Our senses and motor abilities are designed to orient us to the world around us. The Anat Baniel Method (ABM) is a non-medical sensory integration modality based on the pioneering work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ approach to somatic education, connecting the brain and body through movements done with awareness. ABM is not a form of exercise, but of learning — training the brain to sense the body kinesthetically as it moves in specific ways. Hence, each session is called a “movement lesson.”

Rene’ likens the Anat Baniel Method to bringing the body “online”

ABM is about changing the way the brain senses the body. Certified Anat Baniel Method practitioner Rene’ Manker uses gentle, “hands on” movement sequences, a kind of body mapping and neuromuscular reeducation, applied to the torso and extremities to reprogram how the brain and body handle sensory and motor information. The emphasis is on learning and mapping the body in the brain in order to gain a better sense of oneself which often leads to a sense of safety, a basic human need. Rene’ likens it to bringing the body “online.” When the child senses he is whole and present, he can give his attention to learning how to move one body part in relation to another, a little bit at a time. This is a shift in approach from trying to get a child to do what he can’t do, to meeting the child where he is and helping the child’s brain get the information it requires to be able to do new things.

ABOVE: An example of how much the skeleton, especially the spine and ribcage, move when walking.

“I help kids sense themselves so that they can move into navigating the more complex tasks of life.” – Rene’ Manker

It is delivered through “movement lessons” designed to awaken the brain to be aware of new ways for the body to organize itself. By offering the brain new information through variations of movement of the torso and limbs, it awakens the brain to new ways of integrating this information in order to move with ease, relaxation, and less effort. The brain actually creates new neural pathways allowing the child to act with more intention rather than be driven by old patterns often ingrained by trauma or muscle tone.