The Feldenkrais Method® is named after its originator, the distinguished jewish scientist and educator Moshe Feldenkrais, 1904-1984. Dr.Feldenkrais was reared to become a master in traditional Judo by Jigoro Kano, the founder of this Japanase martial art. He was also the first European to earn a black belt in Judo and is credited with introducing this martial art to the West. He earned his doctorate in Physics at the Sorbonne and later was an associate to the Nobel Prize laureate Frederic Joliot-Curie in Paris. He was also a dedicated student of Gurdjieff's esoteric work, and is consider one of the foremost pioneers in the field of somatic education.
Upon suffering a series of sport-related knee injuries, Dr. Feldenkrais was faced with a 50 percent chance for recovery and the possibility of confinement to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Unsatisfied with the prognosis and conventional treatments available, he embarked on exploring new relationships between the mind and body to improve physical movement and function and he emerged victorious. Feldenkrais developed his ingenious method for effective neuromuscular re-education by mapping out the possibilities of the human nervous system to improve fuctioning. He developed well over 1,000 Awareness Through Movement lessons, expressing over 20,000 unique movements and he shared this special knowledge among his students worldwide since the early 1950's.
Today, Dr.Feldenkrais's teachings are recognized as a true 21st century approach to both personal and professional development, optimal health and well being bridging education, science and the arts. It stands today as a new western discipline equal in scope to Yogic practices, martial arts traditions and other psycho-physical approaches to human development that have originated in the East. It is also recognized as a dynamic methodology to improve neuromuscular control and biomechanical efficiency. Feldenkrais techniques are widely used in physical therapy and occupational therapy. The method offers a highly effective form of co-therapy for everything from common problems to more complex cases involving learning disabilites. There are nearly 7,000 certified practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method worldwide. All certified Feldenkrais practitioners must complete a training over a 4 year period to gradually acquire knowledge of how movement and function are formed and organized. The training process is based upon the vast body of knowledge Dr. Feldenkrais introduced which integrates theorical aspects from a variety of scientific fields such as mechanics, physics, neuroscience, neuroplasticity, human movement development, biological and learning theories.