Is Feldenkrais the Brain’s Way of Healing?

doidgeNorman Doidge’s new book The Brain’s Way of Healing, is stirring up a lot of discussion about the Feldenkrais Method®. Doidge, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, writes about methods that are working right now to help people address all sorts of illnesses and disorders, using the power of the brain. Doidge included an entire chapter on Feldenkrais and, among other things, describes receiving a Feldenkrais lesson with surprising and positive results.

Here’s a link to an interview with Doidge, done by The Guardian earlier this month. One of my favorite exchanges:

“[Q:] The other hopeful element is that such interventions appear fairly inexpensive…

[A:] They are, though almost all require a lot of the patient’s time. One reason neuroplasticity hasn’t been translated from lab to clinical practice more quickly is that it is hard to beat the business model of using medication when you see a patient. Nothing is faster than a red-hot prescription pad. On the other hand, think of the children described in the book who would have been on medication for life for ADD but instead maybe have the equivalent of 40-60 hours of these therapies. I have seen they really take responsibility for their health and their cognitive function.”

There’s also a glowing review of The Brain’s Way of Healing, that was published in the Guardian yesterday and can be linked to here. The section that mentions the Feldenkrais Method begins: “There’s more: Moshé Feldenkrais, who began his professional life in Marie Curie’s uranium lab, learned from judo and his own knee problems how to ameliorate serious brain difficulties through mental awareness of movement.”

Both The Brain’s Way of Healing and Doidge’s prior book, The Brain that Changes Itself, are inspiring and hopeful reads.

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