FAQs

We understand our work as communicating with the brain and helping it to do its job better. We do it primarily through movement, sensation, and the 9 Essentials of the Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement®. We look to help the child become progressively a more potent learner—learn to learn—which is in essence what we rely on for the child to improve.

This process is not a linear process where the more you “pour” into the system, i.e., the longer you work with the child, the more outcome s/he gets. It is rather what I call a “threshold” mechanism, an information system, where with enough information and variability the brain “gets it” whatever the “it” is at any given moment. Once this has occurred, the brain actually requires a period of time to integrate and begin to solidify the changes.

What I have found from both my personal experience, and from years of working with children and achieving great outcomes, is that trying to “pile on” learning on top of just occurred substantial changes, not only doesn’t work to produce more learning, but rather tends to inhibit the learning that just occurred.

There is recent brain research showing that the ideal period of time for the most potent learning, when the process is generating learning, (what I call turning on the Learning Switch), is actually 15-25 minutes.

I write about this in my book Kids Beyond Limits and teach my practitioners to NOT be seduced to continue pushing the child to learn more, once the child has made clear and perceived changes and transformations. Instead, the practitioner needs to stop, let the child rest, eat, and most importantly give the child the space and time to integrate the changes, which usually leads to additional discoveries and learning done spontaneously by the child.

To stay within their professional integrity, our ABM Center Practitioners will stop the session when they feel that the child has reached the limit of his/her ability to learn and respond at that moment, and then resume in the next session.

The time that is left over in the lesson can be used for answering any questions that parents may have, provide parents with further guidance if called for, etc.

To schedule consults or private sessions with Anat Baniel or one of the ABM Center Practitioners in the San Rafael, California, ABM Center, we ask that you fill out a Lesson Request Form.

Please e-mail Dalit Broner at scheduling@anatbanielmethod.com or call 415-847-1311 to get a Lesson Request Form.

We require every request in writing, without exception.
We schedule consultations and appointments on a first-come, first-served basis in conjunction with Anat’s recommended program.

Fill out the form and email it to Dalit at scheduling@anatbanielmethod.com or fax it to the office at 415-472-6624.

Soon after receipt of your request form, we will e-mail a confirmation letter with the proposed consultation and/or scheduled lessons. We will await your confirmation back.

Please confirm your schedule with us within one week of receiving your confirmation letter by signing and returning the letter via email or fax.

OUT OF THE COUNTRY CLIENTS (excluding Canada)

We recommend that you come for a minimum of two consecutive weeks, with an option to stay longer. Each week will consist of 10 lessons total.

  • First week – Anat does one consult of up to 1 hour (including a full 1/2-hour lesson), and possibly one additional 30 minute lesson. The remaining 8-9 lessons are done by two of our ABM Center Team Practitioners: Sylvia Shordike, Neil Sharp, Chris Krzyzkowski, Michelle Vine, Mike Davis, Carole Keefe, Lara Gillease, and Kathy O’Neil.
  • Second and additional weeks – Anat does 1-2 lessons (30 min). The remaining 8-9 lessons are done by two of our ABM Center Team Practitioners: Sylvia Shordike, Neil Sharp, Chris Krzyzkowski, Michelle Vine, Mike Davis, Carole Keefe, Lara Gillease, and Kathy O’Neil.

OUT OF TOWN/STATE CLIENTS (including Canada)

Clients generally come for a minimum of one week (Monday-Friday), for  a total of 10 lessons, one in the morning and one in the afternoon each day.  Of the 10 lessons, Anat does one consult of up to 1 hour (including a full 1/2-hour lesson), and possibly one additional 30 minute lesson. The remaining 8-9 lessons are done by two of our ABM Center Team Practitioners: Sylvia Shordike, Neil Sharp, Chris Krzyzkowski, Michelle Vine, Mike Davis, Carole Keefe, Lara Gillease, and Kathy O’Neil.

LOCAL CLIENTS

We recommend starting with a consult with either Anat or one of our ABM Center Team Practitioners. Additional lessons may also be booked at the same week the consult takes place.

