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)

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

RESEARCH DESIGN:
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.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES:
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.

RESULTS:
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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