How Come the Anat Baniel Method Works with Both Children & Adults? Part 1
The Anat Baniel Method (ABM) can be applied broadly across the human spectrum—from children with special needs to high-performing adults; from traumatic injuries to the aches and pains of daily life to reaching new levels of performance.
How can one method transform both children and adults, with such a wide range of needs and conditions?
From the point of view of my method, fundamentally working with adults and children is the same. Of course, there are many obvious differences between the two. Adults can verbalize their concerns, often are the ones to choose to do the work, and get themselves to the sessions. Whereas children depend on their parents to receive the work, are not the decision makers, and often times, don’t have cognitive understanding of what it is that is going on.
However, within the brain and its ability to change, the process whereby children and adults change and transform for the better (or for the worse), is the same. The core of the Anat Baniel Method and my work taps into the power that the brain has to change itself for the better. But what does this mean, and how is this the same across all age groups, conditions, and needs?
It is important to understand that our body, i.e., arms, legs, backs, etc. exist in two places: where we see and know they are, and also in our brains. Through many different experiences, all of which include movement and a certain degree of attention, the brain connects to and “maps” the different parts of our body. This process of mapping, or the creation of dynamic patterns, organizes the brain, and in turn, the brain organizes and executes all of our actions.
In each person, these mappings develop to greater or lesser degrees of refinement, complexity, and clarity, depending on the quality of the learning process, the quality of the usage of that part of the body, and the prior experiences of the person.
Babies are born relatively mapping-free and begin to very rapidly create their mappings initially through the seemingly random movements they make in the beginning of their lives. These early mappings allow for near-infinite future variations in additional connections and patterns, depending on exposure, experiences, and use.
For example, if a young child begins to play baseball, certain patterns associated with the right arm will form that are unlikely to form for those who do not play baseball or similar sport. Over time, these patterns will become more engrained and stronger. If the child plays the violin, other patterns will develop. Of course, the child may do both, and in that case the brain will create a more “complete” mapping of the arm and the other parts of the body that are associated with the movements of the arm. This example demonstrates how we literally form ourselves and our identities through movement, attention, and our experiences through the process of learning.
As adults, we come to rely upon these mappings—or what we call our habits. The more deeply ingrained are our habits, the less we tend to spontaneously create new connections, new possibilities, and new growth and transformation.
From the beginning of life, the 9 Essentials defined by the Anat Baniel Method are science-based principles and conditions underlying the process of learning and development of the child. Introducing the 9 Essentials intentionally is of unique value in helping the brain of a child with special needs to do the job of figuring out how to function, despite extraordinary challenges.
For adults, these same 9 Essentials reopen the process of learning and creating new patterns and possibilities. They help the brain wake up, move away from automaticity to the remarkable process of inventing and creating the new once again. And with it, adults will improve performance, and experience vitality, creativity, pain relief, and the joy of living.
The NeuroMovement® approach of the Anat Baniel Method, with its 9 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.
The brain is a self-organizing information system and gets apprenticed through its experiences. And in turn, through the process of differentiation and integration, the brain organizes our body, thoughts, feelings, and emotions; and ensures successful execution of our intentions and actions.
It ensures an ongoing process of differentiation and integration; it continues the process of the development from the one to the many, from the simple to the complex, and from the same to the unique. The higher the quality with which the brain does this process, the healthier, the stronger, and the more effective we become.
Staying in this process will ensure the creativity necessary for both children and adults to continue to learn and grow, to be filled with vitality and energy, and to have a more joyful and satisfying life.
Please share your experiences with the 9 Essentials. I’d love to hear from you.