Day 2 Small Rotations of the Spine
*Minute 12: the same thing with the pelvis, not hip
You are working on the ability to walk with a gently moving spine and swinging arms, easier crawling, or smoother turns. The most difficult part of this lesson might be not to strain, enlarge the movement or get a bit bored. This is slow work.
If you want to try it for yourself: hold both arms in front of you, stretched out long. Glide one arm forward, one back. It is not a big movement, but you can feel it will not go much farther without moving the pelvis and turning the whole spine in space - which will not result in more movement in-between the vertebrae.
- The child is lying on the side (that is more comfortable). Possibly put a folded blanket (not a soft pillow) under the head. With the knees at a 90° angle it will be more stable - but only do so if easily possible.
- Put a roller or rolled up blanket under the bent knee and the arm and gently roll the child forward and back, arms and legs together. This is just to get used to the general movement.
- Leave the arms (the child can play if it wants to), put one bent knee on the roller, and very, very gently move the knee forward and back. Which direction is easier? Start with the easy direction, go back to the original position, go in the easy direction again. About at least ten times, only then try the other direction and back to the middle... only at the end go back and forth. No more than 5 centimeters! You can put your fingers under the spine and guide the movement.
- Put both arms more or less straight more or less in front of the child. Don`t struggle to straighten them - we are trying to move the spine. It is just helpful if the child can touch the arms together. Very gently pull the upper arm forward and back - do the same things you did with the knee, going in one direction and back to the middle first. Use gravity going forward - this should be very easy.
- Remember: which direction was easiest? With the arms, with the legs, was it easier to move the legs or the arms? Pick the easiest possibility, and just move that limb in that direction (for example, only the arm back) - but know you are gently holding the rest of the body still. Go only to the middle, and again in the easy direction. Very slowly, at least 10 times.
- Start with the next possibility - this could mean the arm back, or one knee forward and back while holding the body still. Go to the middle, then repeat.
- Try all four possibilities - arms forward and back, legs forward and back.
- You can turn the child on the other side if you want to, but it is not necessary, whatever is most comfortable.
- Gently try to move arms and legs in different directions - arms forward, legs back. Pick the easiest direction go back to the middle. The other direction, finally both.
- Finally, you can try some twists and rolling around, and see whether this has improved.
Keep the movements small...
even if your child would be able to do bigger movements. We are really trying to target the innermost musculature of the spine, right between the vertebrae (see smaller picture). Bigger movements will most likely not result in more movement there - but less. Be "boring"! Those muscles have to relax.