By Rudine Ferreira.
Megan ignores the little slip-up – “Perhaps Mom will see that it doesn’t bother me and then maybe I won’t get into trouble again!” This situation becomes a vicious cycle with loads of tension.
De Jager (2009) maintains that people’s “inside senses” are responsible for creating our relationship with gravitational security. The following are our “inside senses”:
These inside senses are necessary to regulate sensations and stimulation from inside the body, as well as assisting with sequencing; orientation/direction; prioritising; maintaining balance and establishing where a person is in relation to the space around their body.
Nancy Raubenheimer (2009) mentions the following areas where the vestibular system has influence:
According to Wiki Answers, a simple definition for gravitation is the force/pull that the earth exerts on an object so that it doesn’t float off into space/the air. It is very important that children are made aware of this force/power of attraction and stability, otherwise they will constantly feel as though they are floating and unsafe. According to De Jager (2019) babies are not born with gravitational security, but are blessed with systems that work against this unsafe feeling. The vestibular system is in the inner ear and consists of three liquid/fluid filled semi-circular canals and the cochlea. Fine hairs within these semi-circular canals, work together with the fluid and move whenever a person turns/adjusts the level of their head, sending signals to the brain to flex/relax certain muscles so that the body can stay upright – according to De Jager (2019) we call this BALANCE. Ayres (1979) maintains that a person’s gravitational insecurity is activated whenever the vestibular system does not work correctly or is not fully integrated with all the senses, the brain and the muscles.
Stimulation of the skin, muscles and joints (where the proprioceptors are found); movement in all different directions; together with the following Mind Moves© exercises (De Jager, M. 2009) all help to develop and integrate the vestibular system.
An unconscious, automatic response must be developed within the child so that they feel that they are on a solid base. The feeling of an unstable base affects the body in that it tends to overcompensate, as if trying to balance on a wobbly ball. When your base is solid/firm, it is so much easier to hold or adjust your position in space. This feeling of safety and control strengthens a child’s self-image and self-confidence. Their inner senses are working in an integrated positive manner in conjunction with the metabolic system.
The following exercises work particularly well with the unfortunate child who struggles to control their bladder/bowels and ultimately improves the negative conflict between parent and child.
The earlobes are the antennas that draw outside sound into the ear canal and then send it to the inner ear (vestibular system) so that the brain/body knows what to do with the information. The impulse drawn through the ear indicates whether there is excessive noise; what the volume is; the direction it came from; how quickly or slowly something is moving; the position of the head and so on. By rubbing the earlobes the “antennas” become more sensitive to incoming stimulation and can provide the vestibular system with more accurate information.
The skin is the first sense to develop. It has two functions, protection and discrimination. Protective responses always take first priority over discrimination. It is therefore important that a person feels safe within their own skin so that they are better able to discriminate between different sensations. By touching/massaging the skin with firm movements the connection between the skin and the inner senses are activated. By pressing/planting the feet firmly into/on the ground the child/person will develop a stronger relationship with gravitational security.
This exercise helps to regulate breathing and concentration whilst controlling the excretion of adrenaline and cortisol. Excessive adrenaline can cause a person to feel anxious and out of control. When a parent does this exercise with their child, the child will feel loved and accepted. It will also reduce tension within the relationship.