At Discovery Villages, we help our Senior Citizens find the best ways to improve physical well being through exercise and wellness programs. We support our older adults by taking into consideration their mobility, levels of ability and injuries to provide safe, fun and engaging activities. Talk to our staff at Discovery Villages today about all the ways we can help you or your loved one improve their overall wellness and health.
“What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies, but flexible brains…actually what I’m after is to restore people to their human dignity.” –Moshe Feldenkrais
The Feldenkrais Method is a body awareness technique that allows for greater ease and freedom of movement. It was developed in the 1940’s by Moshe Feldenkrais, a Doctor of Science who was an engineer, martial artist, physicist, inventor and student of human development. When he suffered a knee injury and was told that he might have to stay in a wheelchair for the remainder of his life, he started developing his somatic method and ended up healing himself. Feldenkrais believed that regardless of ability, age or condition, everyone could apply learning to improve their physical abilities, thus resulting in greater quality of life.
Today, the Feldenkrais Method continues to touch countless people on their quest to improve their quality of life. The gentle movement exercises in the Feldenkrais technique retrain the brain and nervous system by bringing awareness to chronic motor behaviors, while inducing subtle changes that improve overall function.
The Feldenkrais Practice is not about mindless repetition or attaining a “correct” position or outcome. Feldenkrais is extremely safe, gentle and easy. It is a wonderful practice for anyone, including those suffering from an injury or disability. However, like almost any movement practice, the full benefits of the Feldenkrais Method are most felt when explored regularly.
There are two different approaches to working with Feldenkrais Participants:
- Awareness through Movement- Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons are done in group settings. These lessons typically last anywhere from twenty to sixty minutes long. The goals of these lessons are to find pleasure and a greater sense of ease in the movements that are being explored. This is done by placing focused attention on the movement, which results in greater kinesthetic sensitivity. Breathing, postural control, speaking capacities and the perception of these processes may be explored and improved in an Awareness through Movement lesson. Developmental movements are often examined to re-learn how to organize and control movements, often resulting in physical improvement and less effort.
A lesson starts off by focusing on comfortable, subtle movements of the body. This attention to the movement then develops into other movements that may involve a greater range of motion and complexity. Periodic rests are given and advised. Students are encouraged to go at their own pace and not reach their “edge.”
- Functional Integration-Functional Integration (FI) is a technique done by a Feldenkrais practitioner on a patient that desires individual attention. Through gentle touch, the practitioner places his or hands on the patient. This contact aims at helping the patient learn how to re-organize his or her body and behaviors in more effective ways, highlighting the possibility of greater ease and comfort. The practitioner’s hands-on instruction is meant as a learning tool, not a corrective prescription so that the patient can learn new possibilities of moving and functioning.
Many studies highlight the positive effects of Senior Citizens practicing the Feldenkrais Method, because of its emphasis on gentle movements through awareness. Older Adults often find that the Feldenkrais Method is an excellent way to regain a broader range of movement and flexibility without discomfort, which can then enhance other aspects of life as well. In a group setting, it can be a fun way to connect and engage with other peers.
Proven Studies have shown the positive benefits of the Feldenkrais Method for Senior Citizens. These include:
- Improvement of overall quality of life
- Improvement in balance and control
- Improvement in mobility
- Reduces depression and anxiety
- Improvement in sleep and relaxation
- Reduces the risk of falling among community-dwelling Seniors
- Greater ease of daily living activities including walking
- Greater mobility following strokes and other neurological injuries
- Positive changes in muscle activity and the amount of effort used
At Discovery Villages, we offer a variety of exercise programs and activities on site in our state of the art Dimensions Wellness Center. We are also able to refer Senior Citizens to studios and practitioners in the surrounding area that offer programs like The Feldenkrais Method. We are committed to Seniors living their best, most vibrant life at any stage. Come visit us today, and learn more about the many wellness opportunities available.
Discovery Village At The Forum offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 239.219.1700.