Friday, July 27, 2007

The Anat Baniel/Feldenkrais Method

OK, it's time to get down to business. Let me begin by telling you the reason for our trip to Manhattan. We took Mendele to see a therapist named Marcy Lyndheimer, a certified Feldenkrais practitioner and among the top in her field.

Here she is working with Mendele:

Mendele thoroughly enjoyed the sessions with Marcy. Feldenkrais is in general a gentle therapy and Marcy is a specialist in the Anat Baniel method, specifically for children.

For a full understanding of Feldenkrais please follow the links above. I will write the general idea.

Often, when a body isn't functioning at the highest rate, the problem is caused by a lack of communication between the brain's nervous system which governs the body's movements and the muscles that actually move the body's limbs. In other words, the brain might not know how to make proper use of those muscles.

The aim of Feldenkrais is to make the connection between the brain and the muscles, helping the body get to know itself, thereby enabling it to take proper advantage of all of its muscles and members.

Unlike most therapies, Feldenkrais is not a goal based system. These therapists will not allow a child to learn to stand before they can crawl, for example. The only goal is to get the body to figure itself out, step by step without skipping, always at its own pace.

As you will find in a quick search, Feldenkrais has worked miraculously for some very desperate cases. What you might not hear is that although it has made miracles for some it has simply not worked at all for others. I don't know why, perhaps it is exactly the gentle nature of the therapy that might make it ineffective.

Either way, we decided to give it a try. We haven't seen tremendous changes yet, but, then again, Mendele is basically on par with his age group so we don't need a miracle.

Here you may see some pictures and some videos of Marcy's work with Mendele. Of course I couldn't possibly write this post without saying a big Thank You to Aunt Ellen (also a Feldenkrais practitioner) for accompanying us on this journey, to Uncle Z. for sponsoring the first session and to Uncle and Aunt C. for sponsoring the rest. Thank you all so much!

Enjoy the visuals.

Well, have a good Shabbos everyone.


AY and Fruma said...

pretty cool! Looks as gentle as it sounds- is it basically playing with Mendele proffesionally? Mendele is adorable, kah

Shmuli said...

Thanks ay and fruma.
In first clip she teaching his brain how to crawl by showing it what it might feel like. In the second she is teaching his right shouldre to flip over when Mendele want to turn to the left. I think, she didn't do a whole lot of explaining.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rivky, thought I'd show my presence... nice speaking to you the other day. Mendele is quite a munchkin, and the therapy is fascinating.

Chanel said...

hi Rivky,
i hope the feldenkrais works out well! IY'H we'll be in NY soon so i hope to see you and Mendele in person, Chaya Mushka is looking forward to meeting her third cousin :)
all the best,