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Body-Mind Centering® (BMC®)

Body-Mind Centering® (BMC®) is an integrated and embodied approach to movement, the body and consciousness. Developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, it is an experiential study based on the embodiment and application of anatomical, physiological, psychophysical and developmental principles, utilizing movement, touch, voice and mind. Its uniqueness lies in the specificity with which each of the body systems can be personally embodied and integrated, the fundamental groundwork of developmental re-patterning, and the utilization of a body-based language to describe movement and body-mind relationships.

The study of Body-Mind Centering® is a creative process in which embodiment of the material is explored in the context of self-discovery and openness. Each person is both the student and the subject matter and the underlying goal is to discover the ease that underlies transformation.

The Body-Mind Centering® approach has an almost unlimited number of areas of application. It is currently being used by people in movement, dance, yoga, bodywork, somatic studies, physical and occupational therapy, psychotherapy, child development, education, voice, music, art, meditation, athletics and other body-mind disciplines.

PROGRAMS

Body-Mind Centering® programs present detailed and specific approaches to the personal embodiment of our cells, our body systems and our developmental patterns and the ways in which all of these interact with our awareness, perception and consciousness. The principles and techniques learned in courses can be used for personal development and for professional enhancement.

People who study the Body-Mind Centering® approach come from a variety of backgrounds but they all share a common interest in the body-mind relationship and want to learn an in-depth, experiential and embodied approach. Whether you are involved with a movement practice (yoga, dance, athletics, martial arts, etc.), work in a therapeutic setting (occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychotherapy, child development, etc.), or are engaged in other expressive arts (visual arts, music, etc.), our programs offer an opportunity for professional development and/or personal growth.

The greatest gifts we can give a child are a sense of physical and emotional well-being, a sense of comfort and bonding, the joy of being, curiosity, confidence, the ability to relate to others, and organizational and problem-solving skills. These are greatly influenced by the child’s early movement and touch learning experiences. Through play and handling, parents, caregivers and teachers have the opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life. We facilitate children in learning to speak and read, but passively assume that their movement will develop to its full potential without any kind of understanding or direction on our part.

The first year of life is crucial in the development of the child and of the adult the child will become. During this time, the infant is forming the patterns of movement, perception, and organization of information on which it will build its relationships to itself, to others and to the world. Facilitating development during this period can greatly enhance the child’s physical, emotional and intellectual abilities.

Touch and movement are the earliest ways in which the child comes to know itself and its world. They form the base for more complex learning processes. They are the first modalities of learning and form the foundation for bonding, relationships, perception, learning, emotional well-being, physical agility, cognitive functioning and also the general ease with which a child can grow and develop.

The nervous system is developing rapidly in infancy. While this neurological development has an effect on movement, the child’s movement also affects the nervous system. Neurological organization is greatly influenced by the emergence and integration of the child’s movement patterns. Patterns that do not emerge or do not become integrated can have a serious affect on the child’s functioning. However, because the nervous system has a great deal of plasticity during this period, it is easier to facilitate optimal movement.

THE INFANT DEVELOPMENTAL MOVEMENT EDUCATION (IDME) PROGRAM

This program is a highly sophisticated and subtle approach to the observation and facilitation of normal movement patterns in infants. The approach incorporates the child’s curiosity, interest and individuality into the relationship with the educator. It is child centered and relationship centered, and child oriented rather than task oriented.

It trains people to recognize early movement patterns and to interact effectively with infants in gentle, enticing ways that will have a positive effect on their growth and development. The goal in movement education with infants is to help set a foundation that supports pathways of ease, strength, agility and adaptability and to help avoid restrictive patterns of movement that inhibit the development of the full potential of the child.

The approach is gentle, non-intrusive, and enticing rather than demanding. It is direct and highly specific to the individual child. It does not force or impose, but focuses, engages, interacts, entices and seeks to engage the child’s inherent curiosity and interest. It always looks at the whole child and fully embraces each child and their parents and family. It includes and educates the family in the interactive process.

