Please understand that Osteopathic treatment relates to the musculoskeletal aspect of the condition (eg. helps with muscle contraction, relaxation & movement co-ordination)
Movement is an essential part of learning. Right from the start of life the babies learn to move & learns by being able to move. In the school aged child movement allows the nervous system to process & integrate sensory information better so learning is easier and is an essential part of remedial teaching.
The brain receives information from all the senses (ie. Vision, hearing, Movement/position) & integrates it all & this allows it to form an appropriate response. Our bodies go through a systematic set of movement patterns from birth. These patterns develop our brain, and eventually help us do more complicated activities such as read, write and tie our shoe laces. The simple movements we explored as babies, “switched on our brains”, developed our muscles and helped us learn about our bodies
Pyramid of Learning
Results are best if the right intervention or treatment is introduced at the right time. Then all treatments & interventions can compliment each other with better results are is more cost effective (depicted in the diagram)
For example, if there is a nutritional deficiency or an allergy this has to be addressed by a Doctor or Naturopath. If there is a biomechanical/physical problem this can be addressed by Osteopathic treatment
Both these examples relate to a foundational problem at the base of the pyramid. This will make it hard for the nervous system to process & integrate information from the senses & progress or intervention higher up the pyramid & learning will be compromised.
Brain Function & Movement
Human children are unique because movement and thought construction share common beds of nerves, which are activated by both physical experiences and academic tasks.
As the child grows it carries out movement tasks & the sensory signals are disentangled, organised and amalgamated by the brain.
The baby is born with primitive reflex movement due to a specific stimulus. These involuntary primitive reflexes are not to be confused with postural reactions which occur due to body positional changes.
These reflexes help the baby until they are inhibited when the child no longer needs them when it has grown & the Central Nervous System has reached a specific developmental stage. The “primitive reflexes” are not to be seen as entities in themselves but are merely points in the developmental journey but if they are retained & not integrated into Nervous System processing this will compromise academic learning.
Many practitioners use movement in programs designed to help the learning and development in disabled children. These are examples of qualitative physical exercise programs, which inhibit retained primitive reflexes and integrate sensory input to the brain. More detail can be found in this research paper published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine