Somatic Movement Therapy

Movement Therapy that is based in the somatic educational system of Body Mind Centering® emerges from the principle that support precedes movement. Utilizing a child's strengths, a movement therapist works to create ease within the child's existing movement, social, and emotional patterns, while simultaneously building a solid foundation to support future learning templates.

Somatic Movement Therapy assesses and engages the whole child while supporting and promoting their success. This approach offers your child a unique opportunity to enhance their sensory-motor skills through brain-based learning models. A Movement Therapist uses skilled observation, easeful movement and gentle hands-on re-patterning to allow your child the opportunity to facilitate motor, developmental, and perceptual integration. The movement therapy process helps to establish greater self awareness, dynamic social skills, sensory integration, coordination, neuromuscular re-education, memory, and academic enhancement--ultimately allowing your child to reach their fullest developmental potential.

Movement therapy brings an understanding of the unique configurations of our bodies. The properties of our body fall into patterns, as do all natural phenomenons. The nervous system has the potential of innumerable patterns; however, the patterns are not accessible until they are stimulated. When someone has a limited range of perceptual-motor patterns it limits the choices in everyday thought and action. For example, a child who does not fully use or sequence through their feet and legs when crawling may later experience instability and difficulty while trying to establish a connection to the ground as they walk. This inefficient patterning may in turn adversely affect the child's ability to move through space and socialize with other children. This movement pattern is often associated with weakness in the core muscles of the trunk. We therefore engage children in activities to strengthen the entire body and the connections of different parts of the body.

During infancy, a baby's movement patterns develop in a progressive and critical sequence. Incomplete or disrupted sequencing can lead to chronic physical and emotional problems as well as learning difficulties, many of which can be compounded into adulthood. When these problems present themselves, Somatic Movement Therapy offers a holistic approach to their re-patterning, often through the use of Development Movement Therapy (DMT). DMT works well in conjunction with Brain Gym and other neural-motor or perceptual approaches to help repair incomplete patterns.

This somatic educational approach uses hands-on facilitation as an educational tool to help increase awareness. The physical engagement of the therapists helps to regulate a child's response to stimuli and to monitor proprioceptive (internal body) feedback. The hands-on guidance can also facilitate movement possibilities that open new neuro-motor pathways, creating a wider range of well-coordinated and efficient movement choices.

More specifically hands-on somatic education can help reduce levels of Cortisol ("the stress hormone") allowing the child to unlearn previously stressful movements and achieve developmental milestones with ease. As a result the child is able to experience greater focus, balance, coordination, tone, motivation, and sequencing. Goals can also include an increase in athletic and academic performance.

Individual or group educational sessions may include Cranio-Sacral therapy, Neruo-Motor approaches to integration, a Body-Mind Centering approach to re-patterning, including contacting the different layers and types of tissues that make up the body and embodying a deep supportive connection with self and the environment.