*Please note- this blog post was written during my time at Brain Fit Academy Inc. I have since continued this amazing work under my own company- Brain FUNdamentals LLC. I hope you enjoy!
We talk a lot about babies at Brain Fit Academy. We talk about the Baby Brain. We talk about babies in our reflex class. We talk about babies when explaining our methods to parents.
Why do we talk so much about babies? It’s because that’s where movement first begins. From the earliest in-utero movements of a fetus, to the first steps of a toddler, it’s where movement first happens and where the brain starts “growing” itself.
You see- movement is what helps to build the brain. As we move our bodies as babies, first automatically (like the primitive reflexes) and then more intentionally (like reaching for a toy) our brains are “building” and growing. That’s why, if you take part in our program, you’ll probably notice that not only do we talk about babies, but we do a lot of moving like them too.
We crawl on all fours like babies do.
We lay on our backs in the “fencing” poses like babies do.
We rock rhythmically like our parents did with us as babies.
We move our bodies in many different ways that mimic the movements of babies because we are working to grow our brains too.
Remember- the brain can change. Neuroplasticity is the official scientific term, but really- it just means that the brain can change through growth and reorganization. We can grow the brain by doing those movements that we might have missed as babies.
For babies, their movement is initiated by their desire to interact with the world. They want to learn about the world around them so they move to reach for the toy for example- or to get to another part of the room (rolling!)
The primitive reflexes- those stereotyped, automatic motor patterns, are on a “timeline”. It’s like a template or blueprint of human movement. So as babies grow and develop, they progress along that template with their movements. They work through the template as they interact with the world- through movement.
That movement, in turn, leads to brain development- from the bottom up. Babies build their brains from the bottom up, starting with the brain stem- or, as we like to call it the “Baby Brain”.
When we work to integrate Primitive Reflexes in our Brain Fit sessions, we are taking advantage of that neuroplasticity I mentioned. We work to “re-organize” the baby brain. We pick up where the template or blueprint got stuck or interrupted and we move it along. And when we do that, things get easier for the person. They just do– it’s that simple.
So when we think about what happens in Brain Fit sessions, it makes sense that if we are working on that same template that we had as babies, many of the movements would be the same, right? We’re working on the template we had as babies, so we mimic the movements we had as babies.
There’s that word again- babies! I told you we say it a lot!
Now- don’t worry. You’re not going to see the coach and the child crawling around all session acting like babies. But you will see them doing movements that you might have seen your child do when they were babies- along with a lot of other fun activities and movement!
So yeah, babies:
- They are where the movement starts.
- They are where the brain begins its development.
- They are who we mimic.
- They are our inspiration.
After all, if babies can grow their brains, so can we!!