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.