Anyone with fibromyalgia knows how difficult it can be to find an effective form of treatment. The reality is that the existing medications just don’t work for a lot of people, or they come with a host of negative side-effects. Understandably, that leads a lot of people with the condition to look for alternative therapies. And one of the therapies you might have heard suggested is the Feldenkrais Method.
But what is it? And does it work for fibromyalgia?
What Is The Feldenkrais Method?
The Feldenkrais Method was developed by Moshé Feldenkrais between the 1930’s and the 1950’s. Feldenkrais was a scientist who suffered a chronic injury to his knee. Doctors suggested that he receive surgery to fix the injury, but they warned him the procedure would lead to a permanent limp. Instead of getting the surgery, Feldenkrais decided to see if he could find a way to fix the injury himself.
Feldenkrais was a life-long student of martial arts and this fact led to an interest in the way the body moved. Feldenkrais believed that most injuries and pain in the body could be corrected by changes to your posture and movements. Feldenkrais developed a set of movement adjustments and exercises that he believed healed the pain in his knee. He then dedicated the second half of his life to teaching others to do the same.
Essentially, the method works by having the patient take a series of classes with a recognized practitioner. The practitioner examines the natural movements of the patient and trains them with a set of slow, repetitive exercises to move more naturally. The idea is that everyone picks up unhealthy movement patterns and postures over the course of their life. Feldenkrais believed that these movements put stress on the body and lead to pain. By gradually unlearning these unhealthy movements and restoring your body to a more natural state, he believed you could reduce that pain.
The method is widely practiced today and many people swear by it for a variety of health benefits. But does it really work? And can it help with your fibromyalgia?
Does It Work For Fibromyalgia?
There has been little scientific research into the effectiveness of the Feldenkrais Method. That means it’s tough to say with any certainty if it actually works. But it’s worth noting that the scientific research that has been done isn’t promising.
In 2015, the Australian government conducted a study into several alternative methods of treatment and found that there was no clear evidence that it was effective in treating chronic pain. With that being said, it’s important to remember that the study was not looking specifically at using the method for fibromyalgia. And it’s also important to remember that the results of one study aren’t conclusive.
But is there any reason to think that the Feldenkrais Method might be effective for fibromyalgia? Well, fibromyalgia is classified as a musculoskeletal disease. That means that it primarily affects the muscles and skeletal system. The Feldenkrais Method is designed to address tension and stress in the muscles, so it stands to reason that it might be effective for treating fibromyalgia. People who have tried the Feldenkrais Method have also described it as similar to yoga, which has known benefits for fibromyalgia patients. That may indicate that the method has benefits as well.
You can find examples of personal stories from people who suffer from fibromyalgia that will swear the Feldenkrais Method helped with their pain. But the fact is that we simply don’t have enough hard evidence to say that the method works for fibromyalgia or to say that it doesn’t work. This is common with alternative treatments for fibromyalgia. The condition itself gets very little attention from the scientific community. And few researchers are willing to commit their resources to investigating alternative treatments for it. The Feldenkrais Method may be one of those alternative treatments that are effective and we simply don’t know about it because it hasn’t gotten much attention. There needs to be more serious study of the Method before we can say with certainty if it works or not.
With that being said, the method really carries no risk of physical injury. So if you’re interested in trying it, there’s no reason not to do so. You may even find that it works for you.
Let us know, have you tried the Feldenkrais Method for treating your fibromyalgia? Has it helped? Do you know of any other treatments that are effective? Your answer may help us learn more about effective treatments for the condition. So please, tell us in the comments below.