The Feldenkrais method (FM) is a process that uses verbally and manually guided exploration of novel movements to improve individuals’ self-awareness and coordination. This paper reviews recent literature evaluating the therapeutic value of the FM for improving balance, mobility, and coordination and its effectiveness for management of chronic pain. The authors also explore and discuss studies that have investigated some of the other bodily effects and possible mechanisms of action, such as (a) the process of learning itself, (b) focus of attention during motor learning, (c) autonomic regulation, and (d) body image. They found that research clearly supports the effectiveness of the FM for improvement of balance and chronic pain management. The exploration into mechanisms of action raises interesting questions and possibilities for further investigation.
James Stephens and Susan Hillier
Margarita D. Tsiros, Emily J. Ward, Sophie Lefmann, and Susan Hillier
The aim of this study was to describe and undertake an initial evaluation of a student-led assessment service for children with possible motor-skill difficulties. A secondary analysis of cross-sectional descriptive clinical data collected from 2015 to 2016 was undertaken. Children (N = 102) were assessed in preschools by physiotherapy students (supervised by qualified physiotherapists). Key outcomes included the following: Children’s Activities Scale, Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2, and demographic/service-usage/onward referral statistics. The results highlighted that for every five children referred/assessed, two were at risk of motor-skill difficulties (∼43%). About 66% of children were subsequently referred on or monitored (40% requiring multidisciplinary follow-up). Conversely 34% of children did not require further services. In conclusion, a student-led assessment service may be a sustainable and feasible option to assist children at risk of motor-skill difficulties, enabling onward referral. Additional evaluation is required to garner stakeholder feedback.