The Anat Baniel Method: A NeuroMovement Approach
Different from other rehabilitation, fitness practices, and approaches to help children with special needs in their development being done today, the Anat Baniel Method℠ involves a significant shift in the way we think of ourselves as human beings, replacing the traditional model of people as a mechanical system with the view of people as an intelligence, information-based system moderated by the brain.
What does this mean for you? It means your human potential for peak performance, for healing and transformation is far greater than anything previously believed possible. Why? Because instead of being limited by muscle performance you are freed up to use the growth potential of your unlimited brain as the tool for your body’s and mind’s healing, rehabilitation, and development.
“How do you intentionally communicate with the brain?” asks Anat. “How do you get it to do its job better? How do you teach it to be a better, stronger brain?”
The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality®
By working with and closely studying high performing adults and children with special needs, Anat gradually formulated this NeuroMovement® approach and the Nine Essentials that give the brain the quality information it needs to operate more coherently, powerfully guiding the body and mind to higher levels of coordination and function.
“It’s wonderful that now, everyday, neuroscience is confirming more and more of the assumptions behind this work,” Anat says.
As an adult, or a child, is guided through gentle movements executed with close attention to what they feel as they move (the first Essential), and as they are introduced to the other eight Essentials, their brains take the information and grow new and elaborate neural connections in response to their experiences. This provides the brain with varied, high-quality information with which it spontaneously discovers new and more successful solutions for the person’s needs. It can be figuring out how to move where there was a previously a limitation, how to understand complex ideas, or how to make sense of social interactions.
When a 70-year-old cannot reach her shoes to tie her laces and she is given physical therapy and told to, “Try harder, stretch, stretch, stretch,” you’re not addressing the real problem. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t stretch because after a lifetime of unconscious movement, the problem is not in her muscles. It’s in her brain. She literally cannot “feel” parts of her back and hips and certain connections anymore, because her brain is no longer aware of these parts. So how can her brain direct the muscles to “stretch?”
Provide the Conditions for the Brain to Perceive Differences
As far as the brain is concerned, the perception of differences is the basic unit of information. The Anat Baniel Method provides the conditions that give the brain the ability to perceive differences in all dimensions, giving it the information it needs to map the body and evolve a person’s ability to think, feel, and move once again.
The other principle of the Anat Baniel Method is that the human being always works as one system. When you want to improve, you have to address all aspects of yourself and provide the information for the brain to map and organize on an increasingly more complex and skillful level your movement, thinking, feeling and emotions.
Improve Your Fitness
If you want to improve your fitness in one area—say the ability to tie your own shoelaces again—it is important to bring you whole body and the rest of the self into the action to access more fully the remarkable capacities for healing learning and growth we all possess. If you just work at trying to bend over, most likely you’ll find your improvement to be limited and you might begin experiencing pain in the process.
You have to do a wide variety of gentle movements that include all the body. You have to consciously become aware of your entire body and how it feels and moves. You have to follow the other Essentials. Then, when you have the brain perceiving differences and integrating more parts of yourself, the improvement is fast and transformational.