benefits of the feldenkrais method

Feldenkrais Method Balance Classes Improve Balance in Older Adults: A Controlled Trial

Rehabilitation Sciences Research Centre, School of Physiotherapy, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Calvary Health Care Bethlehem, Caulfield South and Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Karol A. Connors, Mary P. Galea and Catherine M. Said

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of Feldenkrais Method balance classes on balance and mobility in older adults. This was a prospective non-randomized controlled study with pre/post measures. The setting for this study was the general community. A convenience sample of 26 community-dwelling older adults (median age 75 years) attending Feldenkrais Method balance classes formed the Intervention group. Thirty-seven volunteers were recruited for the Control group (median age 76.5 years).

A series of Feldenkrais Method balance classes (the ‘Getting Grounded Gracefully’ series), two classes per week for 10 weeks, were conducted. Main outcome measures were Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) questionnaire, Four Square Step Test (FSST), self- selected gait speed (using GAITRiteTM instrumented gait mat). At re-testing, the Intervention group showed significant improvement on all of the measures (ABC, P = 0.016, FSST, P = 0.001, gait speed, P < 0.001). The Control group improved significantly on one measure (FSST, P < 0.001).

Compared to the Control group, the Intervention group made a significant improvement in their ABC score (P = 0.005), gait speed (P = 0.017) and FSST time (P = 0.022). These findings suggest that Feldenkrais Method balance classes may improve mobility and balance in older adults.

Learning to improve mobility and quality of life in a well elderly population: the benefits of awareness through movement.

IFF Academy Feldenkrais Research Journal, 2.
Stephens, J., Pendergast, C., Roller, B.A. & Weiskittel, R.S. (2005).

This study tested the hypothesis that an alternative movement learning method, Awareness Through Movement, would produce improvements in coordination, mobility, economy of movement and quality of life in older adults.

A group of 31 older adults was studied using a prospective, repeated measures control group design. The SF-36 was used to assess health status - quality of life. Video motion analysis was used to collect data on walking and on a floor to stand transfer movement.

Coordination of the transfer movement improved significantly in the experimental group. Vitality and mental health scores also improved significantly in this group. Interesting differences between young-old and old-old changes were observed.

Awareness Through Movement may be an additional effective method for pursuing the objectives of Healthy People 2010.

Getting Grounded Gracefully©: Effectiveness and Acceptability of Feldenkrais in Improving Balance

Freda Vrantsidis, Keith D. Hill, Kirsten Moore, Robert Webb, Susan Hunt, and Leslie Dowson

The Getting Grounded Gracefully© program, based on the Awareness Through Movement lessons of the Feldenkrais method, was designed to improve balance and function in older people. Fifty-five participants (mean age 75, 85% women) were randomized to an intervention (twice-weekly group classes over 8 wk) or a control group (continued with their usual activity) after being assessed at baseline and then reassessed 8 wk later.

Significant improvement was identified for the intervention group relative to the control group using ANOVA between-groups repeated-measures analysis for the Modified Falls Efficacy Scale score (p = .003) and gait speed (p = .028), and a strong trend was evident in the timed up-and-go (p = .056). High class attendance (88%) and survey feedback indicate that the program was viewed positively by participants and might therefore be acceptable to other older people. Further investigation of the Getting Grounded Gracefully program is warranted.

benefits of the feldenkrais method

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