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Psychological Science
Completed Project

Effects of Developmentally-Based Feldenkrais Lessons on Adult Experience of Movement

Alexandra Blaine ‘20, Athená Davis ’20, and Professor Carolyn Palmer

Feldenkrais technique is a method that utilizes the medium of movement as a process through which to learn. Practitioners of Feldenkrais pursue the work in order to positively impact a variety of dimensions of movement, including, but not limited to, bodily contact with the floor, ease of movement, awareness of movement, body length, body symmetry, and effort put towards movement. Our study assessed adult experience of a developmental series of these lessons. The developmental perspective refers to our specific lesson design intended to replicate the progression of a child’s motor development. The Adult Developmental Series (ADS) consisted of 9 lessons which were carried out over 5 sessions. Lessons began with students prone on the floor and advanced through stages of crawling, sitting up on one’s own, standing, walking, and culminated in a complex integration of movement. After each odd-numbered lesson, participants responded to a survey to assess the effects of the lessons on various aspects of movement. At the immediate conclusion of the final session, and at 2 weeks post-ADS, subjects completed an additional survey assessing cumulative effects of the study as a whole. Our data indicates a general trend of positive responses, such as less effort, more comfort, and more bodily awareness, thus supporting our hypothesis that Feldenkrais work can enhance adults’ relationship to movement.