Frequently asked questions
What is the Anat Baniel Method® (ABM)?
The Anat Baniel Method® (ABM) has two modalities: group movement exercises and one-on-one sessions with a trained ABM practitioner.
With the Anat Baniel Method, we recognize that the brain is our CEO. Its job is to make sense of all the sensations coming in, to organize the movement of our body, our thinking, our feelings, and our emotions. But like any CEO, the quality of the brain’s performance depends on the quality of the information it receives.
Provide the Brain with New Information
When we experience pain, or when we reach an invisible ceiling in our performance, rather than focusing on the muscles, the limitation, or the painful area, the Anat Baniel Method focuses on providing the brain with new information; the brain uses this information to change and improve what we do.
What is NeuroMovement®
NeuroMovement®, is the relationship between movement and the brain.
Bring Attention to Movement
Movement alone is not enough to bring about positive change. Brain research shows that when movement is done automatically, the only change in the brain is the deepening of already existing patterns. Over time, this leads to an actual loss of brain connections. When the person pays attention to what they feel as they move, the brain wakes up and changes at an incredibly rapid rate as new neural connections are created.
Movement done automatically only deepens existing brain patterns of pain and limitation. We feel stuck, even hopeless, as we are led to believe that the cause of our pain and limitation is the condition itself: aging, accidents, stroke, genetic disorders, brain damage, etc.
We don’t realize that we are starving the brain of what it needs: new information.
What are the Nine Essentials?
The Nine Essentials Help the Brain Grow
The moment we bring attention to what we feel as we move—the first Essential—and apply the other eight Essentials, we flood the CEO brain with valuable information it immediately uses to begin growing, finding new solutions to function and govern the body better.
Developing these new neural-networks helps organize and upgrade thinking, fosters creativity, and supports higher level interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.
In a nutshell, instead of just focusing on the body, trying to force physical rehabilitation and fitness mechanically, and trying to improve cognitive, and interpersonal functioning through drills and repetition, the Anat Baniel Method provides the brain with information it needs to better do its job as CEO of all our actions. Everything improves—physical performance levels, cognitive abilities, creativity, and social skills. Our happiness quotient rises as well!
Using the Nine Essentials to Move Beyond Limitations
A 70-year-old woman (we’ll call her Patricia) can’t reach her shoe laces to tie them. She is told to, “Try harder. Stretch, stretch, stretch.” It doesn’t work. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t reach the laces. She is now convinced that her limitation is inevitable she is simply too old.
She doesn’t realize that she isn’t getting better because this mechanical approach is not addressing the real problem. The problem is not in her muscles—it’s in her brain. After many years of habitually moving only some of her joints, using only certain muscles and not others, Patricia literally cannot feel parts of her back and hips and legs because her brain has stopped getting the information it needs to remain aware of those parts of herself. Whole areas of her body are not “mapped” anymore in her brain. It’s as if they don’t exist for her.
Now, if the brain isn’t aware of certain muscles and joints, how can it direct and orchestrate those muscles and joints to work? It can’t! The same holds true for adults with different conditions and children with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and other special needs.
By moving gently and slowly, with attention, and with lots of variations, and by using the remaining six Essentials of the Anat Baniel Method, Patricia helps her CEO brain connect to more parts of herself. By differentiating her perceptions and movements, remapping her body in her brain, and evolving her ability to move more flexibly, she can now reach her shoelaces easily.
As a by-product of applying the Nine Essentials, she begins thinking and feeling better too.
Through communicating with the brain, miraculous changes can occur.
Is the Anat Baniel Neuromovent Scientifically proven?
Nine Essentials Are Validated by Neuroscience
The Nine Essentials are validated by modern science’s latest discoveries in the area of brain plasticity—the brain’s ability to change and grow new neurological pathways and connections throughout life. The Nine Essentials offer you concrete, effective, and immediate ways to easily tap into your brain’s enormous potential.
With the Essentials, the brain becomes a brilliant problem solver, leading to breakthroughs in movement abilities, pain relief, and peak performance.
Essential 1 – Movement with Attention
Movement is Life. Movement helps the brain grow and form. The brain is organized through movement. In turn, it is the brain that organizes all movement: the movement of our body, our thinking, our feelings, and our emotions. But movement alone is not enough. Automatic movement—movement done without attention—only grooves in the already existing patterns.
When we bring attention to what we feel as we move, the brain immediately starts building billions of new neurological connections that usher in changes, learning, and transformation.
Essential 2 – Slow
Fast, we can only do what we already know. This is how the brain works. To learn and master new skills and overcome limitation, the first thing to do is slow way down. Slow actually gets the brain’s attention and stimulates the formation of rich new neural patterns.
Slow gets us out of the automatic mode in our movements, speech, thoughts, and social interactions. Slow lets us feel and experience life at a deeper, more profound level.
Essential 3 – Variation
Variation is everywhere, and is more than just the spice of life. It’s a necessity for optimum health. Variation provides your brain with the richness of information it needs to create new possibilities in your movements, feelings, thoughts, and actions. It helps increase your awareness and lifts you out of rigidity and “stuckness.”
By introducing variation and playfulness into everything you do, you awaken all your senses. New ideas occur and new possibilities emerge in your life.
Essential 4 – Subtlety
We have all heard the expressions “no pain, no gain” and “try harder.” However, in order to overcome pain and limitation and thrive, the brain needs the exact opposite—less force. For the brain to receive new information, it needs to perceive differences.
By reducing the force with which we move and think, we increase our sensitivity. With the resulting increased sensitivity, we greatly enhance our brain’s ability to perceive the finest of differences. These perceptions give the brain the new information it needs to organize successful action and become more alive and vital in both body and mind.
Essential 5 – Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm is self-generated; it is a skill you can develop, choose to do and become good at. Enthusiasm tells your brain what is important to you, amplifying whatever that is, making it stand out, infusing it with energy to grow more. It is a powerful energy that lifts you up and inspires you and others.
Enthusiasm lights up your brain, helping to usher in changes, transforming the most mundane situation or task, adding meaning and generating delight. Enthusiasm helps make the impossible possible.
Essential 6 – Flexible Goals
“Keeping your eyes on the prize” is a great way for most people to fail. Freeing yourself from the compulsion to achieve a goal in a certain way and at a certain time keeps you open-minded. You are available to recognize opportunities you might never have noticed had you been fixed on a too rigidly set course. There is no way to know in advance the path that will lead you to achieving your goal.
Know your goal and embrace all the unexpected steps, mis-steps, and re-routes. They are a rich source of valuable information for your brain to lead you to your goal. Flexible goals will reduce your anxiety and increase your creativity, resulting in greater success, vitality, and joy.
Essential 7 – The Learning Switch
The brain is either in a learning mode—the learning switch is on—or not. Healthy young children have their learning switch on and the dial turned on “high.” Their eyes are bright, their movement lithe, and they are full of energy. Repetition, drills, and everyday stresses, as well as habitual patterns of thought, exercise, and emotions, all tend to turn the learning switch off. The same happens when a child has special challenges, or a person has suffered trauma or injury.
For the brain to properly do its job, the learning switch needs to be on. Once on, at any age, life becomes a wonderful new adventure, filled with movement, creativity, and new possibilities.
Essential 8 – Imagination & Dreams
Einstein said: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview to life’s coming attractions.” Through imagination your brain figures out new possibilities before actually having to perform. When imagining, the brain grows new neural connections. Our dreams call upon us from our future. They give us our unique life path to follow and guide our brains to continue growing and developing.
Your imagination and dreams give you the ability to create something that has never been there before, transcending your current limitations and leading you to develop your authentic life path.
Essential 9 – Awareness
Awaring—the action of generating awareness—is to be knowledgeable about what you are doing, sensing, thinking, and experiencing at any given moment. Awaring is the opposite of automaticity and compulsion. It is a unique human capacity that can catapult us to remarkable heights.
When you are aware, you are fully alive and present. Your brain is working at its highest level, noticing subtle nuances of what is going on around and within you, revealing options and potentials, greatly accelerating learning. You are enlivened and joyful, contributing to others, becoming more enlightened, and fulfilling more and more of your human destiny.
Who is Anat Baniel?
Anat Baniel, founder of Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement®, is the author of two highly acclaimed books, Move Into Life: NeuroMovement® for Lifelong Vitality and Kids Beyond Limits. Anat was trained as a clinical psychologist, dancer, and was a close professional associate of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais for over a decade.
Anat Baniel was born in Israel to a scientist father, and a poet and garden architect mother. She went to graduate school at Tel Aviv University to become a clinical psychologist. At the same time she pursued her passion for dance. She worked as a psychologist for the Israeli Army for a number of years.
While in graduate school, she began studying with Dr. Feldenkrais. After graduating from his training program in 1977, she began working full time as a teacher in His Method.
While still living in Israel, Anat began teaching the work in the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance; taught for Dr. Feldenkrais in his Tel Aviv Institute and in his professional training; and developed her own practice.
In 1982 Anat Baniel moved to New York City where she quickly developed a practice working with babies and young children; with musicians; with athletes and with adults suffering back pain, injury, etc. She also began teaching seminars and professional training programs worldwide.
In 1986 she founded her own training organization and has been involved in training over 1000 practitioners during her career. Between 1985 to 1989, she worked with the Tanglewood Music Center. She taught a program for the San Francisco Symphony musicians beginning in 1994 for over six years.
Anat Baniel Evolves the Work of Dr. Feldenkrais
In private practice, Anat Baniel is renowned for her success working with small children and infants with developmental difficulties who she has helped to achieve goals never thought possible by their medical professionals.
She has helped world class musicians with repetitive motion injuries regain full and active careers and helped athletes to overcome injuries and reach new levels of performance. Through her work she has helped those with chronic pain and other limitations regain full functioning. She has helped her many students, young and old, regain vitality and the ability to pursue their dreams.
Through her many years of experience working as a trainer, teacher, and private practitioner, Anat Baniel evolved her original training into a new NeuroMovement® Method that combines the teachings of Dr. Feldenkrais with her own understanding and techniques to help others and train future practitioners to help their clients in amazing ways.
Innovative Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement®
Anat Baniel’s innovative NeuroMovement® method has helped thousands of people, both adults and children, from five days old to 90 years old, transforming their lives physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Her work has helped high-performance athletes, musicians, business people, scientists, and other professionals move beyond their present limitations to achieve greater energy, strength, health, and success. This cutting-edge NeuroMovement® approach has helped thousands of people suffering from aches and pains, those worn down by daily stress, and those seeking greater joy and effectiveness in their lives.
Anat Baniel’s Work with Children with Special Needs and Adults
Anat Baniel’s work with children with special needs is world-renown, applauded by parents, health professionals, and those at the cutting edge of the neurosciences. Increasing numbers of leading brain scientists, medical doctors, and others in the helping professions are enthusiastically endorsing Anat Baniel Method (ABM) NeuroMovement® for her work with adults, as well as with children with special needs.
What is Through Your Hands
The ABMNM-TYH Mini Intensives coaching sessions consist of four consecutive meetings within a span of one week. These sessions are designed to help you learn how to employ the 9 Essentials and the other principles of ABMNM in your interactions with the child or adult in your care.
Please note that the ABMNM-TYH coaching sessions are not what you or your child receive during a private hands-on lesson provided by a trained and certified ABMNM practitioner. However, we discovered, that when the caregivers learn more fully how to apply the 9 Essentials and move from “fixing to connecting”, significant transformations occur both in them and the person they are caring for.
Within each 4 session intensive, we require that the same caregiver will be the recipient of all 4 coaching sessions, be it the parent, grandparent, or another caregiver.
You may have another caregiver present to help point the camera/computer, but that person should be as neutral so as not to distract the child or caregiver receiving the coaching. That means that they do not actively participate unless the ABMNM practitioner invites them to.
Adults - You may request a session for yourself without having an additional person or caregiver with you
All sessions are 30 minutes long.