The Feldenkrais Method (FKM) is a movement practice that has proved its merits in rehabilitation, dance and theater. By increasing body awareness and exploring movements with attention, one can become aware of habitual behavioural patterns and find new patterns of behaviour. Despite its popularity, a scientific foundation, both in terms of a theoretical account, and experimentally, are critically lacking. Interestingly, a dynamical systems approach, such as the work of Esther Thelen on motor development and learning seems a perfect fit to provide such a theoretical background and may provide incentives for experimental research.
In her theory, Thelen emphasizes that motor learning is not a linear, preprogrammed course of development, but emerges from the interactions between the various components of the individual in relation to its environment. Importantly, the history of an individual will affect how the individual adapts to constraints in the environment and the courses of development are as such highly individualistic. This poses a methodological challenge, as it questions the generalizability of measures on the group level back to individuals.
In collaboration with Random Collision we will organise a Feldenkrais movement workshop and measure the effects thereof on balance, mobility and body awareness. Analysis of these measures will focus on intra- and interpersonal differences across the above-described domains.
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