Original Research: Reprint
United States Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teachers®: A survey of characteristics and practice patterns
Patricia A Buchanan
Nicole L Nelsen
This article was originally published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 14; 2014. The PDF version of the article follows. The HTML version can be found at BioMedCentral: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/14/217
Background: Feldenkrais Method® teachers help students improve function and quality of life through verbally and manually guided lessons. The reasons people seek Feldenkrais® lessons are poorly understood. Similarly, little is known about practice characteristics and patterns. To address these knowledge gaps, we conducted an extensive survey of United States Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teachers®.
Methods: We invited all Feldenkrais Teachers® to participate in this survey delivered in web-based or print formats. We obtained overall and question-specific response rates, descriptive statistics, chi-square tests of response bias, and performed qualitative thematic review of comments.
Results: Overall response rate was 30.5% (392/1287). Ninety percent of responders had college degrees in diverse fields; 12.5% had credentials outside health care, 36.9% held conventional health care licenses, and 23.1% had complementary and alternative medicine credentials. Mean age was 55.7 years; most teachers were women (83%). California (n = 100) and New York (n = 34) had the most teachers. Forty-five percent of teachers earned ≤ 20% of their gross income from their practices, while 26% earned > 80%. Most saw < 10 students/week for individual lessons and < 10 students/week for group lessons. Students were mostly women (71.1%) and 45–64 years old. The primary reason students sought Feldenkrais lessons was pain. A quarter of students self-referred, a fifth were referred by conventional health care providers, and two-thirds paid for services directly. Themes from comments included: beliefs that Feldenkrais training had important personal and professional benefits for teachers; recognition of the challenges of operating small businesses and succinctly describing the Feldenkrais Method; the variety of practice approaches; and a deep commitment to the Feldenkrais Method.
Conclusions: Most Feldenkrais Teachers were well educated, often held additional credentials, were located in the West, were women, were older than 50 years, and had part-time practices. Most students were women, were adults, came from various referral sources, and paid directly for services. Teachers and students utilized the Feldenkrais Method in diverse settings and applications. These findings may foster practice development by Feldenkrais Teachers, improve communication between health care consumers and providers and assist decision-making, and stimulate more research concerning the Feldenkrais Method.
Feldenkrais Method of somatic education, US Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teachers, Practitioner characteristics, Practice patterns, Communication, Decision-making, Research development
Copyright ©: The copyright for this paper remains with the author(s).
Please cite: First published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 14; 2014. Reprinted in the Feldenkrais Research Journal, volume 5; 2016.
Service marks: The terms Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, ATM®, Functional Integration®, and FI® are service marked terms of the International Feldenkrais® Federation (IFF) and Feldenkrais professional guilds and associations in many countries. In keeping with academic conventions, they will not be service marked in the entire text as may be required in nonacademic use, but only for the first and most prominent use of the terms. In recognition that these phrases are formal terms referring to specific practices within the Method, and to the Method as a whole, capitalization of all the words in each term has been retained.
Published by the International Feldenkrais® Federation (IFF)