In this training, students will learn to:

  • Observe how normal movement develops in infancy.
  • Identify and analyze normal movement patterns.
  • Facilitate normal movement development in a child.
  • Facilitate basic perception in relation to movement.
  • Work with infants developing within the normal range.
  • Educate parents about ways to facilitate normal movement development in their child.
  • Identify and analyze basic movement difficulties and to facilitate normal movement development.
  • Recognize problems in infants at risk for developing physical problems, learning disabilities, and emotional limitations.
  • Recognize indications for referral to an appropriate therapist.

PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS

This program is designed to train people to evaluate and facilitate normal development in infants using an embracing, child-centered approach. It is suited for those who are new to working with infants and those who are already working with them. We especially invite:

  • People working in the fields of movement, bodywork, massage or somatic education who want to expand their skills to include infants.
  • Early childhood educators and day-care professionals.
  • Parents and caregivers.
  • Medical and other professionals interacting with children, parents and caregivers, including occupational, physical, speech, and auditory therapists and social workers.

IDME Program includes 4 developmental courses (they can be taken in any order):

  • Senses and Perception 1
  • Basic Neurocellular Patterns
  • Primitive Reflexes, Righting Reactions and Equilibrium Responses (RRR)
  • Ontogenetic Development

and 2 application courses (these courses can be attended only after having completed the 4 developmental courses) :

  • IDME 1
  • IDME 2

IDME program is a highly sofisticated and subtle approach to patterns in infants. It trains people to recognize early movement patterns and to interact effectively with infants in ways that will have a positive effect on their growth and development. The approach is gentle, non-intrusive, and enticing rather than demanding. It is direct and highly specific to the individual child.
It incorporates the child’s curiosity, interest and individuality into the relationship with the educator. It is child centered and relationship centered, and child oriented rather than task oriented. It does not force or impose, but focuses, engages, interacts, entices and seek to engage the child’s inherent curiosity and interest. It always looks at the whole child and fully embrace each child and their parents and family. It includes and educates the family in the interactive process. The key to change is engaging the child rather than making the problem the focus.
This program is especially suited for people who work with infants and wish to enhance their skills with an embracing, child-centered approach; for bodyworkers and somatic practitioners who wish to expand their skills to include infants; and for parents and caregivers.
With more than 280 hours, the completion of this program and its requisits leads students to qualify as Infant Developmental Movement Educators, title accredited by The School for Body-Mind Centering®.
It includes 6 courses.

Senses and Perception 1

Our senses begin as potential and develop in response to stimulation and experience. The senses of touch and movement are located throughout the body — in every cell. The senses of vision, hearing, taste and smell are located in the head. It is through our senses that we receive information from our internal environment (ourselves) and the external environment (others and the world).

How we filter, modify, distort, accept, reject, and use that information is part of the act of perceiving. Perception is a global experience. It is the psychophysical process of interpreting information based on past experience, present circumstances and future expectations.
When we choose to absorb information, we bond to that aspect of our environment. When we block out information, we defend against that aspect. Learning is the process by which we vary our responses to information based on the context of each situation. This course will include:

  • Exploration of the six senses (movement, touch, taste, smell, hearing and vision).
  • Analysis of the perceptual-response cycle as the process of perception.
  • Bonding, defending and learning as psychophysical processes based on your perceptions.

4 days; 28 contact hours

Basic Neurocellular Patterns (BNP)

The development of these patterns in humans parallels the evolutionary development of movement through the animal kingdom. The Basic Neurocellular Patterns are the words of our movement. They are the building blocks for the phrases and sentences of our activities. They also establish a base for our perceptual relationships (including body image and spatial orientation) and for our learning and communication
The BNP are one of the foundations of Body-Mind Centering® and are interwoven with the Embodied Anatomy (body-systems material) in later courses. The BNP have extensive application in the areas of movement and psychophysical expression. Done in sequences, the BNP can also form the basis for a deep and ongoing personal movement practice. This course will include:

  • Exploration of the prevertebrate patterns: vibration, cellular, sponging, pulsation, mouthing, and prespinal.
  • Exploration of the vertebrate patterns: spinal, homologous, homolateral, and contralateral.
  • Distinguishing and integrating the actions of yield, push, reach and pull.
  • Combinations of the vertebrate patterns that facilitate their integration.
  • Facilitating developmental repatterning in yourself and others.

