In anatomy and physiology and in medicine in general, the mind-body connection is never given enough consideration for my liking.
That there is a connection is irrefutable. Thinks of getting butterflies when you are nervous, blushing when embarrassed, salivating when you go past a bakery…
In people who have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, their neurological wiring is altered by the stress they have encountered which prevents them from being rational, reasoned and regulated if they have a reminder of the stress or a flash back. The will see things, feel things, hear things, their mind and body giving them a serious message.
Bessel Van de Kolk in his book, "The Body Keeps The Score" Mind, Brain and Body In The Transformation of Trauma" advocates yoga to help treat trauma. In fact movement is vital for brain function and development.
If people do not experience the rhythmic movements of infancy their neurological development may be impeded which can cause them to;
We are all born with primitive reflexes that are usually integrated within the first year or so of life as they no longer serve us. Think of infant reflexes such as sucking and rooting and the plantar grasp where the toes curl when the foot is stroked. Two reflexes prevalent in our children are the moro (startle) and fear paralysis reflex which if not integrated are believed to contribute to learning challenges, behavioural challenges, anxiety, emotional imbalances and overwhelm*. These reflexes are closely related to our stress response. The moro is linked to the fight and flight part of the response by the sympathetic nervous system and the fear paralysis to the freeze. By repeating simple movements usually done in infancy through the guidance of a Rhythmic Movement Consultant** these reflexes can be integrated and our children more regulated.
A very simple yet unbelievably powerful first step is to make sure children know how to crawl. “Proper” crawling is done contralateral i.e. diagonally across the body- left leg + right arm.
So many children who are carried around in car seats and not left on the floor, miss this vital piece of neuro-development. They bottom shuffle or crawl homolaterally (same side arm and leg).
Whilst this is not part of the syllabus for the anatomy. physiology and pathology course, it is fascinating!
"I am delighted to have passed and greatly appreciate the support and flexibility that you have given me during this extended process of study. Thanks also for the guidance and resources - it has been a really excellent and thorough learning experience and I will be giving you 5 stars on the evaluation "
- Karen McMinn -
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