Functional Integration is a one-to-one approach tailored to the student's unique goals and needs. The student lies on a low padded table and the practitioner moves him or her in noninvasive ways to facilitate communitions between the part being moved and the other parts of the system.
Functional Integration(R) (FI)
You, the student, would lie fully clothed on a low padded table while the practitioner moves you by lifting, lightly compressing and lengthening, translating, rotating, or a combination of those. There is no stretching or deep pressure. All is done within your easy range. By this process the practitioner senses how you use yourself - what is being overused, what is held in tension, and what is inactive. You experience that same feedback through these small movements and through verbal cues.
FI lessons enable you to become aware of your personal habits of posture and movement, and how they influence you as you go about daily activities. You discover which ones create needless limits and stress. You explore new options of moving and how they create different effects than your habitual ways did. This increases your repertoire of responses and enriches your experience so that you become more present and engaged in activities that once seemed routine or tiring.
When a person becomes aware of this synergy, a more integrated, grounded, and respons-able self-image emerges. Though the primary goal of FI is not to "treat" or "cure" a medical condition, any new mindfulness improves the quality of movement, which in turn creates the secondary effects of greater comfort, sense of well-being, and improved functioning. Problems can diminish or even resolve and new potentials are discovered when one learns a more healthy use of self.
To watch some demonstrations of a what a Functional Integration lesson looks like, follow this link to a video on the Feldenkrais Guild website:
NOTE: FI is not a massage technique. Although massage is definitely beneficial, it is important to differentiate the two. Click here for a comparison of Functional Integration and Massage.