Looking ahead: seeing a baby bloom into maturity

Heidi Tillotson, COTA/L come to just two days of RMT last month; at the third day of training this month, she told us this story.  I’ve distilled the official version into a laymen’s story, and am including the therapist’s version for those of you who speak therapist-language.

The laymen’s version:  My student has always been interested in not just treating symptoms, but addressing causes of difficulties, and was delighted to see how quickly RMT is able to transform lives.  She has a year-old child in her caseload, born at 26 weeks gestation, who obviously spent quite awhile in NICU.  At one year old, she really wasn’t sitting well or going on hands-and-knees well either. She couldn’t stay up on hands-and-knees, and communicated only by crying during therapy.

After THREE sessions, she saw that the little girl not only LIKED these movements, but also could stay on hands-and-knees for FOUR MINUTES — and was even beginning that pre-crawling rocking motion.  She’s now tolerating therapy for an hour, and is communicating happily.  She’s now not just sitting, but sitting while being moved and tilted.  Therapists are quite enthused.  My student says that she thinks the girl will catch up soon, with RMT.  I can only imagine how happy mom might be, seeing her daughter grow, and look forward to her actually catching up to age-mates.

Heidi Tillotson’s version, in therapist-language:

Thank you so much for hosting the second level of this wonderful class. I truly am carrying so much away from it.

After I took RMT 1, I could not wait to go home and integrate it into my sessions. I have always been concerned about root issues and assisting a child’s body to reach important stages that will assist them to participate in age appropriate play effectively and in a smooth and coordinated manner. Through RMT, I learned that these issues can be addressed in children of any age or stage of their life. As I taught and performed these movements with the children, I noted all of them to benefit and demonstrate gains in short periods of time.

One of the examples is of a little girl who was born at 26 weeks gestation and placed in the NICU for some time. When she arrived at the clinic at around 1 year of age, she could barely sit up, roll, or maintain a quad position. When I came back from the RMT class, I immediately incorporated these movements into her weekly sessions. I did all the passives on her as well as the STNR rocking in quad with hips. I noted these movements to calm her when she was distressed and relax her tone. In one of the treatments following the introduction of these movements, I noticed that her strength increased and she was able to improve in the area of righting reactions. The following week, I had to perform testing on her. When I placed her in the quad position, she was able to maintain it for 4 minutes without collapse and even started to rock herself at the hips in this position. This little girl transitioned from one half-hour session with co-treat between PT/OT to a full hour with PT and OT taking their turns. The last session I saw her, I noticed even more gains. She was making facial expressions and communicating in response to therapist whereas before she would cry and complain with the various positioning. Static sitting became too easy and we transitioned to dynamic surfaces for quad and sitting positions. The gains were amazing and my fellow PT commented on this. I know RMT has made a big different in the neurodevelopment of this girl, and with the gains we have seen, will soon experience the locomotion that is typical for her age.

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Is ANXIETY an epidemic now?

Anxiety in preschoolers and in teens/young adults seems to be as contagious as the flu these days.

Living in unstable homes or unsafe neighborhoods understandably leads to some of the cases of anxiety. However, toddlers as well as adolescents experience “free floating anxiety,” where a person can’t pinpoint WHY he feels the way he does. Absent a cause, the brain will fill in with the blanks – boogie monsters for our youngest ones, things like social anxiety and health fears for our older ones.  It happens even in – especially in? – stable, loving and affluent families.

A look at our earliest reflexes gives a hint to what might be going on. Less sensory input can lead to increasing anxiety, and our modern and affluent lifestyle:
·       Expectant moms are more sedentary, sitting at computers rather than doing physical housework of our grandmothers
·       C-section rates are still rising – look how much less sensory input happens there!
·       Babies are super-pillowed, infant-seated, put in walkers way before they’d otherwise be walking, etc. rather than being put on his abdomen to learn to crawl
·       Babies are looking at two-dimensional surfaces way more than they should, especially
Adults who substitute treadmills for walking outside experience even such tiny differences as stepping on and off curbs, breezes, changes in sunshine, etc., that make a difference in both caloric intake and sensory input.

All these interfere with the maturing of the nervous system.  Brain Gym® and Rhythmic Movement Training are the quickest, easiest-learned, methods that I’ve found, to help mature the nervous system. Their specific sensory input increases connections within your brain.

