The Anat Baniel Method (ABM) is suitable for people diagnosed with a range of neurological conditions, including cerebral palsy. It uses a gentle, non-medical, learning-based approach to help the brain of the person utilise its natural plasticity to form new neural connections and patterns that take them beyond their current limitations. While it is a continual process, changes begin happening right away and are occasionally quite dramatic.
Movement and enhanced awareness of self are the main tools used for communicating with the brain, and the therapy is conducted very much with the brain and learning in mind. The work done through movement is aimed at facilitating the brain to learn new functions and new ways of acting. So the way of working is a little different to more physically directed therapies such as physiotherapy. Rather than work on the body to produce direct body change, the ABM teacher works through gentle body movements to provide information to the person’s brain which then, in turn, gets the body to change. It is a significant difference and one which means the therapy focuses on increased function and ability of the whole person in areas such as turning, crawling or walking.