Patients who had been experiencing chronic pain participated in a six-week Awareness
Through Movement® (ATM) course. Results included significant increases
mobility accompanied by significant decreases in pain both immediately
following the course, and in a one-year follow-up. Patients also reported
less depression and anxiety, and an improved ability to relax.
Dearman, D. and Shafarman, S. The Feldenkrais
Method in the Treatment Awareness Through Movement of
Chronic Pain: A Study of Efficacy and Cost Effectiveness. American
Journal of Pain Management, 1999; 9:22-27.
Phipps, A. and Lopez, Ron. A functional Outcome Study on the Use of Movement
Re-Education in Chronic Pain Management. Submitted in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Master of Physical Therapy, Forest Grove,
Oregon. May, 1997.
Prior to and following a 6-week Feldenkrais® program, stroke
patients who had chronic neurological deficits were evaluated using the
Berg Balance Scale, improving an average of 11%. They also improved, on
average, 55.2% in the Dynamic Gait Index and 35% in the Stroke Impact Recovery
Scale. Findings demonstrate that gains in functional mobility are possible
for individuals with chronic stroke using Feldenkrais movement
Effects of Feldenkrais Awareness Through
Movement on Balance in Adults With Chronic Neurological Deficits
Following Stroke: A Preliminary Study Glenna Batson, PT, MA.
A study with older women demonstrated improvement in the Burg Balance Scale
as well as improved walking speed, movement time and quicker correction
of balance. Participants also reported greater confidence and strength.
Hall, S.E., Criddle, A., Ring, A., Bladen, C., Tapper,
J., Yin, R., Cosgrove, A., Hu, Yu-Li. Study of the effects of various forms
of exercise on balance in older women. Unpublished Manuscript Healthway
Starter Grant, File #7672, Dept of Rehabilitation, Sir Charles Gardner
Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, 1999.
Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement and Functional
Integration® lessons have been shown to help patients avoid
developing protective, maladaptive patterns to an injury. In other
words, Feldenkrais lessons
can be instrumental in helping patients form beneficial and adaptive
patterns during recovery integrating total body movement into the recovery
Chinn, J., Trujillo, D., Kegerreis, S., Worrell,
T. Effect of a Feldenkrais® Intervention on Symptomatic Subjects
Performing a Functional Reach. Isokinetics and Exercise Science. 1994,
Patients with Fibromyalgia moved more easily, efficiently and with less
effort after learning to reorganize the biomechanics of their movements
during 15 weeks of Feldenkrais sessions and classes. Immediately
following, and six months after completion of the class, improvements in
balance, posture and gait were reported. Also reported were reduced pain,
increased sleep and reduction in fatigue.
Dean, J. R., Yuen, S. A. & Barrows, SA. "Effects
of a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Sequence
on Fibromyalgia Patients".
Kendall, S. A. Ekselius, L. Gerdle, B., Soren, B., Bengtsson, A. Feldenkrais intervention
in fibromyalgia patients: a pilot study. J. Musculoskeletal Pain. 9(4):25-35,
In one study, steadiness and comfort with daily movements, self-esteem
and overall quality of life improved in patients with Multiple Sclerosis
who used Feldenkrais bodywork
and/or participated in Awareness Through Movement sessions.
In another study, a group of patients with Multiple Sclerosis participated
in an Awareness Through Movement group. The results demonstrated
significantly improved mCTSIB scores and improved balance confidence compared
to controls. There was a marked improvement in all other measures in the Awareness
Through Movement group compared to controls. Results: This type
of motor learning intervention can be effective in improving a variety
of physical and psychological parameters related to balance and postural
control in patients with MS.
Bost, H., Burges, S., Russell, R., Ruttinger,
H. and Schlafke, U. Feldstudie zur wiiksamkeit der Feldenkrais-Method bei
MS - Betroffenen. Deutche Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft. Saarbrucken,
Stephens, J., DuShuttle, D., Hatcher, C., Shmunes, J., Slaninka, C. Use
Through Movement improves balance and balance confidence in people
with multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled study. Neurology Report
Low Back Pain
After four Feldenkrais sessions, 76% of participants with chronic
low back pain improved to normal activity. All had tried a variety of other
therapies without success and all had experienced discomfort, restriction
and stiffness prior to these sessions.
Lake, Bernard. Photoanalysis of Standing Posture
in Controls and Low Back Pain: Effects of Kinesthetic Processing (Feldenkrais
Method) in Posture and Gait: Control Mechanisms VII. eds.
M Woollocott and F Horak, U of Oregon Press, 1992, pp 400- 403.
Neck & Shoulder Pain
Thirty normal female employees took part in a neck and shoulder pain study,
participating in six weeks of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes.
Results included increased range of motion in a neck flexion task, significant
positive changes in the neck-shoulders-index, and a decrease in complaints
from neck and shoulders.
