Alex Kerten says his life has been framed by the shadows of two cataclysmic events: the Holocaust and the subsequent creation in 1948 of the State of Israel. His parents arrived in what was then called Palestine at the tail end of World War II, having survived the Holocaust taking place in Europe. They met in a refugee camp, one of many that had been set up for the streams of immigrants pouring in after the war, and it was there that he was born in 1945.
The camps were filled with fractured souls who had suffered the horrors of Nazi atrocities and been left plagued by trauma from the past. For many of the children of these survivors like him, that trauma was passed on and became part of their own psychological makeup. As a teenager, he discovered music as an outlet to lighten the heaviness that he felt as a child and the recurring dreams and nightmares he kept having about the Holocaust. I He threw himself into his new passion and, by the age of 16, he was playing the guitar in a house band that appeared on the radio, performed with leading Israeli artists, and accompanied visiting artists to Israel like Harry Belafonte, Jacques Brel, Rita Pavone, and Marlene Dietrich.
At 18, like every Israeli teenager, Alex was inducted into the Israel Defense Forces where he was first exposed to — and attracted by — martial arts (MA). After completing his mandatory service, he decided to pursue the study of martial arts in Japan and, later, when he returned to Israel, he continued the regimen under Grand Master Gad Skornic. After years of study, in which he also gained valuable real-life experiences, he graduated with seven black belts — four in Kenpo Jitsu, one in Ninjitsu, and two in Hashita.
Over the following decades, while pursuing various business pursuits, he continued to focus on the connection between mind and body and began to study structuring and healing movements at the Dr. Aryeh Kalev center, where he worked and taught arts of healing movements for about 5 years. At the same time he studied psychophysical integration (or mind/body integration) at the Trager Institute, an approach developed by Dr. Milton Trager. Using that knowledge, and structuring movements in martial arts (Tai Jitsu) and effects of music on body-language, body forms, feelings, movement and rhythm he began to work with Parkinson’s patients and established the Gyro-Kinetics method (Gyro=balanced / Kinetics= body movements) which is a preventive rehabilitation program in P.D. The method combines movement, touch, and music to restore the physiological balanced state on physical, mental and emotional levels and aims to improve quality of life by preventing and reducing the multiple clinical disabilities. It has been successfully used in conditions such as: movement disorders, musculoskeletal, vascular, respiratory and digestive disorders.
He then worked for a couple of years at the Reuth Hospital in Tel Aviv, where with Dr. Marietta Anka he built a pilot study which lasted for three months and consisted of weekly sessions of Gyro-Kinetics (G.K) on 11 P.D patients. Results : All patients finished very satisfied and G.K had a significant immediate post session but also a long standing improving effect on motor parameters.
At the year 2004 he and Dr. Anka participated at the 8th. International Congress of P.D and Movement disorders , which took place in Rome Italy. Conclusion was: G.K seems to be effective on general motor and mood dysfunction in P.D. It can also improve the respiratory and gastrointestinal disturbances and the patients awareness of his disease. Later Alex taught at the Maccabi Health Institute, part of Maccabi health care services in Israel.
He mentioned an incidenthe had about 30 years ago during a Martial arts training. He was choked by one of the instructors. He wouldn’t let go of his grip and Alex's hand paralyzed, He attempted to get him to stop by looking at him in the eyes. Instead, he interpreted the stare as a challenge and continued the choke hold.
All of the old Holocaust nightmares of torture and humiliation suffered by my family at the hands of Nazis rushed back to Alex — and he fainted.That traumatic incident haunted him and developed into a chronic dreams and nightmares that affected his life for many years. He looked for help by going to various specialists in the medical field, but nobody provided a remedy. So he decided that he was going to have to help himself. He began to investigate the physiology of behavior — brain waves and the way the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in our body affects a person’s anatomy, where we live our traumas over and over again by entering into an anxiety-filled state of being. Alex began to realize that he was constantly repeating those horror stories his father had passed down to him about the Holocaust, and they were having a debilitating effect on his very being.
Building on his accumulated knowledge of martial arts and behavior patterns of the body and mind, he began to communicate with his body, instead of listening to the stories from the past being constantly generated by his mind;and managed to rid himself of his chronic nightmares and anxiety through mind/body interaction!
With time, Alex began to specialize in behavior patterns, body forms, arts of movement body language, the power of music upon our neural networks and the effects they have upon our body systems. It was then that he decided that he could share what he had learned with others who suffered from chronic disorders.
Clients came to him with behavior problems and unclear chronic diseases for which MDs had no answers. Alex built a methodic program in physical behavior patterns in which the clients learned about body language, mind language and body mind interraction while acquiring techniques to deal with their chronic problems. Alex became skilled in various forms of physical therapy for pain, movement, posture, respiratory, and attention disorders. His specialty is working with Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients, who, in actuality, suffer from a combination of the above neuropathological disorders.
Based on his knowledge in these fields, he developed the Gyro-Kinetic method, which is founded on the concept of movement, music, and rhythm — creating motion in the body, which stimulates simultaneous physiological, biological, and psychological reactions. Instead of listening to their minds, I Alex teaches clients how to listen to their bodies and communicate between the two. Our minds are constantly dredging up stories and scripts from our past that dictate how we should behave, and we’ve stopped listening to our bodies. This simple but incredibly powerful concept is the key to my method and it has consistently proved its potential upon the symptoms we call “Parkinson’s” and other neurological conditions. He believes that what he teaches in the fields of the physiology of behavior, martial arts, and the art of movement has a valuable lesson for everyone — especially for people diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson’s.