The Effectiveness of the Feldenkrais Method: A systematic review of the evidence

The Feldenkrais Method (FM) has broad application in populations interested in improving
awareness, health and ease of function. This systematic review aimed to update the
evidence for the benefits of FM, and for which populations.

A best practice systematic review protocol was devised. Included studies were appraised
using the Cochrane risk of bias approach and trial findings were analysed individually and
collectively (meta-analyses) where possible.

Twenty randomised, controlled trials were included (an additional 14 to an earlier
systematic review). The population, outcome and findings were highly heterogeneous.
Some meta-analyses were able to be performed, finding in favour of FM for balance
measures in ageing populations - for example Timed Up and Go and Functional Reach tests:
MD -1.13sec [CI -1.7,10.56], p=0.0001; and MD 6.29cm [CI 4.28,8.3], p<0.00001,
respectively. Single studies reported significant positive effects for reduced perceived effort,
and increased comfort, body image perception, and dexterity.

Risk of bias was high, thus tempering some results. Considered as a body of evidence, the beneficial effects seem to be
generic, supporting the proposal that FM works on a learning paradigm rather than diseasebased
mechanisms.

Further research is required, however in the meantime, clinicians and professionals can
promote the use of FM in populations interested in efficient function and self-efficacy,
provided individual outcomes are monitored.