It’s not just anxiety that responds to increased connections within the nervous system.  The ways we cope with anxiety also get help: insomnia, explosive tempers, controlling and addictive behaviors decrease as stress from trying to manage an undeveloped nervous system melts away.  Also, things like dyslexia, attention and focus, poor social skills, kids who can’t break out of a dreamy state, people with sensory processing, all benefit greatly.

Therapists of all kinds learn as much as teachers and parents in these classes; it’s a very cost-effective way to become incredibly helpful to anybody – babies to the elderly, from struggling with life to those who would just like to optimize life.

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When you can startle physicians, you know you’ve got a WOW!

Here’s a class picture of my last RMT class — TWO physicians, a myofacial therapist, an occupational therapy doctoral student … and one Boy Scout leader who wanted tools to use when he encounters boys who need help.

The physicians aren’t just doctors, they’re super-achiever doctors.  They’re sisters, Nahla (plaid shirt)) and Musheera (smiling lady with glasses) are.  Nahla has not only an MD (she’s a neonatologist!) but also a slew of other degrees, in hospital administration and I forget what else. She was traveling from Egypt to visit family here, and — typical for them — they thought they’d catch a class or two while she was here.  Musheera’s just as over-achieving as her sister: she’s got an MD (child psychiatry) and a PhD (she’s a professor of Child Development in South Dakota) and they’ve been everywhere and done everything.  It blew my mind — not only doing all this in a second language, but with a different alphabet and writing from left to right rather than the other way ’round.

And THEY — and Pat, the myofacial therapist — were stunned at what doing exercises to stimulate two parts of the brain had done for their vision.  “Look what I can see!”  “That is so different!  The painting of the girl over there — she has a FACE!  Why didn’t I see that before?”  They were stunned at how much more they were able to take in without being overwhelmed, seeing details and more.  I smiled to myself, knowing that while they were noticing their vision, much more was happening in their posture, their eye contact with each other and me, and way more than that.  The myofacial therapist, a ground-breaker in her own field who lectures nationally, was just as taken with all she experienced and how it could change the lives of people she meets.

And indeed, these super-achievers went on to rock the class — all of them, seeing such huge changes in themselves and I know they’ll put this all to good use in their lives.

Do YOU want to get YOUR mind blown?

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“My brain says so silly, but (these Brain Gym exercises are) surprisingly effective!” — Sean, 22

Oh my heavens, what a story!

Sean came for a session this week.  He’s 22 and would like to sketch more (and presumably, do video games perhaps a little less).  Brain Gym has you role-playing your goal, then doing some in-depth tests, some exercises, then testing and role-playing.

So, Sean chose to sketch on my iPad.  You know how hard it is to do anything with your finger on these screens: ever try to scrawl your signature for a credit card?  Never looks like MY signature, anyhow.  Look at his before and after pictures! Sean noted that while I undoubtedly saw a stick figure, this was a representation of the body he would have drawn, had he had time.  He did note he’d made the arms (with elbows!) longer than he intended.

After 15-20 minutes of Brain Gym exercises, LOOK AT WHAT SEAN DID! I’m stunned and in awe of the changes — and I don’t think it took him any longer than the first sketch! Just LOOKING at this guy makes me happy — greeting the world with a “hi”! (Now he can SEE there’s a world to interact with!) Wide-open eyes, a smile, sooo much more.

The COOL part of all of this is — the growth that Sean got by doing these Brain Gym exercises will, in the coming days and weeks (it can take up to 6 weeks for a balance to fully mature) help him to do OTHER things better in some way.  Whether he finds himself happier, as he was immediately after the balance, or more effective, or with more initiative or involvement or success, his life is now different.

 

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Brain Gym: Help yourself, help others.

Last summer, a physical therapist who took my Brain Gym 101 course was quite taken with the difference in her pencil grip after a very short and simple balance for writing.  While it was a longstanding source of frustration for her, she’d not been focused on how she held her pen, but in the midst of doing the exercises, something changed.  Therapists, look at the before and after pictures:  Brain Gym ROCKS!   (The rest of us don’t see as big of a change, but the PT assured me it was a huge step in something that had bothered her awhile.)

You don’t have to be a therapist nor dissatisfied with your handwriting to benefit from a Brain Gym 101 class.

