Friday, June 4, 2010

Our work at home.

Thank you all for the wonderful feedback from the last post. I hope that those of you involved with feldenkrais (or other interventions that work for your child), will continue to share information and valuable feedback so that these posts can serve as a resource for other parents.

I also wanted to make sure to mention that feldenkrais is very much for adults as well and can be beneficial for individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, for those with Fibromyalgia, Stroke and Parkinson's and also for improving balance and mobility in older adults.

Some of you asked to see what exactly we are doing with Owen, so as time allows (as I either juggle the video camera OR I have someone else to help hold it), I will post short clips of some of the work we're doing at home. This will be a good motivator for me as well so that I can document Owen's progress.

Here are a few clips from today...

In these first two, I am mimicing the play and exploration that babies do with their hips, legs and feet. I am gently grasping Owen's ankles and feet, and slowly lifting his hips off of the ground while encouraging his hands to touch the opposite knee as his legs come towards him. I try to work in as much cross-lateral movement as possible. (If you imagine a line going down the middle of your body top to bottom, anything that crosses over that midline can stimulate all four lobes of the brain. Repetitive cross lateral movement, such as crawling, also strengthens and integrates the left and right brain.) I am also crossing one foot over the other knee and encouraging him to bring the lower leg up so that it lifts both legs off the ground. Owen was doing this on his own in the last segment of the video that I posted on June 2nd - which is why you hear me cheering him on at the end.

One of the "basics" that we've learned from both Ingrid and Marsha is the importance of "planting" Owen's feet whenever possible, to provide the opportunity for this feedback through his feet, legs, hips and spine.

Here is an easy exercise that we do multiple times everyday:

This last one is a nice way to keep the spine limber and provide sensory input to each side of the spine and rib cage. The key is slow, gentle articulation of the spine, alternating sides and moving up and down the rib cage. We've been doing this exercise for well over a year - you can tell how much Owen loves it. (I apologize for the noticeable heavy breathing in this one and the first one - I was literally holding the video camera in my mouth for some of these. Thank goodness for the iPod Nano.)

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