CONSULT

A consult is a full ABM NeuroMovement® one-on-one lesson + time at end for discussion, program recommendation, and follow up.

  • Consult with Anat Baniel – up to 1/2-hour lesson + up to 1/2-hour discussion
  • Consult with ABM Team Practitioner – 45-minute ABM lesson + 15-minute discussion

INSURANCE

The Anat Baniel Method® is a learning-based NeuroMovement® method, not a medical provider. As a result, we are unable to assign treatment codes, submit insurance claims, or work with health insurance providers.  We also do not keep medical records and thus are unable to supply them.

We are happy to provide you with a receipt indicating the number of lessons received, the amount paid, and the description of the services provided as “neuromuscular re-education” for you to submit to your health insurance company, if you so choose.

For cost and payment information, and any other questions or additional information, please contact Dalit at scheduling@anatbanielmethod.com or call 415-847-1311.

NOTE: Dalit has worked with Anat for many years and can address many of your questions and concerns.

When trying to help children overcome their special challenges, the thing that matters most is that the child’s brain is awakened to its highest potential for learning. When it is and the brain is provided with information it can use, changes begin happening right away.

The child and his or her brain need to form the patterns that control all the movements of the body, thinking, feeling, emotions, and social interaction. All children with special challenges need to form themselves and develop skills just like typically developing children do.

Find more information on children with special needs here that may be helpful when faced with these kinds of questions.

The Anat Baniel Method offers your child a process that provides your child’s brain the opportunity to learn and acquire skills and functions despite her/his challenges. Anat Baniel Method Practitioners are not restricted by diagnosis or prognosis. We know that almost any child can learn and improve!

At the Anat Baniel Method Center, we guide parents to become astute observers and to understand that any change, “small” or “big,” is important and is miraculous. All children develop through a multitude of “small” changes—changes in their brains and in their brains’ ability to successfully manage their bodies and minds. Children with special needs are no different. They, too, need to go through a multitude of “small” changes to reach the transformations that are easier to recognize, such as walking, talking, etc.

When you bring your child to an Anat Baniel Method practitioner, you cannot expect a specific outcome at a specific time. Learn more about what to expect with Anat Baniel Method lessons here.

The Nine Essentials are not different. They are the same principles, presented in both of my books Move Into Life and Kids Beyond Limits.

The brain of the child with special needs operates under the same principles as any human brain. In fact, the brains of children with special needs can be magnificent brains. We simply have to help their brains overcome the specific challenges they have. The Nine Essentials are the way to get there.

We use the Nine Essentials to maximize the child’s brain in problem-solving and developing successfully. They help children overcome limitations—physical, cognitive, and emotional/interpersonal—and help them to develop more fully and be happier.

We use the Nine Essentials to wake up our adult brains to create new patterns and further development. They have dramatic effects on anti-aging, pain relief, and increased well-being.

The Anat Baniel Method, with its Nine Essentials, helps upgrade the quality of the functioning of any brain. That is why it is useful across all age groups and so many different conditions and needs. We can all be brilliant learners!

Learn more:

How Come the Anat Baniel Method Works with Both Children and Adults? Part 1

How Come the Anat Baniel Method Works with Both Children and Adults? Part 2

We don’t have specific research done at this time. We are in the process of starting to do such research. However, there is a very large body of neuroplasticy and brain science research that supports our observations and techniques.

View the research that supports the NeuroMovement principles of the Nine Essentials of the Anat Baniel Method.

You can also download free chapters of Kids Beyond Limits to learn more. There are studies and research noted in the back of this book, as well.

Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. Neuroscientist, Professor Emeritus UCSF, member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, and author of Soft-Wired: How The New Science Of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life also wrote a Foreword for Kids Beyond Limits. Here is an excerpt:

From several decades of research, summarized in many thousands of published reports, we scientists have defined the ‘rules’ governing brain plasticity in neurological terms. We now know how to drive brains to change for the better.

It has been a great wonder to me, then, that my friend Anat Baniel, working in parallel along a completely different path, has defined almost exactly the same rules.

Read the full Kids Beyond Limits Foreword by Michael Merzenich here.

