Functional Integration

FI is a one-on-one process where a practitioner and a student enter into dialogue about the student’s particular concerns. Once the student’s goals or interests are established, we engage the same sensory-motor exploratory process as in ATM, but the conversation may be primarily through touch.

A practitioner is trained in heightened sensitivity, knowledge of hundreds of movement patterns, and in creating an environment that supports learning. The practitioner may use her hands and/or verbal cues to guide the student’s attention to various aspects of their experience, in a discovery of the student’s unique abilities, limitations, and potential.

The practitioner is able to effectively guide the student’s awareness into new areas of experience, opening up a breadth of new possibilities.

Students come with a vast variety of concerns:

  • wishing for freedom from chronic pain patterns
  • maintaining and improving mobility and ease while living with a disease process, eg. MS, cancer, arthritis, dystonia
  • recovering mobility and freedom after an accident
  • needing to find more ease in daily activities, eg. working at the computer, playing tennis, running
  • feeling of vague dissatisfaction with “posture”
  • looking for more control over patterns of anxiety or sleeplessness
  • goal of better performance, in work, sport, music, etc.

Comments from Feldenkrais Students

My lower back has stopped spasming and I’ve been able to cease medicating it. …I move with more ease [and have] new techniques for relaxation.

Last Friday’s lesson with the tongue has given me a wonderful way of going to sleep. It almost happened in class. Your voice kept pulling me back. My body was as completely relaxed as I can remember.

[Diane is] very good at presenting the theory and explaining how the method works.

I have experience of classes and teachers in other settings; Diane has been the most helpful and effective, also the most amusing.

Functional Integration with Diane has replaced other forms of massage therapy as it is gentle and effective in releasing tight muscles with long term results. I have experienced improvement in balance and neck and back pain and general understanding of how my body works (or doesn’t).

Living with MS: My body forgets the ‘felt’ sense of a movement I want it to make… Feldenkrais reminds it… It is an ‘unlocking’ of the frozen sense of communication between my mind and body…it gives me confidence and trust that what seems to be lost is ‘sleeping’ and just needs to be reawakened from time to time… It’s as though my muscles have a loss of memory and need to be reminded on a regular basis… The feeling of release after each session takes me into deep rest and freer movement… It keeps me mobile and without it I know I would experience permanent loss a lot sooner due to atrophy.

Edna (Note: Edna has been a client for 20 years, stopped driving at about 80 years old. She is now 91 and still lives independently at home, and uses an electric wheelchair to get around.)

Dealing with Feelings: I wanted to let you know that my FI with you has been really significant for me – especially the breathing part… Today back at work I facilitated a meeting… and when the mom heard her newborn baby was going to be placed in foster care, she cried so hard that she threw up in the garbage can. One of the things that helped me in that moment was just a glance of attention to my breathing with that FI in mind, and I think it really helped.

Johanna Rayman, Feldenkrais practitioner, Portland, Or.

I have experience of classes and teachers in other settings; Diane has been the most helpful and effective, also the most amusing.

I can tell you that I always feel better after coming away from a session with you, and that Feldenkrais is my gift to myself.

M. Martin
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