Day 6 Standing in Lying: artifical Floor

Letting the Skeleton carry the Weight

This lesson does not look like much, but it improves the sensory perception in the joints. It will lower the overall muscle tone, and prepare the legs for walking easily and lifting faster. This is especially useful for children that are learning to walk, or walking with rather stiff legs and a lot of effort.

Our nervous system has no image or instinctive reaction to "somebody pressing a board against our feet". It will naturally assume that we are standing as soon as we feel pressure under the soles of our feet. At the same time, we can perceive we are lying - thus the muscles working against gravity can relax.

I would like you to feel this lesson on yourself first, this takes only 2 minutes. If possible, get an adult to assist you. If you are alone, you could try it out against a wall.

Lie down. Have somebody press a flat board against the sole of your foot. First, make your leg stiff stretch your foot, and pull the toes up. This is a common pattern for many children.

Note that you will be holding your breath while doing it.

Now relax your leg and foot, and feel the pressure under your sole: with relaxed muscles, the skeleton will start to carry the weight. Can you feel yourself breathing more deeply? Can you feel strength and stability, without effort? That is what we want to teach the child.

Remember

Your child is lying on the back, with a folded blanket under the head, and possibly some padding under the lower back if it likes to bend back. The leg you are working with should be as straight as possible, but you could put a small roller under the other knee.

  • Take your time to find the difference between pushing against the board and letting the skeleton work. This could be all you are working on today. The harder you push, the harder your child will push back - it has to find a way to understand to relax its muscles. Patience is the key here - try to feel the contact with the skeleton, and deep breathing.
  • Only if you feel the contact through the bones, gently start moving the board.

This is about balance and proprioception, we are sending a message to the nervous system, not creating a movement. For the child`s nervous system, you are the floor - so the movements should be small and steady. Likely, you will not see anything special at all. The results of this lesson come gradually, almost invisibly - but with a deep impact.

If your child is learning to walk, or walking with stiff legs, or falling often because the knees lift only slowly and abruptly, repeat this lesson frequently for about five minutes.