Posted in Handwriting

You’ll want Kleenex AND pom-poms for this one: You can’t help but cry and cheer

I saw 10-year-old John yesterday for the first time. He had two homes before going to his adoptive family 8 years ago, and has more than the usual level of difficulties. He seemed brighter and happier when he left, and his mom, Julie, was very receptive to the therapy and home plan. Six hours later, I received this email (bolded text, mine throughout):

Dear Ruth,
John has seemed “terrific” today after his session with you.  (His word).  He is calmer, better able to understand jokes, and just generally happier and more loving.  The latter is pretty giant, in his case.  I am smiling, smiling, smiling as I write.  He was kind of blabbering like a baby (loosely speaking) in the car, and I remember wishing I had a recording so I could share with you.  It was very cute and innocent.  I don’t see that much with him.

I asked for permission to share this publicly, and received the following in reply:

Dear Ruth,
I/we would be honored to be in your newsletter.
Here is a little more good news:  we just had the BEST night together as a family in some time. At dinner, my husband was asking about our session.  I started to respond with, “Ruth Murray is…” and John quickly inserted, “an amazing woman”.  Ummmm…I am pretty sure I have never heard my child use those words in combination. Wow! Then later, all this information spontaneously started flowing out of John.  He showed dad his “favorite part” of the session:  the rocking you did (I would have thought it was the helmet).  He told his dad how His bio mom’s grandma came up in session (had a hard time explaining how exactly…but was very focused on the relationship and how it impacted him.  His eyes were lit up when I said that this issue was released.). And then he tried to show my husband how to muscle test.  (My husband, the doctor, was totally perplexed!).
He just continued to become more animated all evening. Now he is in bed.  We will see what happens after some sleep.
Thanks so much!
God Bless You,
Julie

I’m having a hard time envisioning the ultra-quiet, slow-to-verbally respond child that I saw this morning, interrupting and finishing his mom’s sentence. What a gift!  This morning, Mom writes:

Good Morning! Just wanted to let you know that 1) John slept like rock last night…giant improvement (too scared to sleep well thru night usually) and 2) hives appeared this morning…assume it is his body detoxing.  I think these are great signs.
God Bless!!!!!

She’s right: he’s no doubt throwing off toxins from his tissues as fast as his dear little body can manage it.  Yea for living with fewer toxins, as well!  This level of response is unusual, but what a wonderful lesson!

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Healing from early childhood trauma

Attachment and Bonding — not JUST for adoptive children
Difficulties with attachment/bonding issues are particularly prominent when I deal with children who’ve been adopted. Emotional trauma frequently combines with physical and/or neglect. My heart goes out to them, their parents and siblings.
I’m starting to see a number of new clients with adoptive-related issues. Here’s what one set of parents said about their children, who had been coming to about 3 months when Tom (dad) wrote:
Since Robert and Victoria have begun their motion training, we have seen great improvement in their awareness of their surroundings.  
They are more confident in their abilities in schoolwork and an increase in being able to socialize better with their peers.
Both Robert and Victoria have become more grounded in life, to do chores around the house as part of growing up to prepare themselves for life.

From their mom, Kris:
I would like to encourage anyone who is seeking to find hope and healing for his or her children to consider going to Ruth Murray at Movement Solutions for assistance.  She has a wealth of experience and a toolbox full of techniques.  My two youngest children are adopted and have had challenges in their early years, and have been struggling with attachment issues as a result.
I have noticed significant improvements in both of my children, especially in Robert who has more noticeable sensory issues and who therapists have shared concerns about his propriocentric and vestibular senses.  However, despite having gone to many different types of specialists, there have not been any effective processes for helping to overcome his difficulties.
Ruth’s therapies have been helping to integrate reflexes and dispel the effects of trauma.  She has helped to accept and love them as they are, while also removing the obstacles and not just teaching strategies to cope with their issues.  She is helping them to heal and move through challenges.  By celebrating each success and respecting their growth and limits, she is gently moving them to be prepared for the future and grounding them (literally with an earthing mat 😉 in the world.

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A novel way to drop education AND health care costs

Deciding how to deliver, and pay for, quality education and health care are two “yuge” (to borrow from a certain president-to-be) discussions in our society.  With costs for both rising, alternatives to each are popping up.

