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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I expect during the first appointment?
    The first appointment will last for around one hour and will be similar to an assessment. I will spend that time connecting with you/your child, observing your/your child's movement, asking you questions so as to understand you/your child better and the appointment will include a Functional Synthesis Lesson. If you decide to continue with more lessons, we can discuss an appropriate plan and schedule for lessons going forward.
  • How long are the lessons? What should I wear?
    One-on-one lessons are generally 35-45 minutes long and vary depending on an individual client's needs. Group lessons are around 45-60 minutes long. Please dress in loose, comfortable clothing. Long trousers (not jeans) are preferred and please bring a pair of clean socks to wear during the lesson.
  • What is an intensive?
    An intensive is a series of lessons done in a short period of time. This will vary depending on the client's needs but for children, it will typically consist of two lessons a day over the course of five days. After the intensive, a student will typically continue to integrate the lessons in the days/weeks that follow so we would take a break and meet again after a period of a few weeks for another intensive. This work is more effective when practiced in this manner as it allows the student to be immersed in the process and keep building on the previous lessons.
  • What outcomes can I expect?
    Every person is different and every brain is different so it is difficult to predict specific outcomes in a specific timeframe but adults have reported experiencing improved mobility, flexibility and stability. Other outcomes include the easing of chronic pain, breathing more freely, better sleep, and greater mental clarity. Children may achieve milestones such as rolling over, crawling, cruising and walking for the first time. Parents have also reported noticing an increased level of affection, reduced spasticity, a new level of calmness, improved speech, muscle tone, hand-eye coordination, social skills etc.
  • How is it that this method can be effective for both children and adults?
    Although there are some differences in how each type of lesson would proceed, working with children and adults is fundamentally the same because the focus is on using movement and The Nine Essentials to tap into the brain's power to change and learn at any age.
  • Can NeuroMovement® cure my child's condition?
    NeuroMovement® is not a cure; it is an experiential learning process that can improve awareness and function. Combined with The Nine Essentials, they provide you/your child with favourable conditions for continued learning, development and improvement over time.
  • My child cannot stand or walk independently. Can this method help?
    Children who cannot sit, stand or walk independently will often be propped up in sitting, placed in a stander, or walked around with support in the hope that this will help them learn how to do these things by themselves. However, this approach overlooks the fundamental role that the brain plays in learning and developing new skills, and the cumulative learning involved in the process of development. Rather than jumping ahead to the final goal, NeuroMovement® meets your child where they currently are and using the Nine Essentials, creates favourable conditions to support them in their process of development.
  • How can this method help my child who is on the Autism Spectrum?
    Children on the autism spectrum often have difficulties with social connection, verbal and nonverbal communication, repetitive behaviour, cognitive/ learning challenges and motor coordination. By helping your child to increase awareness and control over their own body and enhance their ability to perceive subtle differences in what they see, hear and feel, this Method can help your child on the autism spectrum make better sense of themselves, their experiences and the world around them.
  • Can this method help to reduce spasticity? I am stretching my/ my child’s limbs on a daily basis but I have not seen any improvement.
    Yes, this method can help. It involves a very different approach towards spasticity or chronic muscle contractions as the cause and the solution are believed to lie in the brain. Rather than begin with stretching or trying to forcefully mobilise a leg, foot, arm or hand, the approach would be to take a step back and first look to create new connections in the brain by waking up the center of the body. This is the case for children with cerebral palsy or adults who are recovering after a stroke or injury. By increasing differentiation around the pelvis, spine, ribs, shoulders, sternum, neck and head, and increasing awareness and connection of the limbs to the rest of the body, new opportunities open up for improved mobility and function.
  • How can my child learn to balance?
    Balance is not something that any of us can pull out of our pocket and give to someone else. Learning how to balance involves a person’s brain waking up to where the body is in space and learning how to self-correct and adjust under various conditions to keep that person upright. NeuroMovement® and the Nine Essentials create safe and favourable conditions to bring about positive changes such as improved balance and coordination for both children and adults.
  • My child often has meltdowns and I don't know what to do. Can this method help him?
    When a child is having a meltdown, it is a common reaction for a caregiver to tell them to calm down or stop doing what they are doing such as crying or screaming or even throwing things. This is our way of trying to "fix" or quickly put an end to the situation. In certain circumstances, this will be important for example when the child's safety is concerned in which case one must act quickly and take charge of the situation to keep the child safe. When a child is unable to self-regulate and there is no urgency or danger, another approach would be to meet the child where they are and use The Nine Essentials to connect with them through touch, bringing their awareness to what it is that they are doing, and introducing variation to enhance the brain's ability to perceive a difference.
  • Why do you incorporate movements of the eyes in the lessons?
    An important function of the visual system is to organise the body for movement. Our eyes usually lead our movements and actions, as we will look in the direction that we want to move in or at a task at hand, before proceeding. For the eyes to move with ease and precision, the movement of the eyes must be effectively coordinated with the movement of the head, neck, shoulders, ribs, spine, and pelvis. By coordinating the movement of the eyes and the body, this creates favourable conditions for improved organisation and function. Examples of possible outcomes may include improved eye contact, tracking, hand-eye coordination, ability to focus and also reduced tension in the neck and shoulders, enhanced body awareness, spatial awareness, and balance.
  • Who is Anat Baniel?
    Anat Baniel is a clinical psychologist and dancer who trained under Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (founder of the Feldenkrais Method®) and worked closely with him for many years. Recognising Anat's natural connection to his clients who were children with special needs, Dr Feldenkrais referred many of these children to work directly with her. It was with these children that Anat found her passion, developing an unmatched level of expertise in using movement to bring about changes in physical and cognitive performance. Anat has transformed thousands of lives over more than thirty years and developed the Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement® which is based on The Nine Essentials, her core principles that tap into the brain's enormous potential for change.
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