Dr. Feldenkrais spent much of his time and good energy working with infants and children with neurological and developmental disorders.
Whether the baby or child was born with the injury or something happened after birth, he knew it was important to create a learning environment rich with healthy variations of movement and developmental patterns.
A parent might bring their child to a Feldenkrais® practitioner because their child has:
genetic movement disorders
They might simply notice coordination issues and have a practitioner watch to see how their child moves and speaks
The Feldenkrais Method® is a wholistic way of looking at development and growth. We look at the whole person, no matter the age. The practitioner engages specific movement sequences that are playful, developmental or very specific and detailed, all while paying close attention to the process of learning and curiosity. This is where self-growth can really happen and it is wonderful to see this in each child.
The practitioner can choose to work in ways such as neurological, biological or developmental. They can also look at the emotional and social aspects of movement and development in relation to the family as a whole. Moshe Feldenkrais, “My purpose is to allow people to move closer to actually being creatures of free choice, to genuinely reflect individual creativity and emotion, freeing the body of habitual tensions and wired-patterns of behavior so that it may respond without inhibition to do what the person wants.”
Dr. Feldenkrais’ believed that it did not matter so much what the child came to him for, rather, more importantly, his focus was to give each child the chance he or she deserved for a full and rich life, filled with developed capabilities and organized functioning.
We found Feldenkrais when Dylan was 3.5 years old. He had been receiving conventional therapies for cerebral palsy since birth – physical and occupational – and they were very structured with some sort of function as an end-goal. The Feldenkrais Method was our first experience with a technique that was focused on Dylan and guiding his body, instead of forcing it to move in a predetermined way.
I will never forget one particular day when the Feldenkrais practitioner was focused on Dylan’s heels. He started out with the typical stiff, high tone feet and floppy body. But as she moved through the lesson, his feet relaxed and flattened, his hips and then shoulders started moving independently of each other, and soon enough he started pushing up through his forearms to lift his head and trunk off the table! Dylan had never before gotten himself into that position. He knew his body was doing something special and he was incredibly proud of himself. The respect for an individual body’s capabilities that is inherent in the Feldenkrais method translated into a calmness and confidence in Dylan that was apparent in each lesson.