Norman Doidge, MD, author of The Brain That Changes Itself; Faculty University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry, and Research Faculty, Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, also wrote a testimonial for Kids Beyond Limits. Here is an excerpt:

The approach here, far wiser, far more subtle, truly holistic, far more ingenious, far more in accord with how brain development occurs, shows ways to access the child’s own brain plasticity and yields far greater results, so that the children can spontaneously grow from within.

Read Norman Doidge’s full testimonial on the Anat Baniel Method here.

For more information on our work with children, read Effectiveness of the Anat Baniel Method for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Other Special Needs by Dr. Neil Sharp, MD and Anat Baniel Method Practitioner.

You can also view a video of a mother speaking about her son’s experience with the Anat Baniel Method and see his progress over a period of 2 /12 years, view videos of other children who have used the Anat Baniel Method, and view Dr. Michael Merzenich speaking about this method at Anat Baniel Method Foundation.

As you may know, Anat Baniel was a clinical psychologist. She also has a degree in Statistics, and she was a dancer. Anat was looking to find a way to work with people that included movement and the feeling of self and the body. She always had a fascination with how the brain works.

In Dr. Feldenkrais, Anat found a remarkable teacher and genius. And she ended up working very closely with him in the last few years of his life. She has taken his work and evolved it over many years, figuring out what she does that is so effective.

Anat Baniel’s work with children and adults, in parallel with training thousands of people, has given her an enormous number of observations and experiences from which to draw up conclusions about how the brain works. So, her work—the Anat Baniel Method—is an evolution and a significant progression of the remarkable legacy of Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais.

Perhaps Dr. Merzenich’s words, below, express it best.

Dr. Michael Merzenich, world renowned neuroscientist and member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, wrote about Anat Baniel and her method: “Scientists have defined the ‘rules’ governing brain plasticity. Anat Baniel, working in parallel along a completely different path, has defined almost exactly the same rules and interprets them in practical and understandable human terms as the Nine Essentials that should contribute richly to clinical intervention.”

And, finally, Anat recommends that if you are interested in both methods, try them both and experience the difference for yourself!

Learn more about the Evolution of the Anat Baniel Method.

In my experience, it all depends on the specific Conductive Education school. For example, a Conductive Education school that is wonderful and that has incorporated the Anat Baniel Method (ABM) principles into its approach is The Avalon Academy in Burlingame, CA. As a result, this school’s approach is no longer the classic Conductive Education. Learn more at theavalonacademy.org.

Some of the Conductive Education schools seem to be quite rigid. They ask children to do things that they are not ready to do with lots of repetition. This obviously does not fall within our ABM principles. You really need to check out the school itself and observe how they work with the kids to see if they follow the Nine Essentials (consciously or unconsciously) or whether they go against them. If they do not follow the Essentials, then it’s not the right place for your child if you want to work in harmony with ABM.

Anat Baniel Method Practitioners welcome and support interventions and activities for children with special needs that are in accord with our understanding of how brain development occurs, supported by the most current brain research.

Whatever intervention or activity that you are considering, it is important to look at whether or not this option follows the principles of the Nine Essentials. ABM Practitioners have had successful experiences working with some professionals, but not others, in the same fields. It often depends on the individual person with whom you are working and what is actually being done with your child.

Read more about effective interventions that we have found that support children’s growth: Interventions and Activities.

If you’re doing the Anat Baniel Method (ABM) movements from my book Move Into Life or from one of our ABM DVD or CD programs and feel ANY pain, please slow down and do less of the movement causing pain. Do the movement very gently. If the pain persists when you are doing less movement more slowly and gently, then stop!

Pain is a message from your body that the particular way you are doing the movement is damaging to you.

Instead of pressing ahead, simply visualize the movement. Research shows that you can get almost the same benefit from visualizing a movement as you can from actually performing it.

Some of the lessons in our programs coach you on visualizing moves as a basic part of the lesson. After visualizing for awhile you can try doing the movement again in very small and gentle increments to see if your brain has discovered another way to accomplish the movement pain-free.

Learn about the No Pain, No Gain Fitness Myth.

