Functional Integration

Functional Integration® (FI) is the individual, hands-on form of the Feldenkrais Method. It works on the same principles as Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) lessons.

How do I make an appointment?

To book a Functional Integration session, call (415) 826-3680 and leave a message in the box of the practitioner you would like to work with, or if you don't have a practitioner yet leave a message in the general practitioner box (voice mail box 11). Or Contact Us though this website.

What is it like?

You lie or sit, comfortably clothed, on a low padded table. Using precise touch, and sometimes verbal instructions, the Practitioner brings your present tendencies and habits into focus, and offers new movement options. The session is highly customized to your needs and patterns of movement. The learning occurs both directly in your nervous system and in your conscious awareness. You may be given individualized movement and awareness exercises to do as a home program. It can be empowering to discover the patterns of action that are contributing to our difficulties or impeding our progress, find ways to deal with them and move ahead. Most people find Functional Integration very relaxing, energizing, or both.

Who can benefit?

Many people benefit from the more intensive and individualized sessions offered by Functional Integration, including:

  • people looking for rapid improvement and recovery, or needing more intensive input for change
  • performers and sportspeople recovering from injury or seeking to prevent re-injury, or seeking new levels of skill for performance
  • people seeking relief from acute or chronic conditions that cause strong pain, discomfort and dysfunction
  • children with developmental delay or neurological difficulties.

Functional Integration can be particularly helpful for:

  • neurological conditions (strokes, brain injury, cerebral palsy, MS)
  • chronic pain that has not responded to other treatment 
  • pain and disability after surgery
  • overuse injuries (RSI, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, etc.)
  • back pain or neck pain, hip and knee problems, breathing difficulties
  • arthritis or whiplash injuries.

How often should I to come?

People with greater difficulties may need to come between one and three times per week to start, and later as they progress they may come less frequently. Many people with less acute or severe difficulties or exploring improved performance often come weekly at first. Those using Functional Integration to maintain flexibility and well being often come between once a week and once a month. This will be discussed with your Practitioner and a plan made.

How long will I need to come?

Improvement is usually a process - occasionally a single Functional Integration lesson will suffice, but people generally come for a number of sessions.

Most people will know if Functional Integration is going to help them significantly after 4 to 6 lessons.

Ultimately the length of time you come will depend on your individual needs, movement experience and your goals. This will be discussed with your practitioner, with goals set and progress reviewed.

Some people only need a short program to help them to achieve their goals and others require a longer course of sessions or classes. Others come on an ongoing basis to maintain flexibility, deal with the demands of their lives and support their well being. People often return for help if there is a new injury, challenging condition or a new skill they need to learn.

Because Feldenkrais Method is a learning process, at an appropriate point you will be able to continue your progress with Awareness Through Movement classes or recorded lessons, or on your own.

Can I combine Functional Integration with Awareness Through Movement?

Yes, doing Awareness Through Movement concurrently with Functional Integration can be very beneficial, as learning in one mode of the Feldenkrais Method is reinforced in another. Often, when your needs are more acute, it may be better to begin with Functional Integration. Then, as you progress, it may be appropriate to do Awareness Through Movement classes or recorded lessons as well as, or instead of, Functional Integration.

What does it cost?

Practitioners at the Feldenkrais Center for Movement & Awareness have their own fees for each session. Currently our fees range from $100 - $150 for a session, depending on the practitioner. First sessions may be longer and are generally $150. A sliding scale may be available with certain practitioners.

Photographs: Copyright: Rosalie O'Connor