About Whole Infant/Child Movement Therapy
What is Whole Movement?
Whole Movement is a space where infants, children and parents (and adults-individually and in classes) can explore natural developmental movement. Natural movement develops in patterns that sequentially build strength, balance, ease, spatial dynamics, and each child’s signature style and (psycho-physical) ways of approaching life.
What happens when a child misses a stage in the developmental sequence?
When a child misses a step in the sequencing of developmental movement they are missing the underlying support for the next stage in development. This may impact learning or neuro-physical integration. Helping children through early developmental patterns ensures that they not only have the building blocks for organized movement but also organic support for optimal sensory, relational (attachment and bonding) and neurological development. The results are a child that is happier, has better digestion, experiences more satisfaction, and develops a healthy sense of self as a person that can move themselves through life out of their own initiative.
How do infants and children learn?
At this age, all learning is manifested through movement. At Whole Movement we believe in gently supporting a child through these important stages to allow them to experience themselves at their highest potential while enjoying therapeutic playtime with the Movement Therapist and their Mom, Dad, or caretaker.
Who can benefit?
Any child can benefit from developmental movement therapy sessions. And, if your child has a developmental delay or neurological challenge, in the same gentle, supportive way, movement therapy can increase your child’s capacity to learn and integrate the delayed movement patterns so your child can continue moving towards their optimal development.
Can movement therapy help me connect with my child?
All families benefit from movement and bonding play sessions because the sessions strengthen attachment and connection. If there has been an interruption in bonding (due to postpartum depression, challenges during pregnancy, illness, adoption, or foster placement), both children and caregivers benefit from the interactive coaching and relational foundations of the sessions while building competency in the child.
How does movement therapy build competency?
Developmental movement therapy organically builds a useful, self-sustaining, and dynamic movement vocabulary. This becomes the foundation for a natural and joy-filled movement experience that will last for the rest of your child’s life.
How is developmental movement and bonding a medicine for healing imbalance?
Whole Movement Center is a space where parents and children can experience support for their connection to one another and learn and thrive. Here, we use developmental movement as a medicine for healing and organizing the symptoms of imbalance.
Symptoms of imbalance may be digestive issues, trouble nursing, trouble eating, trouble sleeping, stiffness or becoming limp when being held, discomfort in tummy time, difficulties bonding and settling with caregivers, strong startle reflex, only turning or rolling to one side, crawling using only the right or left leg, scooting on bottom to get around instead of crawling, lack of eye contact or weak visual tracking, sound sensitivity or sensory issues.
How many sessions will we need?
Some children need only a few sessions to move through a particular stage and some children benefit from regular sessions as they progressively move through each developmental milestone. Your therapist will help you develop a plan after the initial assessment.
Does it matter how soon we start?
The greatest window of opportunity is in infancy. Catching these symptoms early and providing developmental movement support is not only one of the best things you can do to support your child’s development, it also frees your child to make their own movement choices based on their strengths rather than compensating for underlying weakness and inefficient movement patterns.
Is it too late for my child or for me for that matter?
Developmental movement also supports older children and adults and seniors in much the same way; by providing underlying support to any movement choice the child or adult will make, whether it be public speaking, tennis, or ballet, they will have this multi-dimensional foundational support as they move forwards in their life.
What’s different about Whole Movement Child Therapies? Are you different from Early Childhood Intervention and other modalities like OT and PT?
We have a unique approach because we emphasize the child’s evolving relationship to their world which includes their parents, caregivers, body, mind, senses, and desires for how they want to move through life. This is Child-Centered Family Therapy that builds the body-mind centered attachment connection, repatterns development and becomes the foundation for emotional intelligence.
What is Body-Mind Centering®?
At Whole Movement, we incorporate all the tools of Body Mind Centering®, a highly refined modality that can repattern early development, from embryology to crawling, walking, running and dancing, as well as the function of each system in the body. Each body system (skeletal, neuromuscular, organs, glands, blood and fluids, energy, digestive and sensory) has its own movement dynamic and contributes to optimal development and movement. When out of balance, these systems can be called upon through coaching, movement and hands-on bodywork to benefit and support health and healing.
Do you recommend I work with other practitioners as well as you?
Whole Movement means holistic and we highly believe in collaborating with medical and alternative health practitioners to create the best possible team of support for our clients. We have seen it work over and over.
Can you give me some examples of clients that might benefit?
- Any infant or child or parent of a child who was in NICU or hospitalized for illness
- Infant, Adultt or Child who experienced Birth Trauma
- Infant/Child/Adult with early attachment challenges such as foster to adopt or family/marital strife, postpartum depression, illness, etc.
- Someone who moves stiffly and is frequently injured will be invited to learn flowing and continuous movement qualities supported by the fluid systems of the body.
- An individual who has trouble standing up for themselves, setting boundaries, and having energy for playful physical games, would be invited to experience more full-bodied muscular movement while integrating the support of their skeletal system.
- Constriction, lack of energy and digestive issues: Organic movement choices incorporate the support of the organs which can be life changing for infants, children and adults with digestive issues or those coming out of restrictive environments such as orphanages or an office job, trauma, illness, or the stillness of depression.
- We work with constriction in the lungs, ribs, and diaphragm to aid fuller breath for clients with asthma.
- All manner of developmental delays
How do you do this work with infants or children?
Children learn through play, repetition and safety that they can do their deeper work. They intuitively understand it’s their job to explore. We set up games and interventions or offer hands-on interventions that look like play. Sometimes magically the child instigates the perfect game for their next step in repatterning and we catch it and build in it. In infants and children this is invited through the movement qualities embodied by the therapist, and coached for parents. It is integrated through qualities of touch and play.