What is Intelligent Body Movement?
It begins with attention. Attention can lead to awareness. And awareness can be learned. With awareness, we gain the ability to sense basic habits of movement, unrealized tension and stress. Learning to use our mind is learning to use our body differently. This is because our minds are embodied no matter how much we would like to escape or ignore that fact.
Dr. Frank Wildman's Intelligent Body Movement is a means of resolving painful issues that we consider to be either mental, emotional, or physical. But cognition is a process; it's not a thing that takes place solely in the brain. We can think best with our whole body.
Our body and mind are not integrated, they are not connected, they are not wedded to each other at all. This is because they are part of the same biological process. Our neurons are constantly influenced by our digestion, our sleep habits, our movements, and our interactions with other in the world. There is no need to connect the mind and body.
Intelligent Body Movement improves coordination, posture, dexterity, and suppleness. You can alleviate your pain by minimizing physiological and psychological stress associated with restricted movement habits.
This system of neuro-movement addresses unconscious habits of inefficient movement, excessive tension, compromised self-expression, and forgotten ways of feeling through precisely programmed movement experiences of an interesting and unusual nature. The use of touch and one-on-one, hands-on movement lessons allow the client or student to have access to both psychological and physical experiences that they may not be able to access by themselves.
The integration of the body and mind enables people to live more comfortable and rewarding lives. With improved efficiency comes greater enjoyment and pleasure in daily living. Ordinary problems associated with the work place or caused by aging are remedied. Persons with orthopedic or neurological problems experience wonderful therapeutic benefits. Meanwhile athletes, actors, dancers and musicians substantially improve their performance skills through Intelligent Body Movement.
This movement system is not intended to cure disease or disabilities. Instead, it is an effective way to learn about and improve physical limitations through freedom of movement. Because the Intelligent Body Movement provides relief from many ailments caused by various neurological or physical disorders, it enhances the quality of living.
These techniques are widely used in physical therapy and occupational therapy. From common problems such as muscle injuries, back pain and arthritis, to more complex cases involving learning disabilites, pediatrics and gerontology, Intelligent Body Movement offers a highly effective form of therapy.
Dr. Wildman developed Intelligent Body Movement over 40 years of working with clients, students, and medical and other professionals. He draws from the work of and was close associates of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, the greatest movement scientist of the 20th century; Dr. Stanley Keleman, the founder of somatic psychotherapy; Anna Halprin, a world-renowned pioneer of dance theatre; among others.
Dr. Wildman devotes his time to training people in his method and working privately with clients ranging from those challenged by severe pain issues to those seeking enhanced performance.
The MOVEMENT STUDIES INSTITUTE is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of Somatic Education worldwide, having trained more certified practitioners around the world than any other since 1985.
About Frank Wildman
Frank Wildman, PhD: Founder and educational director of The Movement Studies Institute, creator of The Intelligent Body®, Change Your Age, and The Evolution of Motion
A renowned author, speaker and educator, Dr. Frank Wildman is recognized as a pioneering advocate for the work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais—a philosophy and system of movement that has revolutionized the treatment for pain and loss of energy associated with daily activity, exercise and aging. For nearly 40 years, Dr. Wildman has been a teacher, practitioner and mentor to countless medical professionals, athletes, fitness experts, musicians, dancers and a host of others who have embraced the proven health benefits of his work.
Dr. Wildman's work with the Intelligent Body is based on brain sciences. He has developed an understanding of Dr. Feldenkrais' work in terms of neuroscience. Many of his lessons are presented and explained in terms of neuromotion™.
Dr. Wildman's Career and Path to the Movement Studies Institute
Frank Wildman was a young choreographer and performer with Anna Halprin’s dance troupe in San Francisco when he met Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, the physicist, engineer and Judo Master who developed a system of movement which describes how each motion is the result of many parts of the body working in concert with the mind. Simply put, Dr. Feldenkrais's work is based on the premise that becoming more aware of one’s movements, and exerting less effort, can relieve stress, reduce pain, enhance agility and make life more enjoyable.
