“What does all this movement mean? Does she have to move so much?” (Rebekah, age 6)  When Rebekah entered my office, she wandered around touching everything insight. She flopped her body on the ground, slithered her way under the chairs and positioned her head close to her father’s feet. It was like watching a little kitten nestling her way into the space.

With more time exploring her story, I learned that Rebekah had presented with phobias for social settings, and delayed reactions to starting new things – again like a kitten stuck in a tree waiting for a fire rescue squad – Rebekah didn’t know she had two strong feet to land on.

Her body from head to toe, indicated these impaired thought patterns. She scooted on her bottom rather than crawling, she sat rounded with her knees touching in and her feet out to the side (“w” sitting), or with her toes crossed over one another. She held her mouth wide open and her tongue over to one side. Her eyes wide opened and alert. Her entire body moved in sporadic yet quick movements, darting from place to place. She was heavy in her movements and lacking any ease.

My initial purpose was to help her body feel connected and grounded. I supported her seated posture by allowing her to lay on her belly, to sit with her knees under her bottom or to play with lightness in her movements (like a kitten playing with yarn), she would add grace into her repertoire. I had her practice ways to strengthen her stomach muscles and feel her body boundaries. I had her place her tongue up to the roof of her mouth and breath through her nose not her mouth. I had her build a protective space, a cozy space in the room rather than use her body as a barrier between others and herself.

We practiced in movement, how to support this imagery of a kitten exploring the world while changing hyper vigilance into curiosity and discovery. We added anticipation sounds, laughter and turn taking.

Rebekah’s body was showing her parents what she needed and they only had to look and place meaning to her choices, in order to help her climb off the tree and into her world.

A child’s breathing patterns, muscle control, seated posture, and movement choices are all indicators of their emotional and psychological state. The expression of these body patterns into movement is a direct parallel process to how each child is feeling. All we have to do is look and these patterns reveal the child’s needs.

Everyday, I work with children of all ages and their families to support their communication styles, movement choices, and beautiful connections! For more ways to learn how to embody parenting and support your child through life, Email me at therapy@drloribaudino.com or call me at (310) 966-0700 to schedule your time.

Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.

Copyright 2017-2021. Dr. Lori Baudino, BC-DMT. All Rights Reserved

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