In all my months of rehab, one of the best practices I have run across is something called Feldenkrais. Even though it’s often taught at yoga studios, there are important differences. Feldenkrais is more of a method in a way you gain hyper-awareness of your body’s movements in everyday life. You are taught that there is no wrong way to make a certain movement, but rather observe subtle differences and perhaps learn through the practice of movement over time that there might end up being a more efficient way to move that is holistically healthier for the entire body. All of us have had some injury where through the pain, we’ve adapted movements (some to our detriment),that cause other issues with the rest of the body. Feldenkrais offers the opportunity of self-discovery to be aware of such differences and hopefully aim to correct them.
I have learned and found personally thus far that the method is profoundly effective in treating stroke recovery. I certainly wouldn’t say it’s a replacement for other types of rehab, but it’s an excellent compliment. I so often wish I could find a nearby practitioner that also combined physical therapy, since the two together are a perfect match, but they are hard to find. But just about everyone I know would benefit from the practice as well!
I mention his books in my resources section of this blog, but I highly recommend Norman Dodge‘s two books, especially the second one, in which there is at least an entire chapter or two dedicated to talking about Mosche Feldenkrais’ history and great examples of the practice complementing the brain’s amazing neuroplasticity. His books are wonderful and extremely educational. If interested, below are some more resources to read on the method itself: