The Brain That Changes Itself documentary

I have written before about the books by Norman Doidge.  They are fascinating because they hold a camera up to real lives and real people who show medical change and progress, in a way that our medical and scientific experience and expectations do not prepare us for.

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They reveal how the brain is plastic – able to change and adapt on a continual basis. This is the essence of learning – getting to know something that it did not know before.

Doidge tells this information through stories and theory intertwined.  Classical science sometimes dismisses cases studies that focus on the person with the condition, preferring to concentrate on the condition.  Oliver Sacks went some way to rehabilitating person-centred medical thinking. Norman Doidge continues this work.

Check out the documentary about his book on Youtube.

Book Review – Kids Beyond Limits

Kids Beyond Limits is the second Anat Baniel book I have bought.  The first, Move Into Life, was not much to my liking, due to what I perceived as its north American whoo-hoo style of writing, which does not resonate with me.

So I bought Kids Beyond Limits with certain hesitation.  And yet it turned out that I was wrong.  And Anat was right.  Kids Beyond Limits is a wonderful and useful book for parents of ‘challenged’ children, and also as a summary of technique and approach for the ‘young’ Feldenkrais Method teacher.

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Kids Beyond Limits is a how-to guide for all parents who want to help their child who is ‘challenged’, behavioural issues to medical problems.  It is a concise description of ways in which we can help improve the life of our loved ones, through movement and learning, to be better and happier than ever.

Her 9 key elements are approaches for how parents can relate to their child, change the way their child relates to the world, and bring about real change in the way the child behaves.  It is both very clear, and very empowering for parents.

The actual concepts are are not new, and can be found in the classics written by Moshe Feldenkrais, Body and Mature Behaviour, The Potent Self, and The Elusive Obvious, amongst others.

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But what is nice is Baniel’s giving each one a chapter, creating clarity for the general public.

This book will be of great use to parents of children, and even for adults themselves, who suffer from conditions such as are listed on the cover – autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, etcetera, or who  are generally ‘less in this world’ than is normal.

In order to get the most out of the book, I recommend connecting with a professional somatic educator – from Feldenkrais Method, Anat Baniel, or Alexander Technique, amongst others.  Professional guidance can speed up or give shape and direction to the process.

This book, Kids, has transformed my opinion of Baniel’s work, and her emblematic presence as a focus of PR for Feldenkrais Method.

Kids Beyond limits has given me much of value with my own work with handicapped children.

I highly recommend this book.  Five out of five stars.