The Feldenkrais Method for Babies and Children
Although all children can practice the Feldenkrais Method, it's strongly recommended for children with development delays or Down syndrome.
The Feldenkrais Method was created by scientist Moshé Feldenkrais and consists of studying the movement of the human body by connecting it with the mind, breathing, and the nervous system. This method is mainly used to improve mood and emotions, which also helps in other areas such as stress, posture improvement, and reducing fatigue.
The Feldenkrais Method for babies and children
The benefit of this technique is that not only adults can practice it; children and babies can also enjoy its benefits. This is mainly because it teaches babies how to position their body, head, and feet, meaning it’ll be much easier for them to learn how to walk.
Feldenkrais exercises are simple and practical. However, you should consult your pediatrician before you start implementing them.
“This method is painless and the child doesn’t have to meet certain prerequisites to be a candidate for it. Its practice is becoming more common in the world, which is why you can find various schools and specialists.”
How to apply the method
Any child can reap the benefits of this technique. However, it’s mainly used in cases of children with developmental delays, cognitive disorders, brain injury, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and movement difficulties after accidents or surgery.
In small babies, it consists of doing simple exercises that help improve their mobility. In older children, the method consists of doing activities such as walking, crawling, elasticity exercises, and coexistence exercises with other children their age.
Another stage of the exercises consists of massages that aim to relax the body’s muscles. In general, they’re simple exercises that specialists must perform. Even parents can participate in the process, which is why we recommend starting doing these activities since the child is very young.
“This method is helpful for development in premature infants or children or children who have Down syndrome, hip problems, clubfoot, torticollis, vision problems, learning difficulties, or spasticity.”
– Esther Niego, Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner by the International Feldenkrais Federation (IFF)-Feldenkrais Method.
Benefits of the Feldenkrais Method
As we mentioned above, the practice of this technique is very beneficial for small children, including helping them improve their posture. Overall, it has many benefits in different areas: physical, mental, and emotional. What we’ll mention below is approved by the Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner, Aimará Moreno:
This method has many physical benefits. Some of the most important are:
- Reduces stress levels, tiredness, and fatigue.
- Improves posture.
- This method helps accelerate the recovery of neurological problems.
- Improves flexibility.
- Improves coordination.
- This method helps improve techniques in other activities such as sports, dance, art, and music, among others.
- Increases energy levels.
- This method develops the ability to perceive and feel.
- Reduces tension levels.
- Reduces, and even eliminates, chronic pain.
- This method accelerates injury recovery.
- Relieves pain and muscle contractions.
- Increases and improves balance.
Using this technique also has many mental benefits that may be critical for a child’s development. These are some of the most important ones:
- Increases creativity.
- Improves flexibility.
- Improves attention span.
- Helps improve the decision-making process.
- This method develops observation skills to deal with different situations.
- Increases the ability to focus on the present.
- Improves the acceptance capacity for changes or difficult situations.
This method also has many emotional benefits that can help children during their stages of growth. Some of the most important are:
- Reduces anxiety and depression.
- Increases self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Helps children develop self-awareness and proprioception.
- Helps children find emotional stability.
- Helps control and reduce panic attacks.
The Feldenkrais Method is applied in various parts of the world and is often widely beneficial for children. The important thing is to remember that only a specialist who knows the movements to be performed should apply it.