From birth to death our bodies are in constant transition. The soft tissues of our bodies, including muscle, bones, ligaments and fascial coverings, change throughout our lives. Concurrently, there are age related developmental milestones that occur between birth and late adolescence.
As we develop motor skills and agility our structure forms. During this formative period our bodies are most malleable and open to change.
As we approach puberty, we become aware of how our bodies are similar and different from our peers. Preteen children often become awkward, gangly and clumsy. They can be moody and self-absorbed, uncomfortable in their own skins. It’s not uncommon that the body grows faster than the child can keep up with. As boys and girls develop into young men and women, secondary sex characteristics are often a cause for embarrassment. Children may feel that they are changing too much or too little in contrast to their peers.
Children aged between 9 and 12 are on the precipice of profound physical and mental change. As appearance becomes more of an issue tweens feel pressure to conform in order to fit in. In western culture, children often struggle with self-acceptance and can feel alienated.
By age nine, a child’s body holds the remnants of falls, injuries, broken bones, heavy backpacks and long hours of sitting in classrooms and in front of digital devices. Patterns of pronation, knock-knees, scoliosis, forward shoulders and kyphosis (rounded upper back) are already setting in. The moment is ripe for some Rolfing that serves to ease the nervous system and organize the physical body for the immense changes that lay ahead.
Both our physical and emotional experiences shape us. Our bodies can become stuck in postures and movement patterns that are reflections of our past. Do you notice some similarity between yourself and your child in gait or posture? While genes play a part, children unconsciously mirror their parent’s patterns. When a child imitates your pattern of walking over and over, it is the fascia that adapts to this way of moving, and over time shapes itself to accommodate this pattern. Repetitive motion, stress, and trauma shorten the soft tissue structures and effect the alignment of muscle and bone.
Rolfing can be a valuable tool in addressing these structural patterns that hinder our potential. A confident and strong body empowers us to become all that we can be. Balance within the structure, empowers the spirit within.
Rebekah and David Frome have been working in the healing arts for over three decades. They have helped thousands of people recover from trauma and leave pain behind. They practice in Montclair and Asbury Park, NJ. To learn more about Tai Chi classes or to schedule a Rolfing or Five Element Acupuncture appointment call 973.509.8464 or visit www.FromePT.com.
This article appears in the October issue of najerseyshore.com Click below to subscribe.