Solution Other the Casts
By Catherine Rosasco-Mitchell
Toe walking, knock-knees, and pigeon toed conditions are the most common orthopedic (muscular-skeletal) challenges in toddlers today. Many children grow out of these conditions as they learn to walk. Signs of improvement are visible by the age of six months by trained professionals. If there are no signs of improvement then drastic measures that are quite painful are often presented as the only option.
“Braces, casts and surgeries are not the only options for orthopedic conditions,” says Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais who is the world-renowned physicist and professor in the fields of neurology, development and movement. This Nobel Prize assistant created a method called “Functional Integration® (FI) that is a sensory motor movement that changes orthopedic conditions. Other colleagues agree development is based on sensory perception inside the body and is a key to healthy functioning (See Society of Research for Child Develop, Teaching Institute 2015 Blog: http://wellnessthroughmovement.com/srcd-teaching-institute-presentation-philadelphia/ Pigeon toed children do not feel their sensory body.
FI uses the sensation of motion and touch to build receptive impulses of necessary information for healthy alignment and development. The sequence of sensations in developmental movement is key to how information is processed and incorporated from-the-body-to-the-brain. Sensations of motion in sessions integrate muscular and skeletal function between parts to correct alignment and balance. Results are seen as early as after one session if there are no bone deformations.
How does it work? Sessions introduce missing sensory-motor development. Correction of condition demands not just the mechanical function but also neurological intelligence (Goddard, 1957). The sensory level integrates life changes in psychological and emotional well-being and relieves pain and suffering. Does this sound too good to be true? Leading physical therapists are training with Feldenkrais work because of its amazingly quick and long lasting results. FI sessions take the suffering off the table. Instead gentle movement clarifies and utilizes the intelligence of the natural development through the skeleton to the muscles and their alignment, posture and position.
When children with pigeon toe (or flat foot) conditions correct them selves it is because movement stages were developed correctly. Each stage of developmental movement creates the next stage forming building blocks for healthy function (S. Randolph and M. Heiniger, 1998). If any stage is missing the condition will not correct itself. The FI session introduces corrects missing stages.
For example with in-toeing (pigeon toes) sensory impulses rotated bones of the tibia in a torsion affecting the whole leg, pelvis and even spine. Sensory motor reeducation gives the system the sensation of how parts work together. This is how nature corrects conditions if addressed in the first year of life.
The Feldenkrais® Method is also foundational to the success of hundreds of children in the Wellness Through Movement programs (See www. WellnessThroughMovement.com). More information about the Feldenkrais® Method can be views at: www.FeldenkraisInterest.com.
- Bower, TGR (1941); The primer of infant development
- Feldenkrais, Moshe (1972); Awareness through movement; Harper and Row, San Francisco CA
- Goddard, Sally (1957); Reflex, learning, and behavior; Fern Ridge Press, Eugene, OR.
- Randolph, Shirley and Heiniger, Margot (1994); Kids learn from inside out; Legendary Publishing Company, Boise ID
- Ratey, John (2001); A user’s guide to the brain; Vintage Books, Random House, New York, NY