Feldenkrais Method Balance for Older Adults

Original Article

Feldenkrais Method Balance Classes Improve Balance in Older Adults: A Controlled Trial

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of Feldenkrais Method balance classes on balance and mobility in older adults. This was a prospective non-randomized controlled study with pre/post measures. The setting for this study was the general community.

A convenience sample of 26 community-dwelling older adults (median age 75 years) attending Feldenkrais Method balance classes formed the Intervention group. Thirty-seven volunteers were recruited for the Control group (median age 76.5 years).

A series of Feldenkrais Method balance classes (the “Getting Grounded Gracefully” series), two classes per week for 10 weeks, were conducted. Main outcome measures were Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) questionnaire, Four Square Step Test (FSST), self-selected gait speed (using GAITRite instrumented gait mat).

At re-testing, the Intervention group showed significant improvement on all of the measures (ABC, P = .016, FSST, P = .001, gait speed, P < .001). The Control group improved significantly on one measure (FSST, P < .001). Compared to the Control group, the Intervention group made a significant improvement in their ABC score (P = .005), gait speed (P = .017) and FSST time (P = .022). These findings suggest that Feldenkrais Method balance classes may improve mobility and balance in older adults.

Karol A. Connors,1, 2 Mary P. Galea,1, 3 and CatherineM. Said1, 3
1 Rehabilitation Sciences Research Centre, School of Physiotherapy, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
2 Calvary Health Care Bethlehem, Caulfield South, Australia
3 Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Correspondence should be addressed to Mary P. Galea, m.galea@unimelb.edu.au
Received 25 September 2008; Accepted 19May 2009

Feldenkrais Method