Contrary to popular belief, the brain and the body are intricately connected. Not only does the brain affect your ability to move, but your movement affects your brain's ability to function! The vestibular system and proprioceptive receptors all provide important feedback and can help create and modify neuro connections. It’s important to use moment and sensory integration (and stimulation) techniques to help heal the brain.
Often movements that coordinate opposite sides of the body will be used to strengthen the connections between the left and right hemispheres (via the corpus callosum). Crawling or marching/walking while raising the opposite arm and leg at the same time has been used to help with all sorts of neurological and laterality issues. Dance, hippotherapy, yoga, aquatherapy, tai chi and qi gong are often used to deepen the mind body connection and may not only help with balance and mobility, but with overall neurological function.
Sensory integration and stimulation have become a popular therapeutic tool. Many people with neurological conditions will find that their senses are either hypersensitive (they have a hard time with tastes, touch, sounds etc) or hyposensitive (do not register sensations easily). Often people will have hypersensitivities in some areas and hyposensitivity in others. It’s important to check in with all the senses and see how you may be able to help. Using different textures on the body, joint compressions, swings, smells, food textures and flavors are some of the ways you can look into helping your loved one better regulate their senses and better regulate their body and mind. When you are constantly uncomfortable with the environment it is hard to focus on anything else or to feel safe and on the flip side other people (Remy!) may have no idea where their bodies are or appropriate touch because they don’t feel pain the way others do.
Another important thing to investigate for anyone struggling with a neurological disorder is to check their primitive reflexes. The reflexes that we are born with may not be present or may not have integrated properly (in some adults with trauma or injury a reflex may return). When reflexes aren’t properly integrated it can cause a whole host of neurological issues. Many movements (especially army crawling) help integrate reflexes, but there are other ways to help as well. (** I was able to buy a Quantum Reflex Integration Laser second hand but haven’t used it for much beyond doing acupuncture on Remy - I hope to explore it more and review it soon.)
No matter what you are working on, try and include movement (preferably enjoyable movement) and as many senses as possible. Music, smells and food all hold important places in our minds and hearts. Spending time outdoors is equally important. The earth vibrates at a healing frequency that our bodies tune into when we are outside (the premise of grounding). Nature engages all of our senses at once and stimulates the brain in so many positive ways. Go play!