There are solutions that will simultaneously reduce the cost of BOTH education and health care, although it will take initiative, persistence, and some investments in time.  And, as the members of one Facebook page reminded me, it’s not for everybody.

If we can simultaneously address the root of so many issues with mental health, aging, and learning differences — we don’t need to treat them as much, or  — for some — not at all.  Addressing some holes in the development of our nervous systems can reduce or eliminate need for medication for attention/focus, anxiety and more.  By helping our elderly with balance, memory and reduce their Parkinson’s symptoms, we improve their quality of life and reduce their health care costs.

Exercises are easy to teach and fun to do — one 13 year old said he didn’t see why everybody doesn’t do them, as they’re so relaxing.  And who doesn’t want to relax, for heaven’s sake???  Who doesn’t want their children to do better at school, have a more enjoyable social life, and live the fullest life they can have?

Now, if you’re happy with how you and your children are living life — this is not for you.  We’re ALL for accepting people where and how they are, and encouraging them in their walk.  BUT if you wish you or your child (or aging spouse or parent) didn’t have to deal with (fill in the blank here), then take a look at healthy, stress-reducing RMT and/or Brain Gym exercises.  Parents, spouses, teachers, therapists (occupational, physical, speech/language, mental health) have all been delighted at how easily they can help people around them to improve their resilience, grades, function, and enjoyment of life.  People are much happier with communicating, focusing, and performing at a higher level.

So — if you’d like to reduce your health care costs, raise grades with less study, and live a happier life — try signing up for a Brain Gym or Rhythmic Movement Training International class!

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RMTi or Brain Gym? Brain Gym or RMTi?

Here are some (very fluid) generalizations that might help you choose which class is for you.

RMT:
Based on 17 movements (plus others) in procedure formats — or done alone.
Began just 13-ish years ago; introduced 10 years ago in US.  World-wide now; I don’t know country/language count.
Maximum of 10-15 minutes a day.
Only done on the floor
Tends more towards a 1:1 situation, although we do have classes for preschool/early childhood teachers to implement with large groups.  I’ve gotten entire classrooms doing exercises at one time.
Being able to touch the person is necessary for some exercises.
More aimed at medical professionals, though everybody likes and uses it.  I think.  Maybe that’s not a fair generalized statement.
Results tend to be stronger and more dramatic.
More structured towards symptom-list (reminds me, an RN, of syndromes):  Does this child have not just bad, but atrocious and chaotic, handwriting?  How about can’t organize worth beans, always losing homework and can’t find neatness?  Nor pay attention?  Overly tight pencil grip?  W-sit?  Okay, not w-sitting but sits with one (or both) feet anchored under the other leg?  or hooks feet on chair legs?  Very slow copier, terrible memorizer?  Does better if he stands at a desk in the back of the room to write, or slouches so he can keep legs entirely straight?  It’s likely ALL due to ONE unintegrated reflex.
Absolutely, positively need to be in a hands-on class.  I’ve had considerable difficulty getting people to un-learn techniques learned informally from someone who’s been through a class, and tried to teach a colleague.

Brain Gym:
Based on 26 movements in procedure formats – or done alone.
The 40+ years, in 80 countries, 50-ish languages
Done whenever, however.  Two are best on the floor, but adaptable otherwise.  In formal situations as well as at stop lights.
Easier to teach to entire classrooms at once; movements are more easily mastered.
More aimed at teachers/parents, though everybody likes and uses it.  I think.  Maybe that’s not a fair generalized statement.
Results can be quite dramatic.  Wildly appreciated by all.
More structured towards function:  Do you want to write better?  Listen better?  Organize?  Focus?  Move in the midline better?
Easier to do for more than 15 minutes a day if the person prefers; easier for person to implement later on (students frequently do, on their own.)
Marvelous at addressing ATNR, even indirectly and right-left brain integration/corpus callosum strengthening.  (Brain Gym doesn’t claim this, I’ve observed it.)
PTs and OTs frequently mention how much their clients like and request the movements.  Teachers likewise talk about their student’s independently initiated use.

