Anat Baniel Method Workshop

Today I went to a workshop with Anat Baniel. I have one word about it: WOW! The woman is a force of nature!

Anat’s method is based on brain plasticity. Her basic premise is that people learn through movement. For a healthy child to learn to roll, he goes through thousands of attempts of tiny, miniscule movements – they twitch their hips, move their arms, lift their bums, move their feets. Thousands of involuntary movements eventually lead to milestones like rolling, sitting, crawling, etc. But to roll the brain has to tell the hips to move, the shoulders, the head, etc.

She had us try out a lot of the movements ourself. I finally understood why it’s so hard for Nathan to move! To simply roll, there has to be control of the pelvis, strength in the back, control of the head, and much more.

She believes that children need to be on their backs. On their backs they have the opportunity to engage in all these tiny movements on their own. On their bellies they are stuck. Now of course this is very different from what we’ve been told with Doman Delacato, but she believes putting kids on their bellies before they can get themselves on their belly is criminal.

She repeated one thing over and over again – If they could they would! If they could be on their bellies they would get there. If they could walk they would walk. If they are not in these positions it’s because the brain doesn’t have enough organization.

She talked a LOT about neurological organization. The brain has to create maps of the body. Think of the USA. We have created state lines, city lines, county lines, etc. We have a map of our world, our country, our city. That’s how we know where to find people and how to get around. The brain has to do the same thing. It has to use the space it contains to create maps of the body, which then have to be organized and create synaptic connections to create movements. If the brain doesn’t have the map for the movement, it cannot be performed.

Through a series of tiny movements, she starts giving the brain the necessary information to create maps, which she then starts organizing through even more movements. Then, with enough data and organization, the child will be able to start moving on his own.

Simple, and incredible.

Her approach is also very spiritual and holistic. She believes that the parent and therapist has to believe in the potential of the child. There has to be enthusiasm for the work and even the most miniscule changes. She gave many stories of how she had to work with the child emotionally before she could get the child to activate physical pathways. She talked about attention, intention, and belief. This wasn’t a major focus of her work but I heard it in the way she described how she worked with patients. She said that the child has to be open and engaged for the brain to learn. She doesn’t like making children cry and is very respectful of their space and emotions.

In short, the woman is amazing and the method sounds ASTOUNDING! We tried it in San Diego but it didn’t go so well primarily due to bad conditions – Nathan wasn’t sleeping, we were too far away from the therapist’s office, etc.

I can’t wait to take Nathan to her when we return from Chile. I think the combo of Medek and ABM will be AMAZING! Both of these are brain therapies and both were created to help the brain organize itself and create neural pathways. Now many of the premises are different – Anat doesn’t like putting kids in positions they are not ready to be in, while that is the basis of Ramon’s work – but the key is that they both found different, effective ways to work with the brain.

I was astounded by what I felt whe I did the exercises. I literally could feel my brain tingling as it was stimulated in different ways. When I left the course I felt full of energy, more balanced, and my body felt settled and more synchronized. I think her work is very powerful!

It was a long day but it was amazing. I feel like I am now being given all of these incredible tools that I can use to help Nathan. In fact these tools can help anyone! I’m planning on continuing to do some of the exercises myself. And lucky Max will experience them too 🙂


  1. Darn, I wanted to “go” to that seminar (you could particpate via the web) but Trevor was working and I had both the kids. Would have been extra cool to see you and Nathan as test subjects!!

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