7 days; 49 contact hours

Primitive Reflexes, Righting Reactions and Equilibrium Responses (RRR)

If the Basic Neurocellular Patterns are the words, the Primitive Reflexes, Righting Reactions and Equilibrium Responses are the fundamental elements, the alphabet, of our movement. Underneath all successful, effortless movement are integrated reflexes, righting reactions and equilibrium responses. The reflexes are the most primitive patterns that occur in response to specific stimuli, and they establish basic survival patterns of function. The righting reactions are important in establishing a vertical or upright posture against gravity and a continuous head-torso axis. The equilibrium responses are patterns which maintain balance of the whole body in the dynamic relationship between the shifting of one’s center of gravity through space and one’s base of support. This course will include:

  • Fundamental building blocks of human movement (the alphabet of movement).
  • Postural tone and physiological flexion and extension.
  • Differentiating the RRR in relation to the three planes of movement (horizontal, vertical, sagittal).
  • The roles of the RRR in readiness for relating, relating to earth and heaven, gathering and reaching, taking hold and letting go, weight bearing, rolling, vertical uprightness, locomotion and equilibrium.

6 days; 42 contact hours

Ontogenetic Development

The period from intrauterine life through approximately12 months of age is an extraordinarily formative time for humans. Our basic movement patterns emerge in utero, are present at birth, and develop through the first year of life. It is during this time that we build the groundwork for our movement and perceptual skills and pass through the milestones by which we mark our development. This course will include:

  • Developmental milestones including: fetal movement, nursing, head control, eye-hand coordination, rolling, cricumduction, belly crawling, quadrupedal creeping, sitting, kneel-sitting, kneel-standing, half kneel-sitting, half kneel-standing, squatting, standing, cruising, walking).
  • The sequence of development that allows the infant to progress through each and all skill levels during its development process.
  • Patterns of movement that inhibit more integrated skills from developing.
  • Facilitating integrated movement skills and inhibiting patterns which limit full development.

4 days; 28 contact hours

Infant Developmental Movement Education 1

Heartfelt approach to witnessing the intention and organization of an individual through the lens of infant developmental movement. The keen observation skills of normal infant progression from newborn to toddler lay the foundation and map for the facilitation skills covered in IDME 2.The focus of the Infant Developmental Movement Education 1 and 2 courses is on learning a non-invasive, playful and heartful approach to interacting with infants and their families and on applying the developmental movement material specifically in facilitating normal movement in infants.

  • Developmental assessment of children from birth to 12 months.
  • Applications of developmental movement repatterning in working with infants.
  • Safe and appropriate handling of infants.
  • Educational play and toys.
  • Professional issues in working with infants, parents and caregivers.
  • Indications, contraindications, scope of practice and referrals.

10 days; 70 contact hours

Infant Developmental Movement Education 2

The focus of the Infant Developmental Movement Education 1 and 2 courses is on learning a non-invasive, playful and heartful approach to interacting with infants and their families and on applying the developmental movement material specifically in facilitating normal movement in infants.

  • Developmental assessment and movement repatterning skills in working with infants in relation to their parents, caregivers and other family members.
  • Developmental assessment and movement repatterning skills in working with infants in relation to daily activities and environment.
  • Educational play and toys.
  • Professional issues in working with infants, parents and caregivers.
  • Professional issues in working as an infant developmental movement educator.

10 days; 70 contact hours

Body-Mind Centering®, BMC®, and logo are registered service marks of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.