After acquiring degrees in Physical Education, Biology and Somatic Psychology, Wildman became fascinated by Dr. Feldenkrais’ philosophy and teachings and went on to study with him for a decade. While studying patterns of animal movement and child development, Wildman recognized links between psychology and the science of motion. This insight grew into an innovative understanding that has influenced the entire field of movement studies and has led to advances in physical therapy that have been adopted internationally by hospitals, universities, physical and occupational therapists, and somatic psychologists.
Founder of the Movement Studies Institute
In 1985, Dr. Wildman founded the Movement Studies Institute, which has gone on to become one of the world’s premier training organizations. His goal was to make the techniques clear and teachable to future practitioners as well as the general public across North America, Australia, Europe and Japan. As the first educational director of a Professional Training Program, he has guided the certification of a host of practitioners and allied health professionals through the years. Serving as a president of the Feldenkrais Guild of North America, Dr. Wildman has also helped develop and define the standards of practice that are current guidelines internationally.
World Renowned Instructor
Dr. Wildman has directed over thirty professional training programs in the United States, Japan, Europe and Australia, and has introduced the work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais to organizations as diverse as the Australian Institute for Sport and the American Back Society. His signature programs, “The Evolution of Motion,” “Your Brain as the Core of Strength and Stability,” and “Reconstructing Dance Technique,” distill his lifetime of experience in science, education and clinical practice into brief but powerful courses.
As a presenter, Dr. Wildman has reached a rich and extensive professional audience, including: The American, Canadian and Australian Physical Therapy Associations; The Council for Health and Physical Recreation, Sport and Dance; and The American Back Society. He designed Back Care and Gerontology Programs for the University of California.
He has written books and produced numerous CD and DVD programs, some with specific themes such as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain, The Intelligent Body—Improving With Age, Dealing with Back Pain and Your Brain as the Core of Strength and Stability. His program, Change Your Age, is being very well received around the world, not only in the areas of movement, dance, education and medicine, but also in athletic, fitness and wellness venues. Among practitioners, Frank is regarded as a pioneer in the field and is noted for his visionary and dynamic style of teaching.
For private appointments with Dr. Wildman, contact him at the Movement Studies Institute at (800) 342-3424, or e-mail
Shout Outs For Frank
"Frank Wildman's approach to pain and mobility problems is so successful that I would recommend it to anyone wanting pain relief, improved coordination, and strenght."
—Dr. Sheldon Margen, consultant to the World Health Organization and professor emeritus of public health at UC Berkeley
"There are ways that will lead you to a more active, healthy and safer life and you will feel, look, and act younger. One of the best ways to do this is to read Change Your Age and follow the advice of Dr. Frank Wildman. He is a master teacher of many forms of vital movement therapy."
—Paul Davison, MD, Internist, Rheumatologist and Author
"Frank is about teaching and educating the person, instead of forcing someone through an exercise by repetition of a movement. He has given me another vantage point and a whole other vocabulary to communicate with my students."
—Kathryn Ross-Nash, Pilates Guild
My current interests involve neuro-plasticity and learning. Many people can learn their way out of pain. I don’t do bodywork or work on body parts. Instead, I work on the integration of whole body actions, for example; someone might present a knee problem, pain, a loss of movement. I look at the posture and disposition of the person and assess their movement blind spots, then help them learn what new actions/movements they could perform that would help restore lost function and alleviate their pain. I work with people in any kind of condition or with any skill set. I work with athletes, athletic trainers and coaches. Also, musicians, artists, and people struggling with movement issues stemming from pain problems, injury or aging. I travel nationally and internationally as educational director and trainer for 4 year long Professional Training Programs, but I do have time devoted to my private practice in California and I always welcome new clients.
Please call my private line, (510) 527-7198 or email me at
Visit my private practice website FrankWildmanMovement.com
Note: Before the appointment, we will need to have some conversation over the phone.
