Day 5 – Feldenkrais Intensive with Josipa
The final day……….for the week!
We have been loving our time with Josipa so much and we can see Owen is bonding really well and changing everyday that we have decided we need to maximise what we can with her while she is here in Australia. Josipa is here for another 3 weeks so we have decided to continue seeing her Monday – Friday during that time.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone that has supported us, every singlet purchased, every calendar purchased and every donation no matter how big or small… this is what we are using the funds for. We are fortunate to be able to make this decision to continue with her because of YOU!
Now onto tell you all about today’s session…. WOW
Today it was just my husband, Vince and I, Josipa was surprised to just see two of us enter today, the last few days Owen has had an even bigger audience. I’m sure she loved just having us there but she explained how she loves seeing more people also, as it’s so important for everyone around Owen that is in constant contact with him to understand why we are doing things and handling him the way we are.
Firstly we chatted, I was so pleased to hear Josipa had heard about this blog, she had read it and loved it. I was a little nervous to hear what she had thought at first but she went on to say it was nice to read and know what she is practising, I am understanding. She went on to tell me she had forwarded it onto her husband, here fellow colleagues and professors! SO HI EVERYONE!! It warms my heart to hear that people from all over the world are sharing in this journey with us. I explained to her that I not only like to share our journey, but it also acts as a diary for me… I can’t keep everything inside my brain – I would forget so much – so it’s nice to have this to look back on and see how differently Owen performs from day to day.
As usual Josipa started on the bench and stool working on Owen’s foot placement, and again he wanted to get up and moving. Standing up tall, full surface of foot and heels down…. way further to the surface of the floor than the past two days!! YAY! Once Owen had performed some standing he came down to sitting position and seemed quite comfortable. Today was the best he has sat EVER! Now to put things in perspective… I’m not saying he sat there for 5 minutes or anything like that – but it was a considerable amount of time. Not only did he sit, he was using his hands for support, not leaning into them about 20% like previous days… more like 80%. He was rocking his pelvis and coming back, we could see the little seahorses on his shorts going up and down and that showed us really how much movement he was getting…cute hey! He was rotating his torso, with his head and eyes from side to side as Josipa sat on one side and Vince on the other. He was lifting his head, chatting, lifting his hands and replacing them back down, lifting his feet and replacing them back down …… and keeping balance! These are all things that usually would cause Owen to lose balance and fall over straight away.
As you have probably seen in many photos that we work on varying levels. Up high on a bench to stool, on stool to floor and on Josipa’s lap to floor. This is so Owen can experience the same movement and placement but in varying situations. Feldenkrais method is all about getting function in the body that will be useful, it’s not all about perfect this, perfect that… it’s about how the movement can be used in context. Owen isn’t always going to be in the same position seating, at the same height on the same surface. Nor is he going to be at the same height of something when he wants to stand. We need to make sure he experiences all of this at all different levels.
Once we moved to the stool to floor Owen did some more great seating. He was holding his balance and Josipa played with the variation in his hips and pelvis, shifting one leg forward or sideways to get that variation and weight transferring happening. As you can see in one picture Josipa was able to raise one of Owen’s legs off the floor, while he continued to hold his balance, using core strength and his hands. Again letting Owen feel that differentiation and variation in his hip and pelvis is just vital! As Owen was performing so well with the transferring of weight on the stool and lifting one leg, Josipa started to experiment with his he would go performing the same task but in standing. This movement is imperative in standing for walking to occur as Owen needs to have that differentiation in his legs to be able to release each leg independently to be able to take a step. He’s not quite at this stage of performing this move in standing but Josipa wanted to test it and see if we could see what he would do, I love that she is always wanting to push the boundaries but still within Owen’s safe zone. He managed to transfer his weight once or twice without falling over or both legs collapsing … something we will continue to work on.
Another exercise performed on the stool today was Owen sitting and Josipa getting full rotation of Owen’s legs while he continued to balance. I was behind Owen for caution but it was fabulous to see that he was able to remain seated while Josipa showed him rotation and variation through the hips… out and in.
Lastly Josipa worked on Owen’s jaw. She explained this isn’t something she regularly does on children, especially on Day 5 of meeting them… I asked her why? She explained the jaw, much like the diaphragm and the back of the neck (all places Owen is quite sensitive) are all places children can feel vulnerable. Body parts like feet and legs can be poked and prodded without much bothering but the tension that can be held within the jaw, neck and diaphragm can be quite sensitive and when a child becomes scared, excited these areas can lock up and the muscle tone will tend to increase. Owen tends to make a lot of open mouth sounds and smiles with his mouth wide open, he rarely tends to close his mouth (although we have been seeing it more lately) and he doesn’t chew. Over our time with Josipa she is going to try and teach me the process of working on Owen’s diaphragm and jaw.
Another amazing day with more gains….. and basically NO foot correction needed! Thank you Josipa!
Quote of the day from Josipa “I really feel a strong connection with Owen, I’m so happy I can continue to work with him”
Now for Vince and I to continue working on this over the weekend with Owen so he can go in on Monday showing what he is made of. Thank you to everyone that has taken the time and wanted to know more about what Owen has been up to this week … and again thank you for your support so we can continue this therapy with him.