Feldenkrais at HMPG

Feldenkrais at HMPG

Starting May 2024


Runforever offers a new educational project through the Feldenkrais method® for humanising health care within prison environment. We started with a running pilot project in February 2023 interpreting a running club as a bridge between inside and outside the prison. The project has been very successful and has helped open a new direction of health within the prison. Within this frame, in agreement with prison management and staff, we are offering a new programme based on the Feldenkrais method available to prisoners in HMPG: weekly Feldenkrais® classes followed by group sharing and conversation, engaging prisoners in a person-centred approach to enable them self-manage their health and wellbeing within prison and prepare for community re-integration. The project is designed as a practice of humanising healthcare combining the individual (Feldenkrais classes, 40-50 minutes) with the collective (facilitated group sharing in the form of Around the fire conversation, 30 minutes).

The new programme starts in May 2024 and is meant to have a deep impact on the overall health of prisoners taking part in the course especially mental health. It will help shape a new understanding of health within prison environments in dialogue with the HMPG Recovery, Health & Well-Being Strategy Group which takes in consideration the role and impact of social inequalities and adverse childhood experiences upon mental health.

With this project we want to engage a wider and harder to reach prisoner population that suffer from age related conditions / illnesses and are not interested and resist the fit-gym culture. The Feldenkrais method offers gentle movement classes enabling inner listening and attention nurturing the ground for healing and therefore is very well suited to address this path towards health.

The Feldenkrais course is designed to meet the aim and objectives of the HMP- Grampian Recovery, Health & Well-Being Strategy by introducing a Salutogenic approach to health conceived as an ongoing learning process. The course will follow a proven structured series of classes to improve health, continuously shaped and orientated by the group conversations and individual needs.

What difference will it make

  • Prisoners will be involved and encouraged to be active participants rather than passive recipients of medical treatments or care.
  • Prisoners will have improved health literacy and understanding of their own health issues, to develop improved self-care and self-management.
  • Prisoners will be supported to attend the course regularly to establish positive relationships with teachers and providers

Valuating from the inside and learning together

The course is thought as an ongoing learning process following a structured series of classes based on a salutogenic approach to health, shaped and orientated by prisoners’ perceptions and self-reflection of their health & wellbeing. A participatory/reflective approach to evaluation will be adopted. Around the fire conversations following each Feldenkrais class will create an environment for social interaction, sharing of stories through radio shows (similar to the Runningstories) and artistic/biographical practices (similar to the Photovoice activity), to capture prisoners’ perspectives of participating in the project. Prisoners will also complete the HMP Grampian Well-being Wheel and a reflective diary.

About Feldenkrais

Feldenkrais ® is a somatic educational method based on movement and sensory awareness created by Moshè Feldenkrais (1904-1984) synthesized in the words “awareness through movement®”. Feldenkrais improves posture, balance and coordination and is beneficial to reduce the impact of chronic, degenerative or sudden-onset health conditions.  Mental health in relation to recovery from addiction, symptoms of anxiety, mild to moderated depression and panic attacks can benefit from it. Feldenkrais aids rehabilitation for people dealing with injury and illness, and facilitates a shift to a more healthful/salutogenic orientation in life for self- management of health conditions. 

Offered by Runforever

The project is offered by Runforever in close collaboration with HMPG Recovery, Health & Well-Being Strategy Group. Sessions are be led by: