The concept of brain plasticity stems from the recognition that the human brain can “rewire” itself in response to new experiences throughout life. This wonderful characteristic of our brain is not only responsible for our ability to learn new things and unlearn old habits. It is also the key that unlocks our potential to recover from traumas, strokes, and diseases that disrupt or disable some of the brain’s functions.
The Anat Baniel Method uses movement and awareness as the main tools to develop, enhance, or restore one’s functional abilities. However, it stands in stark contrast to conventional physical therapy interventions and other rehabilitation approaches that attempt to bring change directly to specific joints or muscle groups.
Unlike other modalities, the Anat Baniel Method shifts the focus away from the “problem areas” to where the solutions actually lie, this is the brain.
The Anat Baniel Method uses movement as a language, a means of providing the brain with the information it needs to guide the body and mind to higher levels of functioning and coordination.
Anat Baniel Method sessions involve gentle touch and movements executed with close attention to what a person feels. Through these movement explorations, the brain “wakes up” to itself, becoming aware of how it currently interacts with other parts of the body and the outer world. As this process unfolds, the brain organizes the various sensory inputs into meaningful experiences. With which it spontaneously discovers new solutions that are more beneficial for the person.
A vital aspect of the practitioner’s role in this process is to convey the experience of safety, pleasure, and ease of movement that enables the person’s brain to operate in learning mode, exploring new possibilities. The practitioner avoids forcing the person into performing a desired action beyond his or her range of comfort. Because this would shift the person’s brain into protective mode and then its ability to acquire new advanced skills is vastly reduced.
The Anat Baniel Method for Children has been around for over ten years.
The ABM for Children is the brain child of Anat Baniel.
Her method found an effective and efficient way to communicate with the child’s brain. Some kids if seen early enough by ABM practitioners no longer suffer from their brain injury. The Anat Baniel Method for children has been so effective that the brain absorbs the injury.
Anat Baniel's groundbreaking work with special needs children was published in multiple professional trade magazines. There are numerous parental testimonials that state how this method transformed the lives of their children when doctors or other medical professionals told them there was no hope. There is scientific proof that the Anat Baniel Method works.
This excerpt is from Norman Doidge's book, “The Brain That Changes Itself”
"I met a band of brilliant scientists, at the frontiers of brain science, who had, in the late 1960s or early 1970s, made a series of unexpected discoveries. They showed that the brain changed its very structure with each different activity it performed, perfecting its circuits so it was better suited to the task at hand. If certain "parts" failed, then other parts could sometimes take over. The machine metaphor, of the brain as an organ with specialized parts, could not fully account for changes the scientists were seeing. They began to call this fundamental brain property "neuroplasticity."
Neuro is for "neuron," the nerve cells in our brains and nervous systems. Plastic is for "changeable, malleable, modifiable." At first many of the scientists didn't dare use the word "neuroplasticity" in their publications, and their peers belittled them for promoting a fanciful notion. Yet they persisted, slowly overturning the doctrine of the unchanging brain. They showed that children are not always stuck with the mental abilities they are born with; that the damaged brain can often reorganize itself so that when one part fails, another can often substitute; that if brain cells die, they can at times be replaced.
Yes, if the child is almost there and they are being guided by these well intentioned therapist in the right direction.
No, because some of these guided exercises have no meaning to the children. What is the point of propping a child up to stand when that same child does not know how to transition from sitting to standing on their own? How will this help the child walk? How does drilling the same movement or sounds over and over help him understand what it means and how to use them? It doesn't unless the child receives these signals from within his brain to initiate these movements. Then they will truly know what it feels like to be standing on their own bones.