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J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jan;16(1):97-105. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0612.

Effects of Feldenkrais exercises on balance, mobility, balance confidence, and gait performance in community-dwelling adults age 65 and older.

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  • 1Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.



Falls and fall-related injuries are a major public health concern, a financial challenge for health care providers, and critical issues for older adults. Poor balance and limited mobility are major risk factors for falls.


The purpose of this study was to examine effects of Feldenkrais exercises in improving balance, mobility, and balance confidence in older adults.


Participants (N = 47, mean age 75.6) were randomly assigned to a Feldenkrais group (FG, n = 25) or to a control group (CG, n = 22). The FG group attended a 5-week Feldenkrais program, 60 minutes three times per week, while the CG group was a waitlist control. The outcome measures were balance (tandem stance), mobility (Timed Up and Go), gait characteristics (GAITRite Walkway System), balance confidence (Balance Confidence Scale; ABC), and fear of falling (Falls Efficacy Scale). Pre- and post-tests were conducted.


After completion of the program, balance (p = 0.030) and mobility (p = 0.042) increased while fear of falling (p = 0.042) decreased significantly for the FG group. No other significant changes were observed. However, participants of the FG group showed improvements in balance confidence (p = 0.054) and mobility while performing concurrently a cognitive task (p = 0.067).


These results indicate that Feldenkrais exercises are an effective way to improve balance and mobility, and thus offer an alternative method to help offset age-related declines in mobility and reduce the risk of falling among community-dwelling older adults. A long-term follow-up study of balance and mobility is warranted. Further research is needed to identify whether Feldenkrais exercises may impact cognitive processes.

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