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Feldenkrais Method Can Help with MS

August 24, 2016

Feldenkrais is a method that emphasizes moving with as little effort as possible can make walking and other physical tasks easier.

The Feldenkrais Method can help to change habitual ways of moving or holding the body. Simply imagining a movement can yield the same results as doing the movement.

Moving more easily with less pain is high on the list for many people with multiple sclerosis (MS). But if you’ve tried various exercises only to find you’ve put more stress on your body instead of less, you might want to consider the Feldenkrais Method.

Created by the late, Russian-born physicist Moshe Feldenkrais, the Feldenkrais Method is based on the notion that people can help to change habitual ways of moving or holding the body. Simply imagining a movement can yield the same results as doing the movement.

According to the Feldenkrais Educational Foundation of North America, the method can help increase ease and range of motion, improve flexibility and coordination, and enable graceful, efficient movement, all of which can enhance functioning in many aspects of your life.

The Feldenkrais Method can be practiced in two forms:

Awareness through Movement lessons are done by following verbal instructions to perform a sequence of movements. These lessons are often done in group classes, but you can also do them by following an audio or video recording, or even by following written instructions. Most lessons are done lying down, and a few are done sitting or standing.

Functional Integration involves being guided through various movements by a guild-certified Feldenkrais practitioner. Generally, the student lies passively while the practitioner moves his limbs or other body parts. The practitioner may also instruct the student to move in certain ways, and some parts of the session may be done sitting, standing, or walking.

Both methods guide people through a series of movements and sensation-based explorations. By trying out different movements, a person discovers which movements require less effort or cause less discomfort or pain.