A colleague writes …
Balance is a movement activity. We can strengthen our balance by challenging each one of the three body systems in turn. We do that quite specifically in our “Rainbow Wobblies” activity when we stand on one foot, lift our gaze, “spread our wings” as we spatially expand ourselves, and carefully wobble. When we “follow the arc of the rainbow overhead” we are challenging our spatial and vision system to pick up the slack as the vestibular system of the inner ear is de-stabilized as our head moves. Movement by movement, we can shift from excluding one and then another of these three systems. In this manner, we strengthen our balance by isolating the different body systems that contribute to stability, then integrating them again, over and over. Sensory integration, helping the body organize its many (more than 12!) different senses, is not just for the very young.
Balance is also a spatial activity. We can expand our range of balance by exploring the spaces around our body. We begin with experiencing gravity and her playmate levity or lightness. Activities that involve expansion and contraction can also offer pathways to an heightened sense of one’s physical and spatial self. Similarly, doing an activity with a partner can give one the experience of moving out into the world, towards or with the partner, a great shift of spatial relationship when one is mostly by oneself. Moving fully through three planes of space (horizontal, frontal, and symmetry) can also strengthen the somato-sensory integration, at any age. The movement approach of Spacial Dynamics®, among others, has many activities with which to explore these movement fundamental themes.
From our first movements of life, we move. Movement is the key to balance: balance is the result of the subtle activity of multiple body systems working together, through movement. Everyday movement such as walking helps, and specialty activities to practice movement integration helps too.
So, let’s get moving!