Child’Space and Dr. Chava Shelhav

About Dr. Chava Shelhav

Dr. Chava Shelhav is a senior teacher of the Feldenkrais method; was born in Israel, and lives in Tel-Aviv.  Dr. Shelhav was a member of the first group of students trained personally by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, worked with him for many years and acted as his assistant in programs worldwide.  She is one of a handful people who are responsible for the promotion of the method to the international status it holds nowadays. Chava Shelhav introduced this method to a variety of institutions in Israel and Germany, among them hospitals, Child-development Centers, Kindergartens and schools.

She received her PhD at Heidelberg University in Germany. Her thesis led to her book (in German) “Movement as a model of learning”, was published by Modernes Lernen (VML) in 1999. Her MA degree she received at Boston University based on her work with children with Cerebral Palsy and her master’s thesis, “Working with Brain Damaged Children Using the Feldenkrais Method,” that was published in 1989.  Her method of teaching utilizes aspects of the body-mind relationship, and emphasizes the influence of early development on the individual and on social personality.

Dr. Shelhav achieved distinction through her work with infants and children, especially disabled ones. During the last 40 years she trained thousands of students, and witnessed the growing need and interest of working with babies and special needs babies and developed “Child’Space – The Chava Shelhav method”—a unique Method of Developmental coaching that applies the Feldenkrais theory while working with babies and their caregivers.

, thus developed the Child’Space Shelhav Method, and since 2002 she has been training practitioners and therapists in the Child’Space method in Israel, USA, Japan, Netherland, Russia, Austria and Argentina.

Dr. Shelhav has been the Educational Director for Feldenkrais professional training programs in Israel, the UK, USA and Germany as well as quest trainer for numerous programs internationally. She is the head the Center for the Feldenkrais Method in Germany, Feldenkraiszcentrum, for the last 30 years.


Dr. Shelhav about Dr. Feldenkrais

As a young mother with back pain, I was lucky to meet with Moshe Feldenkrais.
Not only did I develop professionally, his work transformed my health as well.

I had just graduated from “Hakibbutzim College” with a degree in physical education when I met Dr. Feldenkrais, and began to take his public classes.
He then invited me to join a group he was preparing as teachers of his method. I had just given birth to my first child, and had stopped dancing due to the severe back pain I had at the time.

I was afraid my back problems would prevent me from studying with him, but Moshe insisted they would be no obstacle.
He was right. The changes and healing processes I went through working with my own back became a part of my studies.

That is something characteristic of the Feldenkrais Method that the learning process proceeds through direct experience of one’s own functioning as much as through theory.

From 1968 to 1971, our group of thirteen met with Moshe every day. He used our meetings to refine his work and his teaching methods.

From 1971 to his death in 1984, I assisted his work, first at the Feldenkrais Institute in Israel, then in his teacher training programs in the United States.
I also had the privilege helping him write the chapter on learning for his book, “The Elusive Obvious”.

I ultimately acquired a deep understanding of mechanisms of human movement and the way movement is connected to the senses, to self-awareness and to personal development.
Sharing the skills, knowledge and principles I learned under Dr. Feldenkrais with my clients and students has become my life’s work.

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