Air, Food & Experience
I am writing this later than I planned.
I had a month of “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans” experiences, so certain things had to be put on the back burner.
In these situations, the only thing you can do is raise your hands in surrender while doing your best to get through it all.
Nevertheless, I am here now and ready to share with you some ideas and thoughts you might find beneficial.
Thank you for your patience.
Are our children starved of lack of experience?
No human can reach their ultimate potential and develop emotional, psychological and physical ortho-functionality without rich experiences.
To simplify it, if you were shut into a small dark room on your own where you couldn’t see, move or have any contact with other humans or life forms you would show developmental delay emotionally, psychologically, cognitively and physically and eventually, you would go insane.
Without having any experience of light and dark, night and day, warm and cold, rain and shine due to the lack of stimuli for the five/seven senses and for the whole organism (body and mind) all of us would function on a limited range of existence, despite initially having a well-functioning body and an intact nervous system.
This is generally true for all humans including children and adults with a neurologically based dysfunction. There is no difference.
However, society’s mindset is based on shared beliefs that there is a difference and therefore people with a neurological diagnostic label are treated differently. They are provided with specialised provisions that completely ignore these basic facts, creating further complications above the original ones.
Dr Mária Hári often referred to this as secondary dysfunctioning and separated it from the original dysfunction which was caused by damage to the nervous system.
• Vestibular sense
• Proprioception kinaesthetic sense
Addressing them with practical strategies to be implemented in their programmes and at home. Helping them to understand why and how.
Winters can be very cold in Hungary where I was born. Minus 14 Celsius or colder was not uncommon when I was a little girl.
Your gloves can almost freeze to your hands, especially after a snowball fight. My father’s hands were always warm and reassuring even when he wasn’t wearing gloves on those really cold days.
He was a well-read, patient and sensitive man. We discussed ideas and possibilities together as soon as I learnt to talk. He would never influence my beliefs and tell me what to think but encouraged me to find my own truth and my own answers.
We discussed philosophies, science, music, languages, art and talked about life here on earth and on other planets. He encouraged me to be a free thinker and not to waste time on discussing anything that could go wrong or went wrong.
He walked his talk and walked away from situations quietly if he didn’t want to participate in what was presented to him. He would never hurt anyone and would never use bad words.
The feelings I had through those experiences during the time I spent with him had a great impact on me and carried me through my life when times were tough.
He has left me far too young…I was on my way home for an Easter Holiday. He went quietly, gently and unexpectedly…
However, what he left me with was exactly what I found when I started my studies at the Pető Institute.
Enriched emotional, psychological, practical, and physical experiences we all were part of during our studies and work at Pető.
Conductive movement pedagogy is about let’s do things together preferably in a group with a shared focus and intention. It is more about creating and performing masterpieces and never giving up until reaching the next level and the next and so on.
It was about creative, inspirational, always interesting and challenging exchanges and connections that were waved around us and within us. They were the foundation and the life force of existence at the Institute.
If you had such experiences; my intention is to remind you and urge you to build them into your programmes, daily work and life. Use them as anchors to create transformations while seeking progress and growth.
If you didn’t have them, look for them and learn from the ones who still remember and practice them. Conductors working all over the globe are often made to lose this significant edge of our work when they try to fit into mainstream therapy and other established provisions. It is significantly different from the often seen and interpreted ‘conductive education’ of the up and down, left and right, bend and stretch 1-2-3-4-5. The impact you have and the experiences you create even during the shortest sessions or in the longest hours of your teaching days have an immeasurable lasting influence on lives.
This energy has the power to override any chemical imbalance for instance in the case of Parkinson’s and to overcome other physical and physiological discrepancies.
I am encouraging you to use the same techniques that have been in existence through generations since Dr András Pető ideas were put into practice. Infuse that energy into your work and let it become who you are.
Experience is the best teacher.
When we take our first breath at birth, that is when we establish our individual connection to life on this planet. For healthy brain functioning, we need oxygen which is carried by the blood to the brain cells along with essential nutrients and hormones.
Blood circulation has a vital effect on the functioning of all the cells in the body, while the lymphatic system takes care of removing all the toxic waste and all unwanted materials.
The lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump for adequate functioning depending on muscle and joint movements.
