Good Posture from Birth

Hila - Or, an infant development specialist wrote the article "Proper Posture from Birth". After Puenta rewrote, edited and designed the article's copywriting it has been published in the Harel Insurance Company health journal.


The Feldenkrais Metod  for Infants and  Kids  

The modern child's world
Children these days experience an utterly different world than the one we had experienced as children: they spend long hour sitting in harming postures in front of the computer or the television and rarely play any games that involve movement.
These conditions affect their posture.
Posture and physical awareness affect the child's self image and confidence, and improving them improves the child's social skills as well. 

Sixty Seconds on Feldenkrais
The Feldenkrais method is a healing method that incorporates touch and awareness of movement. The method was developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, a dr. of Physics and Engineering with a black belt in Judo.
With his own knowledge and proficiencies, he has healed his knee and avoided an unnecessary surgery. As a result, during the 1940's, he has developed a series of unique exercises and healing techniques which increase the awareness to the body and its proper movement.  

Your Child is Feeling Well
When a child has posture problems, he has a deep physical sense that something is wrong with him. It is a feeling that cannot be put into words, yet it is constantly in his awareness, one way or the other. Kids with posture problems might feel 'clutz', a feeling that might prevent them from taking part in many social activities and affect their self estimate.

Proper posture is defined by spreading the skeleton muscle load in a way that insures pleasant, balanced and stable without the preference of any specific movement.
For example: Kids who sit like a soft or bent question mark are children with posture problems.
As opposed to them, children who sit in a variety of postures without any preference of one specific posture, those who feel comfortable in any position are children with high chance of having a healthy posture. This is the same regarding to lying down, standing, walking, running and jumping.
Posture problems originate already during infancy (the first year of a baby's life) when the body begins to develop motor skills. Already at this stage, we develop certain movement preferences that form parasite exaggerated movements.

Learning while experiencing a diverse movement, in addition to repeating movements of early development stages, enables the brain an new opportunity of learning and working in a manner the distributes the skeleton muscle load in a balanced way New movement and postures are learned through game and teaching that are modified according to the children's age, When the brain identifies effective ways to carry the body, it adopts them. From here on, the road to natural movement, without any posture difficulties is short, enriching and fun.

Feldenkrais and Gross Motor Skills
Hopping, jumping, running and playing ball games are mile stones in a child's world.
Kids who perform these activities feel every single time the marvelous experience of achievement. This experience of achievement enables them to form social relations and feel good about themselves.
As opposed to them, children who find it hard to play ball games, shall be shy and attempt to stay away from social opportunities that lean on their motor skills.

Children develop the basis of gross motor skills, already during the first year of their lives. The stages of development form their abilities in estimating distance, coordination, orientation, rhythm, catching, throwing and more.
When the basis of gross motor skills in not solid; difficulties in performance of gross motor movements are developed.

The Feldenkrais method provides a unique practice of each development stage individually: via the method's unique movement and games designed to strengthen the mile stones of development and sharpen the abilities of gross motor systems.
For example, a baby who grew while lying on his back or one side most of the day and night, might grow and develop completely healthy and yet, his back muscles and orientation system might need strengthening and better organization in order to enable him to play ball games or dance and excel in these activities.

Feldenkrais and Fine Motor Skills
Holding a pencil, painting, writing, cutting and pasting are simple every day tasks that each child should be able to perform easily and enjoyable. The proficiency of fine motor skills, as all other motor skills, the fine skills are developed during the first year of the infant's life.
In order to perform effectively, the eye-hand connection as well as a balanced muscle strain must be developed, in addition to all other components which will not be indicated here.

Kids with fine motor difficulties usually adjust parasite movement patterns such as high or low tension in the shoulder strap and hand, or a non-sufficient eye-hand contact. For example: many children experience difficulties in writing, they are unable to loosen their hand muscles in a manner that would enable them to write. These clamped muscles are connected to the shoulder muscles, the ribs, the back and the pelvis. The brain orchestrates this entire orchestra of muscles, coordination and orientation.

The Feldenkrais method approaches the brain via movement, games and unique touches.
The purpose of this process is to form an improved organization of the systems, in charge of fine motor skills – improving each system in relation to itself and the reaction system between all of them. Thus, naturally and through a pleasant experience, the children obtain full control over activities such as: painting, writing, pasting and cutting, which require high proficiency of fine motor skills.

Feldenkrais and Learning
Learning is an activity which combines listening and concentration.
Learning, listening and concentrating are proficiencies which e develop already in first year of our lives, when we as babies learn the required movements in order to lift our head, turn over from our backs to our tummies, crawl, stand up while leaning, walking, jumping, hoping and other activities. These activities require coordination between the movement mechanisms, coordination and space orientation.

Kids these days are exposed to vast distractions on the one hand, and a lack of games which combine movement on the other. Further more, media related distractions are characterized with a high level of intensive information which is un-relevant to their world. This combination of over information and lack of movement might create listening, concentration and learning skills difficulties.

Today, scientific researches have proven that there is a connection between a baby's movement development during the first year of his life and cases of learning disability and attention deficit disorder. For example: it has been scientifically proven that children with learning disabilities usually suffer from coordination and orientation difficulties. From another perspective – programs designed for gifted children add special movement lessons in order to further develop their learning abilities. Thus, we can conclude that improving a child's movement abilities might contribute to learning as well as develop his coordination.

The Feldenkrais methods works on the movement aspects and development stages a child experiences during the first year of his life. We do this through playing in an environment suitable to the world of children - we just have fun!
Both group and private lessons turn the kid's awareness to proper performance of a variety of movements, such as: holding a ball, kicking, bouncing and more. Another example, related to listening while performing certain movements, is related to activities such as bending or standing up. The overall experience improves their ability to listen, slow down, know their body and focus on one thing at a time.

How is the Feldenkrais method taught?
The Feldenkrais method is taught in two ways:

Private Lessons – a lesson suited to the specific child which includes:
• Elbow movement, compression and extension touching techniques.
• Posture improvement
• Body sensation awareness
• During the lesson the game and fun aspects are stressed.

Group Lessons
• The group lessons verbally instruct kids to perform a variety of movements, listen to their performance method and gradually improve them. The process is performed in a light enjoyable manner modified for children.
• Self experimentation enables a child to become aware of his own body and improve his motor, cognitive and emotional skills.
• During these lessons, the children are experiencing the vast variety of movements through fun play.


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