Therapeutic Massage and Feldenkrais Method Compared:







®
 Jane Ella Matthews, M.Ed,
  FeldenkraisĀ® Practitioner
 
jemtt1@icloud.com
  (864)918-9281
MASSAGE THERAPY
Definition: Massage is the systematic manual manipulations of the soft tissues of the body by techniques such as rubbing, kneading, pressing, rolling, slapping, and tapping for therapeutic purposes such as promoting circulation of the blood and lymph, relaxation of muscles, relief from pain, restoration of metabolic balance, and other benefitts both physical and mental. (Note: The definition of massage varies according to jurisdiction or source(1)
(stretching, and  shaking are employed.

MASSAGE THERAPY
PRIMARY GOAL: Stimulate the circulation of blood and lymph, thereby improving the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and expediting the removal of waste from them.

MASSAGE THERAPY
The client usually removes clothing and is draped for massage(3). The part being massaged is uncovered; the rest is draped for privacy and to retain warmth.

MASSAGE THERAPY
Clients mostly take a passive role in massage therapy.  Massage is done "to" the client.

MASSAGE THERAPY
Oil, cream, or lotion is applied to client's skin to moisturize and reduce friction during massage.

MASSAGE THERAPY
Massage works from a medical model with a therapist / patient dynamic.  The primary goal is treatment.




MASSAGE THERAPY
Since remediation is the goal, stretching and deep pressure are sometimes beyond normal daily experience.  Movements are not "natural" ones the client would make in everyday life.

MASSAGE THERAPY
The effects of massage are temporary; Treatment must be repeated for the effect to continue.
FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATIiON
Definition: The Feldenkrais MethodĀ® is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement sequences and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning.(2)  Movement of the skeleton, always within the effortless range of motion is a primary focus.








FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION
PRIMARY GOAL: Establish new connections in the student's awareness, enabling him or her to improve the quality of movement and functioning.


FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION
The student wears comfortable street clothing during FI.  Shoes, jewelry, and glasses are usually removed to encourage unencumbered movement.

FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION
Students have an active role in FI; freedom of movement is central.  FI is done "with" the student.

FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION
Oils and other lubricants are not used since friction is not applied and the student is fully clothed.

FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION
FI works from an educational model with a student / teacher dynamic, where both are engaged in a learning process. It is primarily a discipline which the student learns to practice in their daily life.

FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION
Since autonomous learning is the goal, normal movement patterns are employed, never beyond the student's independent range of motion.


FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION
When students learn new ways of moving, they claim them as their own.  Benefits accumulate.
BOTH MASSAGE AND FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION:

Promote circulation
Ease pain
Create a state of relaxation & sense of well-being
Encourage activity because one feels better
Are a great gift to oneself or someone special.
Clients or students can learn ways to care for themselves.
Are a positive addition to a healthy lifestyle.


NOTES:
1. Beck, Mak F. Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage, 5th ed. Engage
    Learning 2010 p.3
2. The Feldenkrais Guild of North America                www.feldenkrais.com
3. Clients usually are fully clothed for pre- and post-event sports massage