Moving is vital for the lymphatic system which is part of the immune system. We all know the importance of the immune system. If we didn’t have one, we would die in 20 minutes.
At Pető the children had an established lifestyle that required moving around all day by their own efforts.
Breathing techniques were used combined with movements and sounds to help concentration, focus and to refresh the body and the mind.
When we move, we increase our circulation, deepening our breathing, oxygenating our cells including the brain, and nourishing and detoxifying our body, our internal organs and glands are massaged by the movements, improving their functioning and the secretion of vital hormones.
Children spent time outside every day, they walked out to the gardens sometimes needing facilitation from 3-4 conductors, but they managed. There was no question about it. That was the norm and that was the way at Pető.
Think about it for a minute or two and write it down:
- How long does your child or children in your class spend actively moving outside each day?
- How many times do you open the windows during your programmes?
- How many times do practice breathing techniques in your sessions?
- Do you combine breathing and movements?
- Do you take your child outside when it is raining and windy?
- How many times a day do you remove plastic splints from your child’s feet, to let them breathe and move?
Exposing the body and mind to the elements makes them stronger, more resilient, builds stamina, along with emotional and psychological muscles.
Many children throughout my practice told me that they spend 7+ hours in a wheelchair every day.
It is like living your life on a long-haul flight.
If you have been on one, you know how it feels.
As Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Nourishing the mind and the body keeps us growing and well. It really comes down to the fact that we are either growing healthy cells and minds or simply and slowly deteriorating, and dying.
We can live without food for weeks, but we can only live without water for days.
We live on a planet which is covered by around 70% water and there is a vast amount of water beneath the surface. Earth is often referred to as the blue planet and our body reflects that.
Our bodies are made of 62% + water, and newborns have the highest percentage of water in their bodies.
We live in a society of dehydration. Drinking pure water is almost unknown among children and some see it as a punishment.
The liquids most children get are infused with chemicals for colouring, flavouring and preserving along with sugar (the biggest killer) or sugar supplements that the body must separate from the water. The body needs energy for that and in the case of people with neurological conditions *already lacking vital energy* including nerve energy, it depletes their energy further.
I remember one particular case when I worked with a 16 months old girl and her mother.
The little girl loved the water and often asked for it, but her mom insisted to give her a thick milk replacement; recommended by their consultant which the child rejected on regular basis. There was a constant battle between mother and child, simply because the mother was led to believe that this was the best and the right thing to do.
Lunchboxes of children often contains the following: jam sandwich, crisps, flavoured yoghurt, chocolate bar, sweetened drink, or banana, sandwich with meat and cheese, crisps etc.
Most of the food in those lunch boxes are so called ‘dead food’ full of preservatives and colouring, compared to live energy food harvested from plants and eaten fresh without processing or any colouring and preservatives.
You can see when a leaf drops from a tree, it is full of lifeforce initially, but within a few hours, the life force evaporates leaving the leaf to dry out and decompose. When you make a batch of pure fresh fruit or vegetable juice, after a few hours you can see the deterioration in colour and taste, ultimately in the quality.
Everything that is in a tin and packaged needs chemicals to keep it edible and looking fresh…
The quality of the food amongst other things is measured by its life force, living enzymes and water content to energise the body.
- Do you offer fresh water to your children?
- Do you ask the children to drink water regularly during your sessions and during the day?
- How often do they get the chance to hydrate their body with fresh water?
- If you look at their meal how much of it is freshly grown from nature?
- Is their food microwaved?
- How is the food presented?
- Would you eat it?
The body that has a limited capacity for movement and is further restricted by straps to keep it in one position for a longer period of time, must be nourished more with live energy food to keep it healthy and well.
I leave you with this quote again, from Vera Förster Memories from Pető’s time as there is a very significant message in there.
“…These were times when food was very scarce… The institute had food equivalent to a five-star hotel. The food was fantastic, the ingredients they used and the cooks they employed. Pető explained once that what hospitals and other similar places spent on medication we spent on food.” ‘A view from the past’ Pető Studies, Conductive Education Press 2012. Page 75
Choose from whatever you have found here useful and implement it straight away today.
You will see the difference that it makes.
Please remember consistency wins over intensity…
Until next time, wishing you all the very best.