Tag Archives: Ralph Strauch

The Process of Functional Integration® by Ralph Strauch, Ph.D.

“How can something so gentle be so powerful?”
“You hardly did anything; how could that cause the
changes that I feel?”
I’m often asked questions like these at the end of
someone’s initial Feldenkrais Functional Integration
session. The work seems so gentle, so non-intrusive, that
people often find its effectiveness surprising. As you
come to understand the Method, however, the reasons
for its effectiveness become more understandable.
In a typical Functional Integration session you lie
fully clothed on a low table (similar to a massage table
but lower and wider) while the practitioner touches and
moves you in gentle, non–invasive ways. The intent of
this touch is to explore your neuromuscular
organization — your subconscious responses to touch
and movement — and to have a tactile, nonverbal
conversation with your central nervous system about
how you organize your body and your movement.
The process is akin to biofeedback, though more
subtle and complex. In conventional biofeedback you
are “hooked up” to a sensor measuring some aspect of
your physiology that you are normally unaware of,
such as the tension in a group of muscle fibers or the
temperature of your fingertip. The biofeedback machine
transforms this measurement into something you can see
or hear — lighting a light or sounding a tone when the
muscle fibers relax, or when your skin temperature rises.
Without knowing exactly how you do it, you can learn
to keep the light lit, or the tone on, thus consciously
controlling what are normally unconscious processes. In
this way you can learn to relax habitually tight muscles,
or to increase peripheral blood circulation by warming
your fingertip.
In Functional Integration the practitioner is the
biofeedback instrument — sensing and providing
feedback (through touch) about internal processes more
complex than those addressed by conventional
biofeedback.  Read more – article