ANSWER UPDATED December 2015:

We recommend that you do the NeuroMovement® for Whole Brain & Body Fitness video programs first. These are brand new NeuroMovement Programs recently designed and taught by Anat Baniel.

Our NeuroMovement® for Whole Body Fitness Program was designed to be the foundation for all of our online, DVD, and CD programs.

You can order the package of four video programs, or the individual video programs below, which address different areas that are essential for a healthy, vibrant, and radiant body and mind. Each of the programs, in addition to transforming your abilities in the area of focus of that program, also helps upgrade your brain as a whole and trains it to organize all of your actions at a higher level, thus enhancing your health, your success in what you do, and your well-being. We recommend that you complete these programs in the order listed:

  • NeuroMovement® for Whole Body Fitness
  • NeuroMovement® for Better Balance
  • NeuroMovement® for Healthy Dynamic Sitting
  • NeuroMovement® for Healthy Breathing

Next, we recommend that you complete the NeuroMovement® for Healthy Backs DVD or online program.

Then, you may want to do the online program or DVD NeuroMovement® for Breathing, Posture & Pain Relief in order to get both the lessons and the live demonstrations to enrich the context in which the learning is done.

Then, the next program you can do can be either the NeuroMovement® for Healthy Backs, Scoliosis & Pain Relief or NeuroMovement® for Healthy Necks & Shoulders. After that we recommend doing the program that you haven’t yet done. If you did the Scoliosis program first, then do the Neck program or vice versa.

Lastly, go on to the Healthy Backs audio program or CD, the Healthy Necks audio program or CD, and finally the Healthy Joints audio program or CD.

We also highly recommend our NeuroMovement® for Your Busy Life Program (formerly called Desk Trainer) if you want shorter lessons that you can do while sitting at your desk. You can do these quick and easy lessons in between our other NeuroMovement programs, if you need a quick pick-me-up, or if you are unable to do a full NeuroMovement Lesson that day. You can also use these lessons to address specific aches and pains associated with sitting and working at a computer, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injury (RSI), and shoulder, neck, or wrist pain.

View descriptions of all these Anat Baniel Method DVDs and CDs here.

Finally, for those of you who are interested and able, and have an ABM Practitioner in your area, you may want to take a private lesson once a week or once every 2-3 weeks. You will have an incredibly powerful process of learning and transformation in all aspects of yourself, when following this complete program.

We encourage you to be alert and observe changes that you notice including those you did not expect. And, of course, we would love to hear all about it, so please share your results with us. Join us on Facebook and let us know how the program is working for you!

Additional information presented with this question: My husband is due to have vestibular nerve section surgery next month. It would be wonderful if he could avoid this serious brain surgery.

Answer:

Meniere’s Disease is “a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo, low-pitched tinnitus, and hearing loss.” [Source: Wikipedia]

We have worked with Meniere’s Disease in the past with varying degrees of success. It could be helpful but there is no guarantee of success.

Your husband could try some Anat Baniel Method (ABM) lessons by going to see an ABM Practitioner in his area. Whatever the outcome, ABM lessons would be useful and helpful for his general well-being.

ABM will also support the recovery process if he decides to move ahead with the surgery.

To find a local ABM Practitioner, you can do a search on the Find a Practitioner web page.

The Anat Baniel Method (ABM) can be helpful in terms of increasing comfort in movement and ability to move. ABM does not cure the condition but seems to reduce the intensity of inflammation when done gently and slowly as directed.

For more information, see Natural Joint Pain Relief and Alternative to Physical Therapy for Arthritis.

Thank you for your directing my attention to this system. What I found was information on the “integrated listening system.” It looks interesting. I don’t have an opinion at this point. Have you tried it? What is your experience?

This person is bedridden with very limited movement in her limbs and she has significant difficulty in talking.

We have found the Anat Baniel Method to be very useful for brain damage. This includes damage due to lack of oxygen, mostly with babies and young children. We have had some very positive results in these cases.

Since the ABM principles don’t change between children and adults, it would certainly be worth a try.

