Moshé Feldenkrais was born in the Ukraine in 1904, into a Jewish family. He emigrated to Palestine at the age of fourteen, before going to Paris to study engineering and physics at the Sorbonne. While in Paris, he became the first westerner to gain a black belt in Judo, and also wrote one of the definitive books on the discipline.
Following a serious knee injury, Feldenkrais began to explore ways to help himself recover. His extensive research brought together diverse fields of knowledge, including physiology, biomechanics, neuro-science, human development and psychology. He studied with and was influenced by, other somatic education pioneers of the time, including F.M Alexander and Ida Rolf.
Returning to live in Israel after the war, Feldenkrais developed his ideas further into a comprehensive system, informed by his work with adults and children with movement and neurological difficulties. He wrote several books outlining the principles of his unique method, and established teacher-training programmes in America and Israel before his death in 1984.
Today the Feldenkrais Method is internationally established as an influential form of somatic education, and is widely used in healthcare and in performing arts institutions.
Recent neuro-scientific research over the past 15 years increasingly supports Feldenkrais’s core concept of the human brain’s ability to grow and adapt throughout life (neuro-plasticity).