"I’ve held a private practice in Berkeley, California for over 40 years. Although this makes me sound ancient, luckily years of experience have bred some wisdom."
Frank Wildman, Ph.D., Founder and educational director of The Movement Studies Institute
Shout Outs From Frank's Clients
"Dr. Frank Wildman brings an innate talent combined with great depth experience to his artistry of healing the body.
He works like a sculptor with ongoing patience, carefulness, and uncanny accuracy. he also understands how the psyche and the body interplay: the body cradling the psyche and the psyche inhabiting the body. A gem of a practitioner, teacher!"
—Isabella S., Psychologist
"Frank Wildman is an amazing practitioner. He can make your body feel like you're in the best shape of your life. Great for athletes! Great for those wanting to just feel the best they can at any age."
—Maddy D., author, researcher and presenter
"As a practitioner myself, I have referred several clients to Frank Wildman. I, and some of his former students refer to him as ‘eagle eye.’ His ability to see what a client needs to learn is unprecedented. He’s able to assess the situation quickly and create a very effective strategy to address whatever the issues."
—Viviana D., GCFP
Intelligent Body Movement Training Programs
Training programs are open to both professionals and non-professionals. Our professional training program teaches all students how thoughts, feelings and actions are fundamental to neuromuscular control and coordination. You’ll learn how to relieve pressure and strain on joints and muscles while improving quality of motion. Students will learn through interesting movement explorations and hands-on tactile experiences while achieving greater control and performance in their own lives. These movements will be integrated with lectures and discussions.
A successful practitioner must be able to nurture a deep rapport with clients. This elusive quality is a key part of our program. It promises you intrigue, stimulation and lasting reward. Participants will learn the latest in working with chronic pain issues as well as learning how to work with high level movers, be they professional or semi-professional athletes, dancers, or martial artists. The advantage of such a program includes the personal satisfaction of helping others while learning patterns of “breakthroughs” for even the most persistent of client problems.
Study Topics Include:
- The Study of Holistic Movement
- Evolutionary anatomy and movement functions
- The Evolution of Motion- How did thought and awareness arise from our body?
- How we learned to acquire movement and language skills
- Non-verbal communication
- The Study of Creativity
- Martial Arts, Sports, and Dance
Each training program is developed by Frank Wildman, PhD, and taught by some of the most inspiring instructors in the somatic field today. The professional training program offered by the Movement Studies Institute provides a theoretical and technical background for study that relates to virtually every discipline taught in major universities and teaching institutions. Due to the great versatility and significance in people's lives, including rehabilitation, performance development, and improving self-awareness, graduates are able to select from a variety of career opportunities.
After graduation, many students have applied their education to such fields as physical therapy, occupational therapy, neuromuscular rehabilitation, gerontology, childhood special education, massage therapy, psychotherapy, speech pathology, sports training, dance, music, performing arts and more.
"Frank Wildman’s Professional Trainings create the optimum environment for learning: a friendly, mutually supportive group of students, a comfortable physical environment, a dedicated and skilled support staff and instructors who are not only skillful in the method but skillful in the application of learning theory tailored to the needs of the group while mindful of the individual students needs."
-John B. Chester, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and former director of Pain Services, Salem Hospital Regional Rehabilitation Center
"Dr. Wildman’s Training Program has helped me become more aware of my teaching style while teaching me about effective movement. He has provided greater skills that help me communicate movement more accurately to my students. Frank is brilliant. He has the ability to weave different sciences in a way that expands one’s perspective."
-Rosa Pasarin, Polestar Pilates International Educator and Feldenkrais practitioner
The program is structured in two week sections spread over the course of several years, depending on the location.
The coursework offers a profound and pleasurable learning experience. You'll balance your time between intense study and periods to assimilate the depth of information. Classes are woven together in an experiential and exploratory manner. Hands-on lessons, lectures, discussion groups, reading and DVDs will help guide you to learn at your own pace in a non-competitive environment.
