I was working with a little one starting at 11 months for 3 months in a row. He had no idea of how to move or that he was capable of moving. Over the 3 month period, he started rolling over, being more aware of his surroundings, holding objects, holding his head up, and moving on the floor and in his crib.
He enjoyed learning and was not so fearful of falling or moving but excited to learn and was empowered by the learning of weight transfer which is needed for rolling over, coming to sitting and walking to name a few.
I was also working with a girl that just turned 9; I have been seeing her for about 6 months. She had only discovered this amazing work and had done the traditional physiotherapy up until that time. She walks supported by her mom or dad, but not on her own. She never learned to crawl and was very uncomfortable crawling.
She was not able to come up to sitting herself because of these fears, nor move around in a way that was easy on her body and mind. These things alone prevented her from learning and developing to her highest potential (she has many neurological concerns).
Her mom always asked what she could do to help her daughter improve faster, my answer is always, get her crawling.
When the girl first started coming to me, weight transfer of any kind was very frightening to her so moving slow was really important for her brain to learn to trust the movements that would facilitate more possibilities. She would hold herself in what I will call fear. This fear was preventing her from living to her highest potential.
As we started changing and adding new subtle, slow and small movements done with awareness and curiosity she become much more confident, courageous and started to crawl on her own to get around instead of the skootching she had been doing for many years. She also learned to get up from sitting to crawling and back to sitting.
With the ability to trust transferring her weight she is learning at a faster pace, using vocal sounds more, being more open to discovering and trying new things. All this was not available to her a few short months ago.
Take this knowledge and cognition that I have discovered recently and add it to the aging population. With aging, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia to name a few the shifting of weight is very important.
I have watched a client that has a mild case of Parkinson’s have trouble getting up off the floor and as she did some lessons both privately and in a group class her movements improved a lot, so much that she is very comfortable getting down on the floor to play with her grandchildren.
Small safe things to do would be sit on a chair and shift your weight from one foot to the other by lifting one foot, place it down and lift the other foot. When you lift your foot notice what happens do you feel your other foot on the ground more for balance? Does your head and pelvis move? Do you continue breathing evenly or is do you stop breathing while you do the movement?