There are two ways to practice the Feldenkrais Method: Awareness Through Movement® and Functional Integration®.
Awareness Through Movement (or ATM) can be done either as a group or one-on-one. The practitioner talks students through a series of movement sequences. The aim is to discover the easiest and smoothest way to move.
By focusing on the quality and not quantity of a movement the nervous system forms new pathways which are more efficient and effective. Each lesson is framed around a particular function. Some of these include folding, lengthening, reaching, breathing, crawling, turning over and rolling. The lessons can also focus on transitional movements such as: walking, rolling up to a seated position, or getting up to stand upright.
Each movement sequence is different. They can be simple or complex—some are even puzzle-like. Lessons are designed to work within a student's individual ability. In this way, the Feldenrkais method can help people of all ages and levels, ranging from those with severe limitations and injuries, to those who are extremely athletic.
"Futaba, My Pilates instructor noticed that my feet are more open, my chest is more flexible, and my shoulders are more
relaxed. I know its due to the work you and I have been doing. Another thing I'm noticing is that I'm slowing down inside & I feel more present & less anxious..."
Functional Integration lessons (or FI) are held one-on-one . This personal setting allows students to address individual needs and requests.
In FI lessons, a practitioner will use gentle yet clear, hands-on guidance to assist the student. The student and practitioner work together improve movement and thought patterns.
FI sessions are great for students who have limited mobility, experience a lot of pain, or having difficulty following verbal instructions. Students who want to focus on specific issues or conditions may also prefer this more private setting.
"Futaba has this amazing ability, sometimes using a gentle,sometimes a strong touch, to find unused, underused, sleeping, or hiding parts, and somehow awaken them and guide your awareness there. With her help I have been able to re-connect with myself, and for the first time in many, many years can move comfortably and enjoyably, with more energy, and little if any pain."
FI lesson: Student learning how to let go of her unnecessary tension in her neck and shoulders.