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Physiotherapy. 2010 Dec;96(4):324-36. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Apr 9.

Feldenkrais Method balance classes are based on principles of motor learning and postural control retraining: a qualitative research study.

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Physiotherapy Department, Calvary Health Care Bethlehem, Caulfield, Victoria, Australia.



Feldenkrais Method balance classes have been found to be effective in improving balance in recent studies, but there has been little research into possible mechanisms behind the effectiveness of these classes. Indeed, there has been little research into the content of any balance training classes.


To analyse the content of a series of Feldenkrais Method balance classes to gain an understanding of how the results in these studies may have been achieved and the principles through which the method may be effective.


Qualitative research approach (content analysis).


Feldenkrais Method Awareness Through Movement lessons were transcribed and the contents were analysed. An intercoder reliability study was undertaken.


The content analysis revealed that the classes used motor skill acquisition elements of internal feedback, repetition and variability of practice using an exploratory learning approach. Postural control skills of intersegmental coordination of ankle/hip/trunk synergies were practised, with control of the centre of mass over the base of support explored in anterior/posterior, medio/lateral, diagonal, rotational and circular directions. Key findings were the extensive involvement of trunk flexibility and control in the balance activities, and also the intensive attention to internal feedback which was linked to body awareness training.


The Awareness Through Movement lessons contained many elements consistent with current theories of motor skill acquisition and postural control, providing a sound theoretical basis for the effectiveness of the Feldenkrais approach in improving balance. The methodology used in this study may provide a useful model for similar investigations into other balance training approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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