Awareness Through Movement
Functional Integration® (FI) is the individual, hands-on form of the Feldenkrais Method. It works on the same principles as Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) lessons. It is a highly individualized and highly effective way to address pain and movement difficulties, or to develop or refine skills, and to improve and expand your self-image. If you are dealing with significant difficulties, and other approaches have not provided significant help, Feldenkrais Functional Integration can offer a powerful and cost-effective approach. Likewise, for if you are seeking to regain or expand your performance in work, sports or the arts, Functional Integration offers precise, customized processes to help you improve in all your actions. And it feels good too!
What is it Like?
You lie or sit, comfortably clothed, on a low padded table. Using precise touch, and sometimes verbal instructions, the Practitioner brings your present tendencies and habits into focus, and offers new movement options. The session is highly customized to your needs and patterns of movement. The learning occurs both directly in your nervous system and in your conscious awareness. You may be given individualized movement and awareness exercises to do as a home program. It can be empowering to discover the patterns of action that are contributing to our difficulties or impeding our progress, find ways to deal with them and move ahead. Most people find Functional Integration very relaxing, energizing, or both.
Many people benefit from the more intensive and individualized sessions offered by Functional Integration, including:
Performers and sportspeople recovering from injury or seeking to prevent re-injury, or seeking new levels of skill for performance.
People seeking relief from acute or chronic conditions that cause strong pain, discomfort and dysfunction.
Children with developmental delay or neurological difficulties.
People looking for rapid improvement and recovery, or needing more intensive input for change.
Functional Integration can be particularly helpful for:
Neurological conditions (strokes, brain injury, cerebral palsy, MS)
Chronic pain that has not responded to other treatment
Pain and disability after surgery
Overuse injuries (RSI, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, etc.)
Back pain or neck pain, hip and knee problems, breathing difficulties arthritis or whiplash injuries.
For More information about the applications of the Feldenkrais Method please go to: http://www.feldenkrais.com
How often should I to come?
People with greater difficulties may need to come between one and three times per week to start, and later as they progress they may come less frequently. Many people with less acute or severe difficulties or exploring improved performance often come weekly at first. Those using Functional Integration to maintain flexibility and well being often come between once a week and once a month. This will be discussed with your Practitioner and a plan made.
How long will I need to come?
Improvement is usually a process - occasionally a single Functional Integration lesson will suffice, but people generally come for a number of sessions. Most people will know if Functional Integration is going to help them significantly after 4 to 6 lessons. Ultimately the length of time you come will depend on your individual needs, movement experience and your goals. This will be discussed with your practitioner, with goals set and progress reviewed. Some people only need a short program to help them to achieve their goals and others require a longer course of sessions or classes. Others come on an ongoing basis to maintain flexibility, deal with the demands of their lives and support their well-being. People often return for help if there is a new injury, challenging condition or a new skill they need to learn. Because Feldenkrais Method is a learning process, at an appropriate point you will be able to continue your progress with Awareness Through Movement classes or recorded lessons, or on your own.
Can I combine Functional Integration with Awareness Through Movement?
Yes, doing Awareness Through Movement concurrently with Functional Integration can be very beneficial, as learning in one mode of the Feldenkrais Method is reinforced in another. Often, when your needs are more acute, it may be better to begin with Functional Integration. Then, as you progress, it may be appropriate to do Awareness Through Movement classes or recorded lessons as well as, or instead of, Functional Integration.
What does it cost?
Currently our standard fee is for a one-hour session is $175.00.
Awareness Through Movement
Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes provide an effective, economical and enjoyable way to explore and improve your movement, deal with pain and injury and discover more about your movement and yourself.
In Awareness Through Movement lessons, the teacher verbally leads students through basic and varied movements. You lie on the floor - on your back, sides or front (depending on the lesson and the initial abilities of those in the class) - or we may work in sitting, standing and walking.
The lessons clarify the relationship between parts of the body and the whole, the most efficient and comfortable ways of moving using the support of the skeleton and how to sense yourself as you move.
There is no demonstration, no copying of the teacher. Instead you are invited to explore the movements yourself. Classes are completely non-competitive.
In each lesson there will be elements of: scanning your bodily sensations, making movements, attending to what you feel as you more, attention to your breathing, and frequent rests.
Because we believe people learn better when there is comfort along with an appropriate challenge, you will be encouraged to move within your capacities - which will increase - and not do things that cause discomfort or pain.
Whether the movements are small, gentle and slow (as they often are at first), or somewhat faster, bigger or larger, the emphasis is always on finding ways to more that require less effort and create greater ease. For learning, less strain means more gain.
The movements can be done by anyone, each to their own capability. Each person progresses from their own level and at their own rate. The teacher will choose and modify lessons based on who is coming. If you have any difficulty the teacher can help you find ways to modify the lesson.
Awareness Through Movement workshops and class series feature a number of lessons on a theme such as breathing, the movement of the spine or the use of the arms, or around particular activities.
Awareness Through Movement class FAQS
Below you will find the answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Awareness Through Movement classes.
What are the lessons about?
There are thousands of Awareness Through Movement lessons, each one different in its focus and effect. Lessons are often organized around a functional theme or action, and cover a wide range of human functions. The learning from each lesson is generalized; so all lessons create improvements in awareness, comfort, flexibility, and range of motion, attention, breathing, quality and ease of movement - which you can take into all your activities. The teacher chooses individual lessons and series of lessons based on the needs and interests of those that are coming to class.
How is it that these lessons can be of benefit to those who are injured and also for performers and athletes?
With the Feldenkrais Method you start with what you know and can do easily. Through the process of the lessons you can find new ways of moving - discovering how you can move and feel better. By becoming aware of what is easier, more connected, stronger and more efficient; we can go beyond existing levels of performance. For some people that might be how to walk better - for others how to dance or run; for some people that might be reaching the top shelf in the kitchen, for others working on the computer or jewelry making! The effects of the Feldenkrais lessons are generalized throughout your system, people of all levels of initial ability can improve from where they started. As Moshe Feldenkrais put it, "To make the impossible, possible; the possible, easy; and the easy, elegant".
What if I haven't taken an Awareness Through Movement class before?
If you haven't done Awareness Through Movement before, of if you have any particular concerns about injury, pain, movement, or anything else, then we ask that you come 10 minutes before class so you can talk briefly with the teacher. Likewise if it is you first class with us, please allocate an extra 10 minutes after class to ask any questions, get clarifications from the teacher and so we can find out how it went for you.
Can I come in late?
Not really. Because each lesson is a process, it is not good to miss the initial body scan and beginning movements of the lesson. This is primarily for your safety – we want to be sure that you are gently guided into the process. Each lesson is unique and each lesson is a process, so it is hard to come in the middle. Arriving late also disrupts the learning for the other students. We start and finish on time.
What should I wear? Wear comfortable clothing that you can move around in easily. Trousers are easier than skirts for privacy and easy movement. You can change in our bathroom if you need to. We try to keep the temperature in the room just right, but it can be good to wear layers to make it the most comfortable for you. Please wear socks in class.
What does it cost?
Costs for Awareness Through Movement Classes depends on Arizona State University tuition fee schedule.