Lundblad, I., Elert, J., Gerdle, B. Randomized
controlled trial of physiotherapy and Feldenkrais interventions
in female workers with neck-shoulder complaints. J. Occupat Rehab 9(3):
Ruth, S., Kegerreis, S. Facilitating Cervical Flexion Using a Feldenkrais
Method Awareness Through Movement. J Sports Phys Ther.16(1):
A subject with Rheumatoid Arthritis participated in several Feldenkrais
Awareness Through Movement sessions. As a result, the patient
learned to rise from a chair without assistance from the upper extremities,
and to use less kinetic energy. Walking speed increased and there was a
30% decrease in pain intensity. Findings: Awareness Through Movement lessons
improve functional movements in spite of long term disability.
Twenty-one subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis were tested after a series
Through Movement lessons. The results: significant change in
both the muscle activity and the perceived effort of the task (using electromyographic
equipment during trunk flexion.) Two years post-treatment, a large percentage
of subjects had increased function, continued to maintain higher levels
of function, continued to use the skills they learned and felt that the Feldenkrais lessons
helped them with their pain problem.
Narula, M., Jackson, O., Kulig, K. The Effects of
Six Week of Feldenkrais Method on Selected Functional Parameters
in a Subject with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Physical Therapy 72: (suppl.)
Narula, M. Effect of Six Weeks of Awareness Through Movement Lessons
on Selected Functional Movements Parameters in Individuals with Rheumatoid
Arthritis (A Pilot Study Using Single Subject Case Study Design). Thesis
submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Masters of Science in Exercise Science, Oakland University, Rochester,
This study demonstrates that the disabilities of Parkinson's Disease can
be lessened with early Feldenkrais intervention as gains
are made in musculoskeletal flexibility, alignment and functional movement.
Early intervention is important and can delay the need for pharmacological
intervention, which, because of long-term use, is associated with potentially
unwanted and toxic side effects. The study illustrates improvements in
balance, gait, and functional movement made by an individual who was not
yet receiving medication for Parkinson's disease. A second case study illustrates
improvements of balance gait and functional movement made by an individual
who was already receiving medication for the disease. These case studies
illustrate the dramatic improvements that Feldenkrais intervention
can achieve in the patient with Parkinson's disease.
Shenkman, M., Donovan, J., Tsubota, J., Kluss, M.,
Stebbins, P., Butler, R. Management of Individuals with Parkinson's Disease:
Rationale and Case Studies. Physical Therapy 69: 944-955, 1989.
Wendell, L. L. Some effects of the Feldenkrais Method on Parkinson's
symptoms and function. Unpublished case study by L. L. Wendell client and
Marilyn Johnson, Feldenkrais Practitioner. June 2000.
Anxiety, Depression and Mood
Early research suggests that participation in a single Awareness Through
Movement session may reduce anxiety levels, with increased effects
after six to eight sessions. A study involving 147 female general curriculum
and physical education teachers enrolled in a one-year enrichment program
at a physical education college revealed improved mood after Feldenkrais lessons.
Feldenkrais lessons seem to ease depression and anxiety, and
improve self-esteem in multiple sclerosis patients.
Kerr, G. A., Kotynia, F., Kolt, G. Feldenkrais
Awareness Through Movement and state anxiety. J Bodywork
Mov Ther 2002;6(2):102-107.
Kolt, G. S., McConville, J.C. The effects of Feldenkrais Awareness
Through Movement program on state anxiety. J Bodywork Mov Ther
Netz, Y., Lidor, R. Mood Alterations in mindful versus aerobic exercise modes.
J Psychol 2003;137(5):405-419.
A group of 31 older adults were studied using a prospective, repeated measures
control group design. The SF-36 was used to assess health status - quality
of life. Video motion analysis was used to collect data on walking and
on a floor-to-stand transfer movement. Coordination of the transfer movement
improved significantly in the Feldenkrais group. Vitality
and mental health scores also improved significantly in this group. The Feldenkrais
been shown to be an effective method for improving coordination, mobility,
economy of movement and quality of life in older adults.
James Stephens, Christopher Pendergast, Beth
Ann Roller, Robert Scott Weiskittel. Learning to Improve Mobility and
Quality of Life in a Well Elderly Population: The Benefits of Awareness
Through Movement. IFF Academy Feldenkrais Research
Preliminary research suggests that in patients with eating disorders, Awareness
Through Movement sessions improved self-confidence and increased
contentment with regard to problematic zones of their body. Patients experienced
increased sense of contentment in regard to their health, accompanied by
decreased sense of helplessness.
Laumer, U., Bauer, M., Fichter, M., Milz, H.
(in German. Title translation: Therapeutic effects of the Feldenkrais
Through Movement in Patients with Eating Disorders). Psychother.
Psychosom Med Psychol 1997, May; 47(5):170-80.
Studies identified increased flexibility through the use of Awareness
Through Movement classes. In a study of neck flexion in normal subjects,
a significant increase in the amount of flexion after a single one-hour
class was shown, as well as significant positive changes in muscular activity
in the trunk.
Ruth, S., Kegerreis, S. Facilitating Cervical
Flexion Using Feldenkrais Method: Awareness Through Movement.
JOSPT Vol 16 No 1: July 1992.
Brown, E., Kegerreis. Electromyographic Activity of Trunk Musculature During
a Feldenkrais Awareness Through MovementLesson. Isokinetics
and Exercise Science Vol 1 No 4, 1991.