Functional Integration™ (FI) can be used to address a wide range of movement difficulties or to increase your level of comfort and enhance your skills. The important thing to know is that it is not a treatment but a pedagogical approach which can have therapeutic benefits. Therefore, the way you participate in the process can have great bearing on the results.
What happens in an FI lesson?
The lesson usually begins with a short interview during which you can formulate your request. The practitioner may want to know if your problem is connected to a particular event, to other difficulties that you have or if it shows up in certain activities. He might observe you doing a specific movement or he might do it with you. He will be looking to see if your habitual way of moving is related in any way to your difficulty or concern. Then he will most likely invite you to lie down on a low padded Feldenkrais™ table or he may decide to work with you in sitting or standing.
In general, FI is a very pleasant experience. Most people describe a feeling of weightlessness, an absence of pain, and a lightness and freedom of movement akin to that experienced in childhood. Indeed the Feldenkrais™ practitioner will aim to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. He will avoid using any force or imposing anything that causes discomfort or anxiety.
As the lesson progresses, the practitioner will guide you through different movements, similar to those done in Awareness Through Movement™ classes. These will all be related to a functional pattern of action, such as turning, bending, pulling, pushing, getting up or walking. The practitioner will work in a very safe way, using gentle, precise touch and will invite you to let yourself be moved passively. This lack of muscular effort on your part is advantageous because it leaves you free to feel what is happening in yourself. It supports your learning and may allow you to gain insight into the reasons for your difficulties.
Exploring the movement and the relationship between different parts of your body will allow you to compare habitual and non habitual ways of moving and help you to identify the ones which are easier and more efficient. The practitioner will give you a clear sense of your skeleton, help you to become aware of areas of excessive muscular contraction and gradually create the conditions in which movement can flow more freely through the skeleton.
What are some of the important features of this work?
Many people are amazed that such small, slow, gentle movements can bring about so much improvement in such a short period of time. As early as the 1950s Moshe Feldenkrais made observations and formed assumptions about what would later be known as “brain plasticity”. This is our ability to form connections between neurons throughout life and even after damage to the brain. In the practice of the method, information about the body and its movement is communicated via the muscular-skeletal system to the nervous system and brain. Because this information is meaningful the brain is able to use it and to respond in more appropriate ways. It can send signals back to the muscular-skeletal system to bring about an improvement in posture and movement.
The Feldenkrais Method™ is a systemic approach; therefore the practitioner will be addressing your difficulty in relation to your whole self. He will often spend time improving the organization of other parts of the body before dealing with the painful area. This means that positive change in the difficult area can be integrated into the whole.
How long will it take to feel improvement?
Some of our difficulties can be resolved very quickly, others may take more time. Depending on its complexity you may need one session, several or many sessions over a longer period of time.
In all cases it is important to feel that you are learning and progressing, that your perspectives change and that you begin to feel happier and more comfortable. Gaining more confidence in your body’s ability to change and reorganize is a big part of what the method can offer.
Instead of thinking obsessively, as many of us do, about what is not working you can begin to get interested in what you can do and how you can improve, even if for some this may entail living with a difficulty or handicap.
Espace Feldenkrais – 70 boulevard Deltour, 31500 Toulouse (bus L1, L8, 23, 37, 51)
Number of classes: 1
Price: 40 €
Duration: 1 h
Number of classes: 1
Price: 50 €
Duration: 1 h 15
Yearly membership fee
Price: 5 €
Payment: 1 cheque of 5 €
The payment of a yearly membership fee of 5 € is obligatory. It should be paid separately. The membership fee can be paid after a free trial class (weekly classes only) or after an evaluation (if you are doing individual sessions).
Please phone or contact us by email to make an appointment.