Learning When Part of the Brain is Missing

When Elizabeth was born, she didn’t move her eyes. They flickered and were not properly aligned, gazing in different directions. At one month, they rarely tracked objects. Her parents were terrified she might not see normally. As she developed, it was clear she had a problem with her muscle tonus. At times she was very floppy, meaning she had too little or no muscle tension, but at other times she had too much tension and was “spastic,” making no exploratory, voluntary movements. When Feldenkrais met Elizabeth for the first time, she was thirteen months old and unable to creep or crawl. (Creeping, which usually precedes crawling, means scooting along on the stomach.) She could make only a single, voluntary movement: rolling over on one side. At her first hands on session with Feldenkrais, where he assessed her, she couldn’t stop crying. She had had many sessions with therapists, who had tried to get her to do things she was not ready to do developmentally. For instance, many therapists had tried to sit her up, over and over, and had failed. If the children’s bodies are spastic, these movements hurt them—hence the crying.

According to Feldenkrais, these attempts to leapfrog through development are a huge error because no one ever learned to walk by walking…

Read the complete story behind this event by clicking through to this third-party article by Dr. Norman Doidge about Feldenkrais and how it helped a woman born with only part of her brain.  https://www.salon.com/…/she_will_dance_at_her_wedding_heal…/

Gabrielle Pullen