The Man Who Transformed a Disability into a Healing Method
Moshe Elbaum's Story
For over twenty years, Moshe Elbaum has been working with children and adults around the world, successfully helping them to overcome learning and functional difficulties. There are five Elbaum Colleges and training centers in Israel and his method is practiced by hundreds of practitioners around the country. In a recent issue of Different Lives - the most prestigious health magazine in Israel - the Elbaum Method was listed one of the "100 milestones in the history of alternative health". What makes the method so effective and powerful is that it comes out of Moshe's personal experience as a child with learning difficulties who developed techniques to overcome his disability.
A leader in his field, a popular lecturer and teacher and a published author, Moshe was not able to read until he was an adult. He was born with a condition that today would be considered severe dyslexia. School was a nightmare. He was punished continuously for his inability to learn to read and spent hours standing in the corner of the classroom. Poor coordination and severe asthma led to social isolation - during breaks and after school he watched his peers play together, knowing he would never be able to take part in their games. His early education was an endless round of humiliation and helplessness and Moshe quit school after the 10th grade.
Fortunately, this potentially devastating beginning did not destroy his love of learning. With inner strength and commitment, Moshe turned his disabilities into skills and knowledge, his weaknesses into strengths, and his pain into genuine compassion for people with learning difficulties. On this road, three influences shaped his personal development and eventually his healing method.
The first influence was a swimming instructor he met in the 4th grade. This teacher was the first educator to see him as a person rather than a problem Under his guidance, and with his support, Moshe swam 2.5 miles each day, determinedly building his body and selfconfidence, developing a sense of competence and shedding his sense of self-pity. Today Moshe approaches each student with the patience and compassion born out of an understanding of the enormous difference a sensitive adult can make to the life of a child. Fifteen years later, Moshe was introduced to karate. This was the second influence. "Upon entering the first class I experienced a feeling of coming home", he recalls, "My spine straightened, and for the first time, I was able to keep my focus for an entire class". His need for self-development was awakened, and for the next seven years Moshe "ate, breathed and slept karate". Practicing an average of 7-17 hours per day, he felt that he was stepping toward a meaningful future.
"My body started to do things it was never able to do before and I became calmer and more confident. One day, a friend gave me a book to read and asked for my opinion on it. In the most natural way I read it, and only after I had returned the book it struck me -1 had just read a whole book! At the age of 26 this was my first book!".
With vigorous practice, Moshe progressed rapidly, receiving a black belt in karate after only 26 months, becoming a karate instructor and attaining a high level of mastery of the art. In the process he developed the ability to isolate, analyze, and perfect small movements, to motivate and inspire, and to gently but firmly push students towards excellence.
Then life brought about a radical shift: Moshe was involved in a car accident that left him with severe injuries to his face and neck. Due to the devastating nature of his injuries, Moshe was no longer able to practice karate as a fighting art. In order to heal himself, he used the knowledge and understanding he'd gained over years of practice. He developed specific exercises of his own, conferred with his doctors and therapists, and learned different healing modalities such as shiatsu, reflexology and bio-energy. The accident was the third influence - and the beginning of the Elbaum Method.
Today, as an accomplished professional, Moshe looks at every child who comes to his office with deep compassion He sees their great potential together with the obstacles that prevent it from flourishing. He resonates with the child's pain and supports the child's strengths. He draws on his experience in the healing arts in order to tailor a training plan that is specific to each child, and he knows how to persuade individual students to stretch themselves in order to achieve their full potential.
Moshe has committed his life to touching children's lives and showing them that there is a way out. "There is no greater sight than the face of a child with difficulties, who manages for the first time to operate his body!", says Moshe, with a conviction born out of years of doing just that.