The Feldenkrais method, developed by Russian-born physicist Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, is a form of movement therapy in which clients learn greater awareness of how their bodies move through space. Practitioners with Feldenkrais training help people to improve their flexibility, coordination and range of motion, "re-wire" their nervous systems, and thereby enhance not only their physical functioning but other aspects of their lives as well.
Feldenkrais lessons may be imparted using verbal instructions in a group setting, a method called Awareness Through Movement®, or they can take place using gentle hands-on guidance through Functional Integration®. Teachers with Feldenkrais training carefully observe how their clients move, watching for problematic habits of posture or movement, and then carefully guide them into greater physical self-awareness and healthier patterns.
The Feldenkrais technique can be beneficial to patients with physical ailments such as chronic pain, people with neurological problems, children with disabilities, or to those who simply wish to improve their bodily awareness, such as athletes or actors. Due to the nonintrusive nature of the Feldenkrais Method, it has been found to be very effective for those with physical handicaps that prevent more traditional types of bodywork.
Learn how the Feldenkrais Method is related to neuromuscular therapy.
Training and Education
What You'll Study in Feldenkrais Method School
Feldenkrais training includes extensive study of body movement and how patterns of movement are established. This study is interdisciplinary, including aspects of physics, neurophysiology, biology, learning theories and other disciplines. In Feldenkrais method school, you'll also learn specific techniques used in Awareness Through Movement® and Functional Integration® lessons.
Average Length of Study
The amount of time required for Feldenkrais training is usually between 700 and 800 hours over a 3- to 4-year period for programs approved by the Feldenkrais Guild of North America (FGNA).
Average Feldenkrais Training Tuition
Feldenkrais method school usually costs between $4,000 and $5,000 per year over a 4-year period for most training programs. The total cost of training is generally about $16,000 - $18,000. Some programs have limited financial aid available.
Feldenkrais Technique Certification
There is no formal government licensing requirement for Feldenkrais method teachers. Certification in the Feldenkrais technique is exclusively granted by the Feldenkrais Guild of North America or other members of the International Feldenkrais Federation. Only graduates of Guild-accredited Feldenkrais training programs are eligible to practice or teach the discipline. Graduates of accredited training programs may use the title of Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner (CM) or Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher®.
Job prospects are fairly good for practitioners of movement therapies, including those with Feldenkrais training. With interest in preventive medicine and natural wellness increasing, graduates of Feldenkrais method school have good reason to be optimistic.
Feldenkrais Technique Salary
Feldenkrais technique practitioners who work at a Feldenkrais center generally charge about $120 to $150 for a one-on-one session of Functional Integration®; sessions can last up to an hour. The cost of group courses is about $15 to $25 per hour. How much you'll make as a practitioner depends on how many hours you teach and how much of a percentage you earn from each client's fees.
Is a Feldenkrais Technique Career Right for You?
With Feldenkrais training, you can help a wide range of clients, from martial artists who want a greater sense of balance to physically challenged children who may not be able to seek out other types of bodywork. You'll need excellent skills of observation and knowledge of biomechanics, as well as the ability to make your clients comfortable. But whether you want to work with children or seniors, with those suffering from physical pain or the physically fit, if you have a strong desire to help people find their way to optimal mobility and flexibility, then you may want to research Feldenkrais method school.
Sources: The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education, National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine