Dr. Merzenich is a pioneer neuroscientist in the field of brain-plasticity research and inventor of the cochlear implant. He & Anat Baniel are interested in advancing the therapeutic applications of his research with therapies such as the ABM Method for children.
Professor Emeritus at the University of San Francisco, and co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Posit Science, Dr. Merzenich gives the 2012 Keynote Speaker at the FELDENKRAIS METHOD Conference.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rupZ-wlRdA0?list=PLJLgxTNlROL_Vf8GyRmot14mwFJEW_moU&w=560&h=315]
Patricia Holman, Owner & Director of “Neuromovement Lessons for Transformation” gives a brief explanantion about her work with children using the ABM neuro-movement process
This video is a great example of how the Enthusiasm essential is evoked during a movement lesson. Sensations of ‘success’ in all the small movements and their transitions forms a global “enthusiasm” response. Enthusiasm arises when intention & action are effortless.
This short clip of a larger movement lesson exemplifies the second ABM Neuromovement Essential, SLOW.
The deliberate and intentional use of this quality makes it easier for this child to notice, and recognize differences in trajectories, efforts, and emotions.
A newborn baby has a relatively long apprenticeship in movement before developmental milestones are reached. It takes approximately 10 months to 1 year for a newborn to learn to stand up. In that time, the infant is exploring myriad variations of random movements. After hundreds of explorations, finally sense is made of the nonsense. And a clear developmental progression occurs. From less complexity to more complexity.
Now, the child that can’t stand up because of brain injury or other special situation, hasn’t had this apprenticeship in movement, hasn’t experienced the infinite variations that lead to greater complexity. Thus, when a parent or therapist requires a child to stand up, by exercising them in standing, it’s as if we placed someone that lives at sea level on top of mount Everest.
The effort and disorganization involved in such a demand will lead to greater effort in movement over time, and failure. Increasing the hours spent and will kill the learning switch and deny the child of self empowerment and identity.
Anat Baniel speaking to students at an ABM Children’s Mastery training.
I incorporate many of the ABM Nine Essentials in this piece from a neuro-movement lesson with “K”; variation, subtlety, the learning switch, movement with attention, slow, and flexible goals. Notice how nicely K’s pelvis moves at the end of the lesson and how easily she takes a step. Goals this lesson were to focus on functional ways “K” could experience clear head control & improved orientation.
When I met Pati at a workshop I felt that the ABM Method was something totally different, that it was empowering and honest, clear and subtle. Agustina has been in therapy since she was 23 days old and now she’s 18. We’ve always tried to give her the best therapy so, although we know that her limitations are many, we’ve never given hope to find a new perspective on the human being and its body. We’ve always believed that Agustina can understand everything that happens around her and that she has a different kind of language that allows her to communicate with us, albeit more body-emotion based. The ABM Method is the only therapy she’s had which sees her as a whole and takes into account her willpower and boosts it with subtle, loving movements. All through the session Agustina was given time to give her opinion and therefore she was able to participate more actively. She’s done only 10 sessions but the change is impressive. She’s more present in the family meals, she can sit better and she can control her body with more organization. She’s also more relaxed and cooperates in everyday decision making, such us which clothes she wants to wear and so on. For us these things make a huge difference. We’re grateful and full of joy.
Thank you Pati!
Andrea Leite, mom to Augustina, Montevideo, Uruguay
I just wanted to let you know that we are seeing the most remarkable changes in Paige since our return from Durban! She is playing with the mobile on her sitter chair for the first time ever. She has started kicking her legs, reaching with her arms and seems to slowly be realizing the law of cause and effect —If I hit it… It moves. She has made a 4 month leap in 4 days! Yay!
Johannesburg, South Africa