Mind or State of Awareness." Kinesthetic Edge. 01 Apr. 2014. Web. 21 July 2015. <https://kinestheticedge.atavist.com/meditation>.