Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc., (1904-1984), a Russian-born Israeli, was a distinguished scientist and engineer. He was a close associate of Nobel Prize Laureate Frederic Joliet-Curie, and he worked at the Curie Institute in Paris in the 1930s. He was also a respected Judo instructor, was a founder of the Ju Jitsu Club in Paris, and was the author of two books on the subject. However, it was in the relationship between bodily movement and the ways we think, feel and learn that Dr. Feldenkrais achieved his greatest successes, and today there are nearly 3000 certified Feldenkrais Teachers around the globe, with new training programmes springing up every year as awareness of the work grows. Feldenkrais’ insights contributed to the development of the new field of somatic education and continue to influence disciplines such as physical medicine, gerontology, the arts, education and psychology.

It was an old soccer injury in his youth that damaged his knee and led to the threat of severe disability in middle age. Given little hope of ever walking normally, Moshe refused surgery because he found the 50/50 chance of improvement an unacceptable gamble. Instead, he applied his extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, psychology and engineering, as well as his mastery of martial arts, to healing his own knee. It was during this healing process that he realised the vital importance of working with the whole body in order to achieve persistent change. Realising how significant his discoveries were, he began to teach this work to his colleagues at the British Admiralty during the war, and then went on to fully develop his method on his return to Israel.

“The human posture is not simple nor is it easy to achieve. It necessitates a long and demanding apprenticeship. The learning that each human being has to go through to achieve the best quality of functioning his structure permits is as remarkable as anything in nature.”
The Elusive Obvious, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1981)

Quotes about Feldenkrais and his method from some of the people he worked with in his life:

“Feldenkrais has studied the body in movement with a precision that I have found nowhere else. He perfected hundreds of exercises of exceptional value.”
Peter Brooks, Film and Stage Director, Author

“the exercises are so ingenious and so simple.”
Yehudi Menuhin

“Feldenkrais is the most sophisticated and effective method I have seen for the prevention and reversal of deterioration of function. We’re condemning millions of people to a deteriorated old age that’s not necessary”.
Margaret Mead Ph.D. in Human Health, Anthropologist

“Feldenkrais has found a way to free people to be more flexible and flowing physically. The exercises are ingenious and startling in their effectiveness. It is certainly one of the most exciting and penetrating of the body-mind methods.”
William Schutz. Ph.D in Psychology, Author, Encounter Group Pioneer

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais