Researchers set out to study practitioner characteristics and practice patterns among practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method of movement-retraining bodywork.

“The purpose of this study was to obtain an initial overview of the characteristics of United States Guild-certified Feldenkrais practitioners,” read an abstract published in www.pubmed.gov.

“The Feldenkrais Method of somatic education purports to guide people of varying ages and abilities to improve function. Many people choose this method to aid with recovery from injury, manage chronic conditions, or enhance performance even though limited research supporting its safety and effectiveness exists to guide decisions about use and referral,” the abstract noted.

Of the 1,300 certified practitioners at the time of the study, 1,193 had email accounts and were sent invitations to complete a web-based survey. The survey had a 32.3% (385/1193) response rate. Among the result:

The survey inquired about practice locations, additional credentials, service patterns and workloads during the previous three months.

• Most responders did not hold other credentials as traditional health care providers or as complementary and alternative medicine providers. Among those who did, the most common credentials were physical therapist and massage therapist.

• Just over a third of traditional health care providers only provided Feldenkrais lessons, compared to 59.3 percent of complementary and alternative providers.

• The median number of clients that responders saw per week for individual lessons was five; for group lessons, also five; and they saw a median of two new clients per month for individual lessons.

“This preliminary survey of [guild-certified Feldenkrais practitioners] indicated that most practiced in the west and northeast, did not hold additional credentials, and had part-time practices,” the researchers noted. “Those who were traditional health care providers were more likely than complementary and alternative medicine providers in other areas to combine their services.

“These results provide a foundation for further analyses of Feldenkrais practitioner characteristics and practice patterns that can aid the design of safety and effectiveness studies, and enhance use and referral decision-making.”

The results were published in BioMed Central‘s open-access medical journal, “Complementary and Alternative Medicine.”

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