Sessions with Anat Baniel vary considerably, depending on your or your child’s condition and what your or your child’s needs are.

You can also find more information about Anat Baniel Method (ABM) Lessons for Children here: How We Work With Your Child.

To get more detailed information, please contact Dalit at our ABM Center at scheduling@anatbanielmethod.com or call 415-472-6622. She can explain how ABM sessions work and answer your questions.

While I cannot guarantee that the Anat Baniel Method can help you, I can tell you that we have had success in the past with people suffering from osteoarthritis, both in terms of reduction of their pain and increased mobility and functionality.

You can watch our video Anat Baniel Method: Pain Relief from Tension, Aches, and Chronic Pain to see how ABM has helped others who have had chronic pain.

I recommend that you search for an ABM Practitioner in your area: Find A Practitioner.

You can try a few private ABM sessions first, and if they are helpful, then you can add ABM movement lessons from our DVD programs.

The first program I recommend is the ABM for Healthy Backs, Introductory Program DVD. For more information on our DVD and CD programs, go to ABM NeuroMovement DVDs and CDs.

Below is an excerpted version of the original question that we received.

Just finished reading KBL [Kids Beyond Limits]. It is going to be awhile before I can meet with a practitioner, so would like to start implementing the 9 Essentials “yesterday”! I have a 15-y.o. daughter with SPD, CAPD, eye-tracking/convergence issues, maybe inattentive ADHD thrown in the mix. Being a teen, and having been through the primitive reflex work already without gains we can see are attributed to Masgutova work specifically, well, she’s a bit demoralized and thinking, “here mom goes again…” I don’t know how to NOT convey to her the message she needs “fixing” and make the 9 Essentials a more a “normal” part of her day.

It is very common for children with special needs to feel that they are failing their parents and other adults when they do not improve as expected, whether they know what the expectations are or not.

I suggest that you be open in a gentle and mindful way with your daughter and ask her some questions:

1. Ask her what she feels about her experience with Masgutova.
She will be able to answer and express herself or not.

2. Then ask her if she would like to know your experience.
And if she says Yes: don’t say much, say it with a light tone, and tell her that you are a little disappointed but not disappointed in her. You can also say something like: I’m disappointed that I was not able to be more useful to you and I’m not about to give up.

3. Next, tell her about reading this book (Kids Beyond Limits).
Tell her that it is all about the child’s experience and not the adult’s expectations. In this book, there are fun things that you can do with her that will not only help her brain but also help your brain to do better.

4. Ask her if she is willing to play with you.
Promise her that if she doesn’t like any of the things that you do, you’ll stop, and together, you’ll find ways that she likes to make use of the Nine Essentials.

For those of you who want to know more about connecting with your child, read this excerpt From Fixing to Connecting or download this chapter from Kids Beyond Limits for free.

Following is an excerpted version of the original question that we received:

My question stems from wondering if ABM is what my daughter needs. What I’m trying to get my head around is: what is the difference between what my kiddo’s brain will pick up this time that it didn’t the first time around… as in when she was going thru the stages: sitting up, crawling, walking? Has she likely built everything on a shaky foundation? I’m trying to understand that if it didn’t work then, why would it now? It is easier for me to understand that a child born with a part of their brain missing (Elizabeth) needs extra helps to reroute and create neuro pathways… but why a child that seemed perfectly “normal” until about 7 years old?


When we work with children (and also adults) we do not try to take them through developmental stages. (Read: More About Typically Developing Children.) We look for where the brain has not differentiated and formed itself as fully as it can, and what it needs in order to perform well.

So, what we look for is how to turn on the child’s (or adult’s) Learning Switch and have the brain create the necessary connections to do better what the child (or the adult) cannot do at present.

For example, I have worked with adults who are the CEOs of a large companies who are successful, have families, and have lots of friends (i.e., very high functioning people), but they may have lower back pain or simply want to improve their golf game. I am not going to take this person through childhood developmental stages. But I can look at this person and see what elements are missing for her/him that will open the possibility to get rid of the back pain or become a better golfer.

