Body-Mind Centering® (BMC) is an innovative approach to health, movement and bodywork developed by occupational therapist, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. It is a movement re-education approach with two key components, embodied anatomy and developmental movement. BMC is very exploratory in nature. It can be used to address specific health and movement concerns or it can be applied to other movement forms and practices. I specifically apply BMC to dance, yoga, and pilates.
Embodied Anatomy: The Systems Work
The personal experience of tissue is called embodiment and is a vital part of the study and practice of BMC. First we study the tissue, using pictures, texts, or anatomy books to formulate an image of the structure. Then we go on a movement journey, called a somatization, a kind of guided movement meditation. Participants notice the sensations in their bodies and the feelings and images which arise in these places. With direct somatic experience, we discover that body systems have characteristic qualities of sensation and consciousness.
Participants study every level of tissue: skeleton, ligament, muscle, nerve, organ, endocrine, fluid, fat, fascia, skin, cellular and sub-cellular, immune, sensory and perceptual. BMC cultivates awareness in all of the systems and their interrelationships to give each participant a greater range of choice and freedom in their movement.
Developmental Movement Patterns
From conception through infancy and on to walking, we progress through organized movements, or patterns of skill and organization. Each movement pattern is preceded and followed by other patterns that balance the overall developmental progression. From flexing to extending, pushing to reaching, the pieces of development gradually integrate to become purposeful, pleasurable and communicative movement through space. When all of these movement pathways are available and utilized, then physical, emotional and cognitive growth from childhood to adulthood is supported.
The developmental material and exploration include the Reflexes, Righting Reactions and Equilibrium Responses. These comprise an “alphabet” of movement which, when combined in sequence, form the “words” of our movement, which we call the Basic Neurological Patterns (BNP). Together, the Reflexes and the Basic Neurological Patterns underlie volitional movement and establish a baseline for physical, emotional and cognitive choice-making. When any of the BNP’s are skipped or only partially developed, this can manifest in our lives as limitations or problems with our perceptions, movement or thinking. Even the most skilled of movers find it valuable to consciously explore or revisit developmental patterns and reflexes to improve movement skill, range and integration.
Private and Semi-private Sessions
Sessions incorporate postural and movement evaluation, guided movement, experiential anatomy and imagery, exercises, hands-on techniques and movement patterning. Private and semi-private sessions are available at Julee Snyder Bodywork and at Evolve Movement. No prior experience is necessary, though it is helpful to come with a movement question, body inquiry, or goal. This gives us a place to begin.
Group Classes and Workshops
I am available for group classes and workshops. Again, because of the vast nature of the work, it is helpful to narrow the scope of the class or workshop to a theme. If this is something you are interested in, please call or email. I am happy to talk to you about your goals and objectives and how BMC may fit your needs.