It’s amazing how something so subtle can change so much.
The Feldenkrais® Method has been helping people to move better, reduce pain and change habits that may cause pain for more than 70 years.
I found it very interesting to see the progression from a restrained movement at the beginning to the instant where everything falls into place and the movement of the head and the pelvis become coordinated! Restoration expert, Geneva.
My neck feels so different already, just from that one exercise. I've been having a real pain right at the base of my neck, continuous for the last week or so. There's not any pain there at all at the moment. Desk based worker benefitting from "Posture in the office".
I've got three daughters and they all said, 'What's with you? You've grown taller.' I'm 6 foot 3 inches. Then over the weekend I'd get clicks and pops from my back as I felt things further freeing up, so something had really happened. Senior manager, UK education sector.
I just had the funniest sensation walking up the stairs. As if my legs were flying. Without weight. I walked up effortlessly. Manager, British Airways
I've got Covid with mild flu symptoms, but I've got muscle pain, every bit is in pain. Now it feels much better. I honestly wasn't going to come, but I was, like, I'll see just how far I can go and see if it will make a difference. And I can feel [the change] in my lower back a bit, I can feel the difference in other parts. Desk based worker after the 50 minute "Fit in the office" online session.
Dear Ben, although I could only do parts of the lesson today, the effect is incredible. My slipped disk is barely painful at all. Feldenkrais continues to amaze me. Thank you once again. Pensioner, ex- Business executive.
The trainer. Ben Parsons has been doing Feldenkrais® for over 20 years, and became a certified teacher and practitioner in 2016. He did his training in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He is also trained to work with special needs children using JKA, (the Jeremy Krauss Approach).
What is the Feldenkrais Method?
Feldenkrais® uses micro- and macro-movements to help us learn to improve our posture, suppleness, balance, freedom of movement, and ergonomics. At the same time, tension, pain and dysfunction can all be improved because the body moves better.
The exercises, developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais from the 1940s to the 1980s, use movement with awareness to activate the part of the brain responsible for learning. This means that the brain wires in new movement habits, not just during the exercise, but permanently. Permanent change in the command centre of the brain is obviously more beneficial for overall health and well being that mere repetition or fitness exercises.
Feldenkrais® works on multiple levels besides simple physical well being. Because we improve our physical well being, functions such as breathing and sleeping can also improve. Mental aspects benefit, such as resilience against stress or burn-out, which are influenced by how well we inhabit our bodies, adaptability, and flexibility. Thus Feldenkrais® group and individual sessions can lead to a holistic improvement in being, thinking and feeling.
What is the secret of the Feldenkrais® Method? Feldenkrais® uses guided awareness during movement to activate the learning centre of the brain. Doing a new movement with awareness means that the brain can change itself. In scientific words, Feldenkrais® re-wires the brain through „neuro-plasticity“. In this way, effortful or inefficient movement habits can be replaced by long lasting, ergonomic and efficient ones.
Feldenkrais® sessions always build on pleasure and curiosity. As any child knows, but many adults forget, pleasure stimulates attention, curiosity and creativity, which are all necessary for effective learning. Boredom and repetition, pain and strain are strenuously avoided, as these inhibit learning and change.
Feldenkrais® has two applications: individual (hands-on or verbally instructed) and group (verbally instructed) sessions. Sessions last 50 to 60 minutes (for children 30-45 minutes). Online sessions last either 30 or 50 – 60 minutes. Lessons are done lying on a mat, sitting or standing. Participants wear comfortable clothing.
Individual sessions are tailor-made, and the practitioner moves the student in natural movement patterns. This is usually done lying down, sometimes sitting or standing.
In group classes, the teacher tells the students what to do and helps with refinements. The teacher does not demonstrate ‚the correct movement‘ because it is not about copying a movement, but about individual awareness, exploration and observation, which results in a unique and successful outcome for each person.
Current Group Classes
I teach classes in English and in German. Online classes run on Zoom. The times and pricing are here: times and prices. Contact me to find out the upcoming schedule and to register, pay, and for Zoom login details.
Children with unique challenges or special needs.
In addition to my posture and ergonomics work with adults, I developed a passion for working with children whilst volunteering at the Viktor Frankl School in Frankfurt am Main. Feldenkrais is a practical solution and support for many parents who worry about their child, whether they have special needs, or they just need a little assistance with self regulation or other issues.
The Feldenkrais® Method helps children developmentally, and therefore benefits any or all of the following; movement, coordination, balance, social regulation and self regulation.
I work with children from birth to 18, both normally developing and those with specific needs due to birth, genetic, physical or mental development issues.
The Feldenkrais® Method is known for treating children with respect, meeting them eye to eye and working with them, not on them. I started developing this competency whilst working at a school for physically and mentally multiply-handicapped children in Frankfurt, Germany and I have many great experiences from my work. In 2019 and 2020 I completed the advanced training in JKA, the Jeremy Krauss Approach for working with children with special needs.
Example client. A 12 year old girl, disabled from birth with a genetic disorder, rapidly developed greater self awareness and as a consequence there were positive changes to her movement, sleep, biological self control, such as bladder control, mood and social interaction.
Example client. A normal, 13 year old boy with a 60 degree scoliosis that has been operated on. He comes to me to help him reduce back pain from prolonged sitting during the school day.
Example client. A 9 year old girl who lacked the postural ability to sit and hold her head straight, had to be maintained sitting using straps in her wheelchair. She became able to hold herself upright for short periods of time and to see the world straight .
Children’s sessions can be done over the internet for those who do not live in Germany. Using video conferencing, I can guide the parent in how to hold and move their young child so that the child experiences similar benefits of being treated directly by me. For older children, I lead them through movements, sometimes with the assistance of a parent in the room.
My Story. How I benefited from Feldenkrais® myself.
I first did Feldenkrais® in London in 1999 during my Shiatsu Massage training. Then, after moving to Switzerland in 2002, I attended group classes and private treatments. Having developed writer’s cramp, a repetitive strain injury (RSI) (or ‚work related upper limb disorder‘) whilst at university, I did Feldenkrais® to help improve my posture and my ergonomics. Later, when my son was born with an orthopaedic foot problem, my wife and I took him to Feldenkrais® to improve his posture and the development of his walking, flexibility and balance. Thanks to Feldenkrais®, I got rid of the RSI problem permanently and my son became able to move more competently and without pain. From 2012 till 2016 I did the four year, 800 hour professional Feldenkrais® training program in Frankfurt am Main.
I now work using Feldenkrais® helping adults with a variety of needs (often to do with posture and ergonomics, also injuries and stress related issues), and children with special and/or developmental needs. In 2020 I became a JKA therapist. The Jeremy Krauss Approach (JKA) for Special Needs Children focuses on helping children develop using brain repatterning by means of learning through movement and experience.
I have set up a special group movement program for young children with my colleague, physiotherapist Miriam Großhennig. More details will follow after the Corona shut down.
In 1996 I began my career as a Shiatsu therapist, and with over twenty years experience, I know how effective Shiatsu is for the client, making it possible for them to gain deep relaxation, relief for, and resilience against, stress , and stimulating the person’s own internal resources for regeneration. Shiatsu is also good for addressing physical tensions and pains and energy blockages, according to chinese medicine.
Shiatsu, or Japanese acupressure massage, is done fully clothed, usually on a futon mat or on a massage table. Appointments last about one hour.
Ben Parsons. bp @ potsdam-feldenkrais.com. Telephone: +49 (0)151 25862646
Fotos: Rosalie O’Connor @ IFF, Steve Harvey @ Unsplash, Banner foto Pexels/Wordpress