Frequently Asked Questions
How can movement make any possible difference to learning and development?
Scientists know that movement stimulates the brain. Without movement, the brain and senses won’t develop sufficiently. When we are born there are very few neural connections throughout the brain but just enough for ‘survival’. Without more connections we cannot function or develop sufficiently so we need to make more, many billions more over time. As the baby learns to move from lying on its back to rolling over developing proprioception, grasping objects and bringing the object into its mouth for tactile and taste stimulation, learning to lift its head to build muscle tone and start the visual process, listening to sounds to stimulate the auditory process, to crawling for myelinating the corpus callosum etc. The common factor to all these processes is movement. As movements are being learnt and become exact from our in-born reflex patterns, so the neural connections are being created. The more experiences we have, and are allowed to have, the more connections are made linking up the different areas of the brain to access their functions.
Which comes first, Reflexes or Sensory development?
Reflexes come first as the movements a baby learns to make helps develop each reflex that then stimulates the visual, auditory, tactile, motor, vestibular and/or proprioceptor senses. Without movement, none of the senses will get the stimulation they need. Reflexes develop the Central Nervous System that stimulates the senses, so are the foundations of neural and sensory development.
Why is movement so important?
When we are born we cannot move other than making fumbling, un-coordinated and jerky movements. We need to learn to make those movements smooth, coordinated and controlled. This is the role of the reflexes and linking up areas of the brain. If the reflexes don’t get the chance to play their role sufficiently, we remain at a lower level of development and maturity. If we don’t learn to move in the right way, we don’t develop sufficiently.
‘Well, I go to the gym and do exercises…that’s movement!’
Yes that is movement and does help, as we know how we feel after exercising. The difference between performing developmental movements and doing ordinary exercise movements is that we don’t get the same amount of stimulation in specific areas of the brain as we do from being on the floor using Rhythmic Movements or Brain Gym movements.
The movements babies make are developmental and with the amount of body contact on the floor gives far greater stimulation to the proprioceptor, vestibular, motor, visual and tactile senses which we don’t get when we are upright on two feet. The rocking, rolling and sliding movements a baby makes on the floor gives huge amounts of stimulation to the senses and brain. This is why working with Rhythmic movements on the floor can do so much more to help development than most other developmental programmes. The movements relate to those that a baby should have done but may have missed or not performed for long enough during the Early Years.
What will it mean if the reflexes remain active?
It will mean the person, child or adult, will have to work harder and put more effort into what they want to achieve. Some people will be able to do this and find ways to compensate for their difficulties, some who are less developed will struggle too much and give up / fail. Integrating any retained reflexes will take the struggle out and help make the task more enjoyable and easier.
How did I get as far as College / University / Workplace and then get diagnosed with Dyslexia?
You will have had to have worked extra hard than most and put more time in to achieve. You will have found ways as compensations to work around the difficulties you faced, and as the levels of pressure and expectations got higher, the compensations you learned were no longer strong enough to support you as they did and the diagnosis of Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ASD etc will be discovered. Clear the reflexes and the hard work/effort will change and make things easier for anyone of any age and ability.
How long does it take to notice changes?
There is a level of change every time you use the rhythmic movements on the floor and the Brain Gym movements. Depending on how undeveloped the senses are in the child or adult, will determine how long it takes to develop the sense and areas of the brain. With some people it can takes a few weeks, for some it can take a few months and for more severe cases it can take up to a year or more with just 10 minutes a day every day. Once the senses are developed and areas of the brain are linked up, they are life-long unless of course, there is damage to the brain.
What changes can I expect to see from using either RMT or Brain Gym?
If you use the movements as suggested from your practitioner daily you should see improvements to – Muscle tone, balance, co-ordination, vision, listening, memory, attention, comprehension, organisation, speech, posture, reasoning skills, problem solving, social skills, behaviour, emotional development, reading, writing, spelling, learning, getting ideas down on paper, management of stress, processing information faster…anything you would like to improve and be better at that we should be able to do as human beings. There is a level of change every time you make these movements.
Are these programmes just for children?
No, anyone, and any ability, can benefit from these movement programmes from babies to the elderly. Adults can benefit and release old compensatory ways they have learnt to make to get through life and move toward a more natural and easier way through these developmental movement programmes.
Can disabled children and adults benefit?
Absolutely, the movements can be adapted to suit the person’s abilities and can be helped with making the movements to start with. People with disabilities don’t get the same stimulation the way this programme can help them. They may have missed certain stages of their develop in childhood because of their physical / mental ability, so this programme can help revisit their Early Years and help them to perform the movements they may have missed. Amazing changes can take place.
Are there any side effects?
There can be some regression, crying, babyish ways, emotional outbursts, nightmares but this lasts only for a very short time. Not everyone experiences these and the symptoms quickly disappear. This can be a very good sign that positive changes are taking place. You will be supported throughout and between sessions to help reassure you. Sometimes you have to stop the movements for a couple of days to allow time for integration or use the passive movements in RMT to help calm down the mind and body.
What books would you suggest reading about development?
Symphony of Reflexes / The Rhythmic Movement Method / Smart Moves, why learning is not all in your head / Brain Gym and Me
These are a few easy and readable books. Of course, there are a lot more but these are a good starting point.