Curriculum and Learning Strategy
Hundreds of movement lessons explore every joint and muscle group in the body, recapturing the organic learning processes of childhood. They are done in a group setting with other students. Many of these lessons were devised by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, as well as Frank Wildman. These explorations illustrate particular movement concepts and are balanced with lectures, demonstrations, and discussions.
A systematic approach of working "hands-on" with another individual to address specific neurologic or muscular problems will be emphasized. Students receive personalized private instruction and supervision from staff as they develop their own skills to work with others. In the final year, a clinic allows students to perform hands-on lessons under supervision while receiving detailed feedback.
Dr. Wildman integrates the teachings of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, the greatest movement scientist of the last century, and Dr. Stanley Keleman, a pioneer in somatic psychology. Frank Wildman was Dr. Feldenkrais' first North American student and taught his work for over 40 years. He simultaneously studied with Dr. Keleman for over 30 years. Movement lessons are closely examined and discussed in order to focus upon key principles and theories of these luminaries.
All discussions, lessons, and demonstrations are recorded and made available to students. These daily recordings provide an indispensable means of study and facilitate make-up sessions in the case of absence. They also serve as a record of the student's progress and enable review of one's physical transformation.
In addition to interaction with instructors, students work in small groups to maximize teaching and understand handling of different individuals. Study groups occur in a highly personalized manner for greater understanding of interactions. The groups promote invaluable relationships among participants and a sense of mutual support or a home away from home. It is from these study groups that many lifelong colleagues and friends can be established.
Tuition, Fees and Enrollment
The exact cost varies according to the particular location of the training program.
Housing information is provided to applicants upon enrollment. There are many housing options that range in cost, location and type of accommodation. Housing listings are mailed to enrollees with ample time to make necessary arrangements. Maps of each area and public transportation information are also provided.
We are currently accepting students for all NEW trainings. Contact the office for application information and forms.
Primary emphasis is placed on an applicant's motivation for personal development and career goals. There is no educational prerequisite or existing professional background required.
Program Faculty and Instructors
Frank Wildman, Ph.D is Educational Director of the Movement Studies Institute. All other faculty members studied directly with Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais and have been carefully selected for their mastery and strong teaching skills. Other practitioners with an advanced level of study and ability to inspire and support students may assist with instruction. During all phases of coursework, a low student-teacher ratio is maintained to ensure close supervision.
Student Evaluation and Graduation
Throughout training, students have a regular opportunity to meet with the program director and teaching faculty for guidance in their studies. You'll receive personal support in your learning experience, encouragement of your progress, plus attention to many professional aspects of setting up your own practice.
Graduation is based on completion of the following:
- Intelligent BodyMind Movement lessons and Hands-on coursework.
- Full attendance in all sessions of the training program and
- Successful evaluations from faculty
Missed days must be completed through make up sessions provided by the staff prior and/or video work prior to graduation.
- The Movement Studies Institute is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of Somatic Education worldwide, having trained more practitioners around the world than any other since 1985.
- Payments can be made with Visa, MasterCard, or by personal check.
- All applications are reviewed prior to acceptance by the Administrative Director and Dr. Frank Wildman, Educational Director. Primary emphasis is placed on an applicant's motivation for personal development and career goals. There is no education prerequisite or existing professional background required. Therefore, your overall profile will be taken into consideration. A telephone interview may be requested.
- The Professional training program is not intended to provide medical rehabilitation or psychiatric treatment for enrollees, nor is it intended to replace training in those fields.
- Training programs may be subject to cancellation in cases of insufficient enrollment, faculty availability or facilities. In the case of faculty or location changes, enrollees will be notified at least 30 days in advance and given the option for refund.
- Laws of a given country or state may vary in regard to the use and applications of movement lessons and/or hands-on procedures taught in the program. There may be additional requirements to practice in your state or country and some form of licensing may be required to teach movement lessons and perform hands-on lessons. The program may provide you with many or all of the state requirements. Any additional requirements beyond the scope of the course are the responsibility of the applicant or student.