benefits of the feldenkrais method

Effects of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement on balance in adults with chronic neurological deficits following stroke: A preliminary study.

Complementary Health Practice Review, 10 (3), 203-210.
Batson, G. & Deutsch, J.E. (2005). 

The Feldenkrais Method is a complementary approach to motor learning that purports to induce change in chronic motor behaviors. This preliminary study describes the effects of a Feldenkrais program on balance and quality of life in individuals with chronic neurological deficits following stroke. Two male (48 and 53 years old) and 2 female participants (61 and 62 years old), 1 to 2.5 years post-stroke, participated as a group in a 6-week Feldenkrais program. Pretest and posttest evaluations of the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), and the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) were administered.

Data were analyzed using a Wilcoxon signed-rank test. DGI and BBS scores improved an average of 55.2% (p=.033) and 11% (p=.034), respectively. SIS percentage recovery improved 35%.

Findings suggest that gains in functional mobility are possible for individuals with chronic stroke using Feldenkrais movement therapy in a group setting.

Assessing recovery in middle cerebral artery stroke using functional MRI.

Brain Injury; Dec. 19(13):1165-76.
Nair, D.G., Fuchs, A., Burkart, S., Steinberg, F.L. & Kelso, J.A. (2005)

To understand the temporal evolution of brain reorganization during recovery from stroke.

A patient who suffered left middle cerebral artery stroke 9 months earlier was studied on three occasions, approximately 1 month apart. This patient received interventions based on Feldenkrais Method twice a week for 8 weeks.

Brain activation was studied using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). During each session, the patient performed a finger-to-thumb opposition task, which involved one bimanual and two unimanual conditions. Each condition consisted of overt movement of fingers and imagery of the same task.

With recovery, greater recruitment was observed of the affected primary motor cortex (M1) and a decrease in activation of the unaffected M1 and supplementary motor area. In addition, the widespread activation of brain areas seen during the initial session changed to a more focused pattern of activation as the patient recovered. Imagery tasks resulted in similar brain activity as overt execution pointing to imagery as a potential tool for rehabilitation.

benefits of the feldenkrais method

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