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J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2011 Apr;15(2):153-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2010.03.003. Epub 2010 Apr 15.

Feldenkrais® therapy as group treatment for chronic pain--a qualitative evaluation.

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Dept. of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Division of Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University, Sweden.



This qualitative study describes and analyses the experiences and self-reported effects of those participating in a Feldenkrais group intervention.


Fourteen women with non-specific neck and shoulder pain participated in a group treatment design using the Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) method. Data were collected in two ways: diary notes directly after the sessions and thematic interviews 4-6 months after the intervention. Data were analysed with a Grounded Theory approach.


One core category and two sub-categories emerged. The core category "Feldenkrais is wholesome, but difficult" represents the participants' major opinions about the group intervention. The sub-categories "More erect without effort", and "Extended space for myself", represent participants' descriptions of effects of the movement therapy. The women described changes in posture and balance, a feeling of release and increased self-confidence. Some ambivalence about the method was expressed, especially regarding the difficulty to continue the exercises at home. The women feelings of improved body awareness remained after 4-6 months. They were also more aware of their attitudes towards activities in daily life. This resulted in them not "sacrificing themselves" as they did before. In addition, the bodily and psychological changes and the concept of empowerment are discussed.


Positive experiences from the Feldenkrais group treatment were reported, especially concerning movement ability and body awareness. The exercises were however regarded as difficult to perform as self-training on a daily basis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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