After working for what feels like forever, I finally finished BORN TO MOVE, a documentary of sorts that puts a spotlight on the importance of natural movement in early infancy. What has made this a tad scary for me, in sending it out into the world, is that I’ve raised questions about a number of “unmentionables” such as SIDS, co-sleeping or bed sharing, the “Back-to-Sleep” campaign, flat heads, wry necks, autism, motor delays—and the underlying culture of fear that lurks like the proverbial monster under the bed, dropping a blanket of silence over any meaningful discussion around these issues. I’d so much prefer that my own and others’ matching ideas about this be proved wrong, if it meant that comprehensive, evidence-based research had been done to reach this conclusion.
Who am I then, you might ask, to speak with any authority on any of these subjects? That’s what I asked myself for a very long time. As someone who became obsessed with natural skeletal alignment/movement almost twenty years ago, I’ve learned to be a keen observer of how people inhabit their bodies relative to what is the natural “home-base” of the human design. My training as a massage therapist and years of teaching yoga morphed into sharing this new (to me) way of releasing chronic tension and pain that could be accomplished by aligning one’s own bones along the vertical axis of gravity. Not a quick fix, of course, but learning this has been nothing short of life-changing for me and many others.
Along the way, I began working with children in elementary classrooms, where I hoped to prevent misalignment from developing in the first place. I was at once disheartened by the level of structural collapse so many children were already struggling against. Thankfully, these same children responded with an almost hungry eagerness—they liked the way it felt to be supported by their bones, as well as being invited to experience what was going on inside their own skin. Their teachers happily reported these students were generally more focused and calm—the very basis of enhanced mindfulness—maybe because this emphasized the parasympathetic response, while oxygenated blood could now circulate more efficiently through the young body/mind.
Yet, I was left flummoxed by how it was that so many children had become misaligned in the first place. Hadn’t they only recently been, as healthy upright toddlers, perfect role models of natural, aligned posture? What I eventually discovered shocked me. Times had changed in the last couple of decades, and even toddlers were now beginning to struggle with postural problems. In fact, as I dug deeper into how this could possibly be, my perspective as a posture/movement nerd collided with the reality facing babies and children today, many of whose essential developmental movements are dramatically restricted from the moment they’re born. It became apparent that the seeds of structural collapse were often being sown in the first few months of an infant’s life!
That’s when my research began in earnest. I lived and breathed anything and everything related to infant development, which, sadly, soon revealed the magnitude of an unfolding crisis of neurodevelopmental disorders and a host of other epidemic problems in babies and children. The role of truly natural movement appeared to be both misunderstood and ignored. I’ve agonized about how to best present what I believe are relevant and valuable insights about this (a saga all it’s own!) and, thus, BORN to MOVE came to be.
The criticism and backlash I have feared from this hasn’t yet materialized, although we’re only 48-hours-old in terms of “online age.” Instead, the support I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive, and according to Vimeo stats, word of this has already reached 23 countries (bless you, Internet!) I thank all of you who have reached out to me—not just my unfailingly supportive family and friends, but dedicated therapists who work with children every day, as well as impacted parents.
I wish I could offer this video for free to anyone who is interested, but I’ve worked on this without income for far too long. It’s like writing a book for months/years on end, and then publishing it and giving it away. A lovely idea, but not a workable plan : ) If this subject interests you, I hope you will support my efforts by watching and sharing ( $4.99 to rent/$9.99 to buy). Watch the trailer and the hour-long video (chock-full of amazing information with remarkable footage of babies on the move and other great graphics) : https://vimeo.com/ondemand/borntomove
Again THANK YOU ALL!!
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