Do you sometimes have the feeling that the stress of everyday life will eventually eat you up? Do you sometimes feel completely out of sorts and seem to have no chance of getting back on track? First of all, the good news: You are not alone with these feelings. Many people are like you in this respect. But they are either not yet aware of it or they don’t dare to admit it first to themselves and then to others. The next step is to find a suitable method to face this stress. Feldenkrais is one of those methods that can turn stress into something positive.
What is the Feldenkrais Method?
We all have acquired ways of reacting in everyday life, which are played out in certain situations, but which we are not even aware of (anymore). This is exactly where the Feldenkrais Method comes in. For example, if we grind our teeth unconsciously while doing specific tasks, we will be able to perceive this through the application of Feldenkreis. Perception is not enough. Alternatives to this behavior must be found.
Feldenkrais works with gentle movements and sequences of movements that are unfamiliar to the body. They are designed in such a way that their unfamiliar structure undermines the ingrained habits. This allows us to become aware of what corresponds to our normal habit. Likewise, we will become aware of what our real intention is in this matter, so that we can ultimately pursue it.
New neural connections are created through the movement sequences. If they are done regularly, there will be permanent changes in personal movement patterns, body awareness and ultimately in the image one has created of oneself.
One could also say that the Feldenkrais Method simulates the way babies learn. Structures are found to learn life – grasping, rolling, sitting, walking, talking, running and whatever else it takes to master life. And it’s the same for us in adulthood: we need a new anchorage to be able to take off our worn-in shoes and put on new ones.
How does Feldenkrais work against stress?
First of all, you need to know that there is group work as well as individual sessions.
The group sessions are offered under the term “Conscious through Movement”. Under guidance, each participant explores themselves in a light and playful way. Movements and sequences of movements are varied so that one can learn to feel the differences or become aware of them. Not every movement feels right. But if you change it, you can get involved with it. Maybe only briefly, but you can. By moving freely, it is also possible to acquire new movements / movement patterns. These are adopted by the nervous system over time, so that the general movement patterns in different situations also change. This makes Feldenkrais effective against stress.
What happens in individual sessions?
Feldenkrais against stress is always a personal matter. Therefore, one should not rely exclusively on group work. Individual sessions are exclusively about the individual who wants to use Feldenkrais against stress. The movements and sequences that are used are individually tailored to that client. It is a blessing to engage in the passive movements performed by the therapist, to simply let go. Words, touch and passive movements lead to non-verbal communication, which is received and implemented by the organism, especially the nervous system. One learns new structures, new words, and also to simply hold still for once.
How intensively can Feldenkrais help against stress?
Feldenkrais against stress is a method that is not linked to our expectations. Because one thing is certain – Feldenkrais against stress works because of its restructuring of the connections in the nervous system. These cannot be influenced by everyday consciousness. So how well can Feldenkrais against stress work individually?
Stress has an individual character. Therefore everyone has a different stress trigger (Read my article on stress triggers). For one person it is the workplace, for another the family, for the next the neighborhood. General changes will be achievable, but they will be reflected in the individual situation.
However, the following will manifest in you and will be noticed by others:
- Increased efficiency
- Increased endurance
- Improved mobility
- Improved ease of movement
- Reduction of stress
- Reduction of tension
- Improved posture
- Optimized coordination
- Better movement execution and presentation for athletes, actors, dancers, musicians
- Increase of learning ability
- Increased creativity
Feldenkrais against stress for everyone?
As with any method, Feldenkrais is not for everyone. The crucial point is to be willing and able to engage in the method. It is about making new experiences and putting them into practice. This is because the Feldenkrais Method also increases the ability to develop in all areas. Thus, with continued application, one will be able to notice an increased development of many personal potentials.
Feldenkrais is learning through movement and a further development of all the options that present themselves to us and that have been given to us from birth. Fantastic, isn’t it?