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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel


The Feldenkrais Method was originated by Dr Moshé Feldenkrais (1904-1984), a Ukrainian-born Jewish physicist and judo practitioner who moved to Israel and eventually became an Israeli. He presented a view that good health means functioning well---working well, having satisfying relationships with emotional maturity, able to access a full range of responses to any situation ("Awareness Through Movement") - this is opposed to the medical health as in not 'sick or disabled' or health in any abstract sense. He asserted that his method of body/mind exploration leads to improved functioning (health) through individuals becoming more aware and finding improved use; this focus on exploration and awareness is typified by his statement "What I am after is more flexible minds, not just more flexible bodies".

This goal is reflected in the code of the Feldenkrais Guild of North America which states that practitioners of the method do not undertake to diagnose or treat illness of any kind. Most proponents of the Feldenkrais Method consider it to be a form of self-education and mind-body development, rather than a manipulative therapy.

Feldenkrais' approach was more experiential, using self-discovery rather than manipulation. Some of the influences on Feldenkrais' work include Gustav Fechner, Gerda Alexander, Elsa Gindler, Jigoro Kano, G. I. Gurdjieff, Emile Coué, William Bates, Heinrich Jacoby and Mabel Todd, all of whom were more concerned with awareness than with simple physical exercises.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Self-discovery" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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