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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 752160, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/752160
Review Article

The Effectiveness of the Feldenkrais Method: A Systematic Review of the Evidence

1International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, Sansom Institute of Health Research, School of Health Science, University of South Australia, P.O. Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
2School of Health Science, University of South Australia, P.O. Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia

Received 16 December 2014; Revised 4 March 2015; Accepted 9 March 2015

Academic Editor: Cun-Zhi Liu

Copyright © 2015 Susan Hillier and Anthea Worley. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Feldenkrais Method (FM) has broad application in populations interested in improving awareness, health, and ease of function. This 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 analysed individually and collectively where possible. Twenty RCTs were included (an additional 14 to an earlier systematic review). The population, outcome, and findings were highly heterogeneous. However, meta-analyses were able to be performed with 7 studies, finding in favour of the FM for improving balance in ageing populations (e.g., timed up and go test MD −1.14 sec, 95% CI −1.78, −0.49; and functional reach test MD 6.08 cm, 95% CI 3.41, 8.74). 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, effects seem to be generic, supporting the proposal that FM works on a learning paradigm rather than disease-based mechanisms. Further research is required; however, in the meantime, clinicians and professionals may promote the use of FM in populations interested in efficient physical performance and self-efficacy.