Proprioception is the first Building Block of Academic Readiness
Our joints communicate through proprioception, the ability to feel weight and pressure, and this helps your babies’ bodymind orient. Orientation means an infant knows where to put their attention in order to feel safe, to discover, and to organize responses. “Proprioception” is a descriptive term about how the body communicates to the brain. It means that the body feels weight and pressure and sends a signal to the brain that helps it focus and orient.
Proprioception sensations start in utero, and are increased through a vaginal birth. They help your baby formulate where they “are” in relation to the earth, gravity, you, and the world. You can help your baby if their birth was not vaginal, or their were disorienting chemicals and labor pain medicine involved. Help your baby to re-orient.
Infants who are oriented in a balanced manner are easier to care for!
3 tips to help your baby orient through proprioception
- when on their tummy, press their forearms into the floor, all the way through the hand and back to the elbow
- still on the tummy, press firmly and gently down on your baby’s sacrum, release, and press firmly and gently down on the back of the heart area, release
- still on the tummy, press along the thighs through the forelegs into the feet, and hold one leg down at a time while your baby explores movement around that leg
I have been doing hands on work with a lovely infant born premature. She spent extended time in the NICU where she developed a numb shock response to her body due to invasive procedures, monitor sounds, and being in a medicalized environment. Using the above tips helped her to begin to feel her own movements. Her pediatric OT’s were amazed! They had thought she might need a wheel chair. Now she is crawling and rolling on her own, and finding an easier way to lift her head.
Why is proprioception so important? Because when children don’t “feel themselves from the inside” their attention goes out too quickly, and they are easily distracted from their studies. This can be a basis for ADDHD. Proprioception helps the insides relax. When the inside relaxes or feels safe, the brain can learn.
Academic Readiness means you already have the bodymind building blocks in place
see my earlier blog on Academic readiness for more information about birth pressures, and how to help your baby if they missed proprioception.
Academic readiness means the brain is awake and can focus. The good news is the brain can learn, even years later. Dr. Annie Brook works with all ages of children and infants, as well as adults.
5 Books and a DVD to help you enjoy brain development.
Dr. Brook is a passionate writer, and shares easy to use information on how our earliest experiences, shape the brain. She then gives resources and guidance on movement all the way through crawling, and into child and adult movement skills.
- Birth’s Hidden Legacy, Volume 1 and 2: Case studies and treatment, infant to adults, for relieving fears, identity beliefs, and shock related to birth
- From Conception to Crawling: Guided embryological journey, primitive reflexes, and a brain map for crawling. For movement teachers, parents, and educators.
- Conception to Crawling 3 DVD SET: Watch hands on infant sessions, practice developmental patterns, learn about equilibrium responses.
- The Developing Infant: More specific month by month tips for infant development, plus what not to do as a parent or caregiver!
- Contact Improvisation and Body-Mind Centering: A movement manual with self practice, and guided partner and group exercises for playful awakened movement
- informs readers about how crawling supports brain development, gives movement exercises you can explore as an adult, and gives stage by stage infant development in her newest book! Learn to use movement to re-engage the brain for learning.
If you can help your child or infant, or even yourself, life becomes simpler and more fun!
We specialize in Movement as Learning. We help infants to adults to relieve birth and attachment trauma, frees the brain for learning, and find more ease in relationship and brain organization using movement.