How Movements Benefit Children With Challenges?

[ By R. Alexandra ]

Many studies from over the years have come to show that movement greatly aids in helping children with challenges develop better skillsets. We turned to Certified Kinesiologist consultant, Ms. Premalatha Shanmugam to gain a better understanding on the subject matter at hand. When asked how movements can benefit children with challenges this is what she had to say “Movements are the means of processing and integrating sensory information. Movements are essential for proper neural connections to happen between the body and brain. Movements are key contributors to the developmental stages of each child. Various movement patterns e.g. Yoga, Tai Ji, Qigong, and more create resources and maturity of the central nervous system so that learning and living becomes easier.

RC: Firstly Could You Give Us A Brief Overview Of What Kinesiology Is?

Ms. Preema: “KINESIOLOGY is the study of mechanics of body movements which is a combination of ancient, eastern scientific practices and western muscle monitoring which balances the body on many levels. Its effective results come from the way it works with the body’s innate healing intelligence to restore balance and wellness to neurological, physiological, and psychological functions. Through this approach, profound changes are experienced emotionally, mentally and physically, thereby increasing a person’s health and wellbeing. When our system is functioning well, we feel well.

RC: Could You Kindly Elaborate On How The Movement Practices Of Kinesiology Help Children With Challenges?

Ms. Preema: “The movement patterns done with various combination of quality of movements, fast/slow, subtle/firm, short/long, stimulate the ability of the brain and the nervous system to create and/or renew nerve connections that enhance and influences the entire sensory system and how it functions. The ability of the brain to regenerate is called Plasticity. The application of Kinesiology together with other movement activities to retrain/re-pattern and enhance “neural reconnection/reactivation”, is used to return proper nerve communication between the brain and muscles. A diligent practise of mindful movement activities with intentions allows to begin a reorganization of nerve net pathways to improve the rapidity and efficiency of neurological connections. This is possible due to brain plasticity, an ability of the brain to learn, un-learn and re-learn neurological patterns formed through sensory information received from the movements done in a rhythmical, smooth, easy, fun and coordinated way. Through consistent and continuous practice making patterns of movements stronger stimulates the sensory system to re-build and renew nerve pathways for organization, coordination and control, motivation, emotional grounding.”

RC: What’s The Appropriate Age For A Child To Start With Movement Practices?

Ms. Preema: “Firstly allow me to clarify The practice of Kinesiology is not only for kids with challenges – movement based activities are suitable for all abilities, anyone and everyone, to help enhance each individuals personal bests and achieve optimal performance through a more balanced state of body and mind. It’s never too young or too old to start movement practices.”

RC: Can You Expand On RMTi Practices That Help?

Ms. Preema: “RHYTHMIC MOVEMENT TRAINING is a movement based, primitive reflex integration program that uses a set of developmental movements used by babies naturally during formative years to build foundations necessary for learning and living. Rhythmic Movement Training International (RMTI) provides the basis for reflex integration, whole-brain learning, optimizing skills, reducing stress, eliminating learning blocks and living well. The movements are effective for self-awareness to rebuild the foundations necessary to help overcome learning, sensory, emotional and behavioural challenges for children and adults and enhancing our ability in all areas of life.”

“At birth, the brain of an infant is not completely developed. It takes years to make all the necessary neurological connections. Reflex movements create and myelinate these connections to the higher centres of the brain and strengthens further as motor development matures. The better the reflexes lay foundations and integrate, the more resources for neural networks to sequentially organize & function is established.”

RC: What Are Some Other Movement Practices That Prove Beneficial?

Ms. Preema: Ancient movement patterns like Yoga, Tai Ji and Qi Gong are body-mind practices that benefits in maintaining overall balance and well-being. Eastern mindful movement activities, are hugely fashionable nowadays. Amazingly though, it seems tailor-made for modern times. The more we practice it the deeper we feel the benefits. In Kinesiology, this is referred to as patterns of movements, the science, – the rational application of the laws of the unfolding of consciousness, self-applied in an individual case. For many years, complementary and alternative therapists have worked with this subtle energy and have seen with their own eyes that by working on their esoteric level, they could affect huge changes in the physical body.

Consulted by
Premalatha Shanmugam Education in Kinesiology: Consultant & Instructor in Rhythmic Movement Training (RMTi), Touch For Health (IKC), Emmett Technique, Remanlay Acureflex Integration (R.A.I) Chairperson, Malaysian Specialized Kinesiology Association Advisor, Rhythmic Movement Training International (RMTi)