How I found the Anat Baniel Method
Since I can remember I have been interested in movement, creativity, and the learning process. As a child I took ballet and jazz dance, voice lessons and performed in amateur musical theater productions. My college and graduate school years were spent studying painting and contemporary art. Later I studied and performed a variety of folk dances from other cultures. I'm a life-long learner and I love reading anything about the brain and human experience, optimal states of creativity, and the role of observation, perception and practice in the context of creating something.
When I found out about the Anat Baniel Method®, I was working in a corporate environment as a graphic designer for a large healthcare company. I knew I wanted to get out from behind the computer and do something in the healing arts eventually, something with movement, but had not discovered what that was just yet.
Somehow surfing the internet I came across Anat Baniel's TedEx talk. She gave a short lesson during her talk, which I did, and it clearly demonstrated to me a novel way of approaching a movement limitation—in this case, tight hamstrings. I had always had tight hamstrings, and it was true that no amount of stretching had ever lengthened them. So I was interested.
The lesson focused on doing gentle movements of the spine, head and eyes. Movements that seemed unrelated to the action of touching my toes. After a very short sequence of these movements, I was surprised to find I could fold myself much farther forward. Anat explained that this ability to fold farther forward after the lesson had everything to do with how the brain organizes itself holistically for action and nothing to do with stretching muscles. While I didn't completely understand what just happened, it made visceral sense to me and the fact was, I could fold farther forward to touch my toes without any tightness in my hamstrings.
I became curious and wanted to learn more. I watched Anat's online videos of her work with children and listened to interviews about her work. I ordered the Healthy Backs DVD and started doing the lessons daily. I read Move Into Life and Kids Beyond Limits.
The second chapter in Kids Beyond Limits, "From Fixing to Connecting", particularly moved me. I feel strongly that if all parents read Kids Beyond Limits and applied The Nine Essentials to raising their child—whether or not they have special needs—the world would become a much better place, full of individuals who are engaged, resilient and empowered learners.
When I saw there was a training, I signed up, thinking 'let's just see how the first segment goes—if this is something I really want to do'. By the second day of training I was committed to a new career path!
Before & After ABMN
Before finding this method I was accustomed to my everyday physical aches and pains and thought they were just an inevitable part of getting older. I was completely habituated to my discomfort. The funny thing is, I didn't consciously sign up for the training specifically to heal those complaints. Rather, I joined the training because the holistic, learning approach to healing made so much sense to me and I wanted a future doing meaningful work where I could truly be useful to others. I had NO IDEA when I signed up what profound changes I would experience myself.
Before the training I suffered from early morning insomnia, occasional sleep apnea and anxiety. I had chronic neck and shoulder pain from an old whiplash injury. I had a very tight psoas on one side. I have mild scoliosis, hyper-mobile joints and in my early twenties had jaw surgery to prevent my jaw from dislocating from TMJ syndrome. I also had years of misguided postural habits from dancing and sitting in front of a computer daily as a graphic designer—movement habits I didn’t realize were contributing to my chronic aches and pains, anxiety level and sleep issues.
Prior to my training I did find temporary but limited relief from massage, physical therapy and chiropractic. But my pain would always return eventually because I didn't learn how to fundamentally change the way I moved—how to organize my whole self in a more efficient and effortless way—until I found the Anat Baniel Method.
The intensive training process of becoming an Anat Baniel Method NeuroMovement® Practitioner transformed me physically, cognitively and emotionally in ways I could not have predicted. Until the training I truly had no idea how pleasant and deep sleep could be. I have not had an instance of waking up gasping from sleep apnea since my training. I no longer have chronic neck and shoulder pain or an overly tight psoas. My anxiety is gone, and when I do get a crick in the neck or anywhere else, I have the tools to make it go away. The greatest gift has been the feeling of calm presence, of being truly comfortable in my own skin again.
I went on to further my training with Anat Baniel and have completed all her mastery trainings: ABMN for Children, Vitality & Anti-Aging and High Performers. Continuous learning is absolutely vital to me. My personal credo is: A lesson a day keeps the pain away.
I absolutely know from experience the healing power of this learning modality and I am thrilled to be able to share it with others on their own unique journey beyond pain and limitation.
I love working with people of all ages and abilities who are committed to the process of learning and self-discovery. Every lesson I get to work with someone is an honor for me. I am inspired daily by my students' brilliance, ability and courage to change and grow beyond their limitations.