It is the same thing with any child. And, by the way, all children need an enormous amount of input and an intelligent adult environment to grow successfully. (Learn more: Typically Developing Children.)

I understand your confusion and I hope this answer has moved you out of some assumptions that I think you may have. No one needs to have a diagnosable problem in order to be able to do a whole lot better. The way that Elizabeth’s brain worked is no different than the way that everyone’s brain works. She just needed help to get her brain to do its job as fully as it needed to.

I hope this helps. In practical terms, if you can find an ABM for Children Certified Practitioner, or come to our ABM Center in California, the biggest risk you take is that your child is not going to get better. (Because our work is so gentle, there is pretty much no risk of things getting worse.) And most likely, she will benefit.

If you want to learn more about private sessions at our ABM Center, please contact our scheduling coordinator Dalit at scheduling@anatbanielmethod.com.

If you want to learn more about our ABM Center Practitioners or find an ABM Practitioner in your area, please go to www.anatbanielmethod.com/find-practitioner.

Many of you have approached me with requests to translate Kid Beyond Limits and/or Move Into Life. And some of you have identified possible translators.

However, the translation process needs to go via the publishers of my books.

The process to have either Kids Beyond Limits or Move Into Life translated into any language is as follows:

  • You need to find a local publisher that is interested in translating either or both of the books.
  • This local publisher needs to contact the people below.

Kids Beyond Limits – Marian Lizzi at Perigree/Penguin Books, via email: marian.lizzi@us.penguingroup.com or phone 212-366-2567

Move Into Life – Lance Fitzgerald at Penguin House and Random House, via email: lfitzgerald@penguinrandomhouse.com or phone 221-572-2060

I want to thank you so much for your interest! I am deeply grateful for your love support and desire to bring the work to your communities.

Note: There is a Spanish version of Move Into Life listed on Amazon at the link below.

Movimiento-consciente-Spanish-Anat-Baniel

Following is an excerpted version of the inquiry we received:

My 2-year old child suffered from autoimmune encephalitis followed by encephalomalacia [the softening or loss of brain tissue] which left severe neurological sequelae [medical conditions associated with damaged neurons resulting from a previous disease, injury, or other trauma]. He is almost blind and has no motor activity at all. Even his head control has been lost and he is not verbal. Here in Egypt, I couldn’t find any professional practitioner to help me. My pediatric neurologist said that there is no hope but I find that my baby knows voices and sounds very well. He can remember anything he loved before his illness. He can feel my hug and has intact sensation with good lower limb power and movement. My baby is on regular physiotherapy from the day he was discharged from the hospital but with no response after 6 months. And he is always crying in the session and refusing to cooperate. I DON’T WANT TO GIVE UP. I need your advice.


Thank you for reaching out to us. From your inquiry, given that it sounds like your child is responsive, I believe that the Anat Baniel Method is definitely worth a try.

We have worked with numerous kids with severe assaults to their brain who have shown clear progress. They don’t necessarily recover full function but they certainly have recovered some function which improved both their and their family’s quality of life.

My suggestion is to get sessions in the Anat Baniel Method (ABM) from a qualified ABM for Children Practitioner. You are welcome to bring your child to our ABM Center in San Rafael, CA, or you may prefer to work with a practitioner in Europe. Feel free to contact our Scheduling Coordinator Dalit who is extremely knowledgeable and can help guide you further. Her email is scheduling@anatbanielmethod.com. You can also search for practitioners that may be closer to you by entering the full name of the country in the search box: Find a Practitioner.

If you do decide to try ABM, I recommend doing an intensive, which is 2 sessions a day for a minimum of 5 days. This should give both you and the ABM Practitioner a clear sense whether or not your child is responding to the work.

As for him crying in physical therapy, that, in a sense, is a good sign because he knows what feels good to him and what feels bad or even painful. I recommend that you request that the physical therapist works and only does things with him that are comfortable for him.

A good idea is to suggest that the therapist read my book Kids Beyond Limits if s/he is able to read in English and to follow the Nine Essentials as best s/he can. Otherwise, your child’s brain is learning and creating patterns around negative experiences and failure, which makes his recovery and improvement less likely.