What is the Big Deal About the Feldenkrais Data Base Project of the IFF Research Working Group?

By Roger Russell, MA, PT

In Paris, between 2002 and 2009, Sabine Pfeffer and Myriam Pfeffer organized four innovative conferences with Alain Berthoz, a professor at the College de France. These seminars included renowned scientists as well as experienced, and scientific literate, Feldenkrais teachers. There were many memorable moments. However, for me, there were also a few situations that were “Oh, darn, I wish we were better prepared!” moments.

The first was when Professor Berthoz told me that he would be willing to sponsor a Ph.D. student. We had no way to get the word out to the worldwide Feldenkrais community about this extra-ordinary opportunity. Now we do, the IFF Research Working Group Network.

The second situation, a few years later, was not surprising, but unfortunate. Professor Berthoz had invited an internationally recognized scientist from Italy. After his talk one member of the audience asked him if he would be willing to help do research about the Feldenkrais Method. His answer?

“Well, while preparing my lecture I searched the internet for research articles about the Feldenkrais Method. I found only one article that would meet my standards of high-quality research. That surprised me. You need to get your own homework done before I would consider working with you on research!”

A sobering, but honest answer.  

On June 26, the IFF Research Data Base Group will present their homework. This is a big step for the Feldenkrais community. A step that will enable researchers to find academic articles and research reports, from around the world. Beginning with some of Moshe Feldenkrais’ own research papers, until this year. This is an accomplishment to be proud of. A very big deal! Until now, it was unfinished. The members of the Data Base Group have been working through more than 800 publications, bringing more order and better search possibilities.

The data base that they have created will make Feldenkrais research available to anyone interested; researchers, professionals, funding agencies, universities, journalists and the public.

Remember this date:  June 26, 9PM (21h) Central European Daylight Time. In the next newsletter you will find out more.

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