Movement LessonTM benefits a range of people from young to old, with additional needs or not. Just as those children with diagnoses such as Cerebral Palsy or Genetic conditions can benefit, so to can undiagnosed conditions or children with developmental delays. Regardless of condition or background if there is an issue with movement then Movement LessonTM can help. By enhancing functional movement through rotation and a gentle touch Movement LessonTM can help you achieve milestones, prepare for or recover from surgery, reduce injury risk and delay the effects of ageing. This page outlines some of the benefits for some individuals and conditions, but it is by no means an exhaustive list.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is an injury to the brain; whether that be through Oxygen Deprivation at birth or following a Traumatic Brain Injury. As a result, it can lead to Hypotonia with low muscle tone appearing weak and floppy or Hypertonia with a high muscle tone appearing very stiff. Consequently, it has a big impact on movement and co-ordination (NHS, 2020). This might not affect all areas of the body; it can affect just one limb or the whole of one side of the body. Alternatively, it could affect just the bottom half of the body or all four limbs (CerebralPalsy.org, 2021). However, this does not mean that people with CP can’t learn to move efficiently and meet milestones.
Neuroplasticity is the growth and organisation of new brain cells, which although greatest in the first three years of life (Mundkur, 2005) continues into old age (Thuret, 2015). Key to this process is the presence of adequate levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) (Bathina & Das, 2015). Research has shown that movement, physical activity and exercise can promote BDNF production and increase neurogenesis (Cotman, et al., 2007; Lee et al., 2014).
Movement LessonTM helps facilitate and improve an individual’s functional movement, providing a platform for increased BDNF. Furthermore, it helps messages from the brain get through. Uncoordinated and uncontrolled movements lead some individuals to be labelled Dystonic. By strengthening messages from the brain and facilitating functional movement these movements can be calmed down. Through analysis of how the body moves the areas with these glitches can be identified. Utilising gentle touch, rotation and weight transfer the messages are encouraged to reach their target.
In contrast to CP some individual’s fail to meet movement milestones even if they don’t have an official label. For some, it might just be delays in a medical professional providing the label that their issues require – be that genetic or otherwise. Thousands of genetic conditions have been identified and while some affect 10,000s of people, others can affect just a handful of families across the entire world (NHS England, 2017). A variety of these can impact an individual’s ability to move in different ways. Some genetic conditions cause Ataxia, which affects co-ordination, balance and walking (NHS, 2021). Whereas others might cause uncontrolled, uncoordinated Dystonic movements (NHS, 2021). Regardless of the cause, individuals can be helped to understand their body. Sessions can help individuals fulfil their physical potential.
For some individuals there might just be delays in achieving milestones, whether that be rolling, sitting, crawling, standing or walking. Even without any confirmed additional needs, failure to meet milestones is a sign that something is not right. However, a milestone is merely that. It is a marker for comparison. It determines where an individual currently is compared to where they need to be. Like with CP there is something preventing the messages from the brain reaching its intended destination. Completing a full movement assessment will help identify areas of the body that might be a cause for concern, with regular sessions allowing the body to get a better understanding of itself and its capabilities. In Movement LessonTM the focus is not on learning to roll per se, but improving the functional movement that allows rolling to happen.
Although these might be related to an additional problem, Hip Dysplasia and Subluxation refer to a physiological problem with the hip. The head of the femur is not fully covered by the pelvis; differentiation between developmental hip dislocation (Dysplasia) and a severe dislocation (subluxation) is very difficult (Tavares, 2012). As a result, movement is restricted due to pain or inability to engage.
The hips are not fully formed until approximately 15 years of age and it takes a range of activities to enable that happen. Throughout a day a developing child will fall and stand over and over again. It is this intense movement that enables the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and neurons to function properly around the hip and for it to form fully. Not being able to perform these movements will prevent hip formation. Movement LessonTM uses weight transfer and rotation to help replicate these movements that helps strengthen areas around the hips. If there is a physiological condition requiring surgery then Movement LessonTM prepares the area for surgery, meaning that rehabilitation following surgery is much quicker and effective.
Michelle Turner has observed how rotation has helped slow the effects of old age. An ability to rotate allows us to effectively oppose gravity. As a result, any reduction in rotation due to age, illness or injury, limits movement capabilities. Neurogenesis – that is the creation of new neurons in the brain – continues into old age (Thuret, 2015). Furthermore, research has shown that physical activity and exercise reduces cognitive decline (Cotman, et al., 2007; Erickson, et al., 2011). Consequently, even a 10 minute walk each day is recommended to delay the effects of age old (Brannan et al., 2017).
Research has also found that gait variability is a good predictor of cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (Peruccini-Faria, et al., 2021). A lack of rotation is associated with cognitive decline and can cause these changes in step length. While brain changes are similar following a head injury or stroke as Alzheimers (Rostowsky & Irimia, 2021). The degeneration of the corona radiata helps explain why both reduce rotation through the body, limiting a person’s ability to move. As such being able to support any movement capabilities in the elderly can improve their quality of life.
Movement LessonTM works to improve rotation throughout the body using a gentle touch. This involves helping different areas of the body rotate around an axis. The client can be in a lying, sitting or even standing position for this to occur. Regardless of which position they are most comfortable, benefits can be achieved. As a result, the body part will cross a mid-line, strengthening its rotational capacity. As well as rotation Movement LessonTM focuses on weight transfer, balance and counter-balance, which aid stability. Consequently, confidence will be increased as gait variability is reduced.
Babies born by C-section have been found to suffer from developmental delays (Polidano, et al., 2017). Unrestricted movement is key to cognitive development (Turner, 2016) and missing the rotational forces of moving through the birth canal can impact this. Therefore, the baby’s first relationship with gravity won’t be via rotation. As a result, the baby is likely to lack effective rotation in some areas of the body.
Effective performance of every component of movement is required for the movement to be effective. So, if any one aspect of that movement, whether that be rolling, sitting, crawling, standing or walking is unable to function properly there are likely to be delays. Furthermore, delays in these physical milestones can lead to later cognitive delays as the child catches up. Completing a Newborn Movement Assessment will help identify areas that lack rotation and allow for early intervention. Movement LessonTM can stimulate movement using a gentle rotational touch. This will encourage weight transfer and accelerate milestone achievement.
A variety of behavioural disorders can also benefit from sessions. Whether that be Autism, ADHD, Anxiety disorders, learning difficulties or otherwise, the benefits are similar. While the aim of Movement LessonTM is to promote functional movement a by-product is to stabilise the system. When an individual is unable to control their body parts, such as when messages from the brain do not hit their intended targets, it can lead to extreme frustration. By encouraging the messages to get through and reinforcing positive functional movements frustration can be reduced. Furthermore, utilising a gentle touch and client centred approach relaxes the client. The body system is calmed and so is behaviour. Interventions to relax the child can lead to improvements in self-confidence, social confidence communication and classroom contributions (Powell, et al., 2010).
Feedback from parents include that their child has become more vocal and confident after Movement Lesson UK sessions. Additionally, parents have reported sleep problems to be improved following sessions. The body is calmed, therefore can enter deeper levels of sleep.
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