When I answer the question, "What do you do?" and I say, "I'm a Feldenkrais practitioner," the response is too often, "I'm sorry, felden-what?" It's an ongoing issue that the method I practice has a name that doesn't mean anything to anyone, because it's some guy's hard to spell and hard to remember last name. The Feldenkrais Method isn't going to get rebranded anytime soon, so it's up to practitioners to make our work accessible to the public.
The majority of my clients come to me through a word of mouth reference. Someone tells them a version of, "Rachel does magic! You lie down on her table, she moves you around a little for an hour, you stand up, and you feel magically better! I can't explain it... Just go see her." Later on, I get a nervous phone call. "A friend of mine told me to come see you. I don't actually know what you do, but here are my issues. They said you could help me... so, help?"
So, what do I tell them? Here are a few descriptions of what I do that might be more helpful than, "It's magic!"
- Everyone has specific ways of moving, and we get stuck in those ways. Feldenkrais helps you discover or rediscover different ways of moving that are easy, efficient, and don't hurt.
- Feldenkrais uses a very gentle touch and small movements to relieve muscle tension and teach the brain and body that the system doesn't need to hold all that tension to function.
- Where physical therapy works with muscle strength, Feldenkrais works with skeletal support. That means providing support to an injury or weak place by clarifying connections between different parts of the skeleton and letting bones stack, automatically reducing unnecessary muscular work and engaging supportive muscles.
Want a more in depth, nerdier answer? Just ask.