Story of Robert: A Stroke Survivor Discovers the Impossible IS Possible
“‘Moving with Gracefulness and Ease.’ That is the Anat Baniel way.
After suffering a stroke (which affected the left side of my body), I was unable to walk and suffered total loss of control and functionality in my left arm and hand. In addition, my speech became slurred and difficult to comprehend. I underwent intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy at the one of the most prestigious rehabilitation centers in the US. After several weeks of therapy, I regained most of the function in my left leg that had been lost as a result of the stroke and my speech improved considerably.
Following my release from rehab, I continued receiving PT and OT from highly acclaimed therapists who were experts in their respective fields, and after several months of treatment I was once again able to walk normally. However, my left arm was still extremely spastic. I could not move my wrist and the fingers on my left hand had almost no dexterity, leaving me unable to use my left hand and fingers in any meaningful way. I was unable to pick up or grasp any object regardless of its size or shape.
I refused to give up and continued therapy with the hope of one day regaining functionality in my left hand and arm. However, after several years of constant therapy, I saw very limited improvement in my left hand. I discussed my concerns with my doctor as well as the therapists who were treating me. They acknowledged that there was only so much recovery and improvement that could be expected after suffering a serious stroke, and that the likelihood of a complete recovery which would fully restore function to my left hand was highly unlikely, especially in light of the fact that a number of years had already passed since my stroke with little visible improvement in the affected hand.
I refused to be discouraged and was not ready to resign myself to a life without the full use of both hands. I tried everything, including acupuncture, neuromuscular massage therapy, as well as constraint induced therapy. However, despite my continued efforts for a full and complete recovery, I did not experience any significant long-term improvement in my left hand which had lost most of its functionality.
That is, until I heard about the Anat Baniel Method [ABM NeuroMovement].
ABM [NeuroMovement] is a highly innovative and revolutionary method for treating brain injuries (such as strokes) and is based largely on what science has come to recognize as the brain’s neuroplasticity, that is, the brain’s ability to re-learn and re-map new neuronal pathways and connections that control body movement, effectively replacing the pathways and connectors that have been damaged or destroyed as a result of a stroke.
The method employs easy, gentle movements which gives the brain the capacity and opportunity to re-learn those movements that were part of its repertoire prior to the stroke. The theory behind this method is based on the belief that we all have the ability to engage our brain to help us re-learn how to move the various parts of our body effortlessly and efficiently in much the same way that we first learned to move our bodies as infants and young children.
Unlike the traditional methods of therapy currently employed by PT or OT therapists, ABM [NeuroMovement] is not built upon the use of exhausting and strenuous repetitive movements or exercises. At the Anat Baniel Method Center in San Rafael, small, slow and deliberate movements are the key to rebuilding neural pathways and regaining freedom of movement.
Strenuous exercise and laborious physical activity are not part of the regimen at ABM and, in fact, are strongly discouraged. You are not asked to move beyond the limits that your body will comfortably and painlessly allow you.
With ABM [NeuroMovement], “less is more” and “no pain” means “more gain.” A visit to Anat’s clinic feels almost like a visit to the spa, as you are welcomed and comforted by the highly trained and professional staff (which includes a medical doctor) who work in a quiet, non-pressurized and relaxed environment. Most often, clients fall into a semi-conscious sleep as Anat or one of her professional staff, slowly and ever so gently moves and presses against your body to stimulate movement.
After only a few sessions at the Anat Baniel Method Center, I began to experience a new sense of freedom in movement. I suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, found myself being able to do things that were impossible only a few weeks earlier. I was literally amazed at the level of improvement I was experiencing after only a few short (and relaxing) sessions.
For me, ABM [NeuroMovement] is the closest thing to ‘brain surgery without a knife.’ With continued therapy sessions, I am confident that I will have a full and complete recovery.
Thank you, Anat.”
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About Anat Baniel
Anat Baniel, founder of Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement®, is the author of two highly acclaimed books about this transformational methodology: Move Into Life: NeuroMovement for Lifelong Vitality and Kids Beyond Limits. Anat’s work is at the forefront of the emerging brain plasticity field, helping wake up the brain to its greater potency for learning and change throughout life.