Alzheimer's DementiaElderlyExerciseFeldenkrais

Improving balance and mobility using Feldenkrais exercises

Feldenkrais method (Photo: Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, the developer) is an educational system designed to improve body movement and function. Its goal is to re-educate the nervous system and improve motor ability.

Researchers at the University of South Carolina, in Columbia report their experience in older adults.

First, the details.

  • 47 elderly adults were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 5 weeks.
    • Feldenkrais: 60 minutes 3 times per week
    • Wait list control
  • Changes in balance (tandem stance: 1 foot in front of the other), mobility (timed up and go), gait characteristics (GAITRite Walkway System), balance confidence (Balance Confidence Scale; ABC), and fear of falling (Falls Efficacy Scale) were measured.

And, the results.

  • Balance and mobility increased significantly with Feldenkrais vs control.
  • Fear of falling decreased significantly with Feldenkrais vs control.
  • No other significant changes were observed, although the Feldenkrais group showed improved balance confidence and mobility while concurrently performing a cognitive task.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Feldenkrais exercises… offer an alternative method to help offset age-related declines in mobility and reduce the risk of falling among community-dwelling older adults.”

They also want further research to identify any effect of Feldenkrais exercises on cognitive processes.

6/7/10 20:39 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.