benefits of the feldenkrais method

Effects of  Feldenkrais Exercises on balance, mobility, balance confidence and gait  performance in community-dwelling adults age 65 and older. 

The  Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 16:97-105 
Ullmann,  Gerhild; Williams, Harriet; Hussey, James; Durstine, J; McClenaghan, Bruce (2010)

Objective: The purpose of  this study was to examine effects of Feldenkrais exercises in improving  balance, mobility, and balance confidence in older adults. Methods:  Participants (N = 47, mean age 75.6) were randomly assigned to a Feldenkrais  group (FG, n = 25) or to a control group (CG, n = 22). The FG group attended  a 5-week Feldenkrais program, 60 minutes three times per week, while the CG  group was a waitlist control. The outcome measures were balance (tandem  stance), mobility (Timed Up and Go), gait characteristics (GAITRite Walkway  System), balance confidence (Balance Confidence Scale; ABC), and fear of  falling (Falls Efficacy Scale). Pre- and post-tests were conducted.

Results:  After completion of the program, balance (p = 0.030) and mobility (p = 0.042)  increased while fear of falling (p = 0.042) decreased significantly for the  FG group. No other significant changes were observed. However, participants  of the FG group showed improvements in balance confidence (p = 0.054) and  mobility while performing concurrently a cognitive task (p = 0.067). 

Conclusions: These results indicate that Feldenkrais exercises are an  effective way to improve balance and mobility, and thus offer an alternative  method to help offset age-related declines in mobility and reduce the risk of  falling among community-dwelling older adults. A long-term follow-up study of  balance and mobility is warranted. Further research is needed to identify  whether Feldenkrais exercises may impact cognitive processes. 

Getting Grounded  Gracefully: effectiveness and acceptability of Feldenkrais in improving  balance. 

Journal of  Aging and Physical Activity 17 (1): 57-76 
Vrantsidis,  F; Hill, K; Mooree, K; Webb,R; Hunt, S; Dowson, L  (2009)

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% female) were randomised to  the intervention (twice weekly group classes over 8 weeks) or the control  group (continued with their usual activity) after being assessed at baseline,  then reassessed eight weeks 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 = 0.003) and gait speed (p = 0.028), and a strong trend evident in the  Timed Up and Go (p = 0.056). High class attendance (88%) and survey feedback  indicate that the program was viewed positively by participants and may  therefore be acceptable to other older people. Further investigation of the  Getting Grounded Gracefully program is warranted. 

Photoanalysis of standing posture in controls and low back pain: Effects of kinaesthetic processing (Feldenkrais Method) in posture and gait.

In Woollocott M, Horak, F. (eds) Control Mechanisms VII. Eugene, OR, University of Oregon Press.
Lake, B. (1992)

Reported changes in posture in 61 patients with low back pain compared with matched controls after a mean of four FI lessons.

Acute back pain-treatment by application of Feldenkrais principles.

Australian Family Physician, 14(11), 1175-1178.
Lake, Bernard (1985).

Case summaries of six patients with back pain who had been unresponsive to other interventions.  All patients achieved relief from pain and accompanying postural changes were documented.

Management of individuals with Parkinsons disease: Rationale and case studies.

Physical Therapy, 69, 944-955.
Shenkman, M., Donovan, J., Tsubota, J., Kluss, M., Stebbins, P. & Butler, R. (1989).

According to the research base this article describes improvements in posture in individuals with Parkinson's.

benefits of the feldenkrais method

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