Waking up Your Learning Brain - The 9 Essentials of NeuroMovementⓇ

Learn how to transform your life and access your potential by using Anat Baniel's 9 Essentials of NeuroMovementⓇ.

Waking up your learning brain 

The 9 Essentials of NeuroMovement

From the outside, it may look like NeuroMovementⓇ is some type of massage.  During a private Functional SynthesisⓇ lesson, the student may lie on a table, close their eyes, and allow the Practitioner to gently move their body.  Once they get off the table they may have that sleepy, blissful look people get after bodywork.  Here’s the thing, though: in NeuroMovementⓇ we use the moving body as a tool to talk to the brain.  

That’s right - your NeuroMovementⓇ Practitioner is really a brain whisperer.  The Practitioner is waking up your learning
brain and giving it the rich, quality information it needs to better organize your movement so you can move through life with more comfort and ease.  But HOW do they wake up the brain?  Spoiler alert: It’s not the movements themselves that wake up the brain; rather, it’s how the Practitioner (and student) engage with the movements that matter.  

This seemingly magical ‘how’ is called “The 9 Essentials.”  Founder Anat Baniel identified the nine ingredients critical for turning on brain plasticity.  They create the conditions in the brain that enhance learning and creativity, decrease pain, and facilitate recovery.    And with eternal gratitude to Anat, here they are in her own words: 

  1. Movement with Attention - Move often and bring attention to what you feel as you move. Your brain will start building billions of connections, creating new possibilities and transformation. 

  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 (call it play, mistakes, exploration) into everything you do. Your brain will create new possibilities in your movements, feelings, thoughts, and action. 

  4. Subtlety - Reduce the force with which you move, think, and act. Develop greater sensitivity that will enhance your brain’s ability to perceive the finest of differences, and therefore learn. 

  5. Enthusiasm - Practice enthusiasm in your daily life. Enthusiasm is a skill you can develop. It amplifies what is important to you and grooves in new learning in your brain. 

  6. Flexible Goals - If you knew how to reach your goal, you’d already be there. Embrace unexpected steps and mistakes along the way. With this rich information, discover the path to achieving your goal. 

  7. The Learning Switch - The brain is either in a learning mode—or not. Expect that you will do, think, or learn something NEW in each situation, even familiar ones, to turn your learning switch ON. 

  8. Imagination & Dreams - Imagine and dream! With imagination, you can create what has never been there before. Dreams call you and guide you from your future. Both will elevate you to new heights, transcending your limitations. 

  9. Awareness - Become aware of what you are doing, sensing, thinking, and experiencing at any moment. Awareness is an action. When you are aware, you are fully alive and present

When we learn to use the 9 Essentials, we have tools for life.  That’s because the 9 Essentials can be applied to just about any situation.  In fact, many families have benefited just from coaching in the application of the 9 Essentials, without the benefit of any kind of movement lessons.  Life transforms and becomes easier for them in so many ways.  

Using the Essentials, a mother was able to vary her approach when changing her child’s diaper.  She didn’t change the mechanics of a diaper change; instead, she changed how she approached her child.  She slowed down, introduced some variations, and used even gentler touch.  As a result, the child didn’t experience as much spasticity during the diaper change.  The interaction was easier and more pleasant for both mother and child, and both experienced an enhanced sense of connection.*  It may seem like a small thing, but the small things we do several times a day, every day make up the bulk of our lives.  Any change has the potential to transform our experience.  

I look forward to talking with you about each of the Essentials in turn.  We’ll explore what they mean and practical ways to apply them in your everyday life.  If you have any questions you’d like me to answer in coming posts, please get in touch.  

*Thanks to @mindfullmoves.jen for this particular anecdote.

Categories: 9Essentials, Neuroplasticity