Gross motor development and gravitational security

Tactile information from the feet plays an enormous role in letting a learner know what their body’s position is in relation to gravity. Proprioceptors in the soles of the feet act as gravitational receptors and when a learner feels their feet planted firmly on the ground, they experience what Jean Ayres called ‘gravitational security’. Gravitational security is a sense of safety because the brain knows where the feet are. The feet act as a source of determining ‘current location’ from where all thinking and motor planning start.

Gravitational security is a sense of safety because the brain knows where the feet are.
Gravitational security stabilises the body, the emotions and the mind like the foundation stabilises a house.

 

The interesting thing about these two inside senses is they are best stimulated through gross and fine movement and touch.

The Neuro Dynamix programme uses the comforting senses of movement and touch to develop gravitational security – the first goal of this intervention. If a learner is not comfortable with movement and touch then pervasive developmental delays may follow if left unattended.

For that reason we start the Neuro Dynamix intervention with the Antennae Adjuster, a Mind Moves excercise that has been found effective to

  • stimulate and
  • develop the vestibular system so a learner does not feel overwhelmed when the proprioceptors in the body and feet are stimulated when the Mind Moves Massage is done.
Mind Moves Antennae Adjuster

At the Mind Moves Institute, we have found that learners who experience barriers to learning progress faster when their vestibular system is turned ON when they massage their ears.

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Mind Moves Massage

At the Mind Moves Institute, we have found that learners who experience barriers to learning progress faster when the proprioceptors in the body and the gravitational receptors under the feet are stimulated. This is done when the silhouette of their body is firmly traced and their feet are planted firmly on the ground.

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If a learner finds it difficult to stand up and keep their arms at a 90˚ angle to the body as shown above, the Mind Moves Massage can first be done while the learner is lying down.

  • Ask the learner to lie down and extend their arms at 90˚ angles to the side of the body.
  • Place your hands (or two soft balls), on top of the learner’s head.
  • Trace the outline of the learner’s body firmly and simultaneously in mirror-image.
  • Change your body position to trace under the hands and arms, and down the sides of the body.
  • Ask the learner to raise their knees with their feet on the floor, plant the feet firmly on the ground for eight seconds.
  • Repeat at least three times.

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