BOTH BRAIN GYM AND RMTi:
Widely applicable to just about any challenges in life: anxiety, memory, public speaking, posture, attention, sensory processing, balance….you name it, it works.
Are highly adaptable to whomever you’re working with, with whatever ability level (including comatose patients). Infants to elderly.
Exercises are incredibly relaxing, or energizing –and sometimes both at the same time!
Are widely and enthusiastically accepted/frequently requested by widely diverse populations
Easily incorporated in 2 minute or more segments into existing sessions
Easily taught to clients/families (who also love them and benefit greatly from continued practice at home)
Strongly potentiate one another, interweaving exercises and effects.
Help with just about anything/everything people do.  Mental health, posture, public speaking, organizing, communication, falling asleep
Surprisingly helpful to the person learning these techniques (i.e., therapists, chiropractors, doctors, nurses, parents, etc.)
*The basics are taught in three very packed days
*There are some minimal things (charts, cards etc) you CAN buy to supplement, but truly — both stand freely without any further expenditure
*Both are open to and learnable by any adult
*The implementation of these disciplines are as much or more art than science
*You are strongly advised to take the courses twice, as there’s a lot of somatic learning and everybody is surprised at how much they learn even the secondtime through.  With both programs, people repeating that course only pay half-price, even if you take it from a different teacher (which is advisable.)
I get rave reviews from OTs, PTs, SLTs, sped teachers and parents about both Brain Gym and RMT.  Teachers of all stripes, mental health professionals, parents are among those who swear it has dramatically changed their lives — and those they work with — for the better.
Happiest definitely are those who have taken both.

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When profound art hints at inner growth

One of the more fascinating perks of my job is when an unexpected jewel is born.  Rebekah brought forth such a jewel recently.

I’d been seeing her monthly (they live 2+ hours away) since April, when her mom read about this work in Momaha.  That they were diligently doing their RMT and Brain Gym exercises, and the exercises were the right ones, was obvious in her progress.  On our first visit, Rebekah was cheerful, cooperative, but rather frantic in her movements and intense in her focus.   Not only toe-walking, but leaning forward into her environment, her attention span was quite short and apparently fiercely focused just within 2 feet of her face.  All else didn’t seem to register.

Each visit brought delightful new changes: less toe walking, and then not leaning into her environment, and then NOT toe walking OR leaning.  Her demeanor became calmer; she remains quite cheerful and cooperative, especially with her mom.  Particularly notable is her focus: now she can look across a room and anticipate what’s coming towards her.  She even looked UP the stairs at me coming down at her, and greeted me!  She talks so much more, with a calmer tone and much more expressive and aware now!
Mom reports that the doctors see a lessened need for medication, and they are making fewer treks into Omaha to see them.

This is all well and good.  But THIS visit brought a new gift!  We started QRI low-level light laser therapy with her, and Rebekah began to draw.  First she drew a heart:  Mom declared it to be the BEST heart she’d ever drawn!  Then she drew the black figure to the left, but she had only one arm.  Mom’s hair is quite curly and full, so we though it might be her.  When I laser’ed in the ATNR (Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex), Rebekah went back and drew in a second arm.  Wow!  The ATNR is the primary way our bodies know we have TWO sides, and — was Rebekah telling us she now has two sides to her body?  On and on she drew.  Next was a pink column to the right, with the green on top.  When pink and green protruding lines sprouted, my entire being froze in awe and delight.  REBEKAH WAS DRAWING A REPRESENTATION OF HERSELF, with neurons growing out from all around her!  I asked whether those lines had more lines — and instead of agreeing, she drew lines on the front and began more lines. I kept lasering her primitive and postural reflexes.  The face on the top right, complete with neurons coming from the head, appeared.   (Clouds and lines were much earlier).  Then she wrote her name in black beneath the figure.  I don’t know whether this is an artist signing her entire picture, or whether this is her labeling the figure.  Is it “Rebekah hearts neuronal growth” or “Mom hearts Rebekah”?   Whichever, who would have thought that such a profound insight — such a statment of inner flowerings — is possible from anyone?

I wrote Rebekah’s mom for permission to share their story.  After agreeing, she wrote: “I wish I could take a class with you every weekend 🙂  I was so perky when I got home that evening!  My husband wondered what was going on with me. I wanted to say again how very much I enjoyed your class.  Thank you!”

So, alas, I’ll be seeing a lot less of that pair, now that mom took RMT; she’s set to do much of what I would do with them — for a whole lot cheaper than driving in monthly for a session.

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Posted in QRI Cold Laser

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