Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
yourself or your clients through this sequence is a mar-
velous self-help exercise that calms the mind and orga-
nizes the body through deep remembering of these
primal and foundational movements (DVD ref: Func-
tional Lines 50:40-1:05:27).
Almost all of us, even the most young or infirm, can
easily lie on our backs, since the heavy body weights
(head, chest, pelvis, and, if so desired, arms and legs,
totaling seven) are all supported by the floor in this
position (Fig. 10.28). As suggested in the last section, in
this position, the SBL tends to relax into the floor, while
the SFL tends to carry more tone.
Through experimentation (chiefly through trying to
follow Mom with his eyes), a baby will eventually turn
from back to side to belly, where the SBL gains more
tone and the SFL snuggles to the floor (Fig. 10.29). In this
position, the baby has supported one of the large weights
- the head - up in the air, giving the eyes greater range
and allowing greater freedom in creeping around. The
muscles of the SBL strengthen in lifting up the head, and
the cervical curve is strengthened and set into place.
By looking over his shoulder (on the side of the
cocked leg - babies almost always have one leg flexed
and the other extended) the baby employs the helical
lines (Spiral, Functional, and Lateral) to twist around to
sitting (Fig. 10.30). The weight must shift in the pelvis
from the ASIS to the ischial tuberosity, which happens
by the weight rolling out over the greater trochanter and
onto the bottom of the pelvis. Sitting on the floor requires
the same balance among the three sagittal lines as was
described above in the section on sitting in a chair - the
SBL, SFL, and DFL. In sitting, the child has managed to
raise and support two of the body's heavy masses - the
head and the chest - off the ground. The child's freedom
of movement and reach of both hands and eyes are
increased (and you are busy child-proofing the house).
The next developmental stage involves the baby
reaching around and forward to pass onto hands and
knees, into crawling (Fig. 10.31). Once this stage is
reached, it requires yet more strength from the cardinal
lines, and yet more coordination between the limbs via
the Functional Lines. Greater strength in the SFL is also
necessary to keep the trunk aloft and not allow the
lumbars to fall into extreme lordosis. Notice that the
baby has now managed to get three of the heavy weights
into the air: head, chest, and pelvis. Now the question
becomes - how we do we get all this centered over the
small base of support the feet provide?
The next stage, usually accomplished with the help
of furniture or a parental leg, involves coming to kneel-
ing, with one foot on the floor (Fig. 10.32). At this stage,
all the leg lines must strengthen and develop in their
coordination to support the body's entire weight through
the hips. Through the previous stages of creeping,
sitting, and crawling, the primary weight was borne
through the shoulders, but now the primary weight
must stabilize through the pelvis and through the
When the legs are strong enough, the child spirals up
from kneeling to precarious standing, which usually
manifests as walking (Fig. 10.33). Although some parents
Fig. 10.27 The right Spiral Line is the primary rotator of the trunk,
assisted in this movement by the left Front Functional Line bringing
the left arm toward the right hip.
Looking into the lesson a little more subtly, we notice
that in each phase of the movement, the cardinal lines
open to the floor. When we are lying on the back, the
Superficial Back Line opens and the Superficial Front
Line subtly closes or shortens (see Fig. 10.24). We move
to the right side by opening the right Lateral Line,
whether we think of it that way or not. By the time we
are lying on our right side, the right LL is more open
overall, and the left LL more closed (not necessarily con-
tracted, perhaps just passively short - see Fig. 10.25).
As we roll from the right side onto the front the SFL
opens and the SBL closes (see Fig. 10.26). We see it in
babies, rocking on their bellies to strengthen the SBL,
and we can feel it in ourselves, even if it is not so marked
in the adult body. To continue onto the left side, we must
open the left LL and close the right. Once the movement
is mastered and we are rolling freely, we can feel the
lines opening to the floor as we approach them, and we
can feel (as the student) or see (as the teacher or practi-
tioner) where the body is holding or restricted in its
ability to open, thus restricting other places in their
ability to move. It is this opening to the floor that is
really the key to an easy accomplishment of this primal
movement, not the spiral pulls that initiate the move-
ment (which can in any case vary widely in their point
of initiation). Looking for where the opening of the car-
dinal lines is blocked and working with those restric-
tions will very often bring more ease into this sequence
than working with the Functional or Spiral Lines, though
such restrictions are of course possible also.
The take-away point here is that subtle and underly-
ing neurologic accommodations in the meridians as a
whole are keys to adaptive movement. These underly-
ing adjustments to movement are fundamental, and
established in our earliest, pre-verbal experiments with
our bodies. They are harder to see than some of the
obvious movements we looked at earlier in this chapter,
but they are often key to unlocking and resolving a
Developmental movement stages
The previous section dealt with rolling over, which is
the first postural change a baby makes on its own, but
not the last. In this section, we expand our view to take
in the whole progression from lying to standing that
each of us must make if we are to successfully negotiate
standing up and walking through this world. Running
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