Scientists have defined the ‘rules’ governing brain plasticity. Anat Baniel, working in parallel along a completely different path, has defined almost exactly the same rules, and interprets them in practical and understandable human terms as the Nine Essentials that should contribute richly to clinical intervention.
— Mike Merzinich, PhD • 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience

The Nine Essentials for positive brain change

From over 30 years of experience helping adults and children overcome limitations, Anat Baniel has defined what she calls The Nine Essentials the brain needs in order to learn, differentiate and do its job well. 

Validated by modern science’s latest discoveries in the area of brain plasticity—the brain’s ability to change and grow new neurological pathways and connections throughout life—The Nine Essentials offer concrete, effective, and immediate ways to easily wake up your brain's potential for reorganization, healing and creativity. View supporting research here


1 • Movement with Attention

Bring attention to what you feel as you move. Your brain will immediately start building billions of new neurological connections to help you change, learn, and transform.

2 • Slow

Slow way down to learn new skills and overcome limitations. Fast you can only do what you already know. Slow stimulates the formation of rich new neural patterns.

3 • Variation

Introduce variation and playfulness into everything you do. Your brain will get the information it needs to create new possibilities in movements, thoughts, and actions.

4 • Subtlety

Reduce the force with which you move, think, and act. Developing greater sensitivity will enhance your brain’s ability to perceive the finest of differences.

5 • Enthusiasm

Practice enthusiasm in your daily life. Enthusiasm tells your brain what is important to you, amplifying whatever that is and infusing it with energy to grow more.

6 • Flexible Goals

Know your goals and embrace all the unexpected steps, mis-steps, and re-routes along the way. These are a rich source of valuable information for your brain.

7 • The Learning Switch

For the brain to properly do its job, the learning switch needs to be turned ON. Expect that you will do, think, or learn something new in each situation, even familiar ones.

8 • Imagination & Dreams

Imagine how to carry out your tasks and dream up as many possibilities as you can. Imagination and dreams guide your brain to continue growing and developing.

9 • Awareness

Become aware of what you are doing, sensing, thinking, and experiencing at any given moment. When you are awaring, your brain is working at its highest level.