The Meaning of Movement

dal 15/set/2022 ore 11:31 (UTC +01:00)
al 12/set/2024 ore 11:31 (UTC +01:00)


dal 15/set/2022 ore 11:31 (UTC +01:00)
al 12/set/2024 ore 11:31 (UTC +01:00)


The first thing I remember about Cody when he was born is his beauty.I couldn’t stop staring at his flawless face and heavenly head of hair.I caressed his cheeks, inhaled his scent, and did everything I could not to eat him alive.After a peaceful, natural birth at the local midwifery center, I felt my oxytocin levels soaring, and my bonding with Cody was in overdrive.The second thing I remember, but rarely thought about until much later, is that he didn’t cry.Cody was growing just as he should.He was healthy and happy and the delight of everyone who knew him.He was checking off milestones like a champ.Like other babies, he hated being on his tummy.But as soon as he learned how to roll onto his back, he made sure to do it immediately whenever I put him down.I didn’t do it, Mom, Wyatt said.He scooted back here on his own.We all thought Cody’s inventive, quirky mode of transportation was adorable.What we didn’t realize was that it was a symptom of something more significant.I confess that, as a new mother five times over, I wasn’t always concerned with movement.Most times, this meant toting my little ones around in carriers, keeping them nestled next to my body in slings, or letting them play in bouncy seats.Whenever it was time to play, I allowed them to crawl and move however it suited them.We also used Exersaucers, bouncy seats, and Bumbo chairs.And if he isn’t allowed to learn on his own, he won’t learn how to do it properly.That means that if you try to teach your child how to roll over, how to sit up, how to stand, how to walk, or how to run, he won’t be doing it in the most efficient manner possible.Placing your child in a position that he is not able to hold himself will actually prevent him from learning how to achieve that position.1Research shows us that movement is vital to brain development during the first year of life.We hear about the importance of movement, but I don’t think we hear enough about why it is important.If our babies roll over, crawl, and walk, does it really matter how they do it?Many doctors and researchers say that it does.Doman worked with renowned brain surgeon Temple Fay to understand how babies’ brains developed and what human functions resulted.They discovered that no matter their cultural background, all babies undergo the same developmental sequence of mobility.This developmental sequence begins in utero and continues until around six years of age for girls and eight years of age for boys, with an additional boost in adolescence.Biologically, all children must go through this sequence of developmental movement to obtain optimal brain function.With proper and positive stimulation, this sequence occurs naturally, growing and building a child’s brain, synapse upon synapse.When there are negative factors in a developing child’s environment, it can cause certain genes to turn off, disrupting the developmental sequence.It can look sullen and moody or wild and disruptive, depending on which side of the brain missed a step, so to speak, in development.2These missteps in sequence can occur for any number of reasons.It sounds dramatic to call it trauma, but all of us experience trauma to varying degrees, sometimes even unidentifiable ones.There is obvious trauma, of course, like physical or emotional abuse.But there are other kinds of traumatic experiences that children can undergo.Birth trauma, a minor brain injury like a concussion, or a major illness are different types of trauma that could potentially lead to a developmental gap.Even anesthesia in children under two can have an effect on the neuroreceptors that need to develop.While trauma can be something bad that happens, it can also be something good that doesn’t happen in a child’s life, like not having a loving parent, a connection with a committed caregiver, tender physical touch, good nutrition, a safe emotional environment, or a healthy physical movement.Doman’s findings and work have been used to rehabilitate stroke victims, the mentally impaired, and people with brain traumas.The key isn’t unlocking a cure for the symptoms, but the cause.Trust me, as an avid researcher, I’ve read lots of them.There’s a plethora of positive offerings to help parents get through those tough early years, but nothing about movement and neurology.How much tummy time is he getting each day? the pediatrician asked.Maybe ten to fifteen minutes. I paused.But he seems to hate being on his tummy.Is that normal?Well, most babies do, she said laughing.Just keep doing the best you can.That was it.I felt slightly relieved.It must not be all that important, I thought to myself.I only wish I had known at the time just how important movement is.How tummy time leads to tummy crawling, a necessary piece of the sequence.How my baby’s mobility sequence was as important as the nourishment and nurturing I gave him.It had been almost seven years of watching him thrive in so many ways but struggle in others.Three years of working on his letters to no avail.Two years of watching him write in his morning journal symbols he could not decipher.That was the day I committed